Montgomery, AL – The 37 -man rosters for the 64th AHSAA North-South All-Star football game reported Tuesday to Mobile to begin preparations for the contest set to be played Friday night at Mobile’s Hancock Whitney Stadium.
Head coach for the South squad is Opelika High School’s Erik Speakman, Pickens County’s Michael Williams will be leading the North All-Stars.
Among the players reporting is Jack Hayes of Piedmont High School, who closed his prep career in the Class 3A Super 7 state championship game two weeks ago for the 6oth start of his career. Hayes finished his career as the AHSAA’s career leader in passing yardage (11,014), passing touchdowns (158), total yardage (15,110 yards), and total touchdowns accounted for (223).
More importantly, he led the Bulldogs to the 3A state championship in 2019 and 2021, finished runner-up in 2022 and reached the semifinals in 2018 losing to eventual state champion Fyffe for a career record of 52-8 and playoff record of 17-2 during that stretch.
Joining Hayes at quarterback for the North is Giovanni Lopez of Class 7A James Clemens. He was 167-of-255 passing this season for 2,312 yards and 17 TDs, with just five interceptions.
Quarterbacking the South this week will be Auburn’s Clyde Pittman and Fairhope’s Caden Creel. Pittman led Auburn (12-2) to the Class 7A state finals before falling to Thompson 49-24. He was 129-of-193 passing for 1,804 yards and 16 touchdowns with just four interceptions on the year. Creel led Fairhope to an 8-3 record and runner-up finish in 7A, Region 1 in 2022. He completed 164-of-246 passes for 1,822 yards and 13 TDs.
Each team will be replacing one player each – Kamron Sandlin of Anniston on the North and Tevaris Sullivan of Theodore on the South.
The two squads will have two practices on Wednesday and Thursday at Yance Field and Jaguar Training Center on the University of South Alabama campus, and then a walk-through Friday morning at the stadium. The teams will kick off the Classic Friday night at 7 p.m.
The game will be televised over the AHSAA TV Network and live streamed over the NFHS Network with WOTM TV producing the event. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast game the live over its statewide radio and live-stream audio network.
The game was played at Mobile for the first time in the series in 1920 with the South winning 28-20. The North won last year’s game 14-10. The South leads the series 32-29-2.
The City of Mobile, Mobile County, the Mobile Sports Authority and the University of South Alabama have worked tirelessly as the AHSAA and AHSADCA’s partners for the North-South Classic in addition to last week’s Alabama-Mississippi Classic. The AHSADCA, under the direction of Brandon Dean and assistant director J.T. Lawrence, hosts the game each year.
From 2010-2019 the game was played at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl as part of the AHSAA and AHSADCA All-Star Sports Week. The game was cancelled due to the COVID Pandemic in 2020. The annual contest was moved from the summer to December and relocated to Mobile in 2021.
The North-South Classic, the AHSAA’s oldest all-star event, was first played in 1948 in Tuscaloosa on the campus of the University of Alabama and remained at Bryant-Denny Stadium in the summer through 1984. A small-school all-star game was also held at Auburn in 1984. The game was discontinued from 1985-1996 but reinstated in 1997 when the AHSAA instituted All-Star Sports Week with the Summer Conference. It was played at Cramton Bowl from 1997-2004 and then moved to Troy University for two years and Huntsville’s Alabama A&M University from 2007-2010. It returned to Montgomery in 2011.
Alabama knocked off Mississippi last weekend in the 36th Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic 14-10.