GSA In the News

Central Georgia all stars have one last chance to shine on

East team pulls out win over West in GSA All-Star Game


December 21, 2013

Lamarcus Tuft could not have seen it better in a dream.

Locked in a tight game with the West squad in the third-annual GSA all-star football game early in the second quarter, Tuft timed a tipped ball perfect, intercepted it and ran untouched 64 yards for the score to give his East squad a 12-0 lead. It set the tone for the game, as the East squad had five interceptions to lead the way to a 28-21 win in a game played Saturday at the Ed DeFore Sports Complex.

“I know my eyes probably got big when I saw the ball heading right to me,” said Tuft, who was a standout for Baldwin. “I looked up after I caught it and realized I had a great chance to score, and I just took off. It was a great thrill and a great way to end my high school career. I made so many new friends this week, and we were intent that we were going to come away with a win.”

Markel Horne of the East put on a show for most of the day as the quarterback from Johnson County had two touchdowns and also had an outstanding game at strong safety. He gave his team the lead early in the second quarter when he scored on a short run and also did an excellent job when he was able to run out the clock late in the game on three consecutive runs that combined for 32 yards.

The defensive player of the game went to Northeast’s Khailyl West, who was all over the field making tackles for the West team.

“I was thinking about my auntie the entire game and how she had so much to do with me being successful in life and on the football field,” West said. “It was just so great to get one last chance to play a football game in my hometown, and I just wanted to represent my coaches and family and my school as well as I could. (Northeast head coach Bruce) Mullen has been such a great role model for me over these last four years that it was important to play well.

“I was near tears after when the game ended, but it’s time to see what I can do as a college football player.”   Macon was well-represented in the game. Rutland’s Devonte Ellington had an interception, while Westside’s Jacari Mann scored a touchdown for the West team on a pass reception.

“It was a lot of fun, and I am glad that I played in this all-star game,” said Mann, who is being recruited by several schools, including Vanderbilt. “It was great scoring a touchdown and being so involved in the offense, and it was obvious that the talent level in the game was really strong. Now it’s just time to get back to work and get ready for college.”

East head coach Ulysses Hawthorne, who was a member of the last team from Macon to win a state championship when Central accomplished that feat in 1975, was impressed with his players.

“No attitudes, no issues at the hotels, just a bunch of guys that came together quickly to play football,” said Hawthorne, who did take time to ride around his old Tindall Heights neighborhood. “I had a lot of friends and family here watching the game, and it could not have been a better week.”

Johnny James with Bobby Pope on Fox Sports Radio 1670 
October 15, 2012


The Macon Telegraph


                                                                            Published: December 23, 2012 



                       Georgia Sports Alliance Presents East vs. West All-Star Senior Bowl

Wilkinson County’s David Whipple Shines in 2nd Annual GSA All-Star Senior Bowl

Saturday’s Georgia Sports Alliance All-Star Senior Football Bowl at the Ed DeFore Sports Complex was a chance for high school seniors to step on the field for one final time. In a game in which both defenses forced a combined 10 turnovers, the East held off the West for a 19-15 victory, thanks in large part to Wilkerson County quarterback David Whipple’s two touchdown passes.

The first score of the game came when defensive tackle Shemar Lattimore of Baldwin scooped up a bobbled snap and took it in from 24 yards out to give the East a touchdown. “I saw the ball pop out of the quarterback’s hands, and I just grabbed it and ran like the wind.” said Lattimore, who claimed the defensive MVP trophy.

The West managed to get on the board in the second quarter thanks to a 27-yard field goal by Kenny Miller of Mary Persons. Whipple hooked up with Jenkins County senior Zavondric Shingleton on a 21-yard fade into the end zone during the second quarter. The kick was wide, so the East took a 13-3 lead into halftime.

Whipple came out firing in the third quarter, as well. He found his Wilkenson County teammate Jamerion Love wide open for a 47-yard touchdown. “It felt great to play with all these great players from around the state,” said Whipple, the game’s offensive MVP.

The West, however, did not go away. After a turnover, the team marched down the field, with Vashun James of Macon County taking a hand-off from Corey Moss of Upson-Lee and scoring from 11 yards out. The 2-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the West trailing 19-9 midway through the fourth quarter.

With 5:32 left in the game, the West mounted another drive, with Moss completing a huge pass to number 11 Vanshun James of Macon County High School, getting the West team down to the 3. From there, Moss ran a quarterback sneak and scored the game’s final touchdown.   

“It felt different playing against some of the best players in the state,” Moss said. “I really liked the experience. I’m keeping my options open for which college I would like to in roll for 2013, and I look forward to playing at the next level.”  The game ended 

with the East Team winning by a score of 19 to 15 over the West Team. The East now holds a 2 year winning streak over the West.

     Click on map to enlarge picture.


Johnny James.mp3
joe Finkelstein,
Oct 15, 2012, 4:21 PM