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Sophomore playmaker ready to play for ACCS seniors Friday

Adams County Christian School’s Trey Fleming hands the ball to Lester Wells Monday afternoon during football practice. The Rebels face Columbia Academy Friday night in their last game of the season. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — He may not be a senior, but Lester Wells will be fighting for his upperclassmen brethren Friday night.

Adams County Christian School will play its final game of the regular season at Columbia Academy Friday, and the sophomore all-purpose athlete said he wants to make it a special memory.

Although the Rebels are out of playoff contention, Wells said he wants to win his last game of 2012 in part because he wants the seniors to end their careers with a win.

“I want them to look back 40 years later and know we (underclassmen) were there for them,” Wells said. “I want to go all out with a win, and go down fighting. I hope we practice hard all week and get a win for the seniors.”

Wells said he’s come to admire this year’s seniors and their attitude, even though the Rebels (3-7, 0-2) will be finishing up a tough season.

“They never give up,” Wells said. “They fight no matter what. They’re good leaders.”

And being a good leader is something Wells said he wants to be, especially since he’ll be an upperclassman in 2013.

“Someone has to step up,” Wells said. “It’s all about doing everything right, picking everyone up when they get down, making plays and everything.”

Making plays already comes naturally for Wells, who is one of ACCS’s go-to guys on offense. Head coach David King said he’s been especially impressed with his young playmaker.

“He has such a good attitude,” King said. “We’ve had a makeshift line every game, and everyone’s keying in on him. It’s asking an awful lot for a sophomore to carry the load in (MAIS Class) Double-A, but he’s matured this year, and there’s no telling how good he could be.”

Wells said he’s picked up a lot from playing under King, and one of the main things his coach tells him is to use his speed and trust himself to make plays.

“‘Don’t be afraid to make plays,’ — that’s what he tells me all time,” Wells said.

Even though opposing teams know Wells is a playmaker, Wells said he doesn’t feel any added pressure to perform.

“I just play my game,” Wells said.

At the same time, King said it’s probably frustrating for Wells to have defenders keying up on him all the time.

“We’ve moved him around as much as possible,” King said. “His maturation process has been pretty good. It’s very comforting to know I’ll have him for two more years.”

Like ACCS, Columbia Academy is winless in district play, but King said his team would have its hands full with the Cougars (5-5, 0-2).

“Like the last seven weeks, we’re going to be outmanned up front,” King said. “I hope these seniors can get out here for their last game and get some good fortune, like a turnover or a big play. We’re going to have to try to capitalize on a mistake or two.”

But King also said the final game will be a good time for some of the younger players to get some valuable snaps.

“With 16 players either injured or ineligible, I can promise you the underclassmen will play,” King said.

“The four remaining seniors (Tristan Beach, Garrett Keating, Cage Ashley and Shane Pollan) will play as much as they want to, and they’ve earned that. But every snap is vital for the young guys learning the game more.”

Kickoff is at 7 Friday night at Columbia Academy.