Stars of Alabama 1A-3A

Labor Day weekend ushered in the official start to the high school football season with an abundance of workmanlike performances. presents The Stars of Alabama for Week 1. will select Stars of Alabama from two groups of players for the 2008 season. One group will include the 1A through 3A classifications, and the second group will focus on the 4A through 6A classifications. will select one overall Player of the Week. Player of the Week (all classifications):

Junior QB Kevin Callender, 5-10, 175lbs, Montevallo High School
Callender sat dejectedly on the bench during the game against Calera as a sophomore in 2007. It was the seventh game of the season, and the Bulldogs were looking at their fifth loss in the last six games. With the 32-7 defeat by their rival and a disappointing 4-6 season looming, it would have been pointless to tell Callender to "wait until next year."

Callender entered the 2008 season with a valuable year of experience under his belt, and a score to settle. The talented signal caller exacted his revenge on the Eagles Friday night 46-41.

The two teams are no longer battling for the region championship due to Calera's boost from the 3A to 4A classification, but there is no question when it comes to the importance of this game to Callender and his teammates.

The quarterback tucked the ball away on Montevallo's opening play and scampered 75 yards for a touchdown. This was a game where every point was golden.

The Player of the Week completed 12-of-16 passes for 247 yards and four touchdowns while adding another 137 yards rushing and two more scores.

The challenge for Callender is to carry the momentum to face their first region game at Dadeville (1-0). The Tigers defeated 2A Reeltown last weekend 15-6. This is Dadeville's first game in region 3A after competing in 4A in the previous AHSAA alignment.

Stars of Alabama:

Quinnata Jones
Running Back
3A Weaver

The sophomore running back rushed for almost 200 yards, caught two passes and returned two kickoffs for 76 yards, scored both touchdowns. Jones helped Weaver wind down the clock and preserve a 15-13 win over 4A Jacksonville.

The Bearcats will travel this week to region foe Glencoe (0-1).

Tim Simon
Running Back/Linebacker, 6-2, 200 lbs.
3A Cordova

The senior rushed for 162 yards on seven touches. Simon scored twice, including a punt return, against 4A Dora in a 43-6 victory. The Blue Devil captured 222 total yards.

Simon holds a handful of scholarships from SEC schools and projects at the linebacker postion at the next level. Cordova is coming off their 2007 championship season albeit with a new coach, but they might make their way back to Birmingham by December.

Cordova opens region play at home this week against Sumter County (0-1).

Taylor Thrash
Running Back, 5-11, 180 lbs.
2A Fyffe

Thrash is a junior who plays running back and defensive back. He carried the ball 12 times for 171 yards and four touchdowns in the Red Devils' 33-14 victory.

Some people questioned if Fyffe, returning only two starters on offense, could repeat their effort from 2007. That effort saw them march undefeated into the title game only to lose to Danny Powell's two-time-champion Leroy Bears.

Fyffe proved in a win over Dade County (GA) they still have some talent in the stable. Fyffe will begin region play this week when they pay a visit to Geraldine (1-0).

Trey Littlefield
Running Back/Defensive End, 6-0, 175 lbs.
1A Spring Garden

Spring Garden runs the Wing-T offense, and the junior ran the ball 19 times for 163 yards. Littlefield accounted for all scoring, twice offensively, and once on an interception return for 36 yards.

Their win over Appalachian 21-6 sets up their first regional match-up at Collinsville (0-1) who suffered a 10-7 loss to 1A Victory Christian in their opening game.

Jon McNatt
Quarterback/Safety, 6-0, 170 lbs.
2A Falkville

McNatt had a good night behind center in Falkville's 28-0 win over 4A Priceville, but it was his special teams play that earned this selection. The senior blocked two punts, and teammate Trevor Mayer hauled in one returning for a touchdown.

Falkville will take on Addison (0-1) in a region matchup at home. Addison lost their opening game to a talented 2A Fultondale squad.

Chris Barber
5-10, 190 lbs.
Jonathan Craig
5-8, 170 lbs.
Running Backs/Linebackers
2A Fultondale

Four running backs have returned for this squad who accounted for almost 3,500 yards on the ground in 2007. Two of the best (Barber and Craig) are only sophomores with coach Keith Register as one happy coach.

The Wildcats' utilize the Wing-T offense, which takes advantage of the youngsters' blazing speed and the team's depth at the position.

Barber had a great night against 2A Addison in their 32-18 victory. He ran the ball 19 times for 207 yards and a touchdown. Craig nearly matched his effort with 13 carries for 196 yards and two touchdowns.

Fultondale will travel to face a resurgent 2A Isabella team under the watchful care of Coach Lanny Jones. Isabella defeated Jefferson Christian last week 74-0.

Clint Moseley
Quarterback, 6-4, 190 lbs.
2A Leroy

Moseley has two state championships under his belt and just about every superlative trotted out to describe the affable leader. The one that describes him best is consistent.

Moseley had another stellar night leading his Bears to a 36-9 win over 4A Clarke County. The senior completed 14-of-21 passes for 260 yards and rushed for 63 yards on 12 tries. His good friend, Aerik Davis, was on the receiving end of six of his passes for 128 yards and a touchdown.

Leroy's next start is against Millry (0-1), a region matchup at home.

Johnny Lockett
Running Back, 5-9 185 lbs.
1A Sweet Water

Lockett ran for 178 yards on 13 carries and had two touchdowns against rival 4A Thomasville in a 30-14 victory.

Just when the opposition is sighing with relief that Luker and Landrum have graduated they look up to see another Luker and Landrum duo. Their first names are Tate and Antonio, not Drew and Anthony. The defense returns nine starters.

The offense has big shoes to fill in skilled positions and must do it with an unproven offensive line. None of this seemed to bother Johnny Lockett.

Sweet Water will prepare for their next victim, Marengo (1-0), in a region contest at home.

Ryne Taylor
Quarterback, 6-2, 200 lbs.
3A Straughn

Straughn took on 4A Andalusia in their first game with standout Nico Johnson, but the show was all about Straughn and their 50-26 victory. The senior quarterback is bound to catch some eyes with his performance. Taylor completed 19-of-23 pass attempts for 234 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 81 yards rushing with a touchdown.

Straughn opens region play this week at home against Choctaw County (0-1).

Tommy Haley-Ricks
Running Back, 6-1, 225 lbs.
1A Hubbertville

The senior carried the ball 23 times against their region opponent, Brilliant, for 313 yards. He had four touchdowns, and they were spectacular: 66 yards, 50 yards, 71 yards and 75 yards. He had five tackles on the defensive side of the ball with three for a loss and one caused fumble. Hubbertville boasts an early region win with the 27-26 win over Brilliant.

Haley-Ricks rushed for over 1,200 yards last season and named to the Tuscaloosa News West Alabama All-Stars, first team running back.

Hubbertville will host Parrish for their second of six consecutive region games.

Brian Donovan
Running Back, 6-2, 205 lbs.
2A Isabella

Donovan did something rare in carrying the ball three times for 107 yards and scored three touchdowns. He returned two punts for 102 yards and scored two touchdowns. He scored every time he touched the football.

Isabella put up a 74-0 deficit on 1A Jefferson Christian, but this week will find the challenge far greater. They will face Fultondale (1-0) in a region matchup as Isabella was elevated to the 2A classification in 2008.

Honorable Mention:

Jamorris Ricks: 3A Colbert County running back vs. 5A Muscle Shoals 47-0 win, 251 yards rushing on 14 carries, five touchdowns.

Ross Watkins, 1A Berry defensive end/tight end vs. 1A Marion County 44-6 win, 12 total tackles (eight solo) with five sacks.

Dwayne Childs, 2A Randolph County, running back vs. 1A Winterboro, 34-14 win. Childs had 20 rushes for 122 yards and received one pass for 18 yards. He had nine tackles on defense with five for a loss of yardage.

Joshua Draper, linebacker and Tecumseh Garth, strong safety for 1A R.A. Hubbard vs. 1A Hazlewood, 37-14 loss. Draper had 11 tackles with two sacks while Garth had nine tackles, an interception and four pass breakups.

 Nathan Funk, 1A South Lamar running back vs. 2A Lamar County, 28-16 loss, 15 carries for 159 yards and 20 tackles on defense.

Scott Morgan, 2A Lanett, running back vs. 3A Beulah, 34-0 win. Morgan had 164 yards on 13 carries.

Billy Lawson, 1A Fayetteville High School, running back vs. 2A Vincent, 27-13 loss. Lawson carried the ball 25 times for 128 yards.

Travis Eakin, 3A Madison Academy, quarterback vs. 5A Brewer, 28-6 win, 12 for 21, 361 yards with four touchdowns.

Stars of Alabama Class 4A-6A [click here].

Attention high school coaches: Send your nominations for 'Stars of Alabama' each week to

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