Area’s gridiron talent still here, needs developmentPublished 1:52pm Saturday, December 24, 2011
By Robert Hudson
The Selma Times-Journal
The talent on the gridiron in Dallas County doesn’t stop at the 14 players named to the Times-Journal’s all-county team.
For local high school football coaches the belief is that the talent in Dallas County is there, now the goal is to develop and put that talent to use.
Selma High School head football coach Leroy Miles said the county has traditionally produced players who’ve gone on to play at Alabama, Auburn and LSU, and there’s no reason that can’t continue, but developing that talent is key.
“I think the talent is good,” Miles said. “I think we’ve just got to continue to do our offseason strength and conditioning throughout the county, which is important.”
Keith High School head football coach Harry Crum said past college signees have displayed just how good the talent in Dallas County is.
“We’ve seen, within the last few years, a couple of kids go Division I with Keymiya Harrell (Dallas County High School) going to Auburn, (Andrew) Mahan (Dallas County) going to UAB,” Harry said. “We’ve had a couple of kids sign I-AA, Jimmy Richardson, William Thomas signed with Alabama A&M. Southside has had kids to sign with UAB, Alabama State. Selma High, you have Ben Obomanu that’s in the league now, you have Michael Johnson that’s in the league now. There’s definitely some talent around in the area and I think it will continue to be.”
Ellwood Christian Academy football coach Mike Stokes said the talent in the area is often times overlooked, despite the wealth of talented players it has.
“I think the talent here is as good as it is anywhere,” Stokes said. “Even here with the private schools, there are just talented ball players. I wish that we could get more recognition than we get just as a city of athletes, because they’re here. Here, we have a lot, a lot of skill players that can go to the next level and play. There’s a host of them.”
Dallas County head football coach Willie Moore said the talent in the area is still good, but it’s not quite as deep as it used to be.
“The talent is good, but it’s not as deep,” Moore said. “When I first got to Dallas County several years ago, there was a lot more football talent county wide, but now there’s still talent, but it’s not as deep of a talent pool as it was around seven or eight years ago.”
Southside High School head football coach Bertrum Crum said the key to developing the talent is showing the players the type of talent the state as a whole produces.
“I think that the talent here is rich, it just needs to be cultivated, and we’re in the process of trying to cultivate it at Southside,” Bertrum said. “The main thing we want to try to do is educate our boys that football is not just here in Selma and Dallas County. It’s played all over our state. We want to teach them to not just measure themselves against Selma High, Dallas County and Keith, but use the whole state.”