BRUCE, Miss. (WCBI Sports) - Bruce said goodbye to 16 seniors last school year after making it to the North Half finals. The Trojans have eight seniors this season, returning five starters on offense, and just three on defense. But don’t think Bruce will be without some skill.
“We got a lot of talent. Even though we lost a lot of talent, there’s a lot of young talent that will be juniors next year, really excited about that class. They just got to get their feet wet in a big game. They didn’t get that opportunity last year to play in a lot of big games,” Ray said.
Ray is in his eighth-year as head coach at Bruce. This season, the Trojans are going to run a little bit more from the quarterback position. There’ll be some pistol formations and option plays from senior quarterback Donta Armstrong.
“Not that he can’t throw because he’s been throwing well this morning. He can throw it but we’d rather him run it,” Ray said.
Armstrong is a runner and he says he throws 300 balls everyday in practice, and he’s a leader on this team.
“I encourage them everyday, workouts, 7-on-7s. I encourage them to do their best, give 100% all day every day and go hard everyday,” Armstrong said.
You’ll still see some spread offense from Bruce. Coach Ray says he’s expecting big things from wide receiver and safety Jay Johnson, as well as running back Zack Curithirds. At other positions, it’s a matter of new guys stepping in.
“We got to replace those guys. Find out who are guys are this coming up season and work every day to get better,” Ray said.
Ray says he’s stolen a play of Ole Miss’ book, telling his players to “seize the day,” and that applies to on- and off-the-field actions.
“We live in a age where high school sports, college sports, even professional sports, where character isn’t the highest concern. It is with me, in a small community. So we’re talking about winning the day not just a football player but as a person too,” Ray said.