Alex Sanford named Army All-American; second in OHS history


Jack Harper, staff writer

There was no question during the 2022 Oxford High football season that Alex Sanford was a star player. During the 2022 season, Sanford led the team in tackles per game as well as sacks on the season. Post season, Sanford was rewarded with not only being invited to play in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star game, but also being named an Army All-American with an invite to play in the 2022 Army All-American game.

Invites don’t come easy. The Army All-American game is where the country’s most talented players come together and play in a game against each other celebrating their overall accomplishments on the field. To be selected, many of the prospects had to be researched and studied. Chris Baughman, the co-athletic director at OHS, explains how this process works.

“Army pretty much breaks the country up into regions. They have scouts that go and evaluate different parts of the region,” Baughman said. “They really do a good job researching these guys. Obviously, it probably starts with the preseason best players
in the state from media outlets.”

Sanford was nothing short of having the preseason media cover him this year. He was selected as preseason 6A all-state, as well as being named to the 2022 Mississippi Dandy Dozen, which is an honor being given to the top players each year in the state. Sanford feels blessed to have this honor bestowed upon him and looks forward to the opportunity.

“It means a lot to me. You know it’s just a blessed situation because I’m the first one in my family to ever do it,” Sanford said. “So I’m blessed to be in the situation I am in right now.” Sanford will be the second athlete in Oxford history to have the honor of being named to the All-American game, the first one coming from former charger and current NFL phenomena D.K. Metcalf.

“Having D.K. here and where he went after Oxford High, and having Jack and where he went, and just having those guys be successful kind of jump started especially in our move to 6A,” Baughman said. “I think it served as a catalyst for winning that 2019 state championship. It was one of those that really put us on the map and people started recognizing Oxford football.”

Sanford will look forward to continuing that legacy that D.K. left behind, but will also look to leave behind a legacy of his own. Sanford talked about how football wasn’t everything his whole life. In fact, he talked about how football never became a passion of his until the 8th grade. He hopes to inspire the next generation to continue to work hard and put 100 percent effort into everything they do.

“The advice I would give to the younger generation would probably be don’t ever think about quitting. No matter how bad you want to,” Sanford said. “Like no matter what, don’t ever think about quitting, because once you think about quitting and you have that in your mindset, you’re going to start slacking, you’re going to start slowing down in your effort. So just have 100 percent effort and don’t ever think about quitting.”

The All-American game will be played Saturday, December 17, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. and streamed on NBC Sports. Sanford after the game will look forward to continuing his foot- ball career at the University of Arkansas where he is currently committed to play in college, although Sanford plans on bigger and better things.

“I want to make it to the NFL and create history,” Sanford said.