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Redistricting puts Trinity Episcopal in Class AA again

NATCHEZ — After two seasons of dominating competition in MAIS Class A, the Trinity Episcopal Saints are moving up to face some tougher competition.

The Mississippi Association of Independent Schools released its classification and district alignments, and the Saints will be moving up to Class AA beginning in the 2011 school year.

Trinity competed in Class AA in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 school years before dropping back down to Class A in the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years.

The classifications are based on a school’s enrollment in eighth through 11 grades.

“We’ve been the school that teeters back and forth between A and AA every so often,” Trinity football coach and athletic director David King said. “Honestly, it’s exciting for us. Most schools know they’re going to be in a certain class every year, but for us it’s an exciting time.”

After reaching the football playoffs but failing to advance to the state championship game in its two seasons in Class AA, Trinity dominated Class A the past two seasons, going a combined 27-3 and winning back-to-back state championships.

The Saints were undefeated against Class A opponents, as their only defeats were against Class AA competition in the 2009 season.

Trinity was a perfect 15-0 this past season, including wins over five AA schools and a AAA school.

And that’s why King doesn’t have any concerns about the program moving up a classification.

“We’ve scheduled lots of AA schools, so we’re used to that type of ball,” King said. “We’re excited about being in AA. It’s certainly a bigger challenge and we think our kids will react well to it. We’ll just have to work harder than we’ve been working.”

King said he would prefer to be in Class AA.

“Quite honestly, Class AA is where we’d like to stay,” King said. “But nobody in their right mind would play up if they don’t have to. We’ve got to look at more than just football. We take pride in our track and cross-country teams, and they mostly don’t have the numbers to win championships in AA. We would prefer to be in AA in our athletic programs, but when we’re in A, we will just play a lot of AA teams in the non-district.”

Trinity will reside in District 5-AA, along with Adams County Christian, Brookhaven Academy and Columbia Academy.

This means Trinity and ACCS will resume a rivalry that ended for two years while the Saints dropped down to Class A.

But that’s not something that King, a 1987 ACCS graduate, is looking forward to.

“Personally I don’t like it because I’m a proud ACCS graduate and a dear friend of Paul Hayles,” King said. “I personally don’t like playing my alma mater, and never did. But I’m the ultimate competitor and am going to want to beat whoever is on the schedule. But I don’t like the stress it causes. There’s a lot of people who want to see it and a lot who don’t, but it’s not really something I look forward to.”

The other area school that is changing scenery is Wilkinson County Christian.

After spending two unsuccessful years in Class AA, the Rams will drop back down into Class A, where they historically have resided.

The Rams will be placed in the Class A South Central District.

Other teams in the district are Amite School Center, CENLA Christian, Claiborne Academy, Glenbrook, Riverfield Academy, Tallulah Academy and Union Christian.

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