By Robert Wilson
Photos by Austin Frayser
Madison-Ridgeland Academy coach Herbert Davis probably felt like a proud father Saturday when he left Southern Mississippi’s M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg.
Davis watched a former player – Philip Short – and a current player – John White – win Overall MVP Top Gun and 2004 MVP Top Gun respectively in the first 601 Elite Quarterback “Big 40” Camp, an invitational only camp with some of the best quarterbacks in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana, put on by private quarterback coach Wyatt Davis.
“Philip and John did an outstanding job being really accurate with their throws, performing great drops and not missing any throws,” Davis said. “It makes me really proud to have our MRA guys show out like that. We put in a lot of hard work with our quarterbacks at our place. It’s good to see their success.”
Short is a rising sophomore who transferred to Holmes Community College from Mississippi Gulf Coast CC for his third junior college season (one extra year for covid). He completed 55.2 percent of his passes for 1,066 yards and 12 touchdowns in seven games for Gulf Coast last season. He passed for 1,534 yards and 11 TDs in six games in the shortened covid season as a freshman.
Short passed for 3,545 yards and 37 TDs with only five interceptions and led MRA to a 12-2 record and the MAIS Class 6A state championship as a senior in 2019. He passed for a MAIS record 593 yards and five TDs in a 49-33 victory over Jackson Prep in the state championship game, ending Prep’s seven-year state title run.
White, a rising junior at MRA who has verbally committed to Southern Miss, was the first team quarterback on the Priority One Bank/Mississippi Scoreboard Metro Jackson team last season. He completed 67.9 percent of his passes for 3,935 yards for 39 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions in 14 games and led MRA to a 11-3 record and its third straight MAIS Class 6A state title. He transferred to MRA from Winona Christian School before his sophomore year.
Short’s younger brother, Noah, is a starting cornerback at MRA and is entering his senior season. He has Division I offer from Alabama A&M.