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|Marks legacy lives on|
Bobby Marks is a proud papa. Actually, he's always been proud of sons Rusty and Byrnsie and daughter Lisa.
Marks is proud for one of his "other" sons.
Ron Rushing was named head football coach at Cathedral High School.
That now makes three of the four head football coaches at Natchez schools having played under Marks at Adams County Christian School.
"I'm excited for Ron," Marks said. "When I came out of retirement to coach at AC (2005), he did a heckuva job for me. He was one of the finest players I ever coached. He was excellent as a player and he will do well as a coach."
Trinity head football coach David King played under Marks from 1985-87. King won his third state championship at Trinity last year.
ACCS head football coach Paul Hayles.
And if Huntington were not shutting down Hound head baseball coach and assistant football would be Matt Mason.
And for the academic side, Vidalia Junior High principal Whest Shirley played football under
Rushing played under Marks from 1988-90.
"Coach Marks loved the game," Rushing said. "I want to be able to run the football the same way he wanted. I don't know that we'll be able to do it in the same way."
Rushing has served as an assistant coach at AC and Trinity and was in his first year at Cathedral last year.
"I'm excited about it," said Rushing. "I don't think there will be any major changes. The Beesleys have done everything right for so long. I may change up the practice schedule a little bit, but there's not going to be any major overhaul."
Rushing said he knows he will have a lot of support.
"I just fell in love with this place last year," he said. "I love the school and the whole Cathedral community."
Marks, who led Huntington to the Class A LISA state championship in 1971, said he knew Ron and Paul wanted to get into coaching.
"Out of the whole bunch, I didn't think David would get into coaching," Marks said. 'But he has certainly done a great job. I was very fortunate to have some great kids play for me."
Ironically, the last time a Beesley (Ken Sr. or Craig) was not the head football coach at Cathedral was in 1977 when Marks took over for one season.
Marks came to Cathedral when Thomas Jefferson school in Natchez shut down. He spent one year as the Green Wave coach, going 10-1 and leading Cathedral to a win over Clarkdale of Meridian in the River City Bowl. The Green Wave lost to Leakesville in the Tri-County Shrine Bowl in Lucedale soon after, trailing 26-0 at halftime before losing 26-24.
Before the playoffs, Mississippi's larger schools played in the Big Eight Conference. There was the regular state poll and a Little 10 poll.
"It was unfortunate, but because of a scheduling problem, Cathedral did not play in a conference that year," Marks said. "We were playing a bunch of double-A and even triple-A teams. We beat Raymond in the first game and they were picked to win state in double-A. I hate it for those kids, because I believe they could have been conference and state champions."
There was not a playoff system in Mississippi until 1981, when South Natchez defeated Starkville 21-6 in the AA state championship game. Double-A and single-A were the only two classes in Mississippi at that time. South Natchez coach Ed Reed called that Colonel team his best ever.
Marks then took over as head coach at ACCS where he led the Rebels to several memorable wins and a state championship in 1982.
Ken Beesley took over the head coaching position at Cathedral in 1978.
"Bobby got the most out of his players," Beesley said. "He was an outstanding strategist when it came to the game of football. He loved to run the ball and control the football game. He would wait until the other team made a mistake and then he would take advantage of it."
Marks said with three former players now coaching in Natchez, he'll have no problem finding something to do on Friday nights in the fall.
"I'll have an easier time finding a game on Friday," he said.
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