Rose Bud continued its opening week of practice on Wednesday with a 34-player roster as the heat index soared over 100 degrees. Despite the sudden transfer of all-conference quarterback Christian Reynolds, the Ramblers remain focused on the upcoming season with an abundance of skill players and an experience offensive and defensive front ready to step up.
The Ramblers practiced in helmets and shoulder pads for the first time Wednesday and plan to go full pads on Monday. “I thought we were okay [today],” said Rose Bud Coach Steve Rose, who held the seniors after practice for a meeting. “We've got to clean up some stuff but it was our first day in pads, first day we were real hot and that's always an effect. But I thought the run game we were fairly sharp. We were on the right guy. We were a little more run-oriented through practice so maybe that's the reason we were a little more sharp.”
Rose Bud junior Andrew Adcock and sophomore Jake Cantey are vying for playing time at quarterback. At the end of Wednesday's practice, both took snaps with the first team offense.
“We didn't have trouble throwing the ball. We had a couple of plays we were a little off on and a couple things we could have maybe done a step better but overall I was happy … Just trying to make sure we stay on target. Both quarterbacks look great,” added Rose.
In the first three days of practice, Rose said the Ramblers are preparing to achieve their lofty goal of making a run at the 2-3A Conference title. “We've looked fine. We've been in shorts and helmets [until today] so there is limited stuff you can do. A lot of drill work and things like that so we haven't had a lot of contact. We will get a little bit more of a realistic look today with at least shells on to block a front or at least simulate blocking a front. They are very focused.”
Rose Bud senior running back Cole Robertson (5-10, 200), who ran for 1,091 yards and 12 touchdowns on 162 carries last season while earning all-conference honors, has emerged as a team leader along with senior offensive lineman Tristan Zimmerlee (6-0, 230).
“Obviously Cole Robertson has done well and Tristan Zimmerlee has looked good. All the offensive linemen have looked good every day. Defensively, I have been happy with the whole front. We haven't had very many back end stuff, not a lot of pass stuff so we will see how that goes when we get into next week,” said Rose.
Rose Bud travels to Bigelow for a preseason scrimmage on Monday, Aug. 26 in preparation for its season opener against Hazen on Thursday, Sept. 5 in the Hootens.com Kickoff Classic at Estes Stadium in Conway. Rambler fans are encouraged to buy tickets at the school.