Rebels have new life today at CPS

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 19, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; This is redemption.

This is the game the Adams Christian Rebels may be thankful for. It&8217;s a second chance, an opportunity to redeem themselves following a disappointing result in the Class AA state championship series.

The Rebels will visit Central Private at 6 p.m. today in the first round of the first MPSA Overall tournament. They want a chance to get that bad taste out of their mouths from last week and replace it with that good taste from two weeks ago against Brookhaven Academy.

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&8220;It seemed like we won the state championship the week before,&8221; Adams head coach Ron Rushing said of the Simpson series. &8220;That first game we didn&8217;t hit the ball well, and we just never really got anything going. But that&8217;s no excuse. We weren&8217;t ready to play, and you can blame me for that.&8221;

The tournament, similar to the basketball version, pits the best in all classes in a winner-take-all, single-elimination bracket. But in this format, only the top two from each class get invitations as opposed to basketball where they take the top four.

Adams Christian, the No. 2 team out of Class AA, will face Class AAA Division II champion CPS. It&8217;s a rematch of a contest earlier this season where Central Private took an 11-3 contest back on Feb. 21.

It was the second two games that day for Adams Christian to open the season. So drawing any conclusions from that day to prepare for today&8217;s game would be useless.

&8220;To tell you the truth, I can&8217;t tell you much about it,&8221; Rushing said. &8220;It&8217;s a long season. We had a tough schedule, and we&8217;ve seen some quality teams. We know what&8217;s in store for us. They&8217;re well-coached, they hit well and they have good pitching. If we don&8217;t go down there and play, we can get embarrassed.&8221;

Rushing&8217;s club faced starter Matt Creel back on that day after beating Silliman in the first game behind Timmy Foster, and the coach feels that&8217;s who CPS head coach Kyle Achord will give the ball to today.

Adams Christian hopes to give today&8217;s contest a better shot than in the state championship series. If anything, a win today would ease the pain of losing last week.

The winner will move on to play Thursday at Smith-Wills Stadium in a semifinal contest against the winner of the Jackson Academy-Porters Chapel game.

&8220;I think that&8217;s going to hurt for a while,&8221; Rushing said. &8220;I&8217;ve got a bunch of kids who play hard. They never step out on the field to go through the motions. But I really believe they&8217;ll be ready to play. It gives them another chance to play, especially the seniors.&8221;