Community heartbroken over death of former classmate, star quarterback

Published 9:32 pm Thursday, February 27, 2020

NATCHEZ— Sterling Yarbrough left a positive impact on his Trinity Episcopal School and Adams County Christian School classmates, teachers and administrators.

Yarbrough, a quarterback at Trinity and ACCS and ACCS 2019 graduate, was killed in a car wreck on Wednesday morning on Interstate 55 near McComb. Yarbrough was 19 years old.

David King, ACCS Headmaster and ACCS football head coach, coached Yarbrough at both Trinity and ACCS.

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“I honestly don’t recall coaching another kid that had a better demeanor than him,” King said. “Every day we coached him, he had a good attitude. He was a kind spirit. The athletic ability speaks for itself.

“He is one of the handful of men in the history of this community that led their team to a state championship. His athleticism was a very small part of all of the greatness he had. He made me a better man just by being around him.”

On Thursday morning, King emailed out a statement about Yarbrough’s death.

“Our school recognizes the profound impact a tragic loss such as this can have on our students and staff,” King wrote. “Discussing thoughts and feelings about this situation is important to helping your child work through his or her grief.”

Yarbrough played football for three years with the Trinity Saints and one year with the ACCS Rebels.

Manny Singh, one of Yarbrough’s teammates at Trinity, said Yarbrough and he played football with each other since second grade.

“We have been through it all, through thick and thin,” Singh said. “Words can’t explain the bond we had. It’s definitely sad to see my brother go. I just want to say: ‘I love you brother and long live No. 5.’”

In 2017, Trinity Episcopal played in the MAIS Class A State championship game against the West Memphis High School Blue Devils. West Memphis won 56-48 in overtime over Trinity.

“When we lost, I remember we were at the football field and we looked at each other,” Singh said. “I said to him, ‘We’re coming back next year.’”

In the 2018-19 season, Yarbrough was quarterback of the ACCS Rebels. Yarbrough led the Rebels to the MAIS Class 3A state title game against the No. 1 seed Indianola Academy Colonels.

The Rebels won 29-17 over the Colonels and earned their second state football championship in school history.

In the championship game, Yarbrough threw 10 completed passes for 86 yards with one passing touchdown.

Thompson played with Yarbrough in the 2018-19 season.

“He was something special because he knew how to play football,” Thompson said. “He was a leader and led by example. He was a good teammate to have and an awesome friend.”

Yarbrough was named The Natchez Democrat’s 2018 All-Metro quarterback with 111-for-226 passing for 2,180 yards and 27 touchdowns. He ran for 347 yards on 108 carries and ran for seven touchdowns.

Yarbrough graduated from ACCS and went on to play at Hinds Community College in Raymond. Yarbrough was on the Eagles football team.

Services for Yarbrough will be 2 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church in Natchez with Rev. Doug Broome officiating. Visitation will be from noon until service time at the church.

Burial will follow at the Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.