Two area senior standouts get a chance Monday to prove themselves against the state’s best, while a local junior star gets that same opportunity Tuesday.
Thomasville’s Mario Cherry and Cairo’s Tyler Shepard will join forces on the South squad in Monday’s North-South All-Star Classic in Columbus. Cherry, who was named the Times-Enterprise All-Area Offensive Player of the Year and the 1-AA coaches’ All-Region Offensive Player of the Year, rushed for 1,604 yards and 21 touchdowns as he helped guide the Bulldogs to an 8-4 mark and the second round of the Class AA playoffs. The 5-foot-8, 180-pounder saved his best for last as he topped 200 yards in each of the Bulldogs’ two playoff games. Shepard helped anchor the Syrupmakers’ offensive line as Cairo rushed for 2,223 yards and totaled 2,941 yards offensively behind the 6-2, 270-pound star.
Thomasville coach Leroy Ryals will serve as an assistant coach for the South squad as well.
One day later in Atlanta, Thomas County Central’s Austin Bryant will play for the West in the Rising Seniors’ AT&T Georgia Junior Bowl. Bryant, a 6-3, 242-pound defensive end, had 64 tackles and five sacks for the Yellow Jackets this year. The junior is a four-star recruit with offers reportedly from Auburn, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Kentucky, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.