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Benjamin Russell's Kobi Crabb (3) has been selected to the AHSAA North-South All-Star Football Game as a defensive back.

Benjamin Russell’s football team has a tradition of sending players to the AHSAA North-South All-Star Football Game, and Kobi Crabb is keeping that tradition going. For the third year in a row, the Wildcats will be represented on one of the biggest stages for Alabama football.

“It’s an honor really because not everybody gets to play in it,” Crabb said. “I get the chance to represent the school and the city and the people who have always supported me.”

BRHS coach Kevin Smith is very familiar with the game, having coached in it as an assistant for the South team last year. He knows the importance of having at least one player there each year.

“It’s a real honor; it gets our guys out there and they get to play on the big stage and be seen again,” Smith said. “Anytime we get our name on something like that, it’s a good experience for the kids. They go down to Montgomery and live in a dorm with a bunch of other guys, and they eat, sleep and play ball all day for four days.”

Crabb was selected to the South team as a defensive back, which also earned him a spot on the All-Outlook First Team Defense this season. Crabb finished with 34 tackles and five pass breakups, and he could also be seen on special teams at the North-South game. He led the Wildcats this year with 328 yards on 17 punt returns during 2018 season.

When Smith got the news Crabb had been selected, he said he wasn’t surprised in the least.

“No, actually, I had several coaches throughout the year comment about who No. 3 is and that kind of thing,” Smith said. “As far as his ability, he belongs at (the North-South game). I coached there last year and he’s every bit as good as anybody that I’ve seen up there, so I’m proud for him.”

Crabb is also hoping playing in a game like this will help him achieve his goals of playing football at the collegiate level. He has had some interest from college recruiters but hasn’t finalized anything yet. Crabb said having another chance to get in front of recruiters can be only a good thing.

“Even some people told me that people who played in it, they got partial offers from schools after playing there,” Crabb said. “Hopefully it’ll help get me some attention. I think it’ll be pretty competitive but fun at the same time. There are some of the best people in the state playing in it.”

Smith said, “That’s my hope for him. He’s got a chance hopefully to go down there and there have been cases where kids get seen on this stage and have a chance to go somewhere. There’s nobody really more deserving as far as getting an opportunity to play on that stage.”

Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.