By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
Eupora coach Junior Graham knows how difficult it is to select players for the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic.
However, the Mississippi head coach and his staff for the 2012 edition of the 26th annual game aren’t regretting their choices.
The annual football game is scheduled for noon Saturday at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery. Alabama has won four straight in the series.
“We’ve had two really good days of practice,” Graham said Wednesday. “It’s been typical all-star football. The defense is a little ahead of the offense, but the offense had a better day today. The kids are really playing hard. They’re giving good effort.”
Graham and his coaches reciprocate the effort. It’s a busy week for all. Coaches arrived back at the hotel after 10 p.m. Wednesday and held a coaches meeting.
The 40-man roster includes seven from area schools. Gabe Myles and defensive lineman Jawon Johnson represent Starkville. Mississippi assistant coach Jamie Mitchell, of Starkville, has called Oxford quarterback Parker Adamson, one of two on the roster, the best quarterback in Mississippi.
Making a statement
Myles is a Mississippi State DB commit. His NeMiss teammates include the still-uncommitted Itawamba AHS 4-star running back/safety Ashton Shumpert.
“I think we’ve all got the mindset to go down there and make a statement. I know most of the boys I’m playing with and they’re as competitive as I am,” Shumpert said.
Houston defensive end Chris Jones, a Mississippi State commit, Lafayette defensive back Brandon Mack and Oxford defensive lineman Xavier Pegues round out the area players trying to break Alabama’s streak.
“I did not know Ashton until he came here,” Graham said. “That guy gives you great effort every snap, whether he’s on the scout team, defense or offense. Another guy on offense, Kameron Myers (Charleston RB) is a really special player. On the defensive side, Chris Jones and Dylan Bradley (Noxubee County) are very disruptive.”