Star quarterback Ethan Frey set the tone for the team on and off the field.
“Ethan had a baseball scholarship to LSU and we asked him to run the ball more than ever,” Ducote said. “He could have easily said ‘No,’ but competed all year.
“Braden Trull was a total warrior. Dalton Keel was a great leader with a great work ethic. Cole Donahue was the hardest worker we had and is a special kid and special talent. Logan Cheever on the defensive line led by example.”
Ducote’s son, Grant, was the offensive co-star, running for nearly 2,000 yards and scoring 35 touchdowns.
“When you get to watch your kids it is a special time; it creates special memories,” Ducote said.
Grant Ducote and Jake Smith lead a talented junior class that Ducote said he expects to keep building on this year’s success.”
“Losing this group of seniors is tough, they are great kids,” Ducote said. “That will leave a void, but this junior class is pretty special too. Smith throws the ball well and can do a great job. We still have quite a bit of talent. We are looking forward to getting back where we were and moving further.
“Bryant Merriweather, Isaiah Stinson, Michael Woods are back, all our offensive line is back and several on the defensive line got time this year.”
Ducote said he’s happy that he found success in his hometown.
“Rosepine is like a family,” he said. “I’m from here, I know the kids and most of the community. The staff is tight and family-like. That makes it all fun. Being around coaches and players you love, it takes the work out of it. It is fun and special.
“I wouldn’t trade my experiences here for anything. I coached junior high for so many years. Junior high kids are eager to learn; they are all ears. That’s what I always enjoyed about coaching youth. I was always worried if the older guys in high school wouldn’t have that attention span, if they would think they knew it all. I’ve never had that problem. I never thought it would be as positive as it has been. It’s been a blessing.”