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TOUGH ENOUGH: Passionate senior looks to lead Adams Christian once again

Adams County Christian School’s Chisum Mardis takes on lineman Chris Sikes in a drill with teammate Christopher White during spring practice. Mardis, a senior and leader on the team, will be pivotal in The Rebels success this upcoming season. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Adams County Christian School’s Chisum Mardis takes on lineman Chris Sikes in a drill with teammate Christopher White during spring practice. Mardis, a senior and leader on the team, will be pivotal in The Rebels success this upcoming season. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Chisum Mardis is always up for a challenge.

In the midst of reflecting on playing in last year’s state championship game with a fractured leg, the Adams County Christian School junior was interrupted by teammates calling for him to participate in a drill during spring practice.

“(Chris) Sikes says he’ll take on anyone and beat them,” hollered a teammate across the practice field. “Come on, Chisum.”

A 5-8, 185-pound Mardis sprinted over and joined Christopher White to face the 6-5, 300-pound lineman. Following the whistle, Mardis and White met the bigger Sikes and put him on his back, sending their teammates in a frenzy to close practice.

“That’s just the kind of kid he is,” ACCS head coach David King said. “This is a very competitive kid, a great locker room guy and a good leader on campus. I really feel like his leadership is going to mean the difference in ballgames this year.”

The Rebels felt Mardis’ absence in the postseason last November. After Mardis slightly fractured his leg against Central Hinds, Mardis pushed through the pain until his fracture worsened.

“Against Prentiss Christian (the Rebels’ first playoff game), I felt it with every step, and the X-ray I had after showed I fractured it halfway through,” Mardis said.

That didn’t stop Mardis from trying to suit up, though, and against Centreville in the championship game, Mardis not only suited up but played, racking up six tackles in the first quarter. However, following a blow to his knee on a blitz, Mardis was forced to watch the remaining three quarters on the sideline.

“If you watch the game unfold, and I hate

to say this, but that game changed when he went out,” said King of the championship loss.

Five months removed from the championship game, Mardis is back on the field for the Rebels, flying around and making plays. He’s also making his presence felt with his mouth, as his passion carries over to shouting and sometimes grunting on the field of play.

“It’s an intimidation thing,” Mardis said, laughing about it. “They’re going to think you’re crazy. I’m probably a little bit (crazy).”

Crazy or not, Mardis never shies away from testing himself against another competitor. And though his passion is his drive, King said it’s Mardis’ understanding and maturity that makes him a leader on the field.

“When it comes down to it, he’s a throwback kid,” King said. “He understands that this is going to be over soon, and he doesn’t want it to be over with any regrets. That’s why he plays every play like it’s his last. I’m very excited about his senior season.”

 

 

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