AUSTIN — A Sulphur Springs receiver could have a starring role on the only football game in town.
Jace Jackson, the record-setting receiver for Sulphur Springs, will be in the prime time lights near the shadow of the state capitol.
The Texas High School School Coaches Association football game will be played Tuesday at the Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The South team will be coached by Gary Joseph of Katy High School, and the North will be coached by Mickey Owens of Monahans High School.
Few players coming into the game have more impressive stats than Jackson.
Jackson, who has signed with Sam Houston State University, had a stellar senior year as the Wildcats won state. Jackson, a 6-2 receiver, had 105 catches for 1,550 yards and 19 touchdowns in his final year wearing the Sulphur Springs uniform.
The only other selection to the all-star football game from District 13-4A is LaMarcus Howard of Longview.
“I’m very excited about it... ready to roll,” Jackson said before leaving town heading south Friday. “We’re going to check in and have several practices.”
Jackson couldn’t help but smile when he thought back to the last time he buckled the chinstrap and put on pads - it was in the 69-49 win over Dayton in the 4A Division II state championship game.
Now Jackson will be representing Sulphur Springs for all the state as he plays with and against the best football players in the Lone Star State.
“I guess I will find out how I measure up,” Jackson said. “I have been running, lifting weights and running patterns to get in shape.”
Jackson has also had his nose deep in the playbook. He’s been studying the passing routes and the offense which will be used in the game. Jackson played slot receiver for the Wildcats last year during the championship run. He will switch to the outside receiver in the spread for the all-star game. It was a position he played during his junior year in high school.
“I’ll be playing the X receiver outside, it really doesn’t bother me. I just want to prove I can catch what is thrown to me. I know at 6-3, 200 pounds, I have pretty good size, I want to show I can catch and move the chains,” Jackson said.
He continued, “I know I can matchup with those guys. In college, I will be working to get faster. This is like my first test of how I will do against college players. There will be some incredible athletes on the field in this game.”
Sulphur Springs head coach Greg Owens told Jackson to have fun, but work hard and still enjoy his time in the game.
Owens speaks from experience, he played in the 1986 game when he was a linebacker coming out of Sulphur Springs heading for a career at Stephen F. Austin State University.
“It’s a great, fantastic experience,” Owens said. “He’ll be playing with the best ball players in the state of Texas. It’s just an honor to be there, some of them might end up being his teammates at the college level. It’s a great honor, and he should have a good time.”
Owens said Jackson should be prepared for the size and power of the athletes in the game.
“You get to the game and you might be the biggest or fastest at your school, but not in an all-state game like this,” Owens said with a laugh. “That’s how it turns out in college too, you see how you matchup. He will be going against college athletes.”
The coach added, “Jace will be working with some great quarterbacks, going up against some great corners. It’s a long of good competition. His size and hands are good, he’ll have to work on separation. He can catch the ball.”
NOTE: The All-Star Basketball game will be played on Monday at The Frank Erwin Center. Tip off will be 7:30 p.m. Hunter Cooley of Jim Ned High School will be coaching the North team and Stan Leech of Boerne Champion High School will coach the South.
Jace Jackson has been in Austin several days, the following is just a portion of his itinerary while he prepares for the THSCA All-Star game.
SUNDAY – JULY 19
7:30 – 8:15 a.m. Breakfast- University Towers Dining Hall
8:30 – 9:15 a.m. Devotional Service with Cody Carlson Red McCombs – Red Zone @ DKR, Meet Larry Falk @ Entrance Gate 16
10 – 11:30 PM Practice - North in Bubble; South in Memorial
12-1 p.m. Lunch - University Towers Dining Hall
3 –3:45 p.m. Chalk Talk (Optional)TBD by Head Coach
4 –5:30 p.m. Practice - South In Bubble; North in Memorial Stadium
6:15 p.m. Bus Leaves from Locker -Room to RR Express Game
10 p.m. Bus leaves RR Express Game to University Towers
11 p.m. LIGHTS OUT
MONDAY – JULY 20
7- 8 a.m. Breakfast-University Towers Dining Hall
9 - 10:45 a.m. Practice-South In Bubble; North in Memorial Stadium
12-1 p.m. Lunch w/ Press-All-Stars WILL wear jerseys to assist Press-University Towers Dining Hall
3:15 – 4:45 p.m. Practice -North in Bubble; South in Memorial Stadium – South Team move to Visitor’s Locker Room
6- 6:45 p.m. Dinner-University Towers Dining Hall
11:30 p.m. LIGHTS OUT
TUESDAY – JULY 21
7:30 a.m. Breakfast -University Towers Dining Hall
9-10 a.m. South Practice Memorial Stadium
10-11 a.m. North Practice Memorial Stadium
11a.m.– 12 p.m. JWP Interviews w/ Head Coaches
12 – 1 p.m. Lunch-University Towers Dining Hall
1:30 – 2:45 p.m. Walk Thru -(South 1:30 – 2:15; North 2:15 – 3:00)
2:45 – 3:30 p.m., Check Out of Dorm
3:45 p.m. Pre-Game Meal-University Towers Dining Hall
4:30 p.m. Buses Leave for UT Memorial Stadium, South Team Drop off @ SW Corner of 21st and San Jacinto
7:30 p.m. Football Game KICK-OFF
10:15 p.m. Post Game Meal-Visitor Locker Room
(NOTE- Members of the team will have entertainment, including a Minor League game at Round Rock featuring the Round Rock Express, swimming and a movie and the All-Star Basketball game.
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