PICKERING, La. (KPLC) - After going a combined 1-19 over the past two seasons, the Pickering football program decided to make a change at the top and looked to Ryan Russo to lead the Red Devils.
"The attitude has completely changed," Pickering quarterback Braden LeBato said. "There's no negativity. It's all 100 percent, 100 miles an hour and full throttle."
And so far, the change has paid off. Pickering is off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2015 thanks to a high powered offense that is averaging 45 points per game. The leader of that attack? Junior quarterback Braden LeBato.
"It just seems unreal because of what we've been through the last two years," LeBato admitted. "We deserve it and it just feels amazing."
"When you're one of the harder working kids everybody respects that. When you have respect you have leadership," Pickering head coach Ryan Russo said.
LeBato has been money for Pickering through the first two weeks of 2019. He was a perfect 5-5 and tossed for three scores in the Red Devils 54-8 win over Northwood-Lena. LeBato then followed that up with a 241 yard, five touchdown performance in Pickering's comeback win over East Beauregard.
"I knew it was there but I didn't know when it was going to come out," said LeBato. "I've worked my butt off for it and football has meant so much to me my whole life. To see it pay off feels great."
LeBato and the Red Devils realize that this is just the beginning, and if they keep improving it could be the beginning of something special.
“Fixing the little things is going to help in the long run,” LeBato said. “We’re looking for a district championship, we haven’t had a district championship in a while. That would be huge for the community and after that, who knows?”