Four Holmes County Central standouts chosen for games

By LAURENCE HILLIARD,

Four player from Holmes County Central have been chosen for post season all-star football games.

Montra Edwards was selected to play for Mississippi in the Mississippi-Alabama All Star game and three of his teammates – Jedrus Watts. John Mitchell and Justin Smith – were named to the North team for the Bernard Blackwell North-South All Star Classic

The 33rd Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game will be played Saturday, Dec. 14, at the University of Southern Mississippi M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, with a noon kickoff. The North-South game will be one week later at Joseph Milner Stadium in Gulfport, with an 11:30 start.

Both games will be televised by Mississippi Public Broadcasting stations. Coaches chose members of the teams after many hours viewing film of players who had been nominated. Only seniors play in the games.

“We (coaching staff) went out and tried to get the best 40 players in the state of Mississippi at this time and I feel like we have kids who play hard,” said Union coach Brad Breland, who will coach the Mississippi team. “They are good kids with good character. Those are the properties we were looking for.”

Edwards (6-2, 290) was named to the Mississippi team as a defensive lineman. He is among the team leaders in tackles, tackles for losses and sacks. As a junior he had 107 tackles, with 27 for losses and 13 sacks in helping the Jaguars to an 11-2 record and the second round of the 5A playoffs.

Edwards is rated as the Number 18 recruit in the state of Mississippi by the website 247 Sports.

Watts (6-1, 220) was chosen for the North team as a defensive lineman, Mitchell (6-4, 260) as an offensive lineman and Smith as quarterback. As a junior, Smith totaled 2,406 yards and 34 touchdowns running and passing.

Alabama holds a 22-10 lead in the Mississippi-Alabama series, but Mississippi has won the last two, three of the last four and the only two previous games played in the Magnolia State.

The team will have seven practice sessions. “We will go down there on Monday (December 9) and begin practicing Tuesday morning,” Breland said. “We will practice twice Tuesday, twice Wednesday, twice Thursday and once Friday, then we will play Saturday.”

It will be the 71st game contested by two teams of Mississippi players, but the 67th with the North-South format. From 1989 to 1992 the game pitted 4A and 5A schools against 1A, 2A and 3A schools.

Head coaches are Tony Vance of Hattiesburg for the South and Clinton Gatewood of Greenwood for the North.

The South holds a 33-28 lead in the series with five ties. One of those ties was last year, 0-0 in heavy rain.