Three local teams to play in NHS Jamboree tonight

Published 12:45 am Friday, August 14, 2009

NATCHEZ — After the first few weeks of fall practice, football players and coaches enjoy going head-to-head against an opponent that isn’t wearing the same jersey as them.

Today, three local high schools will get that opportunity when they each play in the Natchez High School Jamboree.

Cathedral High School, Trinity Episcopal High School and Natchez High School will all play one quarter of football against schools from outside the city.

Email newsletter signup

Bulldogs coach Lance Reed said he feels getting several local schools to compete in the same event is good for the city.

“This is Natchez, Miss., and last I checked it’s not the biggest town in America, so we should all be able to get together and do some things,” Reed said.

Reed, whose team will square off against Amite County High School at 8 p.m., said his players are excited to line up against someone else after several weeks of practice.

“It’s kind of a measuring stick of where you are as a team,” Reed said. “It gives you a chance to go out, hit a different color, and fix some things a week before you play a game.”

Cathedral is set to play Point Coupee High School in the opening game of the jamboree at 5:30 p.m. Green Wave head coach Craig Beesley also thinks it will be good for his players to play someone other than each other.

“You always want to have some game-time experience under your belt before you go live for the first game, and this will be good for us,” Beesley said.

Trinity Episcopal will line up against Wilkinson County High School at 6:30 p.m. in the second game of the jamboree.

With only about 45 minutes of playing time for each game, it would be hard for a coach to learn a lot about his team in such a small amount of time. Beesley thinks the jamboree will allow him to focus on things that he can’t during practice.

“It’s not really what we’re looking for in terms of conditioning and stuff, because next week when we go that full four quarters it’s going to be a different game then,” Beesley said.

“The main thing we’re looking for is kids to compete intensity-wise, and try and see what we can do against somebody besides our own kids.”

Reed, meanwhile, will be scouting his team tonight to make sure the things being taught in practice are being executed during live play.

“I’m looking for effort,” Reed said. “We’re looking for things we’ve been teaching and preaching in practice and seeing if it comes out in translation to our play.”

Fans in attendance tonight will be treated to performances from the Natchez High School Band and JROTC. Melvin Davis, president of the Natchez Touchdown club, will also be on hand to speak.

The presentation of colors begins at 5:15 p.m.