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ACCS, Cathedral to play in 2011 opener

NATCHEZ — Cathedral has had a long-standing rivalry with its Vicksburg Catholic school neighbor St. Aloysius, but beginning next football season, the Green Wave will begin a rivalry with a school much closer to home.

Cathedral and Adams County Christian have agreed to open the 2011 season with a game that will be hosted by ACCS.

The two schools will then play at Cathedral in 2012.

“(ACCS coach) Paul (Hayles) called me Friday and asked us if we’d be interested in playing,” Rushing said. “Originally we were going to open up with another team, but I called them and told them (playing ACCS) was too big of a deal to turn down.”

The schools have never played against each other in an athletic event, and Rushing said a game between the two schools is good for the community.

“It’s a win-win situation for the schools and the community,” Rushing said. “I think it’s a way to develop a rivalry and competition between the schools. And it should be a huge gate.”

Hayles said playing Cathedral became possible when the MHSAA adjusted their schedule before the 2010 season, allowing teams to begin their season a week earlier than they had in the past.

“We are now on the same scheduling timeline as the MHSAA, which made it all fall into place,” Hayles said. “Coach Rushing will have a very good football team next year, and it’s going to be a challenging game.”

In addition to playing Cathedral next season, ACCS will also renew their rivalry with Trinity Episcopal, which has moved into District 5-AA along with the Rebels, Brookhaven Academy and Columbia Academy.

“We’re basically playing everybody (in Natchez) except for Natchez High,” Hayles said. “Trinity is one of the best teams in the state, no doubt, and the success they had last season proved it. They beat the Class AA state champion (River Oaks) last year. That about sums it up. They will be a tremendous challenge on the schedule.”