Trinity football lonely in District 6-A

Published 1:00 am Tuesday, May 11, 2010

NATCHEZ — More than three months still remain before the 2010 high school football season begins, but the Trinity Episcopal Saints have already clinched a playoff spot.

No, the rest of the District 6-A hasn’t conceded defeat to the defending Class A state champions, but they are pulling a disappearing act.

Last season, District 6-A consisted of Trinity, Tallulah, Briarfield Academy and Huntington.

However, Huntington has closed its doors and Briarfield has dropped down to the MAIS 8-man football league, leaving just Trinity and Tallulah remaining in the district.

Since the top two teams in each district qualify for the playoffs, the Saints and Trojans can already put their names on the playoff bracket.

“We knew this was going to happen,” Trinity football coach and athletic director David King said. “Briarfield is a tradition-rich program, but Lake Providence as a community is kind of barren now. It’s like what happened to Huntington. It’s a great community, but there are no people there. Losing those two fine schools is very tough.”

While Trinity is already qualified for the playoffs, King said it does put pressure on the team for its game against Tallulah, as the winner will be crowned district champion and get a No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

“It certainly doesn’t leave you any margin for error,” King said. “You lose that one game and you don’t get a No. 1 seed. It all comes down to that one game.”

Since the Saints are only playing one district game next season, King will have to schedule 10 games against non-district opponents, and will use the opportunity to play some difficult teams that will hopefully get the Saints ready for the playoffs.

“We’re only playing three Class A schools now,” King said. “In addition to the schedule we had last year (which included eventual Class AA champion Brookhaven Academy, Class AA semifinalist Centreville, Class AA power River Oaks and AAA team East Rankin Academy), we picked up Glenbrook, which went to the playoffs in AA as well. We’re still trying to finalize a game (to replace) Huntington.”

King said while losing two of the Saints’ three district opponents is tough, it is something he has been expecting for quite some time.

“We knew that when we came into this district that Huntington and Brairfield were very close to losing their football programs,” King said. “We’ve been expecting this for awhile, and we had a game plan.”