Wetumpka linebacker Cameron Compton and wide receiver Khaliq Jones have played quite a role for the Indians football team the past two seasons.
Wetumpka football coach Tim Perry said they have been great ambassadors for the school and the community during their three years together.
Friday night, the Wetumpka stars will have one last opportunity to represent the Indians on their way to college as they participate in the 2015 AHSAA North-South All-Star Football game at Cramton Bowl.
“First of all, they’re both outstanding young men,” Perry said. “They were both liked by the faculty and were very respectful to everyone. They both always worked on correcting their mistakes on the field. They’re both extremely competitive and I expect them to rise to the challenge.”
Compton, the team leader in tackles each of the last two seasons, will begin his collegiate career at Huntingdon College this fall. Compton said it will be an honor to go up against the best players in the state.
“It’s a very special opportunity for Khaliq and myself,” Compton said. “We have to be prepared to play well and we expect our team to win.”
Perry said Compton’s dedication during the summers and in practice made him a star for the Wetumpka defense.
“He was diligent in the weight room and always analyzed his performance,” Perry said. “He was so committed to trying to get better and did everything right.”
Jones, the team’s leading scorer last season, is also a Class 6A 160 lb. state champion wrestler. Jones signed a wrestling scholarship at Emmanuel College, a first-year NCAA Division II program in Franklin Springs, Georgia.
Jones said even though wrestling afforded him a better opportunity to participate in college athletics, he’ll miss Friday nights on the football field.
“It feels good to be chosen as one of the best players in the state,” Jones said. “I’m very excited and really happy to get the chance to play football one last time. We have a great fan base at Wetumpka that has supported us throughout the years.”
Perry, also the school’s athletic director, says Jones has handled adversity about as well as anyone he’s ever coached.
Last June, Wetumpka football player and wrestler Shalom Nowden drowned while on vacation along the Coosa River.
Perry said Jones’ ability to remain upbeat through it all helped the team push through difficult times.
“Khaliq’s had personal challenges, but also has a tremendous amount of class,” Perry said. “He’s very driven and self-motivated, which is why he’s a state champion wrestler. He’s set a great example with his work ethic and we’re extremely proud that he’s earned that scholarship.”
Jones said he knows it will be different wrestling in college, but is already preparing himself for the transition.
“I’ll be coming in as a starter as a freshman next year,” Jones said. “It’s going to be a lot different and I’ll have to be more aggressive, but I like to see where I stand.”
Friday night at Cramton Bowl, Compton and Jones head out to the field together one last time with the goal of showing how far they’ve come as student-athletes at Wetumpka High School.
“It’ll give me a chance to relive those great moments from my football career,” Jones said. “It’s been since last October that I’ve gotten to play, so I’m ready to suit up and maybe score another touchdown.”
“It’s sad that it’s the last high school game I’ll ever play,” Compton said. “I’m sure a lot of us will feel that way. I just look forward to tackling anything on the field.”
2015 AHSAA North-South All-Star Football Game
WHEN: Friday, July 17
WHERE: Cramton Bowl
TIME: 7 p.m.
ADMISSION: $5 per ticket