Lamar teammates selected for MAIS All-Star Soccer Game

Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 12:10 AM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Ben Bryan and Miller Hodge’s final soccer game in a Lamar uniform didn’t end how they wanted it to.

The seniors scored two goals in the Raiders MAIS Division II semifinal matchup against Pillow Academy, but the team fell short of beating the Mustangs and advancing on to the state championship.

The 3-2 playoff loss may have ended Bryan and Hodge’s senior season, but it wouldn’t be the last time both boys would lace up their soccer cleats. Heading into the postseason, Bryan and Hodge found out they were selected to compete in this year’s MAIS Boys Soccer All-Star Game.

“It’s an awesome feeling to be recognized as one of the best players in the division,” Hodge said. “I get to go with my friend (Bryan) and we’ve been playing soccer together for six years now. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play one last game together.”

In the sixth grade, Hodge convinced Bryan to play soccer and he’s stuck with it ever since. The two were also selected to compete in the MAIS All-Star Football Game back in December.

Thursday’s all-star game will be the first time since the Raiders’ playoff loss that Bryan and Hodge have kicked a soccer ball.

“We haven’t got to practice at all since Miller went straight into tennis and I went into golf and track,” Bryan said. “It’s a great opportunity though because we get to represent Lamar and it’s our last game as seniors for soccer.”

Bryan and Hodge will be competing alongside 18 other players on the White Team. They will face off against the Blue Team, which has some familiar names to both boys on the roster.

“I know some guys on the Blue Team like Brody Pierce from Starkville Academy and some guys from Pillow Academy,” Bryan said. “It will be interesting playing the Pillow guys again because that game got a little chippy towards the end.”

With the stress of the regular season in the rear-view mirror, Hodge said he is looking forward to going out and having fun in Thursday’s game.

“We just get to go and have fun and not have to worry about winning or losing,” Hodge said. “We can just go out and play soccer one last time.”

The 2021 MAIS All-Star game will be played at Jackson Prep. Start time is set for 4:30 p.m.

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