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All-Stars make new friends

By Staff
ALL-STAR RAMBLE Heidleberg Academy standout running back Heath Ainsworth (5) is one of eight area players taking part in the MPSA All-Star game Friday night at Mississippi College in Clinton. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Jeff Byrd/The Meridian Star
Dec. 6, 2001
JACKSON Being an all-star for this week's Mississippi Private School Association's All-Star game sure has its advantages.
A full week in a nice Jackson hotel. Buffett food. And a week without having to go to class.
But the best thing most all the all-stars from the Meridian Star's coverage area can agree on is being able to hang around fellow football players.
Heidelberg Academy will have two stars in action on Friday. They include tailback Heath Ainsworth and tackle Joe Connor.
One of the rituals of all-star week is for the players to share helmet decals with fellow all-star teammates. At practice on Wednesday, just about every player's helmet was decorated with logos from other schools.
A green Colt logo donned the back of many a player's helmet. Some helmets have as many as six logos on it. Yellow helmets had orange, blue and black decals all over it.
Practice and food have been the focal point for the week. The All-Stars practice twice a day, once in the morning and once again in the afternoon. The sessions last about two hours.
The North stars have been based at Jackson Prep. The South at Jackson Academy. But all the players and coaches are staying at the Clarion Hotel, near downtown Jackson.
In between practice is a noon-day lunch buffett. On Wednesday, the North started practice late and had to scramble back to the hotel.
As for the accomodations, it's a bit of a tight squeeze.
Players usually like to take a nap after lunch but sometimes that doesn't work out.
And as for the books.
Jeff Byrd is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. He can be reached at 693-1551 or by e-mail at jbyrd@themeridianstar.com.

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