Ketchings ready to start coaching career
NATCHEZ — When Kyle Ketchings was offered the defensive coordinator position for the Trinity Episcopal football team, the first person he called was David King.
Ketchings, who played under King at Trinity from 2004-2007, said he always looked up to King as a father figure during his playing days, and even now.
“He stepped in as sort of a second father for all of us, and a lot of who I am today, I owe to Coach King,” Ketchings said.
“He helped me along throughout the whole (hiring process). He’s as influential to me now as he was in my playing days.”
King, now headmaster at Adams County Christian School, said he had fond memories of Ketchings as a player and knew he’d make a good coach one day.
“Kyle was a very cerebral player,” King recalled. “He studied game film as hard as anyone I’ve ever coached. He knows the game. He comes from a long line of football bloodlines, and he was sort of our quarterback on defense.”
As a linebacker in his player days, Ketchings was in charge of getting everyone where they were supposed to be on the field, King said. Because of that, King said he expects being a defensive coordinator will be no problem.
“I knew if Kyle chose to be a coach, he would be outstanding,” King said. “He has a good personality to go along with a great work ethic. All the good things you can have as a coach, he had as a player.”
Now that he’s back at Trinity, Ketchings said the last few weeks following his hire have been a dream come true.
“This place was so important to me when I was younger,” Ketchings said. “It’s nice to be back around football. I’ve stepped in as a vocal leader and a leader by example to these guys.”
And Ketchings said the players have responded very well to him and head coach Josh Loy.
“They’ve really come together,” Ketchings said. “They’ve seen the work ethic we’re going to put into it, and they’ve gone overboard with theirs. We’ve had full attendance pretty much every day (for practice). They’re ready to go play football.”
Since the new coaches have stepped in so late in the summer, Ketchings said step No. 1 was getting them into shape.
“We’re getting there. It’s like any other team with a new coach,” Ketchings said. “We’ll start installing offensive and defensive schemes in the next few weeks. We have a bunch of smart guys, so I know they won’t have a problem getting it. Coach Loy is one of the best there is at teaching the game.”
With the Saints set to host Jefferson County Aug. 17, Ketchings said he doesn’t want his players to be intimidated playing a much bigger school.
“I’m envious I didn’t get to play a school like that when I was here,” Ketchings said. “I’m more excited for these guys than I am for myself.”
But Ketchings admitted that things wouldn’t be easy when the Saints face the Tigers in a few weeks.
“They’ll find out a lot about themselves,” Ketchings said. “It will get to a tough point in that game, and they’re either going to lay down or push forward, and I know they’ll push forward.”
A May 2012 Ole Miss graduate, Ketchings has a degree in criminal justice with a minor in history. He plans to stay a year at Trinity before pursing law school. Ketchings said he hopes his own academic aspirations rub off on his players.
“I think they see I have a large goal of being an attorney, and that they see there’s life past football,” Ketchings said. “That’s an important thing to see when you’re in high school.”
Law school has always been in the back of Ketchings’ mind, and since his first dream was to be a coach, Ketchings said he would be pursing two dreams in two years’ time.
“I want to help people, whether it’s as the prosecution or defense,” Ketchings said. “I feel like, as an attorney, you get a good shot to do that if you keep your morals right.”