By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal
ABERDEEN – If Aberdeen is fortunate enough to get to a third straight Class 3A state championship game in December, Channing Ward may then be able to fully enjoy all these honors.
At a press conference at the school Thursday, game representatives presented the five-star recruit an honorary jersey for his selection to the 2012 Under Armour All-America Game.
“It’s a big honor,” Ward said. “When you go there, you’ve still got a lot to do. People are going to see how good you really are when you’re playing against that competition.”
Ward will join 89 of the country’s top football players for the Jan. 5 game in St. Petersburg, Fla. at Tropicana Field.
It will be televised live on ESPN at 7 p.m.
Before then, though, Ward’s main concern lies on Water Valley, where the Bulldogs (5-4, 3-0 Division 2-3A) will face the Blue Devils (7-2, 3-0) with the division title on the line tonight.
“It’s huge for him and the community,” Aberdeen coach Chris Duncan said of the All-America selection. “I don’t see anything but good things to come out of it. He told me on the way over here, ‘Coach, this is good, but we’ve got to get ready to play Friday night.’”
Listed on ESPNU’s Top 150 defensive ends list at No. 11 in the nation, Ward’s mom Cora Mae and several teammates were at the press conference.
Through the attention of awards and a list of 20-plus scholarship offers though, a potential run back to Jackson is top of mind, where the only feeling he’s focused on is winning it all this time.
“That would be a great feeling. You’ve made it there twice and couldn’t pull it out. It’d probably make you feel way better than just going to the game,” Ward said, then laughed.