A Q&A With Team MS Manager Josh Hollingsworth

People know all about the players who are selected to play in the AL-MS All-Star Classic game held in Mobile, Alabama, but few people know about the high school managers who are also selected to play in the game. I interviewed these best of the best Mississippi high school managers while at the Team Mississippi practices. One of them is Brandon High School senior manager Josh Hollingsworth.

How long have you been a high school manager?
"I've been managing football for five years and soccer for four."

How did you get selected to be one of the all-star managers?
"We had a manager four years ago who trained me my freshman year and he got elected to the game also. And I've been working hard for four years and, hopefully, being selected to this team also. The coaches said, ever since my freshman year, they would try to help get me into this game, and it worked out."

When did you find out that you were selected?
"I found out right before practice on a Thursday. Coach Brad Peterson from Brandon walked outside and told me, 'I tried real hard to get you in the game but you are going to have to keep your week of December 6th through 11th free.' Then he walked off. It was pretty funny."

Did you know what he was talking about when he said that last part of his sentence?
"Yeah, I figured it out about two seconds afterwards. And I thanked him."

Did the other guys know that you had been selected?
"We had another player selected to play in but he, unfortunately got hurt during the playoffs, so he couldn't be here. Coach Peterson made a team announcement and everybody looked around and wondered how did a manager get selected to that game (laugh)."

What are your future plans as far as college is concerned?
"I want to go to Mississippi State or Ole Miss and be a manager at one those two. I want to do football because I love the sport and always want to stay around it."

How do you get a job as a college manager?
"I've been accepted academically to both school. You just have to ask your coaches real nice if they will call the schools and recommend you. Then I guess the selection process starts."

What has it been like to be a manager on this all-star team?
"It has been great. I'm used to a fast paced practice because Coach Peterson came in his first year at Brandon and speeded up everything. Everything was on the move. I've been keeping up with time for the periods of practice this week. I have an electronic whistle, which is pretty funny. It's been a good responsibility."

Is there one thing you will take with you when you leave here?
"Well, I will be taking home a lot of free stuff (laugh). I will be taking home a lot of memories, being able to catch balls, throw balls to these very athletic players. The funniest thing about practice is at Brandon I'm having to chase balls every single day because sometimes balls get dropped and go out into the woods, but with (Team Mississippi all-star wide receivers) Brassell, Singleton and Morrow, the balls just come right back to you."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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