Goodwins, Williams prepare for football’s All-Star Classic

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 31, 2005

June is nearly here. The air is hot and humid. The bugs are out. School is out.

Now, who’s ready for some big-time football?

It might seem unusual given the weather, but two Demopolis players and DHS head football coach Doug Goodwin will have to be ready for it this week. QB Devin Goodwin, DL Ray Williams, and coach Goodwin each headed down to Mobile on Monday for the prestigious Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic. The 18th annual edition of the game pitting the two states head-to-head will be held at Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium this Saturday, June 4, at 7 p.m.

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Joining the three members of DHS’s 2004 state championship team in Mobile will be the coach of Marengo County’s other 2004 state title team, Sweet Water’s Stacy Luker. Luker and Goodwin were invited to be assistants on Alabama head coach (and Homewood High top man) Bob Newton’s staff by virtue of winning the 1A and 4A state titles, respectively.

Coaches and players registered on the campus of the University of South Alabama Monday between noon and 3 p.m., with players receiving helmets, pads, other gear, and the key to the USA dorm room where they will spend the next week when not in practice.

That won’t be too much time, however. The two teams will each spend Tuesday through Thursday in two-a-day practice sessions, one from 9 to 11 and a second from 2 to 4, in preparation for Saturday’s game. A walkthrough practice Friday morning will cap things off and get players mentally ready for Saturday night. All practices will held either at Ladd-Peebles, area high school fields, or–in the case of rain–area school gymnasiums.

The three days of two-a-days is actually a decrease in practice time from previous years, in which players arrived the Sunday before the game.

For the Goodwins, these two-a-days and the Saturday game represent the last chance to share a field together after four years of hard side-by-side work on the DHS football team. Devin, Doug’s son, will head to Lurleen B. Wallace junior college this fall on a baseball scholarship.

For both the younger Goodwin and Williams, the trip to the All-Star Classic is a well-deserved finish to a 2004-2005 senior year that saw both of them excel in a variety of ways. For his efforts in earning his school its first 4A state football championship, Goodwin was named a first-team All-State selection, was a finalist for the class 4A player of the year, and was chosen Most Valuable Player of the state title game. His 51 touchdown passes in the 2004 season set a state record. But Goodwin wasn’t done, going on to win DHS’s second state title in a year with the baseball team as a pitcher and infielder. His efforts there helped him land the scholarship with Lurleen B. Wallace, where he’ll play alongside DHS teammates Chad Schroeder and Seth Basinger.

Williams’s athletic achievements didn’t end with his play on the DHS defensive line, either. After outclassing opposing offensive lineman during the football season, being named All-State, and signing with Div. I-AA program Tennesee-Martin, Williams joined the DHS track and field team in the Spring. He dominated the discus and shot-put events as he had dominated the line of scrimmage, winning at several regional meets before winning a 4A state title in shot-put and finishing third in discus.