When someone plays at a small school, it can be hard to get noticed on a statewide stage.
But Reeltown’s football team is proving it can be done as the Rebels will be well represented at the AHSAA North-South All-Star game.
Rhasheed Wilson has been selected as defensive back for the South team as the rosters for the July 15 game were announced by Jamie Lee, director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association, on Thursday.
“It’s a really big honor, of course, that he gets to play one last time in a high school football setting,” Reeltown coach Matt Johnson said. “He was fired up about it and it’ll work out because he’s signed to play at Huntingdon (College) so he can still participate.”
Trey O’Neal was the last Rebel to be selected to the North-South game but he couldn’t play because he had to report to Tuskegee University early. The last Reeltown athlete to actually participate in the football game was Kory Edwards in 2016.
The two 37-member rosters are comprised of some of the top 2020 graduating seniors from around the state and are chosen from nominations from every AHSAA coach. Johnson, who will coach in the North-South game as well, said he wasn’t surprised when he heard Wilson had been selected.
“Rhasheed is obviously a good enough player to participate in this game,” Johnson said. “He was one of the top defensive backs that was on our list.”
A 2019 All-Outlook defensive team selection, Wilson finished with 32 tackles and four interceptions. He played a mix of cornerback and safety throughout his career and he did well getting out of his comfort zone when he was asked to also defend the run.
Wilson has started for the Rebels since his freshman year and helped lead the team to the state championship game in 2019. Reeltown allowed an average of just 16.1 points per game in 2019.
Although the Rebels played some of the best competition Class 2A has to offer last season, Johnson is excited for Wilson to have the opportunity to play against and with some of the top players in the state before heading off to college.
“We played a lot of really good football teams in our area and throughout the playoffs that have really good players,” Johnson said. “But now he is going to be on the field and every single position there are going to be really good football players. He’s going to be going up against lots of quality competition.”
The North-South All-Star game also provides a glimpse of what college life for a football player is going to be like. The all-stars report for a week, spend most of their time together, have practice multiple times a day and quickly gel to attempt to form some team chemistry before playing the actual game.
“The speed of everything is going to open his eyes to how college football is,” Johnson said. “That’s great and not to mention the lasting relationships he will build with teams and coaches. We talk about that all the time; the main thing is having those lifelong relationships with guys you’re going to meet through the game.”
With Reeltown getting more and more attention after getting so far in the playoffs, having some big-time recruits and now another selection to the North-South game, Johnson is very pleased to have Wilson representing the Rebels.
“I’m super proud of Rhasheed,” Johnson said. “He deserves it. He’s a great football player and a great young man. He represents himself well and he’s done what he’s supposed to do in the classroom. Combine all his attributes and he’s very deserving; that’s someone you can’t overlook regardless of (classification) or school.”