The Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic has found a new home – sort of.
Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Executive Director Alvin Briggs announced Tuesday the All-Star Classic will be moving to Mobile and the University of South Alabama’s Hancock Whitney Stadium beginning next December with the 36th game of the series.
The Alabama-Mississippi Classic is actually returning to its birthplace. The Classic was played at Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium from 1988-2010. The new agreement will send the Alabama-Mississippi Classic to Hancock Whitney Stadium in 2022, 2024 and 2026. The 2022 game will be played Saturday, December 10 at noon. The 2024 Classic will be played at Mobile on Saturday, December 14, and the 2026 game is set for Saturday, December 12.
The annual AHSAA North-South All-Star Football Classic was moved from the summer to the winter and from Cramton Bowl in Montgomery to Hancock Whitney Stadium in 2020. That game will continue to be played there as well.
“We think taking the Alabama-Mississippi Classic All-Star Game back to Mobile is a huge opportunity,” Briggs said. “The Alabama-Mississippi Classic got its start at Mobile in 1988. Mobile’s civic leaders and high school coaching community have been instrumental to the success of this great game from that beginning and helped make it what we think is the finest high school all-star football game in the nation. We are extremely grateful to the University of South Alabama, the Mobile Sports Authority, and Mobile’s city and county leaders for providing the AHSAA the opportunity to return to the place where the Alabama-Mississippi Classic got its start four decades ago. We also thank the city of Montgomery and Cramton Bowl for being a gracious host since 2011.”
Briggs said University of South Alabama Director of Athletics Dr. Joel Erdmann and Danny Corte of the Mobile Sports Authority have played major roles in bringing both AHSAA All-Star Games to Mobile.
“We are extremely excited to host the historic Alabama-Mississippi High School All-Star Game at Hancock Whitney Stadium on the campus of the University of South Alabama,” said Dr. Erdmann. “This is a great opportunity to showcase our campus and community to these players, families and friends. We appreciate the efforts of Danny Corte and the Mobile Sports Authority for their leadership in making this a reality.”
The Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic, which moved to Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl in 2011, is an event hosted annually by the AHSAA and Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) in conjunction with the Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC). The game began a rotation in 2015 between states with the game being hosted every other year at Hattiesburg ever since. That rotation will continue.
Alabama won last December’s game played at the University of Southern Mississippi’s M.M. Roberts Stadium 20-0 and now holds a 24-11 edge in the Classic which features 40 of the best senior players from Alabama and Mississippi. It was Alabama’s first win in Mississippi. The Alabama All-Stars won 17 of the 24 previous Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classics played at Mobile – including winning the first three in a row – all in overtime. Last year’s shutout win was the first for Alabama in the series and just the second overall. Mississippi blanked Alabama 9-0 in the 1998 game played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
AHSADCA Director Brandon Dean added, “We appreciate the city and county of Mobile, the Mobile Sports Authority and the University of South Alabama for hosting this premier event for our student-athletes and coaches. All of these entities have been great hosts of the previous events held in Mobile. We look forward to this partnership for many years to come.”
Corte said that hosting AHSAA and AHSADCA events such as these have always been important to Mobile.
“We at the Mobile Sports Authority are excited the Alabama-Mississippi High School All-Star Football Game will be coming home this December and beyond,” said Corte. “With the roots of this game going back to 1988 in Mobile, we’re fired up the game is returning to our area. I want to thank Mr. Briggs and the Alabama High School Athletic Association for the confidence they’ve shown in us to host one of their signature annual events.
“I also want to especially thank Joel Erdmann and the University of South Alabama for partnering with us to co-host the game at Hancock Whitney Stadium in 2022, 2024, and 2026 along with the Mobile County Marketing Committee and Visit Mobile. Our entire team is looking forward to creating a great experience in Mobile for the young student-athletes and their families and fans.”