Although some say the AHSAA North-South All-Star football game isn’t the best format and it certainly isn’t the premier all-star game in the state, it still a sight to be seen as some of the top talent get their last shot at a high school football game. Some of the best players from around Alabama will gather at 7 p.m. tonight at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery.
The only local competing in the game will be Benjamin Russell’s Kobi Crabb who was on the original roster released back in April.
“It’s an honor really because not everybody gets to play in it,” Crabb said after being selected. “I get the chance to represent the school and the city and the people who have always supported me.”
Crabb is one in a long line of Wildcats who have competed in the North-South game, and more than just being a good opportunity for Crabb, it’s also a good spotlight for Benjamin Russell as a whole.
“It’s a real honor,” BRHS coach Kevin Smith said. “It gets our guys out there and they get to play on the big stage and be seen again. Anytime we get our name on something like that, it’s a good experience for the kids.”
The game is open only to players who have already graduated, which means several choose not to play because they have already reported to their college campuses or they don’t want to risk injury. One of those such players is Reeltown’s Trey O’Neal, who was selected late but decided not to play, according to Rebel coach Matt Johnson. O’Neal is heading to Tuskegee to play football.
But Crabb won’t be the only local to look out for during tonight’s game. Dadeville coach Richard White will also be prowling the sidelines as he was selected as the head coach of the South. White is entering his 20th year as coach of the Tigers and was selected as the Class 3A Coach of the Year in 2008. He has a career record of 136-81.
This isn’t White’s first foray into coaching during North-South All-Star week, as he was a member of the softball coaching staff in 2018.
Because of so many late dropouts, White has also reiterated the need to think about changing the format or the timing of the North-South game but he has been hard at work finding alternates, including Trent Cochran-Gill and Jake Justiss of Tallassee.
“We’ve already had to replace 15 kids and we had two more drop out this week,” White said last week. “I just want to find kids that can play and that want to play. Those are the ones you really want.”