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Three local teams have plans for Birmingham

By Staff
Top QBs commit to MSU
Shannon's Ken Topps and Cleveland East Side's Aries Nelson are two of the top high school quarterbacks in Mississippi this year. Both have committed to Mississippi State.
Topps is listed as the No. 23 quarterback prospect in the nation and the best in Mississippi by ESPN recruiting analyst Tom Lemming.
Topps completed 145-of-246 passes for 2,511 yards and 19 touchdowns for the Red Raiders this fall.
Nelson completed 91-of-188 passes for 1,576 yards and 13 touchdowns and ran for 678 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Marty Stamper
So much for stats
The South All-Stars dominated the team statistical numbers in Friday's MPSA All-Star game. The South outgained the North 309 to 196 including 195 yards rushing.
The North, though, won the game 28-14.
Turnovers proved to be the most important stat. The North intercepted three passes and recovered a key fumble. The fumble led to the go-ahead touchdown by North MVP Chad McMahan.
Throw in a 79-yard punt return for a score by Joby Garner, and there was your game.
Joby Garner is the younger brother of former Meridian Community College baseball standout Travis Garner.
Jeff Byrd
Sanders named to All-American team
Harrison Central's 6-foot-9 forward Byron Sanders has been selected to the high school All-American team in Athlon's preseason college basketball magazine.
Sanders is averaging 10 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks, and two steals for the Red Rebels.
He has already qualified academically.
Marty Stamper
Robinson closing in on No. 500
Barring a total collapse, Philadelphia boys' basketball coach Keith Robinson should reach his 500th career victory this season.
Heading into Friday's game at West Lauderdale, the Tornadoes are 8-2, leaving Robinson only nine wins shy of No. 500.
– Marty Stamper
Wolverton narrowing the gap on No. 800
Leake Academy girls' basketball coach Doyle Wolverton needs only 14 more wins to claim his 800th career victory.
The Rebelettes are 10-2 heading into Friday's contest with Presbyterian Christian at Madden. Leake will also host Simpson on Saturday.
The 24th win this season for the Leake girls will be Wolverton's 800th.
– Marty Stamper
Full of cheer with the awards to prove it
West Lauderdale took first place in the Class 3A Small Squad competition at the MHSAA State Cheer Competition at Holmes Community College on Dec. 1.
Enterprise was second in the Class 2A Small Squad competition, while Neshoba Central was No. 3 in the Class 4A Large Squad competition.
Wayne County was second in the Class 5A Small Squad competition.
– Marty Stamper
National prep participation sets another record
For the 12th consecutive year, the number of students participating in high school athletics nationally has increased, setting an all-time high for participation.
Based on figures from the 51 state high school athletic/activity associations that are members of the National Federation of State High School Associations, participation for the 2000-2001 school year rose by 100,345 students to 6,657,257.
The girls' mark of 2,746,181 is an increase of 60,662, setting an all-time high for female participation.
An increase of 39,683 for boys raised that total to 3,911,076 and is the fourth-highest total ever for boys, trailing only the "baby boom" years of the 1970s.
The sports showing the biggest increase were soccer, golf, and cross country for girls and soccer, golf, and wrestling for boys.
Basketball remained the most popular girls' sport with 444,872 participants followed by outdoor track and field (415,666), volleyball (388,518), fast pitch softball (328,020), soccer (274,166), and tennis (164,282).
Football remained the most popular sport for boys with 1,012,420 athletes. Basketball was next with 539,849, followed by outdoor track and field (491,822), baseball (450,513), soccer (332,850), and wrestling (244,984).
Texas remains the state with the most athletes with 779,329 participants.
– Marty Stamper