BATESVILLE – To cap off a successful season, three North Delta players and head coach Rick Johnston participated in the annual Mississippi Private School Association All-Star game in December.
Johnston was the head coach of the North team chosen from all the coaches in the North above Jackson.
He said, "It was an honor for me and it ranks right up there. And being able to win made it just that much sweeter."
Selected to play from North Delta were Collins Bryant, Dallas Allgood and Drew Ledbetter.
Ledbetter was the starting center. Bryant was the starting defensive back and Allgood started as a linebacker.
Ledbetter finished his season at North Delta with a grade of 88 percent. He had 101 knockdowns and 71 pancakes.
North Delta assistant coach Lance Thomas said Ledbetter was a great leader playing example.
"He has good, quick feet and is a pleasure to coach," Thomas said.
Bryant had 224 carries this season. He rushed for 1,366 yards and scored 23 touchdowns. He averaged 6.1 yards per carry.
Bryant completed 19 of 44 passes for 374 yards and three touchdowns. He scored two kickoff return touchdowns.
Allgood was the leading tackler with 157 total tackles, 98 solos. He recorded eight sacks and three interceptions.
On offense, Allgood carried the ball 30 times for 285 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged 5.7 yards per carry.
The North won the annual event 26-15.
Johnston said his main focus was to give equal playing time to the players in order to showcase the talent chosen for the team. With the talent on the squad, they were two or three deep in each position.
The players were really focused, according to Johnston, and he attributes the win to that detail.
"We had a good bunch and were able to get quality work out of them," Johnston said. "It was nice sitting on an offense where you have numerous weapons to choose from. It was a treat just to watch them play."
Helping to coach the North along with Johnston were assistant coaches Tom Lewis of Heidelberg Academy, Skip Moore of Madison-Ridgeland Academy (MRA), and Todd Lott of Washington School.
Johnston called Lewis the "Elder-Statesman" of coaches. He has been coaching for 24 years.
"He was a tremendous amount of help. I picked his brain every chance I got.
"As a coach, I learned something, too," Johnston continued. "I learned little things like stretching and the kicking game to something bigger on how to get a different block on the defensive and offensive lines."
Also chosen to play in the All-Star game from neighboring areas were David Reed, Magnolia Heights, scored a 13-yard touchdown run; Jonathan Carpenter of Clarksdale-Lee, who made a tackle for a safety; Seth Adams of Marshall Academy, start quarterback; Justin Delap, Magnolia Heights, MVP; Drew Bright, Jimmy Fly and Julius Roberson, all of Strider; and Derek Holman, Marshall.