ACCS Rebels overcame obstacles to play in championship
Published 12:01 am Tuesday, November 13, 2018
BY CHERIE WARD
THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT
NATCHEZ — The Adams County Christian School Rebels are not taking a break after Friday’s 28-10 win over Heritage Academy.
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The team was back at work Monday readying to play Indianola Academy in the 7 p.m. Saturday MAIS Class AAA state championship game at Jackson Academy.
The 25-member team was diligently lifting weights Monday afternoon.
“We are battled tested,” said David King, ACCS headmaster and head coach. “It’s been an unusual season and these boys have held their heads high and pulled it off.”
Despite starting the season 8-0, the Rebels were stripped of seven wins by the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools because of a player infraction after one of the varsity football players was determined in October to have been ineligible for inter-school competition this season.
“We’ve owned it,” King said. “It is what it is. There was a rule change by the MAIS last year, and we just didn’t know, but, unfortunately — we paid the price.”
King explained that the player was deemed ineligible due to MAIS criteria that stipulates any player moving between independent member schools must sit out a year unless they meet certain criteria, including moving to a new home closer to the new school, removing all furniture from their former residence and the former dwelling must be closed, rented or disposed of and not used by the family.
“A couple of pieces of furniture were left behind,” King said. “No one knew this rule even existed.”
King said the setback inspired the players to dig in their heals and fight for a championship.
“And we’re in the playoffs,” King said. “We are fortunate to be here. We’ve technically won every game we’ve played. Thank God our season did not end on that sour note.”
Linebacker Rhet McDonald said the team pulled together tighter when they were down by one in the second quarter Friday against the Heritage Academy Patriots.
“We all put in the effort,” McDonald said.
King agreed and said one player did not outshine another.
“They all played great,” King said.
Running back and defensive lineman DJ Stampley said the Rebels are ready for Saturday’s game.
“We put in enough, and we put up the points,” Stampley said of last week’s game. “We stood together for that whole game and that’s what we’ll do next week.”
Assistant coach Bill James said the team has proven to the community that there is not any hurdle they can’t get over.
“They don’t panic,” James said. “They don’t quit. They aren’t intimidated by anyone. They are good, happy-go-lucky boys, until they cross that line and then it’s business — and business is good.”