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BRUCE, Miss. (WCBI) — Expectations were through the roof last season at Bruce.

But the Trojans were hit hard by injuries and saw their season end with a 5-8 record.

Aug 21 New Albany home
Aug 28 Vardaman* away
Sept 4 Coffeeville home
Sept 11 North Pontotoc* away
Sept 18 South Pontotoc home
Sept 25 Choctaw Co away
Oct 2 Winona* home
Oct 9 Eupora* away
Oct 16 Calhoun City* home
Oct 23 East Webster* away
Oct 30 Okolona* home
*District games

While the overall record doesn’t seem promising, winning three of their last four plus two wins in the playoffs is something to build off of for the Trojans.

Add that to their tenacity in the weight room and the practice field, and head coach James Ray likes what he has coming back.

“I’ve been around a lot more talented teams since I’ve been here but I’ve never been around a team that works this hard, “coach Ray said. “We’ve had a tremendous summer with the number of kids that show up ready to work and they don’t want to leave when it’s over with. We have to force them out the door to go home. When you have a group like that, good things can happen.”

Senior quarterback Wesley Ross returns for his final season leading the offensive brigade at Bruce. The Trojans began to hit their stride towards the end of last season on offense, and that’s a key strength going into the 2015 season.

“There’s no doubt,” Ray said. “We have two strengths on offense this year: the offensive line will be the biggest since I’ve been here and they’re all back except one plus our quarterback Wesley Ross will be a strength as well.”

Bruce is a relatively young team in terms of on-field experience with a strong senior class departing, but that youth got to see an un-precedented run from the 4-seed Trojans in the playoffs last year.

The hope is the Trojans can combat last year’s injury struggles and use the momentum from the end of the season to have a much improved year.

“Last year that’s what hurt us was injuries early on,” coach Ray said. “When we finally got healthy, the season was almost over. Of course, we made the strong push in the playoffs and that was good for us with a lot coming back to get that experience to go deep in the playoffs. If we can stay healthy early and get a better position in the playoffs, we have a chance”

Bruce will start the season at home versus New Albany before visiting Vardaman the following week.

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