ND All Stars
By Angie Ledbetter
J.T. Dalrymple and Andy Barns, both senior football players at North Delta School, have been selected to play in the 2007 MPSA All-Star game tonight.
The game will be played at the Robison-Hale stadium on the campus of Mississippi College in Clinton.
Pregame ceremonies will begin at 5:30 p.m. and kickoff is set for 6 p.m. Each player will be introduced during the pregame ceremonies.
Dalrymple and Barns were among 83 players chosen to play, 42 north and 41 south. Dalrymple was chosen as all around player and Barns was chosen as an offensive lineman.
Head Green Wave Coach Richard Russo said it was a big honor to be selected in to the All-Star game.
“This year, we only had two selected but I feel like we should have had three selected”
Dalrymple, 5’11”, 150 pounds, played quarterback, defensive back, punter and kicker for the Green Wave.
He is ranked No. 1 in the State of Mississippi in both public and private schools for his punting by Max Preps and No. 122 in the nation. He punted the ball 39 times for an average of 38.69 and made 22 extra points.
Barns, 6’3’’, 255 pounds, played offensive and defensive tackle for the Green Wave. As an offensive lineman, he graded 84 percent for the season. He is credited with 12 pancake blocks. As a defensive lineman, he had 44 tackles, seven for loss yardage.
Russo said in his first spring evaluation with North Delta, he saw Dalrymple was very fast and athletic.
““I knew that he could fit into our offensive system very well,” Russo said. “Over the course of two years, he played quarterback, tailback, and wide receiver and has been productive in each of those positions. He also played as the kick returner.”
According to Russo, Dalrymple’s best positions are punter and defensive cornerback.
“He received nine interceptions this year which is outstanding considering that he didn’t play in three games,” Russo said. “I am very tickled for his progression as a football player.”
Barns has a unique story.
He did not get on the field at all in his seventh and eighth grade years.
“Even when I first got here during the fall camp, he didn’t show a whole lot,” Russo said. “We put him in as a backup player in the first game at Magnolia Heights and he did better in that game than he had done at any practices and he really impressed us. From that moment on, he hasn’t stopped trying hard. I think that it gave him some confidence to be in there and actually do some good things.”
Barnes started every game after that on offense, defense or both on the line.
“He has come a long way,” Russo said. “I would say that he is the most improved player from the moment that I got here. Coach (Lance) Thomas’ influence at teaching has really helped Andy jump light years as an offensive lineman and a football player. I am very proud of him.”
Russo said that Michael Johnson was nominated but didn’t get chosen.
“I think he should have made it but I think that with him being in the MPSA for only one year hurt him.”
Dalrymple said he was glad he was chosen because he gets to play one more high school game. He will be playing running back, wide receiver and punter.
“It’s an honor to go to something like this,” he said. “I went last year to watch the game when Dakota Mabry went down there to play in it. I wanted a chance to play in it. There are players from the small schools all the way up to the big schools like Jackson Prep. I want to play with those people.”
Barns said, “It feels great to be chosen to go. Not many people get chosen to go. I have never been to watch one of the games. I am excited to play one more game. My season isn’t over yet.”
Dalrymple is the son of Tim Dalrymple and Kim Jackson, both of Batesville. Barns is the son of David and Leslie Barns of Marks.