Ups, downs marked NHS season

Published 9:52 am Saturday, April 23, 2022

NATCHEZ — Head Coach Dan Smith had one goal in mind this season: Get his young players through the season without getting beaten up by a strong district. He saw the writing on the wall before the district campaign began. 

Natchez High School’s season ended with a 9-4 loss to Vicksburg Tuesday evening embodying everything about their season. They had great moments where they strung hits together and were aggressive on the base paths. The Bulldogs had six hits in the loss and gave up just seven hits. 

“There were a lot of ups and downs,” Smith said. “I was glad my young kids got to see good competition. They got to see good programs who do everything right from warmups to the end. We will be ready next year.” 

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Smith and his assistant coach sidekicks Kevin Campbell and Charles Cothern Jr. are football coaches at Natchez. Once the final out was called, and a prayer was spoken, they addressed the plans for the summer. 

Spring Football started at Natchez High School Tuesday and once those end after a jamboree on May 12, 2022, they will get back together to work. Players who are not in football will spend a lot more time at the baseball field and those who are in football will put a lot of time in the weight room to get stronger. 

With Roderick Simpson graduating, the Bulldogs will search for a new leader. Smith said it will be someone who will lead by example. He called Cameron Carter, Jaylin “Debo” Davis and Mason Bouldin aside after dismissing the team. 

“They came within themselves. The longer the season went on the better they got,” Smith said. “This was Cam’s first year, he is a basketball player, he had a positive attitude. All of our kids are great. Some have those leadership qualities but you have to be able to lead by example and that is what I told them. I don’t plan on being here next year.” 

Not much is expected to change for Natchez next season. They will be a young squad, Smith said. Over the course of the season they grew and consistently improved. Parents were a great support, there is a lot to build off of, he said. 

‘In the summer, we will be in the weight room and batting cage,” Smith said. “We are thinking about playing a summer league in Jackson. I want to do more teaching this year. We will start with the basics.”