PLAS players selected to AISA all-star team

Published 3:00 am Friday, November 14, 2014

By Sean Holohan

Three Pike Liberal Arts football players were selected to the AISA all-star team Thursday and will represent the AISA West in the all-star game to be held in Montgomery at Cramton Bowl on Dec. 5.

Senior quarterback Rush Hixon and senior ballcarrier Jeremy James were chosen to compete in the all-star game, while senior quarterback and middle linebacker Drew Starling, who missed five games this season with an ankle injury, was selected as an injured all-star and will be honored before the game in December.

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The selections come on the heels of a turnaround season for PLAS.

The Patriots, after winning just three games in the past two seasons, finished this year with an 8-3 record before losing to Bessemer Academy in the first round of the playoffs Nov. 7.

“I don’t know how much it speaks about my athletic ability, but it speaks a lot about what the coaches think of me and that’s what means the most to me,” Starling said of being chosen to the all-star team despite missing five games in the season.

“It really does feel good,” James said. “It makes me feel important and it tells me what I did on the field and off the field. I’m pretty excited to play that night.”

Hixon mirrored James’ sentiments.

“It’s an honor to be named with some of the bigger names and caliber of athletes who are going to play in the (all-star) game and you have to thank the man above for it,” he said.

Patriots head coach Gene Allen said the selections speak to the progress of the program.

“They’re all just great leaders,” Allen said. “A lot of coaches took notice…it’s just an honor overall.”