High School Notebook: Coaching staffs named for All-Star Games

Ryan Earnest is now the head football coach at Ridgeland high school. - photo courtesy of clarionledger.com

 The coaching staffs have been released for the annual MS/AL All-Star Game and the Bernard Blackwell All-Star Classic.

Wayne County coach Todd Mangum will be the head coach for Mississippi in the MS/AL All-Star Game. His assistants will be West Jones head coach Scott Pierson (Offensive Coordinator); Germantown head coach Tim Shramek (Defensive Coordinator); George County head coach Matt Caldwell (Offensive Line Coach); Philadelphia head coach Teddy Dyess (Linebackers Coach); Ridgeland head coach Ryan Earnest (Wide Receivers Coach); South Delta head coach Derrick Hooker (Defensive Line Coach); Warren Central head coach Josh Morgan (Secondary Coach); Bassfield head coach Lance Mancuso (Scout Coach).

The MS/AL All-Star Game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 10 in Montgomery. Mississippi snapped a 7-game losing streak last season with a 28-21 victory over Alabama in the game’s first ever time played in Mississippi.

Water Valley head coach Brad Embry will be the head coach of the North All-Stars in the Bernard Blackwell Classic.

Embry’s assistant coaches are Bernard Euell (Velma Jackson), Brian Kelly (Kossuth), Bryant Mix (Water Valley), John Sallis (Leake Central), Patrick Schoolar (Neshoba Central), Joey Tompkins (Winona) and Richard Russo (Independence).

Laurel’s Todd Breland will be the head coach of the South All-Stars. His assistant coaches are Curt Blackburn (NE Lauderdale), Ronnie Cochran (Laurel), Eddie Pierce (Gulfport), Otis Riddley (Provine), Jeff Stockstill (Raleigh), Forrest Williams (Long Beach) and Cory Reynolds (South Jones).

The Bernard Blackwell Classic will be held on Saturday Dec. 17 at Gulfport High School’s Milner Stadium.

North won 25-16 in last year’s all-star game to snap a four-game losing skid.

The player roster announcements will take place on Oct. 5 at the MHSAA office in Clinton.



As many as stated before several schools across the state will be playing its last year of high school football or have closed due to decline of students or various budget reason which meant consolidation with other county schools.

Most of the consolidations will take place to start the 2017-2018 school year and when the new MHSAA reclassifications come out in December expect to see fewer number of schools in 2A and 1A.

The only school that consolidated this year was Coldwater with Strayhorn and Independence.

The biggest one is Bassfield, the four-time defending Class 2A state champs, will be consolidating with Jefferson Davis County rival Prentiss. There hasn’t been a name or mascot given for the new high school yet.

Cleveland and East Side will consolidate into just Cleveland High School. Durant will consolidate with Holmes County Central. Houlka will consolidate with Houston.

The only consolidation that won’t take place until 2019 is Montgomery County consolidating with Winona.

MAIS schools Mt. Salus will not play football this year due to lack of players and Calvary Christian closed its doors as a school in late July.



There was a grand total of 57 coaching changes during the offseason.

The biggest ones were Brad Peterson leaving Madison Central after one year for a job as player personnel director at Mississippi State. After spending one year as head coach at Callaway Patrick Austin left to be the recruiting coordinator at Mississippi State.

Anthony Hart is now the head coach at Madison Central after spending the last four years at Franklin County. Darius Brown is now the head man at Callaway after being the defensive line coach.

Michael Fair left Senatobia for Region 2-4A rival Lafayette after Eric Robertson left to be the defensive coordinator at Madison Central.

Brooks Oakley is now the head coach at Senatobia after being the defensive coordinator at Starkville for the last several season.

Chris Cutcliffe is the new head coach at Oxford after spending the last five years as the wide receivers coach under long time head coach Johnny Hill.

After leading Collins to back to back 3A state titles, Ryan Earnest is now the head coach at Ridgeland.

After retiring from Ridgeland Kenny Burton is now the head coach at Benton Academy.

Calvin Hampton takes over at Meridian after Larry Weems, whose now at Jackson Academy, resigned after 10 years as head coach of the Wildcats.

Matt Caldwell left Taylorsville to be the next head coach at George County. Chuck Roberson is now the new head man at Taylorsville.

The big MAIS coaching move is Ron Rushing leaving Cathedral for District 4-AAA rival Brookhaven Academy. Chuck Darbonne is now the head coach at Cathedral.



Four time MAIS Class AAAA, Division I state champion Jackson Prep will head into the 2016 high school football season with the state’s longest active winning streak at 21 games.

The last time the Patriots lost was against Bassfield back on Sept. 26, 2014.

Defending 6A state champ Starkville has the state’s second longest winning streak at 14 games.

Three schools are tied for holding the states longest active losing streak. Greenville-Weston, Jim Hill and West Harrison each have active losing streaks at 22 games. McAdams has the states second longest losing streak at 20 games.