MHS, Philly get two each on Mississippi team

By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
Jan. 18, 2001
CLINTON Jeremy Ruffin and Mario Hill didn't get a chance to play for a state championship while suiting up for the Meridian High School football team.
But their hard work didn't go unnoticed.
Ruffin and Hill, starting teammates for the Wildcats for the past three seasons, will suit up at least one more time together when the pair represents MHS in the Mississippi/Alabama Shrine Classic all-star football game.
The roster for the Mississippi team was chosen Wednesday. The Classic is set for June 16 in Mobile, Ala.
Meridian's Ruffin and Hill weren't the only players from The Meridian Star's coverage area selected Wednesday. Philadelphia's Marquez Dupree and Keith Houston, as well as Louisville's Bryant Thomas, were also chosen.
Ruffin racked up 38 sacks during his three years in MHS blue, registering more than 300 tackles in the same time frame. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder who terrorized opposing quarterbacks with his quickness, is considering a number of Southeastern Conference schools.
Hill, who committed to Ole Miss earlier this week, caught 92 passes for 1,496 yards and 23 touchdowns during the past two years. Also considered a possible cornerback for the Classic, Hill scored touchdowns four different ways this past season for the 9-3 Wildcats.
Dupree and Hill helped lead the Tornadoes to the Class 2A playoffs, and they'll be joined in Mobile by their head coach. Philly's Steve Cheatham will serve as one of the assistants in the Mississippi/Alabama game, as will Newton County's Jeff Breland.
A 6-foot, 205-pound tailback, Dupree overcame in season-ending injury as a junior to top the 1,000-yard mark this past season. Houston, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound free safety, started three seasons and recorded 30 interceptions during his career.
Louisville's Thomas, who ran and passed for a combined 2,600 yards for the Division 2-4A champion Wildcats, made the roster as a cornerback. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder, who earlier committed to Mississippi State, could also see action under center, as well as wide receiver and on special teams.
Rocky Higginbotham is the sports editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rhigginbotham@themeridianstar.com.

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