RUSK — There's a construction project going on daily at Rusk's Eagle Stadium.
A wall is being built right there on the surface of Eagle Stadium.
No, not a true bricks and mortar wall-wall, but a “Black Wall”, as in the “Black Wall Defense.”
Eagle head coach Ted Patton and staff have been spending a lot of time on improving and making sure that everything is working like a well-oiled machine defensively speaking, which at least at this point seems to be the team's strength.
“We lost a lot of kids off of the offensive side to graduation,” Patton said. “We have far less question marks, and we actually return a decent number of experienced kids defensively.”
With graduation claiming the likes of running back Chaston Bennett and quarterback Kody Stanley, plus several of the teams top offensive linemen, the Eagles' best offense may be a stout defense this season.
During two-a-days this month the intensity has been turned up a notch or two in hopes that the “Black Wall” of defenders are able to pass tier first test of the season when the Eagles open the 2013 season at Class 4-A Terrell on Aug. 30.
The lynch pin of the “Black Wall Defense” is senior defensive lineman Octavian Arrington, who was Texas Football magazine's 19-3A Pre-Season Defensive Player of the Year.