Rebul returns with 13 players, 5-game schedule

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 27, 2002

[08/27/02]One week after canceling a proposed 8-man football season, Rebul Academy is planning on playing a shortened 11-man season.

The Raiders gathered 13 players Friday in an effort to play a retooled five-game season. It’s the latest stop on a roller coaster ride that has taken coach Ben Ashley from an 8-man team schedule, to completely dropping the Raiders’ football program for the year.

But, in the end, it was the school board that wouldn’t quit.

“The board members basically sat down with the kids and told them we had to have a football team,” Ashley said. “Our original 10 came back out and we took three kids off the basketball court.”

The Raiders now have a tentative schedule that replaces the one provided by the Mississippi Private School Association.

The Raiders will play Kemper on Friday; go to Pine Hills, Sept. 6; Presbyterian on Sept. 13; travel to Shreveport, La., Sept. 20 to play Grawood; and finish the season Sept. 27 with CM&I, a team that also considered dropping its program at the start of the year.

“I’m pretty excited because we are playing teams that have had a similar situation as us,” Ashley said. “I just hope we stay healthy.

“I watched Kemper play the other day. They got 18 to 19 kids that are pretty physical. I feel good about our team, I just hope we can avoid injury.”

The Raiders’ indecision has played havoc within the MPSA, affecting schedules and schools alike. But the resurrection of the program may cause more good than harm.

“I’m sure coaches with open dates available are happy,” MPSA Director of Activities Les Triplett said.

Rebul senior Zach Rowland points to one clear indication that the season is definitely underway.

“The cheerleaders came out Friday … all dressed in their cheerleading uniforms and everything,” Rowland said.

“We even made up a school song because of this.”