Clary part of two titles

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 29, 1999

You’ll have to excuse James Clary if he’s a poor loser. Not that anyone would know -he never lost a football game in high school.

&uot;Losing was something we never thought about,&uot; Clary said, referring to two undefeated teams.

As a junior, Clary was part of the 1981 South Natchez football team that won state, going 14-0.

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Clary transferred to Adams County Christian School as a senior and was part of a team that went 12-0, defeating Indianola for the state title.

Clary went to school at Vidalia in the eighth and ninth grades before transferring to South Natchez as a sophomore.

&uot;I missed spring training and really didn’t think about it,&uot; Clary said.

South Natchez went 8-3 that season, winning the Big Eight and finishing at the top of the state prep poll.

The playoff system was put in the following year as Clary decided to go out for the team.

As a backup cornerback, Clary was part of a team that went 14-0, defeating Starkville for the state championship.

&uot;That was a great team with great coaches with Ed Reed and the whole staff,&uot; Clary said.

One common factor both teams did have was using the Notre Dame Box offense.

&uot;Both of those teams mastered it,&uot; Clary said. &uot;We got used to it on defense, but for somebody seeing it for the first time, it tore them up.&uot;

Clary said that Colonel team was special.

&uot;Jay Yates, Flynn James, Michelle Brooks and Dale Smith – those guys would knock you out,&uot; Clary said.

And, of course, there was Reed, who left South Natchez after the 1981 season.

&uot;He fine-tuned everything,&uot; Clary said.

Clary said the win at Gulfport in a Class 5A South State contest was one of the most memorable victories.

&uot;We had three Greyhound busses and cops escorted us to the game,&uot; he said. &uot;People on the side of the road in Gulfport were cussing us. Then we got a motorcycle escort when we got into town. We didn’t need help getting pumped up for that game.&uot;

Clary played in the first game at South Natchez as a senior before transferring to ACCS, where he started at linebacker and played special teams.

&uot;I really don’t know why I transferred,&uot;&160;he said. &uot;I missed the first two games at AC and thought it was too late to play on the football team. They found out I could play linebacker and they needed to give Dickie Kimball a break because he was going both ways.&uot;

Clary said he was just as impressed with AC coach Bobby Marks as he was with Reed.

&uot;Before I saw my first teach, I was introduced to Coach Marks,&uot; he said. &uot;He was a great coach, too, along with Coach (Charles)&160;Kennedy and Coach (Keith) Walters. Coach Kennedy liked it when you hit somebody.&uot;

Clary remembers AC’s win over Jackson Prep in the regular season finale.

&uot;It was raining and the water was ankle deep,&uot; he said. &uot;It was the first and only time an AC&160;team beat Jackson Prep.&uot;

Clary currently works for Miss-Lou Electric in Vidalia, La.

He and his wife Tonya have four children, Kyla (6), twins Morgan and Matthew (5) and Lacie (1).

As for which of those two teams were the best, Clary declined to choose.

&uot;We’ll just get a bush hog, buy some health insurance and go down to Martin Stadium and let those guys battle it out,&uot; Clary said. &uot;I’ll be up in the press box.&uot;