Brusly’s football future
Photo by Terri Witt/The West Side Journal
As I watch the Brusly High football team practice on a hot October afternoon with a backdrop of sugarcane and Cinclare's historic profile, it is not lost on this city girl that I am watching the epitome of small town football where the type of football stories like "Friday Night Lights" are told.
As much as I love watching college and pro ball, there is nothing quite like the spirit and heart of football that is strictly about win or lose. Where Coaches teach winning humbly and losing gracefully. That is this team; under the watchful eye of coach Marc Brown.
I spoke to Brown about the direction of Brusly High footballand the impact of a season that has them 2-3 in District play despite having multiple leaders in division statistics.
Brown readily speaks of a team that had a late start, due to a coaching change at the beginning of the summer.
Brown, who had been an offensive line coach for Brusly, left his coaching job at Livonia High School to take this head coaching position in July.
Brown says this is a young team and a completely new coaching staff having them "behind the 8-ball" at the start of the season.
I could hear the excitement in Brown's voice as he then began to talk about the future of Brusly football.
An increased interest to play for Brusly, as well as the current little league and middle school programs are where Brown sees a move in the right direction.
Brown speaks very highly of the programs for the youth. Brown expects to see the efforts of those involved in the youth programs benefit Brusly High on the field in the future.
Even though we spoke mostly of Brusly's football future you can’t ignore that Brusly has some players that are outstanding in the here-and-now.
Every Friday night, in addition to a few others, you hear the names Grant (28), Nash (11), Dupont (12), Bell (4), Godfrey (5), Claiborne (2) and Holliday (1) over the loudspeakers.
Watching Jason Holliday’s quarterback scramble reminds me of watching John Elway, Roger Staubach and even Holliday's own personal idol, Cam Newton, play.
I asked Holliday (currently a junior) about his future goals. Holliday, who also plays basketball, hopes to play for the NBA or NFL after college.
Holliday also understands that his role is not only as a team leader as a quarterback, but also as a fellow athlete. It’s a role he says he takes very seriously and exemplifies in his actions and mannerisms.
The two people Holliday refers to as his "biggest fans" are his mother and his coach.
I also spoke to a player, that you may not hear his name over the loudspeakers often; but his impact is felt on the field, senior Christen Free (66) who plays center.
When Brown took over the Brusly football program, the team was lacking a quality center. Brown approached Free about the position and Free stepped up to the plate. Free also takes his leadership role seriously, understanding he has many of the freshman and sophomore offensive line looking up to him.
Free hopes to go to college and then become a pipeline welder. Free, without hesitation, lists his mom as his biggest fan and supporter.
Free looks up to the entire coaching staff as his mentors stating they not only are teaching about on the football field but how to be "better men in life.”
Having the ability to watch this team and coaching staff interact leaves no doubt - they are winners.