While making the trip down to Troy for the AISA Class AA title game, Edgewood coach Bobby Carr got an interesting call.
“It surprised me at first. The first thing you think is that somebody’s playing a joke on you, but I knew his voice,” Carr said. “I thought that was pretty cool. It says a lot about his character.”
On the other end of the phone was Auburn coach Gus Malzahn. Just days before the biggest game of his young head coaching career — hosting then No.1 Alabama — Malzahn took the time to wish Carr luck before Edgewood went to play for a fourth-straight state title and an AISA record 45th-straight win.
“I answered the phone and he said, ‘Coach, this is Gus Malzahn. I understand you guys are playing for a championship tomorrow and just wanted to wish you luck,’ ” Carr said. “And I said, ‘That just means a lot to me for you to take time out of your busy schedule and I’ll make sure I tell the guys.’
“It’s always an honor to get a call from an SEC coach wishing us well in the state championship game. And a lot of it is that he’s been there before and he understands. Our kids were excited about the call as well.”
The Wildcats were able to defeat Clarke Prep 61-52 to extend their championship and game winning streaks. A former high school coach himself, Malzahn knew what Carr was going through.
“He made a comment that someone had asked him what it was like to coach in a big ball game and he said, ‘There’s not a greater feeling than coaching in a high school state championship game.’ I thought that was pretty cool.”
Top guards meet: While not a one-on-one matchup, Brew Tech’s Steve Rogers and Montgomery Academy’s Josh Thomas will have all eyes on them when they meet on the court Saturday.
Rogers has emerged as the Rams’ star in his senior season. The 6-1 guard has raised his scoring average from 18 points last year to a ridiculous 39 points per game in the early part of this season. Rogers has scored 30 in every game this season and has topped the 40-point mark twice. He’s also averaging five rebounds, five steals and three assists per game.
Thomas and the Eagles had a late start to the season after advancing to the state quarterfinals in football. The 6-1 guard and quarterback scored 10 points in a season-opening loss to St. James on Tuesday. Last season, Thomas averaged 21 points and seven rebounds.
Brew Tech won both of last year’s meetings. Rogers averaged 11 points while Thomas averaged 18.5.
St. James seniors drawing interest: St. James seniors Brad Murry, Evan Border and Jake Sharp all met with Berry College (Ga.) when a recruiter visited the school Monday.
On Tuesday, Murry, junior Jaylen McCoy and senior Frank Moody all met with a representative from Murray State.
Junior left tackle Kenny Thomas and junior tight end Jalen Harris are also on college radars. Coach Jimmy Perry said Thomas met with Vanderbilt on Monday and Ole Miss on Tuesday. Harris also met with Ole Miss along with Murray State.
(Ethan Bernal can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter @EGB_123 on Twitter.)