We are 3 days and counting away from what has become of the best middle school events in the city, the “Elite Middle School Classic” . This year, the classic has moved to Bolton High School and features 9 games this year which will begin at 9:00 am with 2 girls games. With several of the city’s top teams and talent, this has become a must see if your a middle school fan and looking for indicators of who might be the teams to watch this season.
Judging by the talent, this year maybe the best in terms of match-ups according to the teams and features a few teams from outside of Memphis including, Blytheville (Arkansas) who will play against Elmore Park in the boys opener at 12:00.
Individually, the talent will be tremendous and those in attendance will get a chance to see from Southaven (Johnny Ruffin), Highland Oaks (Regale Moore) and Josh Holloway, both in the 2023 class, FACS who maybe the best team that no one is talking about much in the area with Tim Thomas Jr, Kobe Wilkes, Corey Savage and Landon Jeffries. Lester’s Marquise Washington, Lemarkus Wilkerson (2023), Chauncey Holmes, Jamarion Harvey (2023) and 2024 6’1 Khylan Page who might be the best 6th grade prospect in Memphis. Ridgeway has a very talented group of guards and players who have a lot of experience in big games from last year. EJ Smith (2023) is one of the top 5 players in the city in that class followed by Chris “Chip” Brunt, 5’11 Kristian Spencer who is coming off an arm injury but should be able to go on Saturday and a really good 6th grade class with Javion Stephen and Cody Hickerson.
The showcase game or the “Main Event” as called by event coordinators will be one to watch. The team I designated as my #1 team in the city will square off against #2 Ridgeway who’s looking to make a name in this game. Some I’ve heard feel like Ridgeway should be number 1 and believe me, they can probably make a case and are most definitely looking for the upset on Saturday evening. They are deep and can throw 9 or 10 at you and really not lose a lot offensively or defensively.
All in all, it should be a quality event as always and one that could determine whether we have a new #1 next week or not.
Lester vs Kate Bond – 9:40 a.m. Kate Bond normally has nice team and I would bank on that again this year. Lester’s girls will have their work cut out for them in this one
PCA vs Munford- 10:40 a.m. PCA lost a lot of talent last year and probably will be in rebuild mode.
Blytheville Arkansas vs Elmore Park– 12:00 p.m Been hearing some good things about Elmore Park so far and now it’s time for the good things to turn into reality for them.
Fayette East vs Havenview 1:30 Fayette East from sources will be a team that plays hard while Havenview returns a few players from last year’s team including Emerson Tenner, a 7th grader who will be better this season.
Bolivar vs PCA 2:45 PCA will be extremely young this year but have more talent than last season. 6th grade guard Marlon Mcshane will probably be relied upon a lot in his first season.
St. George vs Northpoint (MS) 4:00 Northpoint has some young players coming up but not sure if they allow their 7th graders to play on the 8th grade team there. St.George always seems to be competitive, why not this year as well…
Southaven vs Highland Oaks 5:15 Getting to the pretty games now at this stage on Saturday. Southaven has a pretty big team from what I’ve heard. They will probably be led by Johnny Ruffin who can swing to the guard spot if necessary. Highland Oaks will be relying upon 2 young guards in Regale Moore and Josh Holloway. I will say this again, Holloway’s progression as more of pass first pg will be big for them. Moore has to be a consistent scorer but he has that ability to do so.
FACS vs Colonial 6:30 FACS quiet as it’s kept might be top 5 team on paper. At the point, Kobe Wilkes or you can interchange him and Landon Jeffries who can also play that spot, Corey Savage, one of the best middle school shooters and 3-4 Tim Thomas who you can put on the other team’s best offensive player and slow him down. Colonial has a few pieces but are still looking for that consistent leader. Jacquez Brown or Cedric Franklin could be that but one way to find out will be against a good team like FACS.
Lester vs Ridgeway 7:30 In the headline game of the event, this game will determine a lot of things. For one, Lester looks legit in every way, they are long, versatile at 2-3 spots and have maybe the best player in Middle School. On the other hand, they haven’t seen a team as talented as Ridgeway in a scrimmage this year and they haven’t been tested just yet. That might just be testament of how talented they are but like they say, the game is played on the floor so it’s time to see what this team is really capable of becoming.
Ridgeway will be coming in looking for respect and I don’t blame them. I had a hard time putting them at #3 and after watching them in a scrimmage, I thought again, maybe I was wrong but their chance is on Saturday. Again, I think their depth, guard play and ability to defend will be what determines the game. I think they are on par with Lester in terms of talent and with the hit of Lester losing a player who could have helped them, it will make them more susceptible especially in a game of this magnitude. This game will be big for them in terms of how people see this year’s team and I think it’s one that has a chance to be right there in