Ruffin, Hill earn all-state honors

By By Robbie Robertson/The Meridian Star
Dec. 8, 2000
Two Meridian Wildcats were named to the Mississippi Association of Coaches Class 5A All-State team recently.
In all, 20 players from the Meridian Star's coverage area were named to the first team while 13 were named to the second team.
Super 12 players Jeremy Ruffin and Mario Hill of Meridian were first-team selections in Class 5A.
Ruffin totaled more than 100 tackles on the season to go along with 12 sacks as Meridian had a 9-3 record.
Hill had 750 yards receiving and 150 rushing and scored 14 touchdowns, two on special teams.
Also in Class 5A, Wayne County placed one player on the first-team defense and two on the second unit. Junior noseguard Willie Evans was a first-team selection while linebacker Cornell Blakney and cornerback Lance Gandy.
In Class 4A, Louisville placed four players on the team, including three first-team defensive selections. Ken Triplett, Marquess Ledbetter and Jermaine Miller were selected on defense while Bryant Thomas was the second-team quarterback.
Also making the first team on defense was Quitman senior William Pickens. On the second-team defense was Jonathan Brandy from Noxubee County and Stacey Lewis from Neshoba Central.
In Class 3A, Newton County placed two players on the first-team offense in wide receiver Justin Smith and place kicker David McConnell.
Forest also landed two on the first-team offense in running back Pete McBride and center Jimmy Bradford.
On the second-team offense for Forest were two offensive linemen in John Williams and Jason Graffemread. Stephen Goodlow was a first-team defensive selection for the Bearcats as well.
Choctaw Central tight end Kyle Issac was a second-team offensive selection.
In Class 2A, Philadelphia placed two players on the first-team offense and one on the first-team defense. Leading the offense was running back Marquez Dupree and offensive lineman Caleb Breland from Philadelphia. On defense, Philly's Keith Houston was a first-team pick. The Tornadoes, which finished at 10-2, had two special team selections in place kicker Dustin Turner and punter Sam DeWeese.
Enterprise had two players on the second-team offense in running back Bryan Bester and offensive lineman Daniel Green.
In Class 1A, Noxapater had four players selected. Senior Corey Moore was a first-team tight end and a first-team defensive end the only player in the state to be first-team on both sides of the ball in any classification.
Also on the first team for the Tigers was quarterback Ryan Smith and place kicker Scott Shurden. Shurden was also a second-team punter.
J.E. Haynes was a first-team linebacker and a second-team wide receiver.
Lake's Jake Nester was a first-team safety while Jeffery Ickom was a second team offensive lineman for the Hornets.
Robbie Robertson is sports editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at