ACCS seniors football players reflect on season of hard work, obstacles

Published 12:25 am Thursday, November 15, 2018



 NATCHEZ — Securing the ball in polar temperatures was the primary focus for the Adams County Christian School Rebels during practice Wednesday.

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The 24-member team was working on handoffs and concentrated on getting their hands on the ball and keeping it protected, said assistant coach Matthew Freeman.

“That will be the key to Saturday’s game,” Freeman said. “Whoever keeps the ball in their hands will win the game.” 

The Rebels will face Indianola Academy in the 7 p.m. Saturday MAIS Class AAA state championship game at Jackson Academy.

Freeman, who is also head JV coach, said he trained some of the varsity team’s players on the junior varsity team, including senior Rebels Aaron Newman and Dawson Parker. 

Newman, a left guard, said there are no selfish players in this year’s Rebel lineup. 

“We’ve all worked hard to get here and the grind doesn’t stop,” Newman said. “Even though we’re all out here in this freezing cold, everyone is contributing.”

Newman said the most difficult obstacle the team had to overcome was a reduced number of players. 

“We are used to having 40 or 50 teammates and we only have 24 players,” Newman said.  “And we’ve had some tough games.”

Last week’s win against the Heritage Academy Patriots was the roughest played game of the season, said Parker, an outside linebacker. 

“It was miserable,” Parker said. “It was so cold and muddy. Everyone was slipping and sliding. We were filthy, but we showed up, and we showed up with intensity.”

Senior wide receiver and corner kicker Greg Jones agreed with Parker. 

“No one played us the way (Heritage) did,” Jones said. “(Heritage) was really strong the first half, but after halftime we settled down and put it out.”

 Playing a great game will be a strong emphasis for Parker during Saturday’s game.

“We’re going to have good sportsmanship regardless what happens,” Parker said. “We all think that’s important.”

Jones and senior right tackle Vincent Carter agreed with Parker. Carter added that putting up points would also be a chief objective.

“We trained hard for this all summer and it’s finally paying off,” Carter said. 

Although, Carter said he’s visualizing looking up at the scoreboard and seeing the clock hit the 00 mark in the fourth quarter and then looking to his buddies and saying, “We did it” — the win would be bittersweet.  

“The season is coming to an end,” Carter said. “When every practice ends I think we are that much closer to graduation and this is going to end. We won’t be practicing on these fields every day. This team won’t be together every day, and I’m going to miss them.”

Freeman said several of the senior Rebels have potential to garner college scholarships.

“It’s been a great joy watching them grow and develop their athletic skills and education,” Freeman said.