Time to Joyn in: Quinton Joyner will play Saturday for South Cardinals

Mark Martin
Special to Jackson Newspapers
Ripley's Quinton Joyner (53) will be one of three Vikings to play in Saturday's WCHS-TV/FOX 11 North-South All-Star Football Classic.

When Quinton Joyner learned in March that two of his best buddies and Ripley Viking football teammates had been selected to play for the South Cardinals in the 2021 WCHS-TV/FOX 11 North-South All-Star Football Classic he was thrilled for the duo.

Finally, he, too, got the call to play in the game and his emotion skyrocketed.

“I was super excited to play because more than likely it will be my last football game I’ll ever play,” said Joyner, a talented offensive and defensive lineman for Steve Sayre’s Ripley Vikings.

The North and South will meet tomorrow at 12:05 inside South Charleston High School’s Black Eagles Stadium. The contest will air live on WCHS-TV (ABC affiliate).

Joyner will wear a red Cardinal jersey along with Hall and Moore, who he teamed with the past four years as Vikings.

“I couldn’t have been more stoked when I got the call (from South head coach Ray Lee),” Joyner said.

While he was excited for the invitation, he could not accept right on the spot.

“He called me and said, ‘Is this Quinton?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He talked to me a little bit. He told me the dates and I said I’ll find out this weekend and let you know.

“That’s because I enlisted in the Army National Guard and had to figure out when basics and everything was. So, I figured that out and I called him and told him I was available.”

And it was the thrill of a lifetime for Joyner.

“I couldn’t have been more stoked when I got that call. I always thought about playing in the game and how cool it would be ever since my freshman year. I’m super glad I got invited to come."

Adding to the excitement was being a teammate for a final game with Hall and Moore.

“Matt got the call first, then it was Kadin. When I got the call I think it’s the happiest I’ve been for a football game in my life, unless it’s a rivalry game.”

As it turns out, Joyner’s final high school game was against rival Ravenswood. Ripley was scheduled to play a postseason encounter with South Charleston in the Class AAA playoffs but it was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Joyner had 60 solo tackles and 54 assists this season from a down lineman position and was a dynamite blocker up front offensively.

He was named Class AAA’s Second Team All-State captain on the defensive side of the ball.

Being here with Hall and Moore is something Joyner never could have dreamed possible but is happy it turned out the way it did.

“I love it so I don’t have to share this feeling by myself. I have other people that I’m close with this year to share this feeling with and I’m glad they could be a part of it too.”

With this likely being his last football game, Joyner knows the game has brought him so much that he will be able to take with him the rest of his life.

“It’s been about 12 years since I started my football career. To be honest, I didn’t want to play at first. My dad, he reeled me in and I thank him every time I see him.

“It (football) has helped me so much, emotionally, physically, mentally. It’s made me become a better person. Made me tougher. Without football, I don’t know where I’d be.”

And now he’s going to be in an all-star event representing Ripley High School with two teammates and close friends.

“Ripley is always behind us. I wouldn’t want to play football or go to school anywhere else.”

And there is no question Ripley High feels the same about Quinton Joyner.