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For the third consecutive year, New Albany has placed athletes on the All-State roster in 4A football, an honor attributed to not only the players, but the coaching staff.
Voted on by the coaches during the state championships in Jackson, the list was released last week for all six classifications of the MHSAA and the MAIS.
Receiving the honor for the Bulldogs this year are seniors Cade Simmons and Riley Alef, who were each second team selections.
The duo helped lead New Albany to a 9-4 (4-1) finish this year, making it to the second round of the 4A playoffs and were apart of a senior class that had a huge load on its shoulders following the 13-1 finish and division 1-4A title in 2010.
Simmons, named to the offensive team, helped carry the ‘Dawgs offensive line this year along with contributing to the defense, recording nine tackles on the year.
Alef, the team’s leading tackler, was named to the defensive team, but made an impact on all sides of the ball.
For the second year, Alef led the Bulldogs in tackles, finishing with 185 this year. Alef also had two interceptions and a blocked field goal on defense and 351 receiving yards and three touchdowns on offense.
Also punting this season, the senior averaged 30.95 yards per punt.
Lafayette led all schools with 11 selections and the Coach of the Year in Anthony Hart after the Commodores won its second straight 4A title.
Laurel was next with 10 selections, including the Defensive Player of the Year in Defond Bester. Forest Williams of Amory was named the Offensive Player of the Year.
The Bulldogs’ division totaled 15 selections this year, as Senatobia and Rosa Fort also named players to the second team offense and defense.
Simmons and Alef follow former kickers, Sunny Harrison (2009) and Sam Jackson Dunnam (2010) as All-State selections for New Albany.
These selections show how far New Albany’s program has grown over the last four years, and even more talent returns again next season, leaving hope for another playoff run.