Tigers hosting Saints

Published 12:01 am Friday, August 19, 2011

FAYETTE — Jefferson County High School head coach James Herrington isn’t taking Trinity Episcopal lightly just because they’re a private school.

Trinity, which enters this season with back-to-back state titles and a 21-game winning streak, will kick off its season in Fayette at 7:30 tonight. And despite the Saints’ small squad compared to the Tigers, Herrington said the Saints must be taken seriously.

“We’re looking to see a well-coached, disciplined ball club,” Herrington said.

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“They’ll kind of fool you, being a private school, so you may not think they have the talent of a public school. But from 1A to 6A, they have quite a few athletes from that talent level sprinkled in there. They have outstanding athletes on their ball club.”

After tying with Wilkinson County High School 0-0 in last Friday’s Natchez High School jamboree, Herrington said he saw some positives from his team, and some things that need improvement.

“We didn’t turn the ball over, that was a plus,” Herrington said. “Our quarterback Monroe Barnes managed the game well, we just made some mistakes.”

Most of those mistakes were penalties that Herrington attributed to his players being high strung.

“We had some offsides penalties and another penalty that was probably unnecessary roughness after our lineman hit a guy away from the play,” Herrington said.

“It’s just things that are normally not sharp early in the season. We chalk it up to the guys practicing against each other every day and being ready to get another team in front of them.”

Even with all the penalties, Herrington said his players have settled in during practice this week and worked to improve on the miscues.

“We’ve been able to get them focused, and we didn’t see anything that we couldn’t fix,” Herrington said. “All we saw were things we could get fixed with practice.”

With game one of the season tonight, Herrington said he thinks the Saints will be a good test for his team early on. After making it to the third round of the Class 3A playoffs last year, expectations are high, Herrington said.

“We feel like we have a ball club that can go as deep as we went last year, and maybe even further,” he said. “They’re a great opponent to play, being ranked No. 1 in (MAIS Class AA), so they’re definitely a great measuring tool for us.”

Trinity Episcopal head coach David King could not be reached for comment.