Shufford joins North-South All-Star game

Published 3:04 pm Wednesday, July 26, 2017

McKenzie alumnus Chris Shufford thought he’d played his final game of high school football on Nov. 4, 2016 in a playoff bout with Sweet Water.

But fortune smiled upon him last week as one of the Tigers’ most dynamic players in recent memory was placed on a sizable stage to display his considerable talents.

The running back/linebacker was a late roster addition to the Alabama North-South All-Star game, held Thursday at Cramton Bowl.

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McKenzie head football coach Tony Norris said that he’d been reminding coaches, rather persistently, that Shufford was available for the game.  Early last week, they took notice.

“It worked out really well for him,” Norris said. “I just kept talking to coaches and seeing if they had any spots available, and eventually they did.

“It is a big deal to be able to play in that game, and a lot of talented people played in it.  And it’s good exposure. It is a good way to be able to showcase his talents and represent McKenzie and the town in that all-star game.”

Norris said that it had been several years since McKenzie had a representative in the North-South game.  McKenzie alumnus Jody Halford was the last player he could recall who participated.

“So it’s not real easy to get on that team at all.  The fact that he was able to get on there is a testament to his hard work,” Norris said.

“I’ve seen him up at the field working and getting ready to go to Birmingham Southern, so even though he was the late addition on the team, he kept in shape.  So that wasn’t an issue when he played on Thursday night.  As a matter of fact, with the type of athlete he is, they wound up playing him at cornerback.  And I’ll be honest—from my standpoint as a coach, it’s been a while since he played at cornerback.  Usually for us, he’s either a linebacker or safety on defense.  So to come in there and play at a position he didn’t have a lot of experience at is a testament to how quickly he catches on to things.”