Growing on the Gridiron: King, Roberts set for rivalry game

Published 12:55 am Thursday, September 21, 2017

For the past 20 years, Adams County Christian School football coach David King has watched team after team mature through good times and bad.

And if King could give one piece of advice to himself as a young coach, he would warn him there is more to the game than winning.

“When you get to my era of it, winning is not that big of a deal,” he said. “I love when players call me 15 years later and tell me that they appreciate all that I do. When they call me to tell me about weddings or children and all of that, that’s what it’s about to me. It’s cliché, but it’s true. I love coming out here to practice, and I love watching them grow.”

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While Trinity Episcopal’s Graham Roberts might seem like a newcomer compared to King, the second-year head coach has the same devotion to his young athletes.

“I don’t have the time in that he has, but I’m in this to help them become better men,” Roberts said. “Even though I have only been head coach for a couple years, I have about nine years experience. I went into business work for four or five years, and I missed developing kids and the relationships. After one year, the kids still text me and tell me what is going on in their lives. Even if it’s small impact, stuff like that means a lot.”

For the first time since 2012, the Rebels and the Saints are set to square off at 7 p.m. tonight.

As the Saints will host the matchup, Roberts said there is no better chance to learn from a veteran.

“I look forward to playing against good coaches, and he is definitely one of them,” he said. “Me being just a young guy in my career, I try to soak up information when I can.”

The Saints (1-3) enter this week after canceling their game last week against St. Joseph-Greenville because of multiple injured players.

“We are still fairly beat up, but they are healthy enough,” Roberts said. “It will be a good measuring stick for us.”

ACCS (4-1) improved its record last week with a win over Columbia Academy, 41-22.

“I like Graham. He and I are friends,” King said. “He’s done a really good job, and I’m impressed with him. They have an outstanding ball club and probably one of the most skillful teams we have seen. We better come off the bus ready to play.”

While any crosstown rivalry has the potential for high stakes, tonight’s game will be just the second time King has coached against his former team.

After graduating from ACCS in 1987, King coached at Trinity for 14 years. He won four state titles with the Saints while accumulating 141 total wins.

“I’m obviously going to have some really good feelings when I walk down to that football field. I’ve got more memories in coaching that anyone should be allowed to have,” King said. “Some of the greatest games in the history of this town happened on that field when I was coaching. I don’t forget any of that. I’ve always loved that place, but now I have a job to do.”

In the future, Roberts said he strives for the same level of success.

“He loves it, and he has touched a lot of lives,” Roberts said of his veteran counterpart. “I hope 20 years down the road I’ve had as much success as he has. I hope I am able to continue to coach and do it in the right manner.”

And while he is still enjoying it, King doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“If I ever walk out here one day and I don’t love it, I’m going to get out,” he said. “That day hasn’t come just quite yet.”