Bearcat letters: 12/14/22

Photo credit: Jaden Osborne

For the remainder of this week, the LPJ will run letters and from community supporters for the Ruston Bearcats after their run to the Superdome. Submissions to will be accepted through 12/15/22.

Dear Ruston 2022 Football,
This has been one of the most exciting football season ever. You have done more than play football. I have seen so much unity  and love displayed in the stands, community as well as on the field.
The coaches were awesome.
Thank you Coach Baugh and staff.
The Bearcats may have lost the championship game, but they have so much more they have given to the City of Ruston than anyone could imagine.  
Our job now, as a community is to not let them forget that. Let ‘s continue to thank them for being a part of history, District 5 Champs as well as a just being a part of this journey.
As I share this conversation Jaden Osborne and his mom had when he was a Ruston Junior High seventh grader regarding the West Monroe team, I hope you find in it what I did. I found the sincere and love that he has for the game as well as the team, the love for his grandfather (Late Larry Douglas), and the determination to follow his vision he had for RHS Football Team.
7th grade Jaden- “Momma, our team is going to make Ruston great again.”
Me- “Oh really, what makes you say that?”
7th grade Jaden- “It’s just a mental thing with West Monroe, we don’t believe we can win, we’re going to win when we get to the high school, but papa won’t be here to see it.”
Me- “Yes he will, and he’ll have the best seat in the house 😇
Go Bearcats!
You got me hooked!
See you next season!🏈
By Mert Douglas 
Jaden Osborne’s Grandmother
Congratulations to the 2022 Bearcat team!

Your talents, effort, and teamwork led to success on the field which may help future teams play for and win championships. 

Your season was very much like the 1984 team, of which I was a part, which also finished 13-2 with loses in an early game and the state championship.  As such, here’s what I would tell my younger self which I hope is helpful to you:

(1) Your true identity is not based upon success or losses in a sport, classroom, your future job, or in worldly things.  Truth be told, the 1984 team, except for those connected to it, is rightly overshadowed, and perhaps even forgotten, due to the championship teams of that era.  Similarly, your efforts this year should they lead to future championships may also, ironically, lead to the 2022 team being overshadowed, too.  But, even the championship teams will one day be largely forgotten.  Know this though: The only identity that has eternal meaning is whether you trust, love and follow Jesus, or not.  The Good News is that by committing your life to Him “all things work together for good to them that love God.” (Romans 8:28)

(2) Football can teach teamwork, discipline, toughness, leadership, and humility. Since most cannot play it beyond high school, its value is primarily in these life lessons and the relationships which are built.  Keep the wins and losses in that perspective, don’t dwell unhealthily on either, and commit going forward to define “winning” through the lens of scripture and Christ’s gospel.

(3) Look to be part of building in Ruston or whatever future place God leads you a life, family, church and community that honors Jesus and loves its neighbors.  This is the type of legacy to which we all should aspire. 

Godspeed going forward! 

Christian Lewis
Lafayette, LA

*Letters and notes will be reviewed by LPJ staff before publishing. Not every note is guaranteed to be published.

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