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VInson, Saints prepare to withstand slippery field

The Trinity Episcopal Day School football team practices their offensive sets in the school’s gymnasium Thursday in preparation for a playoff game tonight against Immanuel Christian. (BRITTNEY LOHMILLER | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT)
The Trinity Episcopal Day School football team practices their offensive sets in the school’s gymnasium Thursday in preparation for a playoff game tonight against Immanuel Christian. (BRITTNEY LOHMILLER | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT)

NATCHEZ — It didn’t matter if rain poured from the sky all day on Halloween, the Trinity Episcopal Day School Saints were going to practice for the first round of the MAIS Class A playoffs no matter what.

With having two straight weeks of no game action, the last thing the Saints (9-0) needed was another day off before facing Immanuel Christian School.

Not only were the Saints forced to practice in the gymnasium, but The Pit, Trinity’s football field, was soaked from the rain. Head coach Josh Loy said they can’t dwell on the things they can’t control.

“It doesn’t drain as well as it should, so we will have some rain on the field (today),” Loy said. “Hopefully, the sun will come out and dry it up, but there’s nothing we can do at this point.”

Loy said his players are ready to play their first game since Oct. 11 no matter what the weather and field conditions are.

“These guys are anxious,” he said. “They’re ready to play and tired of just practicing, so I’m looking for them to have a great game.”

Loy said he is grateful to have a well-balanced team in a game that will most likely depend on the running game because of the weather.

“We’ve been balanced all year, we average 200 rushing yards and 200 passing yards, but (today) I expect we’ll have to run the ball more than we’re used to,” Loy said. “I think our offensive line is up for the challenge, we’re going to hang our hats on them.”

The Saints have a senior-laden line led by Vidalia High School transfer JoJo Vinson, and Vinson said he is confident his line can get the job done.

“We played a game in Week 7 and it was pouring down raining, so we had to run the ball and rely on our lineman,” Vinson said. “We’ve only given up two sacks this year, and we’re anxious to get out there and show once again how dominant we can be.”

Vinson said his football career has made a big transformation since leaving Vidalia, and he said he still feels it was the right decision.

“They have a lot of history here at Trinity, and I just love it over here,” Vinson said. “It was definitely the right choice for me. Since my first day, they welcomed me with open arms.”

This is the first time Vinson has played in a playoff game, and he said he is just happy to have made it this far in his career.

“It feels awesome,” he said. “I’ve pushed through a lot of bad things and troubles, but it made me the player that I am now and it feels great.”

Trinity hosts Immanuel Christian at 7 p.m. today.