HomeSchoolsAll-stars set to play one final football game

All-stars set to play one final football game

The 11th annual West Tennessee All-Star Football Game will be played at University School of Jackson’s Carlock Stadium and Kirkland Field on Friday at 7 p.m.

A total of 80 all-star senior football players from schools throughout rural West Tennessee were selected to play in the game.

The all-star head coaches are Union City’s Nick Markle and McKenzie’s Wade Comer, who won his first state championship last week when the Rebels topped Clay County 34-14 in the 1A title game.

“The game is a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun too,” said Leigh Ann Gaines, the sports medicine manager at SportsPlus and coordinator of the all-star game. “There have been a few changes to the experience that is an all-star game over the past 11 years, but we’re glad to do our part to make sure it happens.”

The game started out at Liberty Tech every year before moving to USJ in 2018.

Once the all-stars are selected, the coaching staffs come together with the all-stars for a draft of the players by position group.

One team will wear red jerseys, while the other team wears blue. All players wear their helmet representing their high school, which oftentimes, will have stickers from other schools by the end of the week as players will trade stickers as a way to remember the game, which for most, is the last one they get to play.

But it’s not the final game for all of them. Some players will go on to play in college, and some over the years have gotten that opportunity because they played in the all-star game.

“The first few years, college coaches or scouts could come to practices and watch the players, and a few got scholarship offers or offers to be a preferred walk-on because of what they saw when they saw how some of the players practiced,” Gaines said. “And that was one reason we wanted to start this in 2012, to give some of our athletes here in West Tennessee that one final chance to get in front of a college coach and have that opportunity.”

For the first time in the game’s history, two Mr. Football finalists are set to play in the game – McKenzie quarterback Jackson Cassidy and USJ running back Kevin Finch.

“We’ve had Mr. Football finalists and even a couple winners play in the past, but never more than one in the same year,” Gaines said. “So fans will get to see two who were honored to be a finalist and a few more who deserved to be finalists too.”

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. on Friday. Tickets are  available online in advance for $8 on Tickets will be sold at the gate on Friday for $10.

Brandon Shields,

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