Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Riverside football summer conditioning program preps Rebs for ‘06


Sports Editor

Rebels are, by definition, rebellious. They’re hard to stifle, tough to suppress and nearly impossible to squash. And while the Riverside football program has a history of being all of those things, these Rebels don’t seem to have any problem falling right in line come practice-time.

With seven returning starters on the offensive side of the ball, the Rebels look to have a potent running game this season once the season gets started in district 10-2A. Jarid Caesar returns for his sophomore season to lead an RA attack that helped carry the team into last year’s quarterfinals. Stepping in to take the reigns under center with the graduation of last year’s quarterback A.J. Delaneuville will be Wade Laiche, who is entering his junior year.

&#8220We’ll have a big offensive line,” said Roy Aubert. &#8220With that, and with Jarid back, we’ll be alright.”

Defensively, the Rebels will have a good bit of a different look with just four returning starters.

In one of the most competitive districts, of any in the state, the Rebels are grouped in with the state champs (John Curtis), the state runners-up (SCC), and two other playoff teams in Donaldsonville and St. James, which already produce intense match-ups.

The Rebels would like to pick up things where they left off last season as they were on a roll with two dominating wins in the playoffs before running into John Curtis in the quarterfinals.

&#8220We got that core returning on offense,” said Riverside assistant football coach and Athletic Director Tim Taffi of the team’s consistency from last season. &#8220And Jarid Caesar will be coming back as a sophomore. But we’ll have some new faces on defense, and we’ll have to get some guys to step up.”

The program is led by coach Mickey Roussel who has the squad conditioning on Monday’s, Tuesday’s and Thursday’s with the weekends off. The players are doing a combination of speed and sprint drills in addition to early morning workouts to prepare themselves for the upcoming season.

Replacing Lee Haydel, who has signed on with LSU baseball, will be another formidable task as the Rebels search the relatively young, but experienced squad for talent that can play both sides of the ball.

&#8220We have a select few guys that will probably play both ways [on offense and defense],” Taffi said. &#8220We try to take advantage of the skills that these kids have and put them in position to get our team a win.”