By Kyle Roberts
Just over two weeks ago, Ruston High began its spring football practice on a campaign both continue and build upon the success of the 2022 season, where the Bearcats appeared in the state title game for the first time since 1998.
Now, after nearly ten practices since Monday May 1, the Bearcats will finally have the chance to see a different set of jerseys on the other side of the line: the Haughton Buccaneers on the road tonight.
“I think we’re in a good place,” Ruston head coach Jerrod Baugh said. “You know, it’ll be interesting for us to get out there against another team. I think our kids are kind of getting tired of hitting on the same guys all the time. And so I think it’ll be refreshing for us to get out there against another team and just kind of see how we stack up against somebody else.
“It will be interesting for the coaches too, I think. There’s always things to work on and all of that, but especially, in the springtime you got schools about to be out and all of that and everybody’s kind of winding things down. I think it’ll be a good finale on on Thursday and give us some good video to go through and and see exactly where we are going into the summer.”
While graduating a lot of kids from the 2022 team, Ruston has brought back a core group on the defensive side of the football that has been bolstered by basketball standout Aidan Anding, who will play defensive back for the Bearcats.
“Aidan had been out of football for a while,” Baugh said. “I think what he’s been able to do at corner has been really good. We’re excited to see him progress.”
On the offensive side of the football, Josh Brantley will take over at the quarterback position to replace three-year starter Jaden Osborne. Early in the first week of spring ball, Brantley had a minor leg injury that limited his participation.
“He’s been good,” Baugh said about Brantley. “We’ve slowly worked him back into the fold. He’s done what he’s needed to do to get back going. Yesterday, he was able to get in some contact-drill work. I think he’s done really well with the reps he was able to get.”
Ruston and Haughton will scrimmage tonight at 6 p.m. with multiple offensive and defensive sets allotted for both teams. After, the teams will play for two quarters with a running 12-minute clock.