Sports2-a-Days Preview: Istrouma Indians
BATON ROUGE - Consider it a rebirth for the Istrouma Indians after academic issues, poor test scores, put Istrouma into a closure at the end of the 2013-14 school year.
Istrouma is once again back up and running, this time one step closer to bringing football back to the varsity level.
"Istrouma has so much tradition," said head coach Jeremy Gradney. "You know it was a staple in East Baton Rouge Parish for a long time. Everyone is excited about it. We had an opportunity to compete in our first varsity scrimmage this spring."
After going 5-1 last season at the JV level, the Indians will play one more season of junior varsity before making the jump to full-time varsity. Head coach Jeremy Gradney said the ruling on what district and classification Istrouma will join should be announced next January.
This year the Indiana roster will expand from freshman to juniors. Next year the school will add seniors for their first full year playing varsity.
Gradney understands with the administration backing him, the results will slowly start to take shape, but it all boils down to one key word.
"Patience is the key man," admitted Gradney. "So, we're not telling kids you're going to come out and win a state championship this year. It's just not possible. But, we're letting kids know that I'll be here for you and teach you how to have great character. I'm going to make sure academically that you're giving you're best effort. You're gonna play football and have fun. Unfortunately, you go to a school and there's so many kids that you lose sight of having fun. The blessing with us is we're so small, we have a hand on every kid. Our numbers allow us to do that."
This offseason Gradney added some key members to his staff, including former Southern great Lenard Tillery who will coach the running backs this upcoming season.