Adams County Christian School linebacker Matthew Rymer participates in ladder drills during a recent practice at the school. Rymer, a Cathedral High School transfer, will look to help shore up a defense that had trouble tackling last fall, head coach David King said. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Adams County Christian School linebacker Matthew Rymer participates in ladder drills during a recent practice at the school. Rymer, a Cathedral High School transfer, will look to help shore up a defense that had trouble tackling last fall, head coach David King said. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)

Football 2013 impact players: ACCS’s Rymer looks to meet a need at middle linebacker

Published 12:01am Thursday, August 22, 2013

NATCHEZ — Adams County Christian School head coach David King said his team’s defensive struggles were well-known to any Rebel fan last season.

So when middle linebacker Matthew Rymer decided to transfer from Cathedral High School to ACCS, King said it gave his team the kind of tackler the Rebels needed.

“We would’ve had a hard time tackling my fat butt last year,” King said. “Now we have someone that can for sure tackle.”

Rymer, a senior, said he’s hoping to help lead a defensive unit that looks to put last year’s struggles behind it and help lead the Rebels to great things.

“We can go to state,” Rymer said. “This team is state championship-caliber. We just have to bring it together and do what we have to do. We have the athletes that can do stuff, and I think the defense will be great. Hopefully, we can pitch a lot of shutouts.”

Last season, Rymer had 134 tackles en route to being named to the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-State squad for the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 1A.

King said Rymer’s physical style of play should rub off on the rest of the Rebels’ defense.

“His teammates respect him because he’s really physical, but he’s all about the team,” King said. “He has a really good presence in the locker room. There’s a lot more confidence with him on the field.”

Hitting is fun for Rymer, he said, especially since he’d rather be doing the hitting.

“It’s better than running the ball on offense and getting hit by others,” Rymer said.

Still, Rymer said he was more than willing to help out on offense if the team needs it. And he does expect to see time as a fullback on that side of the ball, he said.

“It’s more of a blocking role, so I still get to hit,” Rymer said.

Rymer is no stranger to ACCS, having spent his elementary school years at the school. He spent a few at Trinity Episcopal Day School when King was the coach there before transferring to Cathedral in 2011. Rymer made his way back to ACCS this past spring, and King said he’s had no trouble fitting in with the other players.

“He’s a natural leader, so he’s certainly fitting in well,” King said. “I coached him as a younger player, so I’m very familiar with his passion for football.”

Rymer said his familiarity with King has allowed him to make the transition from Cathedral to ACCS seamless.

“When I left Trinity, I was already used to what Coach King and (defensive coordinator Richy) Spears ran,” Rymer said. “I didn’t have to adjust to much of anything.”

As to why he left Cathedral, which has had winning seasons each of the last three years, Rymer said the decision was made on a whim.

“Cathedral has a good program and always will,” Rymer said. “I don’t know (why I transferred), really. I just did.”

King recalled watching Rymer play in youth football and said he always knew the young linebacker had the talent to do big things.

“There was no question what kind of player he would be,” King said. “He has a mean streak, a great nose for the football and a passion for the game.

“Matthew is a rare player that has no regard for his body. He wants to hurt whoever has the football, and that’s the sign of a really good linebacker.”

But Rymer said it’s going to be more than just him sniffing out the football, and pointed to fellow linebackers Brandon Ross, Zach Young and Chisum Mardis as key cogs to the defense.

“That’s a good group of linebackers; you can’t get no better than that,” Rymer said.

Rymer said the players immediately took him under their wings when he arrived at ACCS, and he’s ready to help lead as a senior.

“It’s all about the seniors doing their part,” Rymer said. “It’s not just one person. We just want to make sure we reach our goals, which is to win a state championship.”

As far as personal goals, Rymer said in addition to playing for a state title, he would also like to play one additional game after the season is over.

“I’m not a selfish player, but I would like to make the All-Star game,” Rymer said. “It’s going to take a lot of hard work and dedication.”