Sweet Water to host Bastrop High (La.)

Published 2:28 pm Wednesday, May 27, 2009

SWEET WATER — Sweet Water High School head football coach Stacy Luker confirmed Wednesday that his Bulldogs will host Bastrop High (La.) Friday, Oct. 2. The commitment from one of the top programs in the state of Louisiana fills the void left on the Bulldogs’ schedule several weeks ago when Class 1A, Region 1 member Frisco City learned its doors would be closed.

“We just needed a game and it really got to the point where it didn’t matter who or what size,” Luker said of the search for an opponent to fill the week six slot.

“I used to recruit that area when I was coaching in junior college (at East Central Mississippi),” Bastrop High head coach Brad Bradshaw said. “So I know the level of football they play over there. We signed a lot of kids from that area.”

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One condition the Sweet Water head coach and athletic director had to take into consideration was his team’s need for another home game.

“We just needed another home game to make it five and five,” Luker said of the home and away schedule split. “There wasn’t anybody out there. There wasn’t anybody in the panhandle of Florida. There wasn’t anybody in Alabama.”

In Bastrop Luker found an opponent that is not only willing to make the trek to Sweet Water, but also one that promises to test the Bulldogs’ mettle.

“They’re real good. I know that they won the 4A state championship in 05, 06 and 07. I know that they’ve had about a dozen Division I signees the last few years,” Luker said of the Rams.

Bastrop, one of the top programs in Louisiana, has achieved national recognition in recent years. Under Bradshaw, the Rams have sent a number of high profile players into the collegiate ranks, including 2009 LSU signees Josh Downs and Rivals.com No. 2 national prospect Reuben Randall.

Bastrop, 131-25 in 12 years under Bradshaw, had a 49-game winning streak snapped by national power Evangel in 2008.

“We won’t go into this game with our eyes closed,” Luker said. “We’ll know exactly what kind of monster we’ll be facing that night. It’ll be good for us either way.”

Bastrop, who went 11-2 last season, enters the match-up with similarly high expectations of the Bulldogs.

“I don’t really know a lot about Sweet Water as far as what they do scheme-wise,” Bastrop High coach Bradshaw said. “But I know they’ve won four state championship in five years and I’ve seen their scores. They’re averaging about 60 (points) a game and giving up about six. You have to be awfully good to do that.”