Starkville Academy's Kenny Coats and Michael Temple await with great anticipation for the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools All-Star soccer match on Thursday in Jackson.
When the Volunteers saw their season end in the first round of the playoffs, Temple thought his days of playing high school soccer had come to an end.
It was with excitement that Temple learned he had made the All-Star team.
"It's just a continuation and a chance to play with some of the best guys in the state," Temple said.
Temple is glad to be sharing the experience with Coats, a teammate and friend.
Coats said he was honored for the opportunity to play with some of the best soccer players in the state.
"These guys are voted to be the top skill level on their team," Coats said.
Starkville Academy coach Robert Gardner said the recognition for Coats and Temple is deserved because they were first choice players for the Vols the entire season.
"They were first-team selections every time I filled out a team sheet," Gardner said. "We're definitely going to miss them but wish them nothing but the best. We hope they do quite well at the All-Star game and know it's something they are certainly going to enjoy."
Coats and Temple leave for Jackson today and prepare for the 5 p.m. start on Thursday.
Temple was able to get a preview of what an All-Star atmosphere was like from some of his friends that were football All-Stars.
"They said they got to hang out with all the guys and just to meet guys from all over the state," Temple said.
Even though Starkville Academy's season ended with an early exit in the playoffs, Coats looks back at it with a positive attitude.
"It was tough to start out with, but at the end, we got to know each other a lot better and we got to become more of a team," Coats said. "We came through a lot better at the end. We were proud of the way we played at the end."