North/South football game has Louisville flavor

By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
July 19, 2001
A total of eight Louisville football players were nominated for the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Classic this past Spring.
So when just one Wildcat Bryant Thomas made the Magnolia squad, it left plenty available for the annual North/South contest.
The 52nd annual game, now known as the Bernard Blackwell All-Star Football Classic, has a decidedly Louisville flavor.
Head coach Tony Stanford of Louisville will guide the North squad, which includes Louisville players Marquess Ledbetter, Ken Triplett and Adrian Eiland.
The contest is set for Friday at Madison Central High School, with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Player introductions and other pre-game ceremonies begin at 7:15.
Ledbetter, a hard-hitting linebacker, is headed for Utah after this game, while Triplett and Eiland are both expected to play at East Central Community College.
But they aren't the only representatives from The Meridian Star's coverage area who will suit up for the North Friday night.
A pair of former Noxapater standouts, quarterback Ryan Smith and defensive specialist J.E. Haynes, both made the squad, as well.
Representing the North as assistant coaches are Danny Robertson of Durant, M.C. Miller, Jim Ray and John Mullins. Miller, a Louisville native, is the head coach at Noxubee County; Ray just took over at Neshoba Central after leaving the head coach's job at Noxapater; and Mullins is a Louisville assistant.
Heading up the local representatives on the South team is tight end Eddie Moss of Meridian High.
Moss, a 6-1, 230-pound versatile star who is headed to East Mississippi Community College, played as a defensive lineman, fullback and tight end for the Wildcats last year.
Linebacker Cornell Blakley of Wayne County is the other local representative on the South team, which will be coached by Lee Bramlett of McComb.
The South won last year's contest 24-0 and leads the all-time series 24-20-3.
Joint sponsors for the game are the Mississippi Association of Coaches and Coca-Cola.
Tickets, available at the gate, are $5.
Rocky Higginbotham is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at