Ruston will break in the new turf surface at James Field for the first time Friday when they host West Ouachita in jamboree action. The junior varsity will play at 6 p.m. followed by the freshman and the varsity. Varsity teams are expected to take the field at 8 p.m.
Ruston got a little bit of extra down time, as they played a scrimmage in Shreveport against C.E. Byrd High last Thursday and West Ouachita hosted a three-team scrimmage also involving Union Parish and Delhi Charter on Friday.
Ruston used that one extra day to hold team meetings and get in a workout.
“We went over some things and corrected things from the scrimmage and then went into the weight room for a little bit,” Ruston coach Brad Laird said.
As for the Chiefs, the new-look offense got broken in quite well against a pair of stacked defensive units.
“I have been real pleased with (sophomore quarterback) Hunter Chatham and the way he handled things,” West Ouachita coach Joey Pender said. “I was happy with the defense overall. We started out a little slow, but picked it up at the end. Now we just have to continue to do the things that make you a better football team.”
The strength and conditioning of the Bearcats will be tested against a big and physical West Ouachita team along both the offensive and defensive line.
“It will be physical, and you expect that anytime you play West Ouachita,” Laird said. “We just hope to keep moving forward and keep improving as a team.”
Laird pointed out that the thing he looks for this week from his team is being able to carry over what they do in practice to the game.
“It is just some of the little things,” Laird said. “We will do more in the kicking game now. You get better with live reps whether it be in a scrimmage or a jamboree or what have you. That is how we get better.”
Admission to the jamboree will be $10 at the gate. Schools are encouraging fans to purchase tickets from their own school offices this week as many schools will get benefits of tickets sold at their school.