ROSEPINE – With the departure of Johnny Cryer, a new face is leading the Rosepine Eagles heading into the season.

Brad Ducote takes over as head football coach after 20 years of coaching different levels at Rosepine.

"That first real game calling plays is what I'm looking forward to," he said. "I'm really looking forward to that but it's going to be a learning process, but I'm excited about it."

This past season, Cryer led the Eagles to a 10-2 record, despite Rosepine entering the season with a 20-game losing streak.

Cryer has joined the staff of Many High School as an offensive coordinator last week.

"I was approached by the administration and they wanted to keep the transition as seamless as possible," Ducote said. "I've worked for Coach Cryer for 16 of my 20 years, so I've learned from him. I'm going to do the same things as he did, offensively. It will just be a different face and a different voice.

"He told me good luck and that you have a great group of kids. It was a shocker that he left, don't get me wrong, but things happen for a reason."

Ducote has been the head coach at the junior high level while assisting with high school team.

"Once we find our rhythm and games start, we will be OK," Ducote said. "Practice is going to be 90 percent the same as what they did last year. Not much is going to change. That's what the kids believe in and that's what I believe in."

The Eagles ran the ball a lot last season and Ducote plans on doing a lot of the same in his first season.

"I'm probably more of a risk taker than he (Cryer) was," Ducote said. "Coach Cryer was a little more conservative, and don't get me wrong, we're going to run the football. But I like to throw it as well. That's probably our biggest difference."

Ducote's son, Seth, is the starting quarterback for Rosepine and after coaching him for most of his life, he will back at it.

"That was another reason I was reluctant to put name in the hat for the job," Ducote said. "I've coached my kids all their lives, and when they got into high school, I wanted someone else to do it. Last year, it was so relaxing, and I think my kid was more relaxed. I told him that we're going to have to switch gears again."

Ducote won’t be the only "new face" for the team, since Rosepine is without defensive coordinator Danny Smith, who took a head coaching job of his own.

Frank Rosegrant will take over as the defensive coordinator following coaching for DeRidder.

Despite all the changes in the staff, Ducote believes a lot will stay the same on the field and hopes the support from the community will continue to grow.

"I'm from here and I graduated from here," he said. "Most of the community pretty much knows me. The feedback I received was positive after the initial shock. When they found out I took it, it kind of settled things. I'm glad they have faith in me. I know they'll back me and I hope we can continue the success from last year."