Trinity getting ready for state championship game

Published 12:14 am Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NATCHEZ — Thanksgiving is a day when people get together with family and friends to not only give thanks for what they have, but to eat large amounts of food.

However, if you are a Trinity Episcopal football player, you will only be doing one of those things on Thursday.

And it won’t be gorging yourself on turkey and dressing.

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With a state championship game to play in on Friday, Saints head coach David King has warned his players about overindulging themselves on Thanksgiving.

“We’ve talked about that a little bit and told the boys to be real smart,” King said. “We’ll feed them anything they want Friday after the game, but let’s just be smart until we get to the game.”

Trinity (14-0) will take on Tri-County Academy (14-0) from Flora, at 12:30 p.m. Friday at Harper-Davis Field on the Millsaps College campus in Jackson.

With school closed this week due to Thanksgiving break, King is using the opportunity to get his players used to playing an afternoon game for the first time this season.

“We’re letting them sleep in a little later, and we’re practicing at noon every day to acclimate them to the game time,” King said. “We are doing that Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then we’ll come back for a walk through on Thanksgiving night. You have to have practice on Thanksgiving day, but that’s a pretty good problem to have.”

Tri-County advanced to the championship game with a 21-14 win over Tunica Academy on Friday night.

The Rebels didn’t seal the victory until they stopped Tunica on fourth down inside the 10-yard line with less than 15 seconds remaining in the game.

It was just another close win for Tri-County, which has made a habit of that this season.

Five of the Rebels’ 14 wins have come by single digits, including both playoff victories.

King said Trinity’s regular season games against Class AA opponents Centreville, River Oaks and Brookhaven Academy have prepared his team for this game.

“Tri-County is not quite as good as Centreville, River Oaks and Brookhaven, but they’re better than anybody else we’ve seen,” King said. “The thing that jumps out at me is they play every play. They play extremely hard and they’re very well-coached.”

Trinity, the No. 1 ranked team in Class A, blew out No. 2 ranked Sylva-Bay Academy and their Dandy Dozen running back and defensive back Cody Prewitt 43-13 last Friday, and King said the key is getting his players focused for one more game.

“We were about as mentally motivated for a game as I’ve ever seen on us Friday, but we’ve got to do it once again,” King said. “But most of these kids played in the (state championship) game last year. When they get out there on that field and realize they’re playing for a ring, I think (the focus) will kick in quick.”