PINE BELT (WDAM) - The Pine Belt will be well-represented in the 30th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic set for Dec. 10 at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama.
Three players from local high schools and three University of Southern Mississippi verbal commitments were selected to the 40-man Mississippi roster that was announced Wednesday morning.
Jordan Murphy (6 feet, 1 inch, 175 pounds) of Hattiesburg High School and Dontario Drummond (6-3, 190) of Laurel High School were selected as receivers, while Ron Thompson (5-9, 185) of Bassfield High School was picked as a multi-position "athlete."
Also selected were USM commitments Darius Mayberry (5-11, 185), a running back from Clinton High School; Tahj Syskes (6-3, 275), a defensive lineman from Columbus High School; and Santrell Latham (6-3, 215), a defensive end from Meridian High School.
Mississippi's coaching staff will be studded with area selections, starting at the top.
Wayne County High School head coach Todd Mangum was named as Mississippi head coach, with West Jones High School head coach Scott Pierson serving as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach.
Bassfield High School head coach Lance Mancuso will serve as scout coach.
Two former Pine Belt head coaches who won state crowns at area high schools also are on Mangum's staff.
Ridgeland High School coach Ryan Earnest, formerly of Collins High School, will coach receivers, while Philadelphia High School coach Teddy Dyess, formerly of Lumberton High School, will coach outside linebackers.
Mississippi won the 2015 Classic 28-21 at the University of Southern Mississippi's Roberts Stadium, the first time the all-star game had been played outside Alabama.
The victory snapped a seven-game winning streak by Alabama, which leads the series 21-8.