CHS, Trinity set to play

Published 12:01am Tuesday, January 8, 2013

NATCHEZ — For the past several years, Trinity Episcopal Day School and Cathedral High School have always squared off the Monday night of the spring semester’s first day of school.

But thanks to a few SEC fans and loyal Catholics, that matchup had to wait until tonight.

With Alabama and Notre Dame squaring off Monday night in the BCS national title game, Cathedral boys head coach Peter Arnold said the two schools agreed to push the game back a day.

“Everyone wants to watch the national championship game,” Arnold said. “You have the SEC fans for Alabama and the Catholics for Notre Dame. (Trinity) didn’t have a game (today), and we didn’t have a game (today), so we might as well play it then,” Arnold said.

ACCS’ Nikki Worthey goes up for a shot against Cathedral School’s Akua Kumi during Friday’s game. Cathedral will square off against another local opponent when it plays at Trinity today. (Lauren Wood \ The Natchez Democrat)

Arnold said his Green Wave (6-9) would face a tall challenge in the Saints, a team that is currently 9-3 and trending upward.

“Clearly, they’re playing at a different level right now than us,” Arnold said. “They’re probably better than they were last year. They’re going to be athletic, fast and a lot of things we’re not. We’re in a rebuilding year, and we’re not focused on Trinity. We’re focused on the fundamentals and trying to get better.”

Saints head coach Edwin White said the game, which will be at Trinity should provide good competition between area schools and help prepare his team for district play. He also said the game will serve as a scouting opportunity for future matchups between the schools.

“You get a chance to see what kind of talent is up-and-coming in the area that we’ll have to play next year,” White said. “We haven’t played many public schools, but with our level of talent, I feel like we can be pretty competitive.”

Lady Saints head coach Chuck Bauerle said he knows the players enjoy matching up against other players from the area.

“The years I was at Tensas (Academy), we had a big rivalry with Huntington,” Bauerle said. “When I was at ACCS, the big rivalry was Trinity. It creates a lot of interest and cross-town rah rah.”

Even though his team is 0-12 on the season, Bauerle said he expects a lot of energy from his girls.

“We’re pretty down, but it’s always good to play better competition,” he said. “I think the girls are excited.”

Lady Green Wave head coach Randy Smith said he wasn’t taking Trinity lightly just because the school is currently winless.

“They’ll be fighting really hard to get that first win, and we’ll be trying hard for our fifth win,” Smith said of his team, which enters tonight’s contest with a 4-11 record.

Smith also said playing a local team is good for the community, since there are no travel expenses, and the home team is bound to make a lot of money from gate costs.

“The parents can come and drop the girls off, so I don’t have to drive the bus,” Smith joked. “It’s not a mean rivalry at all. It’s very good for the city.”

The varsity girls are scheduled to tip off at 6 p.m. today, with the varsity boys to follow.