VERNON PARISH (KPLC) - In 2019, the Rosepine Eagles saw their first losing season since 2016.
“I told them going into last year that we were going to have bumps because I was going to throw in a bunch of young guys out there and we were going to take our licks, but we’d be better off in the long run," admitted Rosepine head football coach Brad Ducote. "I think that we’re mature this year and fully confident. We’re expected to win. The community expects us to win. So, we’re gonna throw them out there and let the chips fall where they may.”
This year, the Eagles plan to turn their luck around. Quarterback Ethan Frey is back for his junior campaign after throwing for over 1,400 yards and 15 touchdowns a season ago. Frey, an LSU baseball commitment, should be even better under center this season with a year of starting experience under his belt.
“We have a lot of talent in the skill positions coming back from last year. We threw a lot of freshmen and sophomores out there and they progressed as the season went on. We expect big things out of those guys," said Ducote. "We’re suspect up front right now, that’s where our youth is this year. But we’re not asking them to save the world we’re just asking them to do an adequate job and let the skill guys do what they do.”
Meanwhile, 10 minutes down the road, the Eagles district foe, Pickering, is in the hunt to record their first winning season in three years.
“We definitely want of winning season. We have been talking about it and how we’re gonna beat Rosepine," said Pickering offensive lineman Joshua Shackelford. "We’re going to beat all of the teams this year and we’re going to do a lot better than last year. Hopefully, it’s an 8-0 season.”
A familiar face returns under center this season for the Red Devils and that’s sophomore Marlon Freeney, who took over at the end of last year. He comes in already with some Friday night reps under his belt.
“The expectations of being the starter through the summer and preseason is a little different than stepping in midway, but he has experienced a Friday night and he knows the pressure that goes with that and the responsibility that’s put on his shoulders," Pickering head football coach Ryan Russo said. "We feel confident in him and we feel he’s going to have a great year.”
Rosepine is scrimmaging Bolton on Thursday and Pickering will welcome Jonesboro Hodge to town on Friday night.