County trio tabbed for North-South game

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LHS's Williams, Buford's Brown and IL's Truesdale

By Robert Howey



An ace county trio has been picked to play in the annual North-South All-Star football game in Myrtle Beach.

Lancaster High School’s A.J. Williams, Buford’s Marcus Brown and Indian Land’s Rondreas Truesdale will play for the North team in the game which kicks off at 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 at Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium.

Each player posted a stellar senior campaign to earn selection to the elite game which draws the top senior football talent statewide.

Truesdale, who has led the IL Warriors to a 7-3 season, has rushed for 2,251 yards in 201 carries, an average of 11 yards a carry, and has scored 32 touchdowns. He was the Warriors’ 2010 football MVP and an all-region pick.

“Rondreas has had a tremendous season for us, one which merits all-star selection,” IL coach Mike Mayer said. “He’s certainly deserving of this selection and I look for him to represent us well during the week and in the game.”

Truesdale is IL’s first North-South selection since former Warriors’ star Kamaal McIlwain was selected in 2004.

Lancaster High’s Williams was selected, but will be unable to play due to a season-ending injury he suffered in the Bruins’ region win over Northwestern.

“It’s really a shame because A.J. has worked extremely hard to earn this chance,” LHS coach Bennie McMurray said. “I’m proud of him and this honor reflects on our football program with statewide recognition.”

Williams, who leads LHS in defensive points, posted 92 total tackles with 19 unassisted tackles, 36 first hits, 37 assisted tackles. He had a sack, caused fumble, three fumble recoveries and an interception.

“A.J. plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played and that’s why he was selected,” LHS linebacker coach Robert Belk said. “In addition, he’s an outstanding person. Any coach would love to have him as a player because of his winning attitude and all-out play. He’s faced bigger opponents game after game, but more than held his own.”

Bruins’ defensive coordinator Ricky Brown lauded Williams’ selection.

“It’s all about hard work, putting forth great effort on the football field and weight room,” said Brown, a North scout-assistant coach in the 2010 all-star game. “Since his injury, he’s sorely missed in our defense. The North-South game would have been a great opportunity for him and I hate he won’t be able to play. I glad he was selected because he earned the chance to compete with the state’s best.”

Williams highlighted his junior season as the Bruins’ Most Improved Player Award and reaped the Best Linebacker-Defensive Back Award.

Buford High School coach Mike Wells said Brown’s work since the end of last season was a key in his selection.

“Marcus has worked his butt off in the weight room to take his game to the next level,” said Wells, who served as a North assistant in 2008. “I’m glad he has this opportunity because he earned the chance to play in this all-star game.”

A four-year starter for the Jackets, Brown has 94 tackles this season to go with five sacks, five tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, four broken up passes and a caused fumble. Brown, on offense at tight end, has eight catches for 124 yards and three touchdowns. He has also run the ball four times for 20 yards. He capped his junior season, earning the BHS football MVP and all-region honors.

Brown is the first BHS player selected since former Jackets’ lineman Kipp Phillips played in the 1999 North-South All-Star game.

The North, led by Lancaster High School head coach Bennie McMurray, won last year’s game 26-6 and leads the series 36-25-2. All proceeds after expenses will go to the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association scholarship fund for the children of its members.