Mississippi’s Mr. Football recipients will be honored Thursday night in Oxford in conjunction with the MHSAA’s Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Gridiron Classic State Football Championships at the University of Mississippi.
The second annual Mr. Football awards are a partnership between the New Orleans Saints, the Mississippi Association of Coaches and the Mississippi High School Activities Association. The winners — one from each of the MHSAA’s six classifications — were selected by a committee made up of coaches and media representatives from throughout the state and is based on the regular season.
“The New Orleans Saints have long enjoyed a loyal and devoted following from the state of Mississippi,” Saints president Dennis Lauscha said. “Many high school coaches from around the state have taken part in clinics hosted by our coaches and staff over the years. It goes without saying that a number of our great players and ambassadors in Saints history came from the Magnolia State.
“This is another way for the organization to show our support for the high school football teams, players and coaches in the state through this partnership with the Mr. Football awards. We look forward to seeing this event continue to grow through the partnership with the Saints, the Mississippi High School Activities Association and the Mississippi Association of Coaches.”
“This has become a great addition to the Gridiron Classic and our championship football weekend in just one year’s time,” MHSAA Executive Director Don Hinton said. “The support and involvement of the New Orleans Saints have given the Mr. Football awards a boost in stature and credibility that cannot be overstated.
“The Saints obviously have a huge fan following in Mississippi. But beyond that, the team and organization have worked behind the scenes for the betterment of high school football in our state through USA Football’s initiatives and clinics to make the sport safer for our young people. The MHSAA greatly appreciates these efforts.”
Mr. Football recipients for 2017:
• Class 6A: Jett Johnson, Tupelo High School
• Class 5A: Marcus Murphy, West Point High School
• Class 4A: Cole Smith, Pontotoc High School
• Class 3A: Kenneth Gainwell, Yazoo County High School
• Class 2A: Don Ragsdale, Pisgah High School
• Class 1A: Marquez Pam, Simmons High School
This year’s reception and banquet will be held at the Oxford Conference Center and will be livestreamed at www.misshsaa.tv beginning at 6 p.m.