Rico Harden

Rico Harden

Mary Persons’ senior all-purpose standout Rico Harden (left) was named the Most Valuable Player of the Georgia Coaches Association (GACA) Senior North-South All-Star Classic at Denmark High School in Alpharetta on Sunday, Dec. 29. MP head coach Brian Nelson said Harden, playing on the South team, had about 100 receiving yards, about 80 rushing yards and scored a touchdown in what he said is the oldest high school football all-star game in the U.S. Nelson said Harden also made the game’s biggest play, a reception on a screen pass in which he broke free from a crowd of six defenders and raced 50 yards to the one-yard-line, helping the South squad to a 31-21 win. Nelson said at Monday night’s season-ending awards banquet that Harden, who was also the Region 2-AAAA Athlete of the Year, finished his high school career as one of the greatest players that has ever worn an MP jersey. According to longtime Bulldogs’ statistician Nolen Howard, Harden tied an MP program record for most touchdowns in a single game when he crossed the goal line five times in a 45-38 win over Howard on Nov. 7. (Photo/MP Football Twitter)