BY BRANDON SPECK
More details have emerged about the Mississippi High School Activities Association’s plan to move its football championships from Jackson to the state’s major college venues, beginning this December.
On Thursday, a source involved in the decision told the Daily Journal the rotation has been decided.
The six state championship games will take place this season in Starkville at Mississippi State’s Davis Wade Stadium. And for the next six years, the championship site will apparently rotate between Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
“I think a lot of us have the team motto of ‘Make it to Jackson,’ but that mindset could change,” Starkville coach Jamie Mitchell said when asked about the potential move earlier in the week.
Where Southern Miss fits into a future rotation remained unclear, but it might not be until after the initial six years of playing at the state’s two SEC schools.
But Southern isn’t being left out of the high school football business. The Hattiesburg school will host the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic in 2015 and 2017. The longtime Alabama event will remain in Montgomery in 2014 and 2016. Plus, the coast already is home to the in-state Bernard Blackwell Classic all-star game, also played in December.
The state of Alabama is going into its sixth year of having its high school football championships played in the stadiums at Alabama and Auburn, its two SEC members.
“It’s been great,” said Ron Ingram, the director of communications for the Alabama High School Athletic Association. “We needed a jolt. Sometimes you do. I think it will be great for Mississippi, too.”
Barring a postponement, an official announcement could come during next week’s MAC coaches meetings.
The MHSAA championships have been held at Jackson’s Veterans Memorial Stadium since 1992.
“My coaching buddies from Alabama have said they love playing at Alabama and Auburn,” Mitchell said. “I think a move is a win for us. At the end of the day, all we’re trying to do is win a state championship … no matter where it’s played.”
BY BRANDON SPECK