Adams County Christian School running back Pete Guedon, left, takes a handoff from quarterback Tyler Stockstill during a team practice Thursday afternoon. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Adams County Christian School running back Pete Guedon, left, takes a handoff from quarterback Tyler Stockstill during a team practice Thursday afternoon. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)

ACCS focusing on tackling, blocking during spring practice

Published 12:01am Friday, May 3, 2013

NATCHEZ — As headmaster of Adams County Christian School, David King has the final say in coaching personnel matters.

So King has issued himself an ultimatum after he went 3-8 in his first season as head football coach of the Rebels.

“I’ll be honest — if we don’t improve immensely, I will fire the head coach,” King said.

Last week, the Rebels got started on their quest to improve with the beginning of spring practice. King said he’s keeping things simple this spring and focusing on two goals: improving in tackling and blocking.

“(Defensive coordinator) Richy (Spears) and I have made a few changes to help these kids along,” King said. “I think we threw too much at them last year, and we’re trying to get back to the basics. Spring for us is a time to evaluate kids and teach them to block and tackle.

“We want to see where kids are going to play and boost team morale. We have to teach tackling more, because tackling and blocking is the key to the game on any level.”

A number of players from last year’s junior varsity squad moving up and a couple of transfers from other schools have rounded out ACCS’s spring roster. So far, King said his players are much further along than they were this time last year.

“After being together for a year, it’s very obvious we’re way more familiar with each other than last year,” King said.

Trey Fleming, who will be a junior this fall, said he’s noticed a difference between last year’s team and this year’s team.

“Everyone wants it badly now,” Fleming said. “The linemen are blocking well, and everyone is working hard at practice. There’s a lot of talent, and everyone is playing their role well.”

Rising senior Brandon Ross said he’s been pleased with the team’s workouts so far this spring.

“Everything is going great,” Ross said. “The team is bonding right off the bat. A few new kids that we’ve gotten are already brothers. It helps with the new kids to go ahead and get an idea of how it’s going to be in the fall.”

And the earlier the team can mesh, the better, King said.

“Honestly, we want to get kids in the dressing room to see how they interact together,” King said.

Ross, who saw many of the snaps at quarterback last fall, requested to move to fullback on offense in order to be able to hit more.

“I like to run the ball and hit,” Ross said. “That’s why I played middle linebacker last year when I was playing quarterback, so I could get a chance to hit.”

Fleming said he has high hopes for this fall, and he didn’t mince words when discussing his goals.

“We have a great chance to be great,” Fleming said. “I hope we get a chance to make it to the state championship.”

Ross also said he has a good feeling about the potential of this year’s Rebels team.

“If we continue the way we’re rolling, we’ll be a force this year,” Ross said. “I feel really great about that.”

King was more tempered about expectations, but he did say he expects a lot more out of the team than he got last fall.

“We’re much-improved, but after what I saw last year, no one’s job is safe, from the head coach to the water girl,” King joked.

ACCS is currently looking into playing a spring game, King said.