December 24, 2010

Best of Show

Jackson leads area contingent to earn All-State accolades

December 24, 2010 By Jamie Wachter / Sports Editor The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Entering the season, Meridian’s defense was expected to excel.

    After leading the Wildcats to the Class 6A championship game, that defensive unit backed up the praise with a pair of first-team All-State performers and the Defensive Player of the Year, according to the Mississippi Association of Coaches. MHS had five players total honored and the area had 13 more earn All-State status.

    Senior defensive lineman Lauren Jackson earned the top defensive honor in the state’s highest classification after spending most of the season in opposing backfields. Joining Jackson, who has an offer from Mississippi State, in earning All-State accolades from Meridian High were defensive mates Jacoby Eason and Shaquille Fluker. Eason was a first-team selection at linebacker and Fluker was the first team free safety.

    Antoinne Adkins, who played quarterback for the Wildcats but played in the North-South All-Star game last weekend at defensive back, was a first-team pick as an athlete. For the season, Adkins threw for 959 yards and 13 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,361 yards and 11 touchdowns. Center Tyler Stanley was a second-team honoree.

    In Class 4A, Northeast Lauderdale had three players honored, led by senior Ben Brooks as a kick return specialist. The four-year starter rushed for 142 yards and three scores and caught 36 passes for 401 yards and four touchdowns, in addition to starting at cornerback and returning both punts and kicks for the Trojans, who returned to the playoffs after a two-year drought.

    Other selections from Northeast were punter Cohlby Sims, who averaged 36 yards on 30 punts, and offensive lineman Chris Elder. Also on the Class 4A second team were Newton County linebacker Kirby Bishop, who had 81 tackles, two sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries, and West Lauderdale tight end Daniel Knox, a Mississippi State pledge, and guard Henry Sanders.

    After running through the regular season — and Division 5-3A play — unbeaten, Philadelphia rolled up All-State recognition as well. The lone Tornado to be named first team was Mississippi State commit C.J. Johnson at linebacker. Before racking up 17 tackles in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic two weeks ago, Johnson had 149 stops to lead Philly. He also had a pair of interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

    Earning second-team honors for the Tornadoes were fullback Jeremy Morgan, tight end Jimmy Jefers and punter Latimer Smith. Morgan rushed for 1,029 yards and 15 touchdowns and was selected to the North-South All-Star game last week, while Jefers had four catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. Smith averaged 32.38 yards on 21 punts, while also handling kicks, kickoffs and starting at wide receiver.

    Neshoba Central had a pair of players named All-State with guard Dustin Tubby named to the first team and safety Terrance Steele being a second-team selection. Steele had two interceptions and 48 tackles.

    The lone player selected as a Mississippi Association of Independent Schools All-State selection was Lamar wide receiver Charlie Nosco. Nosco hauled in 60 passes for 942 yards and seven touchdowns in earning the second team designation, while also making 35 tackles and intercepting four passes on defense. He also played in the MAIS All-Star game on Dec. 3.

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