Junior college all-stars kick off today

Football stockBy David Wheeler

Special to the Journal

The junior college football season in Mississippi officially wraps up today as Northeast Community College hosts the annual MACJC All-Star Game at 1 p.m.

“This is probably the best cast of players we’ve had in the game in 10 years,” said Northeast coach Ricky Smither. “It’s been a great two days thus far.”

Players went through drills Tuesday and Wednesday for roughly 26 four-year college coaching staffs, and even a handfull of pro scouts, Smither said.

A big change for the event in its 40th year is the mid-week game date. Smither said the change was made so the Northeast staff, as well as the respective all-star staffs could make the trip to Jackson on Friday and Saturday for the Mississippi high school state championships.

“It’s been tough on us, and the staffs, being stuck here for the games until this year,” Smither said. “We’ll even have a better plan for next year.”

The Tigers, which finished the season 4-2 in the North Division, have six players on the North all-star roster. They are Martice Buckley, Razean Prather from Ripley Nick Johnson, Romia Wilson from West Point, Daniel Ross, Kortilous Ellis, and Demarrion Haynes.

The Itawamba Indians also finished North play at 4-2, qualifying for the playoffs. Five players from the team will be in today’s game: C. J. Jackson from Water Valley, Caderious Dean from Byhalia, Griff Loftis from Mooreville, D”Andre Greer from Lafayette, and Quazdzing Rogers from Mooreville.

“The change in the date is great for all of us as coaches because we’re still able to attend the state championships,” said ICC coach Jon Williams said. “And this game gives our players more exposure in recruiting.”

Jeff Tatum of Mississippi Delta is the North head coach, and William Jones of Pearl River is the South head coach.

Also on the North roster is Josh Hamilton from Northwest. Hamilton was a two-sport athlete at Tupelo.

Click video to hear audio