Alumni game to feature former VHS players

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, July 24, 2012

VIDALIA — The last time they all played together against other opponents, Torrey Dixon and Gary Stewart won a state championship for Vidalia High School.

Now, the hoops stars from the 2009-2010 champs will team up once against to take on players from across the river.

Stewart and Dixon, along with former teammates D.J. Polk, Eric Bell and Jacob McGraw, will team up with other Vidalia High School alumni in the inaugural Vidalia vs. Natchez Alumni Basketball Game Saturday at Vidalia Junior High School.

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Dixon said he and his former teammates have played against each other a lot during the summer, but this will be a chance for them to team up again.

“It’s going to be easy, because when we play against each other, it’s hard, since we know what each other is going to do,” Dixon said. “This time, we’ll be playing against people who don’t know us.”

Even if the Natchez players watch the Vidalia players when they were in high school, Dixon said the situation has likely changed.

“Our games have changed since high school,” Dixon said. “Some people’s games have increased, some have decreased. It’s going to be really interesting when we play.”

Dixon, who suffered a heart attack in April 2011, said doctors have told him to take it easy as he continues to recover from the incident.

“It’s hard to explain,” Dixon said. “They’re not telling me not to play, but they say to stop if I feel any discomfort.”

Stewart said he hasn’t noticed any difference between Dixon now and from before he had the heart attack.

“It seems like nothing ever happened,” Stewart said. “He’s the same old Torrey.”

Stewart also said he enjoys playing pickup with his former teammates, and he’s excited to play together with them again Saturday.

“It feels just like old times,” Stewart said. “It’s nice that I’m going to be able to just go out there with my old teammates and just try to have fun.”

Stewart’s cousin, Ronald Ellis, is helping organize the event, and he said the idea has been floating around for quite some time.

“We’ve been talking about it awhile between me and the Natchez guys,” Ellis said. “We play against each other recreationally, so we wanted to just put it together and call it an alumni game.”

Admission for the game is $3, and the game starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.