High School Sports

Mississippi hopes new Mr. Football award is ‘as prestigious as it gets’

Picayune players celebrate after their victory over Gulfport. The MHSAA, MAC and New Orleans Saints have partnered to develop the Mr. Football award, which will honor the state’s top player each year.
Picayune players celebrate after their victory over Gulfport. The MHSAA, MAC and New Orleans Saints have partnered to develop the Mr. Football award, which will honor the state’s top player each year. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

States like Tennessee, Ohio and Louisiana all have a tradition of honoring their top football players annually. Now Mississippi will join the club.

The Mississippi High School Activities Association and Mississippi Association of Coaches unveiled Wednesday the development of the inaugural New Orleans Saints Mr. Football award.

The honor, in coordination with the Saints, will be awarded to the top player in each of Mississippi’s six classifications.

“Each year our state produces some of the best players in the country and this is a great way to recognize them for their accomplishments on the gridiron,” MHSAA executive director Don Hinton said in a release.

The winners will be selected by a committee of high school coaches and media from across Mississippi. The award is designed to honor the best player in the state, regardless of grade, during the regular season.

“With the involvement of the New Orleans Saints and the support of everyone involved, I think this award is going to be as prestigious as it gets for high school football players in Mississippi,” MAC executive director Johnny Mims said.

As part of the namesake, the Saints will play an integral role in the award.

“As proponents of youth football, we are thrilled to participate in the recognition of the top players in the state of Mississippi,” Saints president Dennis Lauscha said in a release. “... We are very proud of our long history of having some of the very finest men, both professionally and personally, that Mississippi high schools have produced, including Archie Manning, Freddie McAfee, Deuce McAllister and so many other fine players, as members of the Saints family, and we look forward to the next generations following in their footsteps.”

The inaugural winners will be announced Nov. 10 with a banquet to honor the athletes set for Dec. 1 in Starkville in conjunction with the state championship games scheduled for Dec. 2-3.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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