By David Wheeler/NEMS Daily Journal
BOONEVILLE – Mississippi junior college football is well known throughout the country for its high level of competitive play.
The state will afford another stage to showcase that talent today as Northeast Community College hosts the 38th annual Mississippi Association of Community/Junior Colleges All-Star Classic.
“This game is great for kids who don’t have the big offers yet from four-year schools,” Northeast head coach Ricky Smither said. “And those who do play usually get better offers.”
The kickoff for the contest is 1 p.m. today. Players reported and started practicing on Thursday, and getting two practices and other assessments.
The squads will be divided into North and South, with each team roster at 33 players.
“We’ll be making sure the kids are housed, fields are ready, overseeing the whole deal,” Smither said. “This is another chance to get some film on kids that schools were maybe missing.”
Currently, Northeast has eight sophomores on the North roster – Devin Slate from Oxford (DL), Jeremiah Boothe (DL), Anthony Payne (DL), Frankie Lee (DE), Devin Lindsey from Baldwyn (DB), Taylor Earhart (K), and Kyle Davis (OL).
Itawamba Community College has seven on the squad – Canden Dallas of Pontotoc (QB), DeShawn McGaughy of Fulton (RB), Erik Buchanan of Aberdeen (WR), Andrew Mahan (DE), Ashton Bullard (DB), Tevin Spurgeon of Shannon (DB), and Justin Rogers of Starkville (WR).
“I think this is a great opportunity for kids to make their stock rise,” Itawamba head coach Jon Williams said. “This is another way for our league to help the kids market themselves for the next level.”
The South head coach will be Tim Hatten of Pearl River.
Northeast has been hosting this event since 1986.