Stars of Alabama 4A-6A

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.

Stars of Alabama Class 4A-6A

Jon George
Running Back, 6-0, 200 lbs
4A Lincoln

The senior running back is no stranger to championships. He is a 3A state champion in his wrestling weight class. George is the state champion at the 400-meter distance and part of Lincoln's 4x4 championship relay team in track. He's trying to add another laurel with a 4A football championship.

Lincoln has the talented junior back, D.J. Howard, who ran the ball once Friday for a 55-yard-touchdown, but it was George who did most of the work at running back. This athletic Golden Bear ran the ball seven times against Coach Gene Hill's, always competitive, Etowah Blue Devils. George had 121 yards on those touches, caught a 17-yard-touchdown reception and added another score via a kickoff return.

Lincoln stunned 5A Etowah last week 33-6 at home. They will travel this week to Cleburne County (1-0) who dispensed of Lineville last week 21-12.

Drew Phillips
Running Back
5A Boaz

A fair assumption to say Phillips has picked up where he left off from the 2007 season. The junior back rushed for over 1,200 yards last season. Phillips carried the ball 27 times for 231 yards including a 91-yard-touchdown run against 4A Guntersville last week. The Pirates rallied from an early 10-0 deficit to win the season opener 21-10. Boaz defeated Guntersville last season 14-11.

The Pirates are on the road again this week when they face Madison County (1-0) in a region test. Madison County defeated Columbia 56-13 in their first game of the season.

Brett Booth
Quarterback, 5-9, 190 lbs.
6A Tuscaloosa County

Coach Robert Higginbotham's offensive leader likes a challenge. He took his team into Opelika for the last game of the regular season in 2007 and dominated one of the leading defenses in the state.

Booth faced one of the top recruits in the country, defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick, in their season opener. Booth challenged him one time and lost that battle for six points, but as a smart quarterback will do, he did not venture into that area again.

Facing a hostile crowd and a very talented home team Booth completed 14-of-21 passing attempts for 184 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for another 63 yards and three touchdowns. Gadsden City had problems during the week with practice, and the Wildcats capitalized on their miscues by blocking an extra point attempt and a punt, allowing only 156 yards total offense.

Josh Rowe
Linebacker, 6-0, 190 lbs.
6A Opelika

We see more heavily recruited linebackers in the state, but Josh Rowe has been the model of consistency for Coach Spence McCracken's Bulldogs. He had over 100 tackles in 2007, and with a whole new secondary his work is cut out for him. The senior had 10 tackles, one fumble recovery and one sack against 6A Sidney Lanier in the 2008 season opener.

Opelika also has a new quarterback this season in David Thomas who rushed for 65 yards and two touchdowns. He completed 13-of-22 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown.

The Bulldogs will open region play at home versus Coach Rico White's Russell County, who eeeked a win in their season opener against 5A Beauregard 13-12.

Reginald Aaron
5A Carver-Montgomery

Coach Al Pogue and new starting quarterback, Reginald Aaron, wanted to start the season with a bang. Unfortunately for Jeff Davis, they were the targets losing the battle, 50-7. Aaron attempted 11 passes connecting on 10 for 248 yards and three touchdowns. He added a rushing touchdown before he was pulled from the game.

Carver moved from 6A competition for the 2008 season. They will travel to face new region opponent Greenville (0-1), who lost a close contest with Charles Henderson.

Tyrone Bowie
6A Gardendale

Senior linebacker Tyrone Bowie was a standout defensively in a game that didn't seem as lopsided as the score would indicate, 27-7. Bowie had 13 tackles, two sacks, one pass break up, a blocked field goal, and forced a Hoover fumble.

Not much was expected of the Rockets in their promotion to 6A and traveling to face region opponent Hoover in their first game. However, the defense held Hoover to only 161 total yards. The Bucs ran the ball 32 times for only 65 yards.

It was offense and special teams mistakes that spelled disaster for the storied Gardendale program that played so well in the late 70s and into the 80s. The Rockets produced defensive linemen Curt Jarvis and Willie Wyatt who played both in college and in the NFL.

