Four headed to AISA All-Star game

Published 3:51 pm Wednesday, November 18, 2015

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

Coaches across the AISA met at the end of the football regular season to nominate players for the AISA All-Star game, which will be held on Dec. 4 at the Crampton Bowl in Montgomery. The AISA All-Star game, per the AISA athletic handbook, is comprised of an East team and West team. Players from Region I in the three AISA classifications fill the 44-man East roster and players from Region II in the three classifications fill the 44-man West roster. Four players from Shelby County have been selected to participate in the game; Jeffrey Odgers from Cornerstone, Easton Hopkins from Coosa Valley and Kerry Thompson and Corey Robinson from Kingwood.

The three AISA teams in Shelby County, Cornerstone, Coosa Valley and Kingwood, are in Region I of their respective classifications and therefore all four players selected from Shelby County will play for the East team. Class A gets eight players per team while Class AA gets 12 and Class AAA gets 16.

While none of the three AISA schools in the county had particularly impressive seasons this year (they went a combined 5-25 in 2015), these four represented some of the top talent across the state in the AISA.

As one of only eight Class A athletes to be selected to the East team, Cornerstone head coach Tim Smith felt this was a great way to put an exclamation point on the receiver’s long Cornerstone career.

“He was our leader,” Smith said of Odgers. “On and off the field, especially on it. Teams double covered him in every game but he always seemed to make a play. He would find a way to get open, and that didn’t go unnoticed by coaches or teammates. He’s been here his whole life, I’ve watched Jeffrey grow up. Four years ago, I’d have never dreamed Jeffrey Odgers was going to be the football player he turned out to be.”

Hopkins has been one of the lone bright spots for the Coosa Valley football team over the past few seasons, and played essentially all over the field for the Rebels this year, as Rebels head coach Steve McCord talked about.

“He had a great year for us individually,” McCord said. “We had to play him at three positions on offense because of injuries. He played linebacker and defensive back for us. He did punts and extra points as well. He’s a very versatile player.”

Kingwood was the only school in the county to have more than one player nominated, but the AAA classification does allow for more players than any other, so it stands to reason Kingwood would send the most from the county. Robinson was the team MVP for the Lions, while Thompson was the defensive MVP as well as spending a large chunk of time as the main receiver in a run-heavy offense.

“You look for kids you can’t play without,” Kingwood head coach Sheldon Ward said of the nominating process. “Corey played tight end, linebacker, offensive tackle and long snapper for us at different times. He did so much that was important to us. With Kerry, our biggest thing was turning him into a wide receiver. Both put up great numbers.”

Robinson stands at 6-feet-2-inches and weighs in at more than 250 pounds. He has a preferred walk-on offer from Jim Harbaugh and the University of Michigan, Ward said, as well as interest from school like Jacksonville State, West Alabama and Birmingham Southern. Thompson, who has a long 6-foot-4-inch frame, has also garnered interest from West Alabama and South Alabama, according to Ward.

The All-Star game will take place at 7 p.m. on Dec. 4 in Montgomery.