Louisianian Slater suits up for Miss. all-stars|[6/3/06]
Published 12:00 am Monday, June 5, 2006
Dressed in a Mississippi uniform, former St. Aloysius linebacker Noah Slater hasn’t received that much attention about not being a citizen of the Magnolia State.
Tonight at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., the Metairie, La., resident will be suited up for the Mississippi All-Stars when they battle Alabama in the 19th annual All-Star Classic. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Slater, who evacutated the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina last August, played his senior season with the St. Aloysius Flashes in Vicksburg. Before Katrina, he was a starting linebacker for Brother Martin High School.
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At St. Al, he had a stellar season. He led Warren County in tackles with 169 and was named to the Vicksburg Post’s All-County team.
Then in April at a tryout, he earned a spot on the Mississippi All-Star team, despite not being an official resident of the state. He is one of two evacuees on the team, joining J.C. Brigone of Bay St. Louis who played his senior season in Atlanta, Ga.
“I’ve not really heard much about me being from Louisiana,” Slater said after Thursday’s practice. He’s been in Mobile all week, along with another local product in Warren Central defensive end Desmond Carson.
“It’s been a great week. And I’ve met a lot of new people. It’s a big honor for me to play for Mississippi in this all-star game,” Slater said.
The main reason Slater was picked for the game was due to him being one of the better players in Class 1A. Mississippi coaches must take at least one player from each of the state’s five classes and each of its eight regions.
After a couple of team mini-camps in May, Slater was expected to play a lot on special teams. Then Hazlehurst linebacker Johnny Sanders did not make the team’s departure on Sunday from Jackson. He was one of three inside linebackers on the roster.
“It left us with two inside linebackers,” Slater said. “We’ve had to rotate more around and I think I’m going to be on the field more.”
Not bad for a player who no one knew of and was left unsigned after February. He’ll be on the field with several players who are going to Southeastern Conference schools like Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
“It’s been a surprise, but being able to play at St. Al is the reason why I’m here,” Slater said. He is planning to walk on at Southern Miss in the fall.
The talk all week has been about the strength of Alabama’s receiving corps. The group includes a pair of Auburn signees in Tim Hawthorne and Terrell Zachary. It also includes an Alabama signee in Preston Dial and two from UAB, Rashaud Slaughter and Tebiarus Gill.
“We’ve heard how good they are and we expect they will throw the ball a lot,” Slater said.
Carson, who was a late addition to the team after Hazlehurst’s Kevin Harris had to withdraw because of academic reasons, has had fun.
“The practices haven’t been that hard. It’s been alright,” said Carson who signed with Jackson State in February.
“I think I’m going to play a decent amount, even though I came on to the team late. I know Alabama has a pretty good offensive line,” Carson said.
During his senior season at Warren Central, the long-armed Carson led the county with nine sacks. He finished with 69 tackles, made the All-County team and led the Vikings to a Class 5A playoff berth.