Fyffe's Benefield selected to all-star staff

Fyffe football coach Paul Benefield observes from the sideline during a game against Red Bay in the Class 2A state quarterfinal round in Fyffe on Nov. 22, 2019.

Fyffe football coach Paul Benefield was selected as part of the Alabama coaching staff for the 2020 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic football game this week.

Benefield, who coached the Red Devils to back-to-back Class 2A state championships in the past two seasons, was selected as the defensive line coach to the nine-man staff in charge of leading this year’s Alabama all-stars.

The 34th edition of the annual all-star game is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12 at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery.

With Benefield leading Fyffe’s football program, the varsity team amassed a 128-9 record with eight region championships and four state titles across the past decade. Each state championship team closed with a perfect 15-0 record.

In their most recent state title run, the Red Devils defeated Reeltown 56-7 in the 2A championship at the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Super 7 at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium on Dec. 5, 2019. The latest title capped a school-record 30-game win streak.

Steve Mask of Mobile’s St. Paul’s Episcopal High School was named as head coach of the Alabama all-stars, comprising upcoming seniors who will be chosen in the fall. Joining Mask and Benefield on the staff are: Fairhope’s Tim Carter (offensive coordinator); Oxford’s Keith Etheredge (defensive coordinator); Saint James’ Jimmy Perry (special teams coordinator/running backs); Blount’s Lev Holly (defensive backs); Pleasant Grove’s Darrell LeBeaux (wide receivers); Colbert County’s Brett Mask (offensive line); and St. Paul’s Shane Sullivan (scout coach).

Steve Mask, who has compiled a 187-94 career head-coaching record in 24 seasons, began his high school coaching career as an assistant football coach and head boys’ basketball coach at Colbert County. He also served five years as head coach at Colbert County from 2002-06, compiling a 52-15 slate. He has led St. Paul’s to three state championships and 87 wins in just eight seasons (2012-19).  Brett Mask, considered one of the top offensive line coaches in the AHSAA, is beginning his fourth year as head coach at Colbert County He has a 20-14 slate in his first three seasons.

Etheredge, who coached Oxford (14-1) to the Class 6A state title last season in his first year at the helm, is one of only a handful of coaches in the AHSAA to claim five state crowns. He guided Leeds to four state championships and is 139-50 in 15 seasons as a head coach. He will coach linebackers in addition to his defensive coordinator duties.

Carter, 127-77 in 19 seasons, has led Fairhope to three straight Class 7A playoff appearances in five seasons. He guided Auburn to the Class 6A state championship game in 2009. In addition to his offensive coordinator duties, he will coach quarterbacks in the all-star clash.  

Holly, who is 44-33 in seven seasons as a head coach, is 39-18 in five years at Blount. He will coach defensive backs, and LeBeaux, the son of Auburn and New Orleans Saints legend, the late Frank Warren, will coach wide receivers. He guided Pleasant Grove to a 13-2 season and the 5A state finals last season and is 22-5 in his two years as head coach.  

Perry, who has had head-coaching stints at Lee-Montgomery and St. Paul’s, is 62-29 at Saint James and 127-61 overall in 17 years as a head coach. He spent 10 years on the football staff at Auburn University. He will coach running backs and handle special teams. 

Sullivan, a member of the St. Paul’s coaching staff, will handle all scout duties. 

Alabama, which holds a 22-11 lead in the series, lost to Mississippi 17-16 in overtime last year in Hattiesburg, Miss. Alabama also holds a 4-1 edge in overtime games and is 22-8 in games played in Alabama. The last Alabama victory came in 2016 at Cramton Bowl 25-14.

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