AHSAA all-star game moving to Mobile

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WALA) - Alabama High School Athletic Association officials announced on Friday that the 62nd annual North-South All-Star Football Classic will be played at the University of South Alabama's Hancock Whitney Stadium.

The game is scheduled to take place on December 18.

The 61st game was cancelled due to COVID 19 concerns this past summer. The 62nd game was scheduled to be moved to December beginning this year.

The teams for the upcoming North-South Game are expected to be announced next week.

The announcement was made by Jamie Lee, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) Friday. 

"We are thankful for the city and county of Mobile, the Mobile Sports Authority and the University of South Alabama for their interest and support of one of our premiere events," said Lee. "Several cities showed interest in the event but Mobile rose above them all in order to support our student-athletes and coaches. We look forward to partnering with them the next three years."

The contract is a three-year agreement including 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Mobile was home to the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic from 1988 to 2010. AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said he knows firsthand what a great experience Mobile created for that contest.

"I am glad to see our North-South Game moving to Mobile," he said. "I coached in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game and saw firsthand what a great experience it was for the players and coaches. Our teams will have the opportunity to play in South Alabama's brand-new Hancock Whitney Stadium. I know the City and County of Mobile, the Mobile Sports Authority and the University of South Alabama will provide a great experience for our North-South Game."

Savarese and Lee said the AHSAA and AHSADCA appreciate the interest and commitment shown by the City and County leaders of Mobile, USA, and the Mobile Sports Authority.

"We are honored to host the North-South All-Star game at Hancock Whitney Stadium on the campus of the University of South Alabama," said USA Director of Athletics Dr. Joel Erdmann. "We owe a special thank you to Danny Corte, the Mobile Sports Authority and others that made this a reality, and to the AHSAA for the opportunity. This is truly a team effort by and for our community."

Corte, the executive director of the Mobile Sports Authority, is also excited about bringing the North-South Game to Mobile.

"We at the Mobile Sports Authority with the backing of both the City and County of Mobile are fired up to be co-hosting the North-South All-Star Football Game (with the AHSAA) for the next three years at the new Hancock Whitney Stadium on the University of South Alabama campus," Corte said. "I want to thank the Alabama High School Athletic Association for the confidence they've shown in us to host one of their signature annual events. I also want to especially thank Joel Erdmann and the University of South Alabama for partnering with us along with the Mobile County Public School System and Visit Mobile. Our entire team is looking forward to creating a great experience in Mobile for the young athletes and their families and fans."

The North-South Classic got its start in Tuscaloosa in 1948 and was played yearly through 1984.

Officials say it was discontinued from 1985-1996 and brought back in 1997 as part of the AHSAA Summer Conference and AHSADCA All-Star Sports Week. It was played at Cramton Bowl from 1997-2004, then moved to December and played at Troy University's Veterans Stadium for two years in 2004 and 2005; moved to Alabama A&M University (2007-2010) and was returned to July when the AHSAA Summer Conference relocated to Huntsville due to renovations in Montgomery.

The North-South game returned to Montgomery's Cramton Bowl when the Summer Conference returned to the Capital City in 2011 and has been played there every year since.

Some of the state's top high school, college and professional football standouts have played in the North-South Game - including Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan (1968), Auburn All-America receiver Terry Beasley (1968), Green Bay Packers great Bart Starr (1952), and Alabama All-America linebacker and NFL All-Pro Cornelius Bennett grabbed MVP honors in the 1983 game. Decatur High School teammates Joe Brewer and Bobby Golden earned MVP honors in the first game played in 1948.

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