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Natchez area football freshmen begin high school playing careers

NATCHEZ — As Natchez football teams return to the practice fields, freshmen players are getting their first taste of high school football.

Matthew Freeman, Adams County Christian School coach of wide receivers and quarterbacks, said he is impressed with the freshmen.

“The freshmen’s work ethic has been outstanding,” Freeman said. “They have great attitudes and everyone pushes each other to get better.”

Jack Peterman and Loughton Barrett are two of the 10 freshmen on the ACCS Rebels football team.

“I have never played junior varsity football before,” Peterman said. “I was going to play my seventh and eighth grade year but I was scared. I did not want to get hit.”

Meanwhile, Barrett said he played last year in eighth grade.

“Everyone told me that I needed to play and I started looking for a school to play football,” Barrett said. “Adams County Christian School was the best school I had seen. I saw how the environment was real nice and I liked it here.”

Chuck Darbonne, head coach of the Cathedral High School Green Wave, said there are 16 freshmen at football practices. Darbonne added the freshmen have stepped up and made some significant strides so far this summer.

“The hard work they are putting in now will greatly benefit their chances of having a successful junior high season and possibly even carve out their roles with the varsity team,” Darbonne said.

Jack Whittington and Jordan Herrington are among the 16 freshmen on the Green Wave football team.

Whittington said practices are a lot harder than the middle school practices.

“I think the practices will make us better for the upcoming season,” Whittington said.

Whittington said he has been playing football for approximately seven to eight years. Meanwhile, Herrington said he has been playing for approximately three to four years.

“I like the physicality of football and it keeps me in shape,” Herrington said. “The practices are all going to pay off in the end. Conditioning helps with running down the field and being able to catch the football and trying to make a good play.

Similarly to ACCS, approximately 10 freshmen are practicing for the Natchez High School Bulldogs.

Randy Craft, head football coach for Natchez High, said it is great to see the freshmen coming to practices and working hard.

“We are looking for some big things for those guys,” Craft said. “I think practices are going to get the freshmen acuminated to high school quicker than they wanted to, practices are going to get them used to the system that we are trying to run and the tempo that we want to play at. I’m excited to have those guys out here working hard every day.”

Caron Williams, Troy Jones and Jaylin Davis are three of the 10 freshmen on the Bulldogs football team.

Williams said he thinks practices have been going good so far and likes to work on his health and getting his body in shape.

Both Jones and Davis played middle school football at Natchez Middle School. Davis said high school football practices are much harder than middle school practices due to more workouts.

Jones said he has been playing football since he was 5 years old.

“Since I was born, my dad was a Pittsburgh Steelers fan and I was a Steelers fan too,” Jones said. “Since being a Steelers fan, I wanted to play football. I just love playing it and it keeps me out of trouble.”