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Miss-Lou full of great football talent

Even though it covers a relatively small area, the Miss-Lou has put out quite a bit of football talent throughout the years.

The Natchez trio of Perry Lee Dunn, Allen Brown and Paige Cothern were part of the Ole Miss football glory days in the 1960s, playing for the legendary Johnny Vaught, while Von Hutchins is a more recent Ole Miss standout who played several years in the NFL.

Natchez’s Hugh Green was perhaps the most dominant defensive college football player in history and still has the highest Heisman Trophy finish for a purely defensive player ever.

And Stevan Ridley is the latest Natchez product to star on the national scene, as he was recently selected as second team All-SEC after rushing for 1,042 yards and 14 touchdowns for LSU this season.

But while those names are well-known in the Miss-Lou, there are several local high school players who might be making their presence felt in the next few years.

The Miss-Lou is teeming with football talent, which has been demonstrated by both the success of area teams and the individual accolades several players have received.

It all began before the season even started, when three locals verbally committed to play football in the SEC.

Ferriday athlete De’Vante Scott and Wilkinson County teammates Devin Fosselman (wide receiver) and James Maiden (defensive lineman) committed to play football at Mississippi State next season.

Scott made his commitment known back in February while Fosselman and Maiden committed to the Bulldogs in August.

The news only got better after that.

The four Natchez schools all enjoyed great seasons, as all of them made the playoffs, while Trinity Episcopal ran away with the MAIS Class A state championship.

With all the team success these schools enjoyed, it was no surprise to see many local players earn great honors.

Trinity players Kent King, Givonni Dent and Zach Marshall were selected to play in the MAIS All-Star game, as was Adams County Christian’s Zack Day.

Those players, along with ACCS head coach Paul Hayles, who was the South team’s defensive coordinator, helped the South defeat the North team 27-21.

Cathedral players Caleb Upton, Tyler Flemming and Daniel Huffines were named to the MHSAA Class 1A All-State second team, while Natchez High lineman Justin Hamilton was named to the Class 6A All-State first team and Bulldogs linebacker Raymond Williams was named to the second team.

Hamilton, Maiden and Fosselman were also selected to play in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic in Mobile, which took place Saturday. Alabama won the game 24-17.

Maiden and Fosselman were the first Wilkinson County players to ever play in the game while Hamilton was the first Natchez High player to participate since Anthony Strauder in 2004.

In addition, Bulldog quarterback Javon Washington was picked to play in the Bernard Blackwell Classic, which will take place next Saturday.

With all this talent in the area, it’s going to be a fun national signing day in February, when we get to see where all these athletes will take their talents.

And it sure will make for a fun next few years as we all follow and cheer on our fellow Miss-Lou neighbors as they realize their football dreams.

Jeff Edwards is the sports editor for The Democrat. He can be reached at sports@natchezdemocrat.com, or by phone at 601-445-3632.