ACCS’ King turns down playing Trinity

Published 12:02 am Thursday, January 15, 2015

NATCHEZ — Being a 19-year veteran as a high school football head coach, perceptions in the coaching game may change over time, and so they have for David King.

No longer pushing and pursuing inner city matchups amongst local schools, King has turned down the opportunity to match his ACCS Rebels against his former team, the Trinity Saints, in a regular season game in 2015.

“I’m older and a little more sentimental now,” said King, explaining his reasoning for turning down the matchup. “It’s a selfish decision, but I felt like the villain half the time I played against ACCS and others when I was at Trinity. I didn’t get anything personal from it. I’m at the point in my life where I want to go to La Fiesta (Grande) and go to church without anybody being upset with me over a football game.”

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King, who used to play against ACCS when the Rebels were in Trinity’s district, said he has too many good memories and relationships at Trinity that he doesn’t want to play against the Saints. That along with King trying to schedule games against MAIS Class 3A competition and MAIS Class 4A to garner power ranking points is why he’s chosen not to play against the team he brought four state championships to as head coach.

“I’m 46 years old now, and to be honest with you, when I first got into this business, I wanted to conquer the world,” King said. “But now, with the stressful job I have now, I’d like to live in harmony with my community.”

Zach Rogel, who is the Saints head coach and played under King in the mid 2000s, said playing cross-town rivals was always something he enjoyed doing as a player, and he wanted to give his team that same opportunity. When King declined to play, Rogel was disappointed.

“He has his reasons for not wanting to play,” Rogel said. “I don’t understand them yet because I’m not in that position, but this won’t affect our relationship. One of the reasons why I wanted to coach against him is the opportunity to coach against one of the best that’s ever done it around here.”

To lessen the blow, King and Rogel came to terms to share a jamboree, matching ACCS up against Trinity. The scoreboard will be a non-factor, though, as the game will serve as a scrimmage to get both teams ready for the season. King said he would like to extend an invitation to Cathedral, as well.

“We can control it, and there won’t be any hard feelings about who wins or who loses,” King said.

At this point in his life, King doesn’t want to go against friends if he doesn’t have to, and that includes Cathedral coach Ron Rushing. That’s not to say King wouldn’t schedule a game against Cathedral in the future, but facing his friend isn’t something he’s itching to do either.

“I don’t want to play him, but if Ron called and wanted to play, I would probably play Ron,” King said. “I love Bill Hurst to death, but I can’t avoid playing him and Centreville, because we’re both going for a state championship in the same class. This inner city matchups are a little bit different, though.”

Rushing said he’d play anybody, anytime, but he understands King’s reluctance to play Trinity.

“I say it’s more of a personal reason,” Rushing said. “When I was coaching with him, he actually called John Curtis one time, trying to play them one year. He’s like me in the fact that he’ll play anybody, anywhere. But when you get into those personal relationships, I understand the hesitance.”

Because none of the area teams played against one another this past football season, King said, it felt like the community was rooting for one another as Trinity, ACCS and Cathedral all went far in the playoffs.

“More than any year I can remember, everybody was rooting for each other,” King said. “Cathedral won the state championship, we came a quarter away from winning a state championship and Trinity came four quarters away from winning one, and everyone was cheering each other on. That wasn’t always the case when I was coaching at Trinity and trying to play everybody.”