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Spears says players make his job easy

NATCHEZ — When Trinity basketball coach Richy Spears took over two years ago, he knew right away that coaching the Lady Saints would not be hard.

“My first impression was that we had girls that were eager, and wanted to work,” Spears said. “They never complained, and did whatever they were told.”

And Spears credits that attitude as the main reason he was able to lead them to the MAIS Class A title game.

“They came up to me when school first started, and they weren’t able to get the weight room as much, asking me when they were going to be able to lift,” Spears said. “When you have them asking to work, you know they want to get better. That means a lot.”

And Spears’ leadership in guiding the Lady Saints to a 25-11 record and runner-up in Class A has earned him All-Metro Coach of the Year honors.

The road to the state championship game was not without its high and low moments, Spears said.

“Coming out of football, I felt like I was tired and not as passionate as I would’ve been,” Spears said. “As the season went along, I felt like a got a little louder. I guess that’s when you know I’m more into it, when I’m louder.”

And that intensity is something his players feed off of, Spears said.

“I have to be intense. If I’m intense, I know they’ll be intense. I remember in our game against Oak Forest early in the season, it wasn’t until I got teed off that they got more into it.”

Falling to Delta Academy in the state championship game was a heartbreaking feeling for the Trinity players, but Spears said he hoped it would be a good motivational tool for next season.

“Immediately after the game, I was hoping (the loss) would make them hungrier for next year,” Spears said. “It was the first time in a long time the Trinity girls got to the state championship game — that I know of, anyway — so I hope it just makes them hungrier.”

And Spears said he would also be hungrier to get a state title next season.

“That’s the sixth title game I’ve either coached or played in, and I’ve only won one, the one we won in football (last fall),” Spears said. “That irritates me, so I know it makes me want to work harder.”

Spears is no stranger to working hard, especially since he helps football coach David King as an assistant. Despite the many hours coaching, Spears said he couldn’t envision himself not coaching.

“I wouldn’t know what to do if I wasn’t doing it,” Spears said. “I’m just glad I have the spring off.”

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