Local athletes compete in North-South all-star games

Published 4:48 pm Friday, July 25, 2014

Maplesville High School graduate Damian Mitchell caught a touchdown pass in the North-South all-star football game on Thursday night.

Maplesville High School graduate Damian Mitchell caught a touchdown pass in the North-South all-star football game on Thursday night.

Two Maplesville High School students recently played in the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s North-South all-star games.

Amber Uptain, a senior at MHS, competed in the all-star basketball game on Wednesday, July 23, in Montgomery, alongside MHS coach Eric Bailey, who helped coach the South team.

Damian Mitchell, a recent graduate of MHS, played as a receiver for the South team in the all-star football game at the Cramton Bowl on Thursday, July 24 in Montgomery.

Mitchell said the experience, and chance to put on his Red Devils helmet one more time, was “priceless.”

“It felt like it was a championship game because of the crowd and the atmosphere,” Mitchell said. “The whole town of Maplesville was really supportive, and I’m glad I got to represent our small town.”

Mitchell represented the South well, as he caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Daphne quarterback Lane Moss in the second offensive play of the game.

“I was wide open, and I just knew that I had to focus on catching the ball, and I would score a touchdown,” Mitchell said. “We were on fire at the beginning of the game.”

In addition to the touchdown pass, Mitchell also received another pass of 7 yards, assisting in the 20-12 victory over the North in the 55th annual North-South All-Star game.

Mitchell was the only player from a Class 1A school on the South team, but the competition level was nothing new to him.

“I spent four days with the guys from both teams, and everything we did was competitive,” Mitchell said laughingly. “By the time the game was over, I felt like I had known all of them for years.”

Mitchell will be attending Birmingham-Southern College in the fall to join the Panthers’ football team.

“The North-South game is all about bragging rights when it comes to facing some of the best players in the state,” Mitchell said. “And for me, it was really about having the opportunity to play in one last high school game.”

Uptain contributed to her team’s total score in the 58-46 loss against the North.

Bailey said although the South didn’t secure the win, it was a learning experience for not only the players, but the coaches as well.

“That’s what coaching is all about—learning new things and implementing them into your own team’s practice,” Bailey said. “This experience will carry over into our season, and we should benefit from some new coaching techniques.”

Bailey helped to choose the players after receiving numerous recommendations from coaches across the southern half of the state.

Bailey said as a coach, he is proud of Uptain and her athletic abilities.

“The girls did well playing as a team, especially considering they just met each other,” Bailey said. “It was a very competitive game.”

Uptain will return to MHS as a senior in the fall for her final year on the Red Devils’ girls’ basketball team.

Randy Satterfield of Jemison was also chosen to play in the North-South all-star football game, but was unable to, because of a time conflict with a football camp.

Satterfield signed with the University of West Georgia earlier this year, and will begin playing with the Wolves this fall.