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All about Starkville: Higgins plays any position necessary to help Jackets

November 14, 2012

Stanley Higgins of the Yellowjackets celebrates by forming an "s" with his hands signifying his loyalty to Starkville High School. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)

It's all for the good of Starkville High School.

At times when Stanley Higgins scores a touchdown for the Yellowjackets and there's a camera in front of him, he forms an "s" shape with his hands.

That's Higgins' way of saying that it's not about him, but all about Starkville.

It doesn't matter if he's playing fullback, h-back or tight end, Higgins wants to produce for the Jackets.

"Playing in different spots is really not that hard," Higgins said. "Being an athlete, you just do what you've got to do for the team to succeed and win games. That's basically what I'm doing. They put me in a spot and I'm going to play the spot."

Higgins had one of the best games of his career at tight end for SHS during last Friday's 45-7 win over Saltillo.

Higgins caught four passes for 132 yards, including a season-long 75-yard touchdown for the Jackets in the second half.

"He has exceptional hands and speed," Starkville offensive coordinator Preston Leathers said. "When he caught that (75 yard) touchdown, there were two cornerbacks that broke and neither one gained any ground on him whatsoever. At 230 pounds, he runs like a deer."

Higgins said the coaches never saw him run as fast as he did on his long score.

It was a situation where Higgins knew he had to provide points for the Jackets.

"I just had to get into the end zone," Higgins said. "We are in the playoffs and we want to go to the championship. I'm doing whatever it takes to get us there."

SHS head coach Jamie Mitchell said Higgins played his best game of the season against Saltillo, but not just because of his catches.

"He's a very talented young man and he's been a really good player for us the last three years," Mitchell said. "We felt like he still had a little bit more to give and I thought Friday night, and I'm not just talking about his catches, but his blocking was just really, really good.

"He's going to make the catches because he's so athletic, but what impressed us Friday night was his blocking and hopefully, he'll continue to do that for us."

Higgins is the second-leading receiver for the Jackets with 304 yards on 19 receptions and four touchdowns. He has 20 carries for 92 yards and another score.

Mitchell said Higgins is good enough to play multiple positions.

"He's playing more tight end than fullback," Mitchell said. "We move him around some, but last Friday night, he played way more tight end than fullback. He plays tight end, fullback and h-back some. He does all three of those. That's one good thing about it. He's versatile enough to play all three of those."

Higgins is part of a senior class that continues to be productive as their careers near the end.

The next challenge for Starkville comes against Oxford at home Friday night and Leathers wouldn't be surprised if Higgins is making a difference once again.

"Stanley is one of the best," Leathers said. "He draws so much attention every week. Even when he's not making plays, he's taking two or three eyes with him because that's how much they respect him. Friday night, he just happened to make a couple of plays and plays we know he can make that really helped us out on offense."

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