Several Jackets picked for all-star games

Rodrigues Clark

Zach Edwards

Staff Writer

Postseason all-star games in the state of Mississippi have become common for many Starkville High School football players, but this year they loaded up on them.

The Yellow Jackets got the maximum selected players for both the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic and the Bernard Blackwell North/South game as three players were picked for each of the rosters to play in December. Additionally, SHS head coach Chris Jones was selected as the head coach for the North team in the North/South game.

The MS/AL game is set to take place on Monday, December 17, at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala., and there will be three Jackets starring in that game. Defensive end Jalil Clemons and linebacker Zach Edwards will be representing the SHS defense while running back Rodrigues Clark was selected as one of three backs.

“It’s a big blessing," Clark said. "I want to thank God, all of my teammates and coaches and teammates for helping me get better every day. I’m going to take advantage of it and show people that I’m the best running back in the state of Mississippi.”

Mississippi is looking for a third-straight victory in the series after losing eight years in a row. It’s the first time that the team has won consecutive games since winning four-straight from 1992-95.
Jones coached wide receivers for the MS team last year and helped lead that team to victory. This season, he’s the head coach of the North team in the Bernard Blackwell game, one that he played in as a high schooler back in 2000.

“It was an honor to play in the game and have a chance to be a head coach in it at some point in your life,” Jones said. “We just want to have fun that week, enjoy it and try to win. It’s an honor at the end of the day.”

As for the other Jackets following him, Jones selected running back K.J. Lawrence to play H-back/tight end, defensive end Ryan Johnson and defensive back Myles Stone. He said that kicker Garin Boniol was as deserving as any of those players but there was a greater need at H-back so he selected Lawrence.

The Bernard Blackwell game is set to take place at Gulfport High School on Saturday, December 8.

Jones said that he couldn’t be prouder of all six of the players, but also wanted the message to those that didn’t get a roster spot to be that it doesn’t define their career now or further.  

“It’s important for them to be rewarded for all of that hard work,” Jones said. “A lot of time hard work goes unnoticed, but when you get selected to the all-star game, someone had to think enough of you to be selected. We should also be happy as a community because we have kids that represent Starkville High in a good way.”