Come to Trinity for flag football classic

Published 11:50 pm Monday, June 12, 2017

On Saturday, the third annual Barr & Johnny’s Flag Football Classic will again be at the Trinity Episcopal Day School football field. In its third year, Barr & Johnny’s Flag Football Classic has transformed into a double-elimination tournament featuring  five area high school teams — ACCS, Trinity, Delta Charter, Jena and Clinton Christian.

Last year, I wrote about what Barr Brown and Johnny Rachal meant to me personally. These men influenced the lives of so many student athletes across Natchez and inspired the ideals of service, dedication and family in me. But, perhaps most significantly, they also inspired their own level of love that lives on through the cause that the flag football classic benefits — academic scholarships at Trinity.

I have a romanticized memory of my days playing Trinity football (or, perhaps more accurately, being on the sidelines). But my swiss-cheese head is filled with quotes from Coach King’s practices. I often compare distances to the time it takes by wagon train to get from Ferriday from Natchez. Barr and Johnny hopped right on Coach King’s wagon train themselves—Barr was quick-witted about keeping my head up, and on a swivel (still use that one), and Johnny told me once mid-practice that he had bad news for me: I’d never be in as good shape as I was at that very moment, and I think there was a beer-and-pizza joke I can’t share in mixed company (he was right).

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Even in the face of a serious job coaching young people, they knew how to have fun. Barr’s team dinners, warmups and music were fun. Johnny’s lineman drills tried to be fun. He laughed, at least. It’s only fitting that the flag football classic is all about having fun for a good cause.

Barr and Johnny may not be here in the corporeal sense, but I believe they see and are honored by their children’s successes, the young people they influenced and the way we remember them. To be remembered the way Barr and Johnny are by their children and their Trinity family is a gift in and of itself.

As my daughter turns 1 this week, I reflect on them, and I selfishly hope that I am a good enough parent and person to be worthy of the same love from my children and friends. It’s just another way Barr and Johnny are still teaching me.

So, come down to Trinity June 17. It’s only $5 to get in, and there will be entertainment by Big Drew and the Bubbadelic, a silent auction and food and drink for all. All of the money raised at Barr & Johnny’s Flag Football Classic will go toward scholarships for elementary-aged students to attend Trinity based on academic merit. Come out, support this worthy cause and honor these fine men. With any questions or sponsorship inquiries, contact Barr’s son Cole at
Scott Sternberg is a 2002 Trinity Episcopal graduate living and working in New Orleans.