Corder: Saints, Rams wage war to settle 7-A

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 31, 2003

It’s nights like these that a great country and western poet had in mind when he rhetorically asked: &uot;Are you ready for some football?&uot;

Hank Jr. has a way with words, don’t he?

While usually reserved for grown men making a disgusting amount of money to turn each other into bloody pulps, the often-repeated phrase morphs easily into the Trinity-WCCA showdown in Natchez today at 7:30 p.m.

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For the second time in as many years the two teams, separated by 40 miles, will stand toe-to-toe in Mississippi Private School Association Class A’s last week of the regular season with variables circling like a flock of hungry buzzards on U.S. 61.

Both the Rams and Saints come into Trinity’s Pit undefeated in four district 7-A games. No. 1 Trinity, while avoiding a close call in Amite, La., with a double overtime win over AA defending champ Oak Forest, has lived up to the preseason hype of making another methodical run at a state championship with a cast of veterans.

No reason to shake a stick at No. 4 WCCA either. After coming up short in an opening week loss to those same pesky Yellow Jackets Trinity struggled to beat, the Rams solved their fumbling woes and took down an impressive AA Columbia squad earlier this month.

Typical bouquets have been delivered all week to and fro’ both camps, showing the precipice of respect each has for the other.

&uot;It’s no secret we’re going to try to run the football,&uot; WCCA head coach Paul Hayles said. &uot;Where is another question because (the Saints) are solid. Hopefully we can match up and create a scenario in our favor. It’s a tremendous obstacle we have to face.&uot;

&uot;Woodville handles the run better than most teams we’ve faced,&uot; said Trinity head coach David King, who served as an assistant to Hayles at Trinity before taking the reins before the 1998 season. &uot;This is one of those you get in the business (of coaching) for.&uot;

The excitement and eagerness in the voices of coaches and players is palpitating. And there’s no mistaking why. While both schools have plenty of talent in the cupboard, those in the know make no qualms the countdown to Y2K3 began way back in the late 20th century &045; you remember boy bands, Britney was still a teen, Jordan was still playing, Kobe was a Laker (oops!), Dawson and Joey were an item.

Memories, like the corners of my mind.

As they line up to wage war, you’ll see a lot of seniors. Fearless leaders. Guys that aren’t just at home when the spotlight is trying to sweat them like the Spanish Inquisition, but have their feet propped up, enjoying a bag of Cheetos and a Dr. Pepper.

&uot;This is a relaxed bunch. They’ve been to the big game.&uot; So said King, who took the 2001 Saints to the promised land with a state championship. &uot;That’s why you look forward to a senior-laden group. We’ve tried to keep the energy level at a minimum and get back to the basics this week. WC is a team that makes you execute on every play.&uot;

So Hank, are we ready for some football? Did you even have to ask?

Chuck Corder

is a sports writer for The Natchez Democrat. You can reach him at (601) 445-3633 or by e-mail at