Youth the stumbling block for ACCS baseball team

Published 12:50 am Friday, April 16, 2010

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Christian Rebels have won several big games this year.

But, as often the case with youthful teams, they have also lost their share of ones that got away.

And that’s why the Rebels (11-12, 6-6 District 5-AA) will conclude their season today at Brookhaven Academy instead of advancing into the MAIS Class AA playoffs as they did last year.

“Basically we’re a very young team,” ACCS coach Hunter McKeivier said. “I don’t like to say that’s an excuse, but we had some players who were inexperienced. We were able to basically take our bumps and bruises and trials and tribulations as we went.”

That’s not to say the Rebels don’t have talent. ACCS pulled off some big wins this year, including victories over MHSAA Class 1A power Cathedral and Class AA playoff teams Centreville and Central Private.

But there were also on the short end of several close games that could have made a big difference in their season.

“We were able to battle in games, but we weren’t able to get over the hump in some of them,” McKeivier said. “That will come with experience. These losses will teach us. I always tell the kids to learn from their mistakes and losses and make us a better team in the future. I think that will really hold true.”

When ACCS closes out the season at 6 p.m. today against the Cougars, it will mark yet another top opponent the Rebels will have faced in the final month of the season.

“We’ve played against a heck of a schedule here at the end,” McKeivier said. “The last three or four weeks every team we’ve faced has been ranked No. 5 or higher in their classification.”

And the youthful Rebels were also hurt by playing in a loaded district.

“I think we’re in the toughest district in Class AA,” McKeivier said. “You’ve got Centreville, Central Private and a good young Silliman team. We’ve scratched and clawed here at the end and got a couple of victories. But in the end we were still very young.”

But even though the youth of this year’s team might have cost the Rebels a playoff spot, McKeivier said the talent is there for ACCS to excel on the diamond in the next few years.

“We are really building for the future,” McKeivier said. “We’ve got a lot of young kids get experience and understand the game. This will help us out in the long run tremendously.

“We weren’t able to reach our goals this year, but I don’t feel it is a failure. I feel that it’s something to motivate us in the offseason. We’re only going to get better.”