• 55°

Natchez High hosts Jefferson County High Friday

By Patrick Murphy

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — Move over Mississippi State and Ole Miss. There’s another rivalry in Mississippi. The U.S. 61 rivalry between Natchez High and Jefferson County.

Ever since head coach Roy Rigsby began coaching five years ago, he said the rivalry between the two teams has been intensifying, even though the rivalry predates his arrival.

Rigsby said he would compare the intesity of the Natchez and Jefferson County rivalry to intensity of the Mississippi State and Ole Miss rivalry.

“It might be in a different class of ball,” Rigsby said, “but the nature of the rivalry always stays the same.”

When Rigsby first came to Natchez, he said he noticed his players played a different brand of football within the rivalry matchups.

This Friday night, the Bulldogs will host Jefferson County.

“That 61 rivalry is still alive and well. We’re well aware of that,” Rigsby said. “We know it’s not a regular game, even though it might look like that on schedule.”

In comparison, Jefferson County is located 24.5 miles up the road in Fayette.

Senior Brad Dean Jr. said the rivalry is more personal for him than for any of his other teammates.

“I have my dad’s side of the family is from Jefferson County,” Dean said. “I love this game, and I take it personally. It’s more personal for me. I know I have been ready since the season started.”

The Bulldogs come into this home-season opener on a winning streak, after defeating Wilkinson County, 34-18 in last week’s season opener on the road. Last season at home, the Bulldogs were 3-3.

Rigsby said with the home fans it helps the morale of the team.

“Our coaching staff appreciates the Natchez fans for the charisma they give us when they’re cheering in the stands,” Rigsby said. “We feed off of their enthusiasm.”

The Tigers come into this game coming off of a loss to Magee High School, 32-0. One of the aspects of the Tigers that Rigsby said he respects is the physicality.

“We highly respect Coach (James) Harrison and Jefferson County, and we don’t underestimate them,” Rigsby said. “The physical-type team he has built, we understand that. We think he’s doing a great job down there.”

News

Vidalia missing teen found after extensive search

News

Law enforcement agencies continue search for missing 17-year-old

News

Natchez hires help in procuring disaster relief funds due to winter storm damage

News

Officials OK signs for high school sports championship row

DEVELOPING NEWS

Adams County Water Association lifts boil water notice

COVID-19

Teachers, first responders to be eligible for vaccine Monday

News

Mississippi House votes to overhaul several state taxes

News

Three men arrested in connection with 2018 double homicide

News

Natchez Water Works lifts boil water advisory

News

Ferriday man arrested for alleged assault on power line workers

News

Health care workers excited to open Trinity Medical Center

Business

Businesses impacted by severe winter weather

News

Utility companies still working to restore power, water to Miss-Lou residents

News

Damaged sewage line leaks raw sewage into St. Catherine’s Creek

News

Miss-Lou still assessing damage caused by severe winter storm

News

Schools reopening after winter storm

Church News

St. Mary Basilica damaged in storm, but nothing that cannot be repaired

News

Devin Heath named new Visit Natchez Executive Director

News

No in-person classes for Natchez or Concordia Parish on Monday; ACCS and Cathedral will hold classes

News

Mayor: Natchez water situation greatly improved

News

Thousands still without power in Adams County

News

Natchez Brewing Company gives fresh water to Natchez residents

News

City of Natchez needs help finding leaks during water crisis

News

Photo gallery: Sparkling crepe myrtles add beauty to downtown Natchez scene