Youth players selected to Turkey Day team

Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 22, 2014

By Sean Holohan

Twenty-eight local youth league football players were selected to the all-star little league team and will compete in the annual Turkey Day Classic, the national championship of youth football, in Atlanta.

Schools represented on the all-star team are Goshen, Andalusia, McKenzie, Luverne and Highland Home.

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The team will be coached by Luverne termite head coach James Mccreary.

The players, who are ages 9-11, were selected by youth league coaches to the team. Five players on the team were selected from the Goshen termite team.

Mccreary said players were selected based on their performance in the leagues throughout the season.

Since the all-star team is comprised of youth players from all different schools, practice will be held Saturday and Sunday before the players head off to Atlanta.

Around 160 football teams from 31 states will compete in the tournament.

Russell Copeland, whose son, Russell Jr., is a center for Goshen and was selected to the team, said his son is excited to make the trip with his team.

“He doesn’t have the concept of what it is yet,” Copeland said. “He just likes to play football. He thinks it is cool and as long as he gets to get on the airplane, that’s all he cares about.”

Mccreary has experience with the tournament in Atlanta, as he coached in it and won the championship in 2006. He said the experience is one the kids will really enjoy.

“It was great,” Mccreary said. “We were playing on high end fields, and the hospitality was really good. Parents calling me every day talking about how excited they are to go.”

The team will leave Thursday and will play that day. If they win, they move on to the championship. But if they lose, they will play in the third-place consolation game.

The Turkey Day Classic has been hosted in Atlanta for over 15 years.

Games start on Thanksgiving and conclude Nov. 29.