The bigger the achievement on the field and the more exclusive the gear the better is how it goes.
There aren’t many who can compete with what Oxford’s Kwon Alexander, Trae Elston and Michael Flint have done on the field. Their list of accolades includes back-to-back all-county nods, a No. 1 ranking by ESPN, a first-team all-state selection and enough scholarship offers to fill up several P.O. boxes.
This past Friday, they got to wear something at school that can’t be purchased in stores. It has to be earned. Each of the three received his jersey for the fifth-annual Under- Armour All-America game, a nationwide Selection Tour sponsored by American Family Insurance.
It was the beginning of an eventful day for the trio.
They were also honored prior to kickoff along with the rest of their classmates before the Yellow Jackets’ 44-28 win against eighth-ranked Central Phenix City at Lamar Field.
Alexander, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear back in Week 4, is rated as the nation’s top outside linebacker by ESPN. Elston, who could also play wide receiver at the next level, is 10th among safeties and Flint is 12th among offensive guards.
The All-America game is set to be played Jan. 5th at 6 p.m. at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., home of Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays. It will air live on ESPN.
All three remain uncommitted.
Former Anniston standout Antoine McClain, now a starter at Clemson, was the last player from The Star’s coverage area to participate in the game back in 2008.
Other notable alumni of the game include NFL players Julio Jones (Atlanta Falcons), A.J. Green (Cincinnati Bengals) and Da’Quan Bowers (Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
• REALIGNMENT UPDATE: The AHSAA’s biennial realignment, which places schools into classifications based on student population, won’t be occurring until mid-November at the earliest.
AHSAA Communications Director Ron Ingram said the realignment won’t occur until after the Central Board meeting on Nov. 16th.
“We just got the numbers (school populations),” he said. “So, we’re not even close.”
Ingram said the population ranges to qualify for any classification could change based on a number of factors including how many schools will be in each class.
Ingram added that the association will likely consider some six or seven plans during the process.
• D-D-D-Defense: With flashy weapons on offense such as sophomores Chris English and Timothy Hawkins and a great between the tackles threat in junior Brandell Massey, it might be easy for people to forget about Weaver’s defense. However, the Bearcats (7-3) have held all of their opponents to under 20 except top-ranked Piedmont. No one’s held the Bulldogs under 20.
“Our defense has been absolutely outstanding,” Weaver coach Daryl Hamby said.
“I think that’s one of the things about our region from Piedmont on down. Our defense sets the tone.”
The Bearcats, the third-place finishers in Class 3A, Region 6 will need all of the defense they can muster when they travel to Madison Academy (8-2) for their first-round playoff matchup Friday. The Mustangs are averaging 38.4 points per game this season.
“They’ve got so many weapons,” Hamby said.
“They’re got a really good quarterback, a running back and a fullback that looks like a D-1 prospect. It’s going to be tough but we’ve done our homework. We’ve got film on them and we’re preparing for them right now.”
Nick Birdsong covers prep sports for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3575. Follow him on Twitter @birds_word.