Russell Christian Academy looks to rely on young talent in the new season
MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Russell Christian Academy is no stranger to state championship in eight man football.
They have racked up 5 straight state championship all of which have come during head coach Andy Braddock’s five year tenure as the head coach of the Warriors.
Enter this new season the Warriors are in a bit of a rebuilding mode.
“We’re going to have to get after it,” said coach Braddock. “We’ve got a lot of new kids, playing a lot of new positions this year. Uh were having to adjust the personnel on the team- on the field from what they played last year. We lost a lot of good players who graduated last year. A lot of outstanding players. But if we’re conditioned, we’ve got grit. We may not win it but we’re going to be competitive.”
The Warriors did lose their entire offensive line, their starting quarterback and their starting running back from last season. They return with only 10 seniors, but only four are expected to start.
“We’ve got new pieces and stuff,” said senior wide receiver, Kam Darden. “We’ve got a lot of old, key pieces that was gone, like for seniors, but we’ve got new guys that have filled in and we’ve got some more upcoming so we’ve got a lot of young dogs out here.”
The one area that did not take a hit, the wide receiver core.
”Personnel is going to be a little bit different,” said Darden. “We don’t have- I’m not going to say we are thin on receivers but we have- about the same receivers that we had last year. Like we don’t have any receivers from last year that are gone so and we’re just adjusting to the new quarterback and we’ve been playing with him since 9th grade. But it’s going to be a pretty fun year.”
The Warriors do return last years defensive player of the year, John Benny Jones, who is now battling for the starting quarterback position against wide receiver Aiden Burns. But overall coach just need everyone to do their job.
“Getting after it. Grit. Just everybody knowing where they are suppose to be. 8 man football is assignment football. Everybody’s got an assignment to do. Uh it’s not like 11 man. If you’re out of place it could be a TD for the other team so. Everybody’s got to know where they have to be and what their assignment is.”
RCA opens the season in three weeks.
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