Gardendale has a new coach this season in Chris Fancher and part of the nine-member-Region 6. They will host a Vestavia (0-1) team that is probably hopping mad over a loss to 5A Briarwood Christian 15-14 last Friday.

Patrick Prewitt
Defensive Back
6A Vestavia

Longtime Coach Buddy Anderson has a talented sophomore in Patrick Prewitt who had three interceptions, a fumble recovery and a five-yard touchdown reception in the Rebels loss to 5A Briarwood Christian, 15-14.

Briarwood is playing with a new quarterback this season since the Auburn signee's, Barrett Trotter, departure.

The Rebels lost this game, but you need look no further than last year to see the loss to the Lions sparked an 11-game-win-streak that got the Rebels to the semi-finals of the state championship before losing to Spain Park.

Vestavia will travel crosstown to Gardendale (0-1) for their first region game of the season.

Coty Blanchard
Quarterback, 6-1, 180 lbs.
4A Cherokee County

The junior impressed this week against Piedmont in a nail-biting 34-32 victory. Blanchard completed 14-of-24 passes for 275 yards with two touchdowns. He scored twice on the ground when he carried the ball six times for 90 yards.

Cherokee County will play host to a region game with Alexandria (1-0) this week and should provide another entertaining game.

J.D. Marsh
Running Back, 5-8, 170 lbs.
6A Mountain Brook

Marsh rushed for just under 1,500 yards in 2007, and the senior back had 30 carries for 176 yards and two touchdowns in their season opener. The Spartans dominated 6A Thompson in a region 6 matchup, 39-0.

Mountain Brook will face region opponent Oak Mountain (0-1) this week. The Eagles suffered a loss to Pelham 33-16.

Dylan Green
Running Back, 5-9, 180 lbs.
4A Brooks

This junior had a special night and impressed his coaches. The baseball player who transferred to Brooks this season carried the ball only three times in his first ever football game. He carried those three times for 79 yards and two touchdowns.

Brooks defeated 3A Lauderdale County 40-6 and will start region play at home against Wilson (0-1) this weekend.

M.L. Shipman
Running Back
4A Montgomery Catholic

The fans, the players, the coaches, everybody who has a rooting interest in the Knights got some reward this past weekend. For the first time in 11 years, Catholic beat 3A Montgomery Academy. A shut-out to boot, 13-0.

M.L. Shipman carried the ball 20 times and accumulated 148 yards. Coach Trokey says of the junior, "He was our go-to-guy late in the fourth (quarter) to seal the win. He ran hard and broke several tackles."

The Knights will visit 4A Ashford (1-0) to begin their region schedule this weekend.

Honorable Mention:

Chris Coffey, 6A Decatur, running back vs. 6A Austin, 41-14 win. Coffey accounted for 118 yards on seven carries with three touchdowns.

Zach Stacy, 5A Bibb County running back vs. 6A Paul Bryant, 37-14 win. Stacy rushed for 229 yards on 24 carries and scored four touchdowns.

Tripp Martin, 6A Pelham, quarterback vs. 6A Oak Mountain, 33-16 win. Martin completed 12-of-15 pass attempts for 197 yards and a touchdown.

T.J. Gurley, 5A Madison County, quarterback vs. 4A Columbia, 56-13 win. Gurley finshed the night completing 14-of-16 passing attempts for 199 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 124 yards rushing with one touchdown.

K.D. Edenfield, 5A Charles Henderson, quarterback vs. 5A Greenville, 24-19 win. Finished the night with 12 completions from 20 attempts recording 236 yards.

Michael Chandler, 4A DAR, running back vs. 3A Crossville, 36-15 win. Chandler rushed for 203 yards and four touchdowns.

Caleb Castille, 5A Briarwood Christian, receiver vs. 6A Vestavia, 15-14 win. The junior had 107 yards and scored both of Briarwood's touchdowns, one by land and one through the air.

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

Stars of Alabama Class 1A-3A [click here].

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