Fantastic four: Starkville Academy quartet makes All-Star game rosters

Taylor Arnold (10)

Staff Writer

Howell Archer, Taylor Arnold, Will Miller and Walker Tranum gained the respect of coaches and teammates as captains for the Starkville Academy Volunteers throughout the football season.

The Volunteer quartet will now be playing together as All-Stars.

When the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools announced the All-Star rosters, Archer, Arnold, Miller and Tranum all landed spots.

Starkville Academy head coach Chase Nicholson was glad to see four of his players make All-Stars despite the team finishing third in the district and being eliminated in the second round of the playoffs.

"You are not sure how many guys you are going to get, but they are so well-respected by the other coaches that they wanted to make sure they got on there because they thought they were deserving," Nicholson said. "It's quite an honor for them."

Archer and Arnold are members of the AAA-AAAA Blue Team, while Miller and Tranum made the AAA-AAAA White Team.

Nicholson said those four players were all over the field for the Vols on both sides of the football.

"All four are two-way guys," Nicholson said. "Will Miller would be the only one that's not a true two-way guy, but he got plenty of reps at running back and he's been a dog quarterback. Tay played on both sides of the ball and ran many plays for us."

Arnold was the leading rusher for Starkville Academy with 198 carries for 1,043 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also had 40 tackles on defense.

Archer caught 17 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns and had 73 tackles on defense. Miller had 127 tackles on defense, but contributed 63 yards rushing on 17 carries and three touchdowns on offense.

Tranum was a solid anchor across the front line in Nicholson's mind.

"You have Walker, our captain o-lineman, and four-year starter on offense," Nicholson said. "He's a guy you don't see much on defense through the first six or seven games, but you watch the last five and he's in there all the time. He's that kind of player and wants to be in there making plays.

"Howell is a strong safety and wide out. I think the last game really wrapped up who he was because he wasn't coming off the field at any point. He refused to come off because he realized he needed to be out there and doing everything that he could. All four were like that on both sides of the ball in the last game because they didn't want to be the reason that we lost."

Representing Oak Hill Academy on the A-AA-8-Man roster is kicker Grayson Easterling.

The All-Star Games will be played at Jackson Prep on Nov. 30 with the 8-Man-A-AA matchup starting at 3 p.m. and the AAA-AAAA outing following at 6 p.m.