The big push: Rams beat last year’s achievements

Published 12:10 am Monday, November 12, 2012

LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Wilkinson County Christian Academy’s Dra Tolliver makes a catch in the end zone for a touchdown against Heidelberg Academy’s Darius McDonald during Friday’s second round game of the MAIS Class A South State playoffs. WCCA defeated Heidelberg 30-0.

WOODVILLE — Last season’s loss in the second round of the MAIS Class A playoffs motivated the seniors of the Wilkinson County Christian Academy football team.

The 10 veterans saw a 10-1 regular season end with an 18-4 loss to Riverfield Academy, and they set a goal for their senior season not to end before a berth in the South State title game.

The Rams had to overcome a coaching change in the offseason, and an early season loss to cross-town rival Centreville Academy, but Friday night a 30-0 victory over Heidelberg Academy put them in the South State final.

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“This is a big push for us,” senior quarterback Taylor Prevost said. “We were put out in (the second round) last year, so this feels good. It was a big win.”

WCCA had to get used to a new coach, David Wright, and a new system before starting its 11-1 run this season, and the transition was tough at times for the Rams’ veterans who were used to former head coach Ray McDaniel.

“It was real difficult running new offensive plays and getting comfortable with the coaches,” senior Quincy Thompson said. “But we kept practicing and now we do good with it.”

Wright said he has been impressed with the way the upperclassmen have adjusted to his system so quickly.

“This senior class really accepted myself and coach Kyle (White) with open arms. This is as special a group of kids as we could ask for, both on and off the field. It’s not just in between the lines. We have a great relationship.”

One of the biggest transitions was for Prevost, who had to adjust to throwing the football a little bit more than last season.

“Last year we just tried to gash people with the run and never threw much,” he said. “Now we still run, but we can throw it up too.”

White, who serves as WCCA’s offensive coordinator, has been instrumental in Prevost’s development as a quarterback, Wright said.

“It’s a great experience, because I coached Kyle in high school and now I have the opportunity to coach with him.”

Prevost was 4-for-9 passing Friday night, and his best game of the season came against Claiborne Academy in which he completed nine of 10 passes for 200 yards and accounted for four touchdowns — two rushing and two passing.

This year’s senior class has accomplished a great deal already on the football field, and Thompson said this group has a close bond with one another.

“This senior class is great,” he said. “This class has good leadership. It’s the best senior class at WCCA.”

Two more wins would give the Rams a state championship banner to hang at WCCA, but Wright said this group has already set the tone for his tenure.

“It’s great to have such dedicated kids in the program, and we have established memories that will last a lifetime.”

WCCA (11-1) will host Newton County Academy (8-4) in the South State championship game Friday.