ACCS junior varsity team rolls to district title

Published 1:37 am Sunday, February 17, 2008

NATCHEZ — The highlight of a school’s athletic program isn’t usually the junior varsity team.

However, that was exactly the case at Adams County Christian, whose JV boys basketball team finished the season 22-1 and champions of District 3-AA.

The success of the JV team, made up of mostly freshmen with a few seventh and eighth graders, is even more surprising considering the struggles the ACCS varsity team had this year, finishing the season with only one win.

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“I’ve had these kids the past three years and they’ve improved every year,” coach Rick Fife said. “That’s what it takes to have success, improving from top to bottom.”

While the varsity team had a turbulent year — Fife took over head coaching duties in December after the sudden resignation of former coach Billy Britt and the team dressed only nine players — the JV team rolled through the season. The Rebels only loss was a one-point defeat to River Oaks.

They also defeated arch-rival Trinity Episcopal twice, a feat that was not lost on the ACCS players.

“Beating Trinity both times was the highlight of the year,” ACCS freshman player Daniel Guedon said. “Especially the second time.”

While ACCS rolled through the season with just one loss, few of their games were blowouts. They had to work for many wins, which included playing great defense and outworking their opponents in the second half.

“We were in better shape than everyone else,” Guedon said. “The games were always close in the first half, but in the second half the other team would get tired and we would be at the top of our game.”

While it was tempting to move some of the junior varsity players up to the varsity team to help with depth and talent, Fife chose to keep his squad together and allow them to play with each other the entire season.

“I feel like that will pay dividends more than if some had moved up during the year,” he said. Fife said he will coach both the junior varsity and varsity teams next season.

While the 22-1 record and district championship is nice, Fife said the ultimate goal is to see the players succeed on the varsity level and improve the overall program at ACCS.

“Success for me as a junior varsity coach is to see my players have success at the varsity level,” Fife said. “And I think we are well on our way.”