E.A. Sports Today

Calling the shots

Wellborn’s Smith selected as North head coach in North-South football game, White Plains’ Moore to coach North XC boys

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
Wellborn head football coach Jeff Smith will get a jump start on coaching in the 2020 season when he directs the North team in the annual North-South All-Star Game in Cramton Bowl in July.


Smith has been named the head coach of the squad and is in the process of choosing his six assistants from among the head coaches in Districts 5, 7 and 8. He has a few candidates in mind, but declined to confirm any members of his staff until he has a commitment.
It’s the second time he’ll be coaching in the game. He was the offensive coordinator on then-Leeds coach Keith Etheredge’s North staff in 2014. The North lost that game 20-12, but Piedmont defensive tackle Exavyer Jackson scored the North’s first points with a safety in his final high school football game. Former Alexandria coach Frank Tucker led the winning North team in the rain-shortened 2016 game.
“It’s a big honor and I appreciate it,” Smith said. “I enjoyed it when I was an assistant because a lot of players you have are going Division II, Division II or not playing after high school and it’s a chance for them to get a last game in.”
The coaches and player selection committee are expected to meet the first week of March to pick the team.
Smith’s Wellborn teams have been known for a powerful running attack and limited passing, but the all-star team he coaches won’t necessarily reflect his in-season philosophy.
“We’re going to have a great time; we’re going to turn it loose,” he said. “Look, we’re not going down there to blood-and-guts them and try to make men out of them that week. We’re going to go down there and teach them as much as we can in a few days and let them go out and play and have a good time and try to let them walk away from football with a good feeling.”

Wildcats’ Moore tabbed for XC coach

White Plains cross country coach John Moore has been asked to coach the North boys in the cross country race. He’ll be the third Calhoun County coach to serve as a coach in the all-star race, joining Pleasant Valley’s Brad Hood and former Ohatchee coach Casey Howell.
The races will feature the top 10 boys and girls rising seniors in the North and South. Moore hasn’t been told of the athletes he’ll be overseeing –that’ll probably come in the middle of next week – but there’s a chance one will be his county champion and state runner-up son, Jake.
“It’s just a small cross country race, but talk about speed,” said Moore, who just finished his fifth season coaching cross country. “It really is an all-star race when you look at the people who have a chance to be running. I’m totally honored just to be picked. It’ll be a thrill to have that many fast people together.”

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