By Kyle Roberts
Week one of spring football practice has come to an end, and Ruston High School head coach Jerrod Baugh was overall pleased with how his team is responding, while acknowledging the group has work to do.
“I’m a football coach, so it’s never what it needs to be,” Baugh said. “We obviously want kids to produce and do as well as they can, and three days of practice isn’t enough time to get them there. I think we’ve made some progress in some areas.
“I thought today, particularly in the scrimmage, the defense was ramped up and the offense didn’t do so hot.”
Hard to argue, as this offense will be scrimmaging and practicing all spring with arguably one of the top defensive units in the state.
Quarterback Josh Brantley has been tasked with taking over for three-year starter Jaden Osborne after a stellar career at the helm of the offense for Ruston. On Thursday, Brantley suffered a slight leg injury that caused him to sit out for the remainder of practice.
Baugh has listed Brantley as day-to-day, and does not believe the injury to be serious.
“Then, you have to rearrange some things after that,” Baugh said. “We were already breaking in some new guys offensively, and you know, this is a defense that is returning a lot of starters.
“Overall, the first three days were pretty good. Our strength and conditioning program through the offseason put us in a good, good spot. This was the hardest week we’ve had so far, and we’ve had no cramping issues. I’m pleased up to this point.”
Heading into week two, Baugh is hoping to continue to see the steps forward, while watching the veterans build on the experience and success seen last season.
“Defensively, we just bring back so many guys, and they’re all really football savvy,” Baugh said. “They’ve got a knack for the game, and they were really smart players last year. And then you add the experience; they just get out here and hit the ground running.
“Offensively, we’re replacing some key guys out there, and when they play against the defense, it’s tough, but it will only make us better.
Ruston will take the remainder of the week off and get back to practice on Monday, May 8.