Coaches fellowship together

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 20, 2001

NATCHEZ – Adams County coaches who would normally be on opposite sidelines during the fall gridiron season were all together as Wednesday night at the inaugural Adams County Football Coaches Appreciation banquet.

Months of sweat, toil and stress were recognized as the coaches were in the spotlight.

The end of the year gathering was held at the Ramada Inn.

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The event was put on in conjunction with Natchez Community Hospital and their physical therapy department. NCH executive director greeted and welcomed the staffs of Natchez High, Trinity Episcopal, Cathedral School and Adams County Christian School.

While the coaches dined on steak dinners, they listened to Mississippi State University assistant football coach John Hendricks extoll the virtues of not only being a leader of young men, but making sure the gridiron teachers remembered their strong influences on the children.

&uot;You must never forget that some of you are the only strong male figures that many of these kids have. They look to you for guidance every time they step onto the practice field or in the locker room.&uot;

The coach, who has served under Jackie Sherrill since 1995, also said that coaches need not forget their job is widely considered the world’s greatest.

&uot;Don’t forget to count yourselves lucky each and every day,’ Hendricks said. &uot;A million people would love to do what we do. I wake up every morning glad to go to work, just hoping I can do something to impact a young man’s life.&uot;

Finally, Hendricks imparted that too many coaches didn’t take the time to build up today’s player, only the opposite.

&uot;It’s the easiest thing in the world to tear down a kid,&uot; he said. &uot;But the challenge is to build him back up. Can you do that? Are you doing that? Accentuate the positives of what kids do, not the negatives. You’ll find it makes thing easier in the long run.&uot; The volunteer sports medicine staffers Karl Edwards and Kati Lewis were also on hand and were recognized for their efforts throughout the season.

Trinity coach David King was also lauded for his state championship team.

Hospital physical therapist Kati Lewis, right, and the hospital’s executive director, David Ainsworth, second from left, and John Hendrick, assistant football coach at Mississippi State University, talk during the Coaches’ Appreciation Banquet sponsored by Natchez Community. Hendrick was the guest speaker at the Wednesday night banquet at the Ramada Inn Hilltop.