King’s ACCS rebuilding job will take timePublished 12:01am Sunday, October 21, 2012
Intentionally or unintentionally, coaches sometimes give small nuggets that offer insight into how much seasons are taking a toll on them.
In the case of David King, it was a question about a friend of his, Centreville Academy head coach Bill Hurst.
It was Aug. 24, and the Rebels had just gotten their first win of 2012, and elsewhere in Natchez, Centreville had just beaten Trinity Episcopal. Hurst was acting as a coach from the stands while he recovered from a heart procedure he had in the summer.
I asked King what he thought about his friend being confined to the stands and if King could ever imagine himself not being able to coach from the sideline. After wishing Hurst well and saying he couldn’t imagine being a spectator of his own team, King then offered a small, ironic tidbit.
“I might be in a nursing home before this season’s over with,” King joked.
Before people jump on him, King’s statement was not a reflection on his players, who by all accounts are buying into his program and are working their tails off and competing hard. Rather, it was a satirical take on the long road he must travel in bringing ACCS to the level of excellence he had at Trinity.
As someone who had competed for — and won two — state championships in his final three seasons coaching the Saints, King came to ACCS with a rebuilding job on his hands.
The Rebels’ best season in recent years was their 8-4 year in the fall of 2010. Prior to that, ACCS’s most noteworthy fall had it going 7-3 in 2005.
To borrow a phrase King used earlier in the season, it wasn’t a program that was used to winning — not on a consistent level anyway. It certainly wasn’t what King was used to at Trinity. In his final seven seasons there, King’s worst record was an 8-4 year in 2005 — equal to ACCS’s best record in the same timeframe.
Though I doubt King is seriously considering making reservations at a local nursing home, the truth of the matter is that he could retire today and not have anything left to prove. That assumes, of course, that we’re talking strictly football and keeping the headmaster part out of the equation. King hasn’t even been a headmaster for an entire semester yet, so he has plenty of things left to do in that arena.
But one of his stated reasons for taking the ACCS job was to have his alma mater winning. After Friday’s loss to Brookhaven Academy, the Rebels are out of postseason contention. The competitor in King simply won’t allow a trip to the nursing home at this point.
Rebel fans expecting a quick turnaround probably had too lofty a set of expectations. It takes time to get used to a coach’s way of doing things, learning his different schemes and getting adjusted to a new strength and conditioning program. If King’s pedigree is any indication, the Rebels will eventually be competing for state championships.
If and when that happens, let’s just hope King is coaching in person and not barking orders over the phone as he sits in Crown Health and Rehab.
Michael Kerekes is the sports editor of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3632 or firstname.lastname@example.org.