Cenla Summer Camp: Rosepine Eagles
ROSEPINE, La. (KALB) - The Rosepine Eagles are coming off of back-to-back quarterfinals appearances for the first time in school history, each time under former Eagles’ coach Brad Ducote.
After five seasons as the head eagle, Ducote decided to step down just after the 2022 football season ended.
The Eagles hired from within their coaching staff, promoting offensive coordinator Troy Gardner.
This is Gardner’s first head coaching position after being on staff at DeRidder before becoming the offensive coordinator for Rosepine in 2019.
“Coach Ducote allowed me to kind of implement some of my stuff and allowed me to be a big part of what he did,” said Gardner. “I think he helped make it an easy transition for me.”
During the offseason, the Eagles were tasked with finding a new quarterback, as Jake Smith graduated and is now at Louisiana Tech for baseball.
“At quarterback, we have a junior, Rowan Embrey,” said Gardner. “He has stepped up and is doing a great job. He had to go through a few growing pains, but he will be able to do some things for us that make him different from our previous quarterbacks.”
From the outside looking in, the Eagles did lose many key components in all three phases of the game, but they also have 24 freshmen out of 63 players, who are expected to make an impact.
“We have a lot of new talent, Roan is throwing good balls,” said Eagles’ offensive lineman Blaine Savoie. “I have a lot of faith in him. We have numbers in running backs, and I believe in most of them, Lane Willis, Landyn Lawrence and Devin Janice. They are good guys, they can really pound the rock.”
Rosepine was also faced with the challenge of replacing arguably one of the best running backs in school history, Grant Ducote, who broke the school record last season for rushing yards. He finished his four seasons with the Eagles rushing for over 5,000 yards and 99 touchdowns.
“We have two guys right now, Devin Janice, he is a sophomore,” said Gardner. “He is not going to break away like Grant used to but, he is going to be hard to tackle. We also have Landyn Lawrence. He played a lot of receiver for us last year and started mainly at linebacker, so we are going to ask him to go both ways.”
Rosepine football has never made it to the semifinals or New Orleans for the state championship game, but this year they are ready to prove everyone wrong and join the girls’ basketball team and baseball team as state champions.
“We have two state championships in baseball, girls’ basketball, and it would be nice to get our picture and trophy in there too. It is our goal, and it will always be my goal for these kids when they are here,” said Gardner.
The Eagles are ready to take flight and continue to make history, which will begin on the road against East Beauregard in Week 1.
KALB’s Cenla Summer Camp Series 2023 is presented by La. Farm Bureau.
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