By Curtis Rockwell, Sports Editor
The Picayune Item
MONTGOMERY, Ala. —
A trio of Picayune football players will make history today.
The three Maroon Tide standouts also hope to be a part of the history books as well.
The 26th annual Alabama/Mississippi all-Star Football Classic kicks off today just after Noon here at the legendary Cramton Bowl. And for the first time in the history of this prestigious event, three Picayune players will suit up for the team from the Magnolia State, which is the maximum number of players allowed from one school in the same year.
And not only will fullback Desmond Taylor along with center Jacob Feeley and guard Joey Reynolds be looking for a win, they’ll be out to snap a four game losing streak to the Alabama squad as well.
“We’ve been talking about winning all week” Feeley said. “We kind of got the feeling when we got here that they (Alabama) think they will just come out and win, but we want to end that streak.”
Alabama leads the all-time series 18-7, This is the second straight year the game has been played at this venue, after taking place the first 24 years at historic Ladd Stadium in Mobile.
All three Picayune players are expected to start in today’s game. Eupora’s Junior Graham is the head coach of Mississippi.
“I think we have been getting better every day,” Graham said. “It’s an all-star game, so you have to find chemistry at some point. I thought our chemistry has gotten better each day, and that’s a sign you’re growing as a team.”
Reynolds and Feeley will be blocking for a talented backfield that includes Taylor and a host of running backs. That backfield expanded just a bit on Thursday, when Starkville’s Gabe Myles was shifted from the defensive secondary to quarterback briefly.
Myles, the Class 5A offensive player of the year, led his Yellow Jacket to the state championship with a 28-11 win over Pascagoula two weeks ago. He was also the starting quarterback last season for Starkville when Picayune beat the Yellow Jackets 38-21 in the state title game.
Mississippi’s other two signal-callers, Oxford’s Parker Adamson and Wes Windham from Ocean Springs, are more adept at taking snaps from the shotgun. Myles has committed to Mississippi State but is expected to play defensive back in college and was chosen for the secondary in this game.
“We’ll have to use Gabe in our under center stuff,” Starkville head coach Jamie Mitchell, who is serving as Mississippi’s offensive coordinator, said. “It’s too important for us not to. Our quick game is going to be essential for us. We’ve got to get the ball out of their hand. We’ve got to be accurate. We want to throw as much short stuff as we can, get it in the hands of our playmakers as quick as we can, and let those guys make plays.”
The Picayune trio, along with Windham, is part of a solid group of South Mississippi players in the game. Also suiting up for the Magnolia State are Biloxi wide receivers Scott Austin and Tevaris McCormick, Petal wide receiver JaMarcus Reevie, Hattiesburg wide receiver Tony Bridges and Forrest County AHS linebacker Stacey Garner as well as Bassfield linebacker James Graves and Wayne county lineman Devin Farrior and Brookhaven linebacker Ja’Boree Poole.
“It’s exciting to be in this game,” Reynolds said. “We’re proud of each other to be picked for this game. We’re always working together and we get one more chance to play together.”
The complete rosters for the game can be found on P. 2B in the Scoreboard.