SHREVEPORT, La (KMSS/KTAL) – The sidelines at C.E. Byrd football games will look different this Fall after the retirement of long time Head Coach Mike Suggs but the Yellow Jackets’ preparation for the Fall season won’t change much under the direction of first-year Head Coach Stacey Ballew. Ballew has been with the program since 2002.
“Our summer program is similar to what we’ve done in the past. We’ve changed a couple of things but for the most part it’s similar to what we’ve done in the past.”
Why change anything? The ‘Jackets are coming off a Division I state championship game appearance a season ago. In 2020 not many thought Byrd would find themselves in that position. In 2021 the team is using that same doubt as motivation to find themselves there again.
“They doubted us last year but we’re out here working. We’ll show them when the season comes,” said running back Mitchell Ramsey. Ramsey rushed for over 500 yards and 4 touchdowns a season ago and will be a veteran presence to younger Yellow Jackets this offseason.
“Some of the older guys who played last year are helping out some of the younger guys and the younger guys are picking it up real fast.”
It’s a good thing they are. Many of the team’s younger players are competing for valuable playing time with the loss of many of the team’s top contributors due to graduation. Because of the loss of talent, the team believes they’ll have similar preseason expectations to last season. That’s fine with them.
“we’ve got a lot of positions to fill but we’re out here just pushing each other each day,” Safety John Jordan remarked. It’s still unclear who the starting eleven will be come week one for Byrd. The answer to those eleven questions can be found in the effort put forth on hot summer mornings. “It’s up for grabs for everybody you’ve got to just come out here and work hard everyday.”
The Yellow Jackets will open the 2021 season September 2nd against Huntington.