City, county gear up for gridiron battle

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 5, 2000

The college division championships have been decided, and it’s still a few weeks until the bowl games. Not sure how to satisfy that Saturday football craving? Fans can find the answer while benefiting local youth at a flag football game that will pit the City of Natchez against Adams County.

City and county officials and employees will face off at 11:30 a.m. Saturday on the Natchez High School football field to raise Christmas funds for Adams County Families First Resource Center.

Families First is a fairly new service arm of the Adams County Youth Court whose goal is to support all needs of the family, the first and most important unit of society, said Mary Jane Gaudet, program director.

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Each player is required to bring a $5 sponsor fee and spectators are invited to participate in half time activities, which will include contests for longest throw, longest punt and longest field goal. All half time events are $5 per person for each event.

Ralph Tedder, city recreation director, is coordinating the event for the city. He said the game has three goals: to raise funds for Families First, to develop better camaraderie between the city and county and &uot;to provide community amusement as the public watches us attempt to play football.&uot;

Tedder said it is important for local governments to cooperate with one another to better consolidate resources and accommodate community needs.

&uot;We’re going to learn to play with each other and laugh and still have an overall positive outcome,&uot; of benefiting Families First, Tedder said.

Both teams were confident Tuesday that they were assured a victory, the city claiming superior mental readiness and the county touting superior athletic ability.

&uot;This game with the county is going to be more of a mental game than a physical one anyway, so that’s where the city will have the advantage. We’re mentally prepared,&uot; Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff said.

To prepare for Saturday’s game, Huff said he has been closely studying how athletes celebrate in the endzone after scoring, &uot;so I’ll know how to act.&uot;

&uot;I’ve been watching as much football on TV as I can,&uot; he said.

City Coach Theodore &uot;Bubber&uot; West, also an alderman, said his game plan calls for &uot;a lot of speed and a lot of intelligence.&uot;

&uot;I expect Super Flash Ricky Gray to score every time he touches the ball,&uot; West said.

&uot;We’re going to outman them, outthink them and outplay them.&uot;

Equally confident of the county, Supervisor Thomas &uot;Boo&uot; Campbell said &uot;we’re going to beat the city and that’s that.&uot;

But, if the city does come out on top, Campbell said the competition will not end there. Plans for a city-county volleyball game are already in the works for the spring.

&uot;And if we don’t beat them in volleyball, I know we can beat them in basketball,&uot; he said.

Both teams said they have had excellent response from employees. Fire department employees who didn’t qualify for the &uot;over age 30&uot; rule requested by the county were even upset they would be left out, Tedder said.

For information about the game or programs offered by Adams County Families First Resource Center, call Gaudet or Fay Minor at 445-7979.