Cathedral, St. Al agree to bump opener to Thursday

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 5, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; Here’s a fall lineup that would make a TV network jealous.

Cathedral moved its annual matchup with Catholic school rival St. Aloysius up to Thursday, Aug. 25, to accommodate the Trinity Episcopal-Adams Christian game the following night at Bobby Marks Stadium. Then Saturday Vidalia will host its six-team jamboree.

Can’t you just hear ol’ Hank singing right now?

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That’s the lineup as Cathedral and St. Al made it official Friday to move their game up a night in the hopes of everyone getting a big gate.

&uot;When I talked to Coach (Jim) Taylor at St. Al, he said they would want to do that again next year,&uot; CHS athletic director Roy Garcia said. &uot;That would help them out, too. They have the Red Carpet Bowl. Nowadays that’s your bread and butter &045; the gate. Now it’s going to be perfect. We play Thursday, AC and Trinity play Friday and the jamboree is Saturday. That’ll be a full load, won’t it?&uot;

Officials with the Mississippi High School Activities Association signed off on the deal as long as both teams agreed to it and both teams made up the day of practice missed because of the Thursday game.

Cathedral and St. Al are playing a Classic game, an option teams have of playing prior to the first game of the season.

The Classic game was the only option since realignment put the Flashes in the North in the latest realignment and out of the Green Wave’s region.

&uot;We have to make up that one day of practice, and we did that,&uot; Garcia said. &uot;We’ll practice the Saturday after (practice) starts on Monday. You get 20 days of practice. I faxed the letter this morning, and we should hear something.&uot;

Cathedral’s annual showdown with St. Al is its biggest gate, and the change will allow anyone in Natchez or the Miss-Lou to attend that game and the Adams Christian-Trinity showdown without either one game suffering at the gate.

Natchez High, meanwhile, will be on the road in a Classic game at Port Gibson that night.

&uot;That’s going to be great,&uot; Adams head coach Bobby Marks said. &uot;They didn’t know it, but I would have gotten this one moved if they hadn’t. That’s great. I’m glad to hear that. Everybody will be able to come out and see Trinity whoop up on us.&uot;

Last year Adams Christian and Trinity played for the first time in the regular season in over a decade, and Trinity’s tiny seating area held a good-sized crowd that watched the Rebels win the crosstown showdown, 33-24.

When the schedules came out for the upcoming season and everyone discovered what was on the schedule for Aug. 26, it was a no-brainer for someone to make a switch.

&uot;That’s good,&uot; Trinity head coach David King said. &uot;We wish Cathedral the best of luck and hope they win every ball game. We root for the Natchez teams. It’s pretty good for our kids to see some of their friends’ games over there. I might go to that game. I haven’t been to a Cathedral game in years.&uot;

Playing a Thursday game, however, may not be in the best interest of Cathedral head coach Ken Beesley Sr., but being the season opener won’t hurt as bad. The Green Wave has seldom played on Thursday night &045; last year the team played at Salem to accommodate the home team’s request &045; and Beesley couldn’t immediately recall a Thursday night home game.

Yet the results will be beneficial.

&uot;Being the first game, it’s not going to throw us off,&uot; Beesley said. &uot;We thought we might get a bigger crowd than we normally get. We’re looking forward to it. I normally don’t like to play on Thursdays, especially during the regular season. I don’t like playing football and having to get up and go to school the next morning.&uot;

&uot;We’ll be able to see Trinity and AC play Friday, and some of their fans might want to come see us play Thursday. I think everybody will be pleased with it, and it should help everybody’s gate.&uot;

It’ll help Trinity and Adams Christian really turn out a gate the next night. The jamboree to start the 2003 season drew well at Adams Christian, as did last year’s regular season game and the matchup in boys’ basketball in the South State tournament held at the AC gym.

As far as gate, everyone could be a winner Aug. 26.

&uot;It’ll be more accommodating for fans to sit in the stands over there,&uot; King said. &uot;We look for it to be a big crowd just like the basketball game over there. Hopefully the same people will come out for the high school games.&uot;