By Kyle Roberts
Citing the potential for a very hot Friday, Ruston head coach Jerrod Baugh elected to move the traditional fall scrimmage with C.E. Byrd to Thursday night at James Field at Hoss Garrett Stadium.
“It’s going to be pretty hot going on Friday,” Baugh said. “And I guess the fact of the matter is that scrimmages are considered to be regulated like practices are, which means the weather outside determines whether we can practice in full gear or half shell or helmets or that we can’t go outside at all. All that kind of comes into play for scrimmages.
“And so just looking at the weather on Friday, it looked like we were going to be in the danger zone of not being able to go out in full gear. And, obviously it would be really, really late by the time it cooled off enough to where we could go out in full gear.“
Ruston has spent the summer camp playing in intrasquad practices and scrimmages, culminating in Bearcat Madness last Friday night. Now, this year’s squad has the opportunity to turn the page on last season as it looks to make another run for a state title beginning with the scrimmage against the Yellow Jackets.
“I think the kids are pretty excited,” Baugh said. “It just gets to be a long period of time from January all the way to August. You do a little bit of seven on seven against other people or whatever, but they’re about tired hitting on each other. And so I think they’re looking forward to not only hitting on somebody else, but it signifies that the start of the season is here, and there’s that excitement.
“I kind of feel that this year’s team is looking forward to it, and this will finally put last year into last year. You just hear all of the things about how good our season was last year. And I think you’ll just continue to hear all of those things. But I think for them, it’ll be a way to finally put to bed last year and turn the page and, you know, start their own deal for this year.”
Baugh enters his ninth overall season as a coach for Ruston and his seventh season as head coach. Each season he’s been on the staff, Ruston has played Byrd in the fall scrimmage with some at home and away.
“I think it’s very beneficial for both teams to play this scrimmage,” Baugh said. “They are always a really physical football team, and they’re very well coached. And since we’re a non-select school and they’re select, we won’t see them at all during the season or postseason.
“I prefer to scrimmage against teams that you won’t see again that year, but sometimes it can’t be helped.”
The freshmen will begin at 5:30 p.m. while the varsity is scheduled to take the field at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. There will be two rounds of a controlled scrimmage before the teams will play two 12-minute halves. The entire format is listed below.
Entry for the scrimmage with be $5. Admission is free to students.