Alabama North-South All-Star Teams Breeze Through Three Workouts

MOBILE – It wasn’t like any more motivation was needed as Alabama’s North and South All-Star football squads opened practice for Friday’s 65th North-South All-Star Classic, which kicks off at 2 p.m. The North, however, is still reminded of last year’s 42-7 loss to the South at Mobile’s Hancock Whitney Stadium – the biggest margin of defeat in the history of the contest which was first played in 1948.

The North-South Classic was played for many years in Tuscaloosa, then was discontinued following 1983 – and was revived again in 1997. The game, played annually in July during the AHSAA Summer Conference and All-Star Sports Week, moved to December in 2020 – and to its new home in Mobile.

“We are grateful for the City (and County) of Mobile, the Mobile Sports Authority and the University of South Alabama for their continued interest and support of this all-star event,” he said. “We look forward to another momentous week in Mobile with some of the best student-athletes in this state. We also thank our member schools for their unwavering support of this game.”

The 64th annual AHSAA North-South All-Star Game at Mobile’s Hancock Whitney Stadium last year with the South winning 42-7 was definitely not the norm. Most of the games through the years have been low-scoring defensive battles with the winning team scoring more than 30 points just eight times in the series. In fact, the winner has scored 14 or fewer points 33 times in the game’s history. The South now holds a slim 34-28-2 edge in the series which was played in Tuscaloosa from 1948-1984.

Since moving the game to Mobile, the South has won twice and the North once. Last year’s setback still stings for the North, however. This is a new year, new teams, and new coaching staffs.

Both teams ran through one practice session Tuesday night, and two practices Wednesday with two more workouts planned for Thursday.

North head coach Lee Ozmint of Arab High School has been impressed by his team’s skill position players. Quarterback Luke Waldrop of Gadsden City and Peyton Floyd of Hewitt-Trussville are capable runners and passers. Floyd closed out his prep career for the Huskies with 100 TDs to his credit – 61 passing and 39 rushing. Waldrop led the Titans to their best season in years  with Gadsden City reaching the quarterfinals.

Running back Jordan Washington of Helena and Ken Cherry of Madison Academy both rushed for more than 2,000 yards this season. Parker’s Amari Brundidge is a burly 6-foot, 214-pound bruiser who can get the tough yardage and also open holes with his punishing blocks. With the addition of Oneonta’s Da’Marion “Fluff” Bothwell of Oneonta, who rushed for 3,115 yards and a junior and more than 2,000 yards as a senior, the North may rely more on a punishing ground attack. Receiver Deuce Oliver of Class 7A Thompson has been one of  the state’s top pass receivers and kick return specialists for the past three seasons.

South head coach Kirk Johnson has to feel comfortable with his offensive capabilities – especially since one of the two quarterbacks is his own Caleb McCreary, who led the Knights (15-0) to the Class 4A state crown this season earning MVP honors in the Super 7 finals last week. Catholic was 28-1 the last two seasons with McCreary at QB. He is joined, however, by Baker High School’s Josh Flowers, who is an outstanding passer and runner who helped  the Hornets battle for the Class 7A, Region 1 each of the years he started under center.       

The AHSADCA administers the game each year. All players selected are 2023 seniors.

The game, scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m., will be televised live over the AHSAA TV Network and live streamed over the NFHS Network. Vince Earley of WOTM TV is the executive producer. Veteran sports broadcaster Corey LaBounty will handle the play-by-play for the North-South All-Star clash and the Alabama-Mississippi Classic on Saturday. UMS-Wright head football coach Terry Curtis, the AHSAA’s all-time winningest football coach with 355 wins, will be in the booth as  the color commentator for Friday’s North-South Game. Mary Montgomery head coach Zach Golson will handle the color for Saturday’s Alabama-Mississippi Classic at Hattiesburg.

Cover Photo: Madison Academy running back Ken Cherry runs the ball during the Mustangs semifinal victory over Geraldine.  

YEAR-BY-YEAR (1948-2022)
(Overall Series: South leads 34-28-2)

At Hancock Whitney Stadium, Mobile

2022—South 42, North 7

2021—North 14, South 10

2020—South 28, North 20

At Cramton Bowl, Montgomery

2020—Summer game canceled

2019—South 22, North 19

2018—North 27, South 14

2017—North 14, South 13

2016—North 14, South 0 (weather shortened)

2015—North 14, South 13

2014—South 20, North 12

2013—South 22, North 21

2012—North 34, South 12

2011—South 37, North 33

Alabama A&M, Huntsville

2010—North 14, South 7

2009—North 14, South 7

2008—South 12, North 0

2007—South 10, North 0

At Troy University

2005—(December) – South 16, North 7

2004— (December) – North 7, South 3

At All-Star Sports Week

Cramton Bowl, Montgomery

2004—North 17, South 7

2003—South 17, North 10

2002—South 34, North 0

2001—North 6, South 3

2000—North 17, South 0

1999—South 10, North 7

1998—South 21, North 0

1997—South 14, North 0

At Jordan-Hare Stadium

1984—North 21, South 20 (1A-2A)

At Bryant-Denny Stadium

1984—South 7, North 6 (3A-4A)

1983—South 34, North 7

1982—North 3, South 0

1981—North 14, South 6

1980—South 20, North 7

1979—South 3, North 0

1978—South 21, North 14

1977—South 17, North 7

1976—South 14, North 6

1975—North 7, South 6

1973—North 22, South 15

1972—South 14, North 13

1971—North 9, South 7

1970—South 13, North 9

1969—South 16, North 0

1968—South 27, North 7

1967—South 14, North 10

1966—North 13, South 7

1965—North 13, South 6

1964—South 34, North 7

1963—North 20, South 6

1962—South 20, North 14

1961—South 13, North 0

1960—North 7, South 0

1959—North 10, South 7

1958—South 20, North 6

1957—North 12, South 7

1956—South 0, North 0 (tie)

1955—North 26, South 7

1954—South 7, North 6

1953—South 26, North 0

1952—North 7, South 7 (tie)

1951—South 31, North 0

1950—South 12, North 7

1949—North 7, South 6

1948—North 33, South 0

Comments (1)

  1. I’m salty that players from smaller classifications are rarely and I do mean rarely, chosen. This game should have kids from all classifications playing. Kids cannot help what classification they end up in and are standouts as well. It’s saddening to see those kids overlooked. Hopefully, the future North vs South will figure out a way to be all inclusive and not partial to the bigger powerhouses.

Leave a Reply