By Kyle Roberts
Following last season’s march to the Super Dome, the 2023 Ruston Bearcats enter the season high on the radar of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association preseason poll, ranking fourth overall.
“I think it’s great that other people feel that good about our football program,” Ruston head coach Jerrod Baugh said. “It shows that there is respect for Ruston football around the state.
“But at the end of the day, we haven’t even played a game yet, and I do not know that a ranking is truly an indication of how good anyone is as of yet.”
Baugh believes the team recognizes the importance of going one day at a time in order to ensure the big expectations do not turn into big disappointments.
“I’ve talked to the kids about this,” Baugh said. “It’s a little bit different of a feeling from last year; it was midway through the season before people outside of our program thought we had a shot to make a deep playoff run.
“With the guys we have coming back and the experience on the field, that’s lending itself to people assuming we will do what we did last year. But our kids understand that this is a new year and a new team. And if you don’t go out and take care of your business on a daily basis, then all this will turn into is expectations and not results.”
The Bearcats are coming off of a 14-0 shut out win over West Monroe last Friday and will be preparing for Warren Easton to come to The Hoss Friday for the 2023 season opener.
Ruston is the only school in Lincoln Parish represented in the LSWA Preseason Poll.
1. John Curtis (5) 0-0 115
2. Catholic-Baton Rouge (2) 0-0 113
3. Destrehan (1) 0-0 111
4. Ruston (3) 0-0 109
5. Zachary 0-0 84
6. Edna Karr 0-0 78
7. Acadiana 0-0 74
8. St. Augustine 0-0 42
9. Carencro 0-0 38
10.West Monroe 0-0 25
Others receiving votes: Southside 22, Brother Martin 15, Airline 13, Captain Shreve 6, Alexandria 6, Archbishop Rummel 4, East Ascension 3, Terrebonne 3, Denham Springs 1, Dutchtown 1, East St. John 1.