Local talent to highlight All-Star Game
TOUGH TO BRING DOWN n Heidelberg Academy's Matt Windham is tackled by an opponent in this file photo. Windham is one of seven local athletes playing in the Mississippi Private School Association All-Star Football Game Friday night in Clinton. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Nov. 30, 2000
There's no telling where Austin Holmes might line up Friday night in the Mississippi Private School Association All-Star Football Game.
After all, the Lamar School standout was a multiple threat on the field this past season for the Raiders and he could play as many as five spots for the South squad in the MPSA All-Star contest.
Holmes and six other local private-school stars have been in Clinton all week in preparation for Friday's all-star contest, which is set to begin at 6 p.m. Pre-game ceremonies at Mississippi College's Robinson-Hale Stadium are slated for 5:30 p.m.
Holmes is the only local player who will be wearing a South uniform, but don't be surprised to see him all over the field. The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder will likely handle both the kicking and punting duties, as well as playing a little running back.
He'll be going up against a host of local stars on the North team, including a pair each from Class AA and Class A state champions Winston and Heidelberg Academy.
Standout quarterback Taylor McNeel and fullback Wesley Wright of Winston headline the North team.
McNeel helped the Patriots to their fourth straight MPSA state championship by throwing for 2,132 yards and 26 touchdowns. McNeel also ran for more than 1,000 yards for the second straight season, ending his WA career with a 1,230-yard, 15-touchdown performance on the ground.
Wright ran for 922 yards and 16 touchdowns despite missing a host of games due to injuries.
Heidelberg Academy will be represented by running back Matt Windham and lineman David Kersh, as well as coach Tom Lewis, who will serve the North squad as an assistant.
Windham rolled up 1,058 yards and 15 touchdowns for the Rebels, while Kersh was a two-way starter for HA at tackle and noseguard.
Also suiting up for the North are Kemper Academy's Wade Whitaker and Wayne Academy's Ryan McCaa.
McCaa was one of the area's most bruising fullbacks and defensive linemen, while Whitaker ran for 1,066 yards and racked up more than 2,200 all-purpose yards for the Rams in addition to scoring 12 touchdowns.
Ricky Weiss of Lee Academy will serve as the head coach for the North, getting help from Lewis, Mack Norwood of Kirk Academy and Willis Wright of North Delta School.
The South will be guided by Charlie Newlon of Parklane Academy, Bo Milton of Tri-County Academy, Andy Creel of Bowling Green School and Dan Boyce of Manchester Academy.