Matchup of styles at Ruskin Jamboree
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Jamborees are a good time for a team to see where it stands right before the season starts. Depending on the team across the line of scrimmage a tea can either feel ready for the first real game or like it needs weeks more time on the practice field.
With all the Jamborees around town teams that were similar and different came together to try and find some things out. Friday night at Ruskin the Class 5 Eagles hosted schools of all sizes as Class 4 Pleasant Hill, Class 3 O’Hara and Class 2 University Academy in its Jamboree.
For Ruskin this is the third year since the Hickman Mills School District closed Hickman Mills High School and combined it with Ruskin. The program struggled the past two years but Friday night the numbers and enthusiasm were both very high.
New head coach Matt Sullivan said his program has overcome the issues that came along with combining two schools. This season there is renewed optimism that the Eagles have a chance to move forward and become a good football program.
“I think we are in a good spot,” Sullivan said. “I wanted to see us live against some other opponents. It’s a good little jamboree that gives you a chance to see where everybody is at.
“I think a lot of the guys have bought into what I am trying to do here up to this point. I think that the merger and those aspects and the negativity has gone away. For the most part everyone sees themselves as Eagles.”
For O’Hara the night was a chance to see a team they are familiar with in Pleasant Hill and one like Ruskin they don’t ever see. Celtics coach Jim DeMarea said his young team needed the jamboree to see where it was before the season starts.
“Anytime its football it’s always fun,” DeMarea said. “That’s the enjoyable part of it, but we still have a long ways to go piecing it together after losing a number of good kids last year.
“We are trying to find some players. We want to see who can step up. Some of the younger kids can do it and some of the older kids who’ve been around and see if they are going to give it to us throughout the season and that is what we are looking at right now.”
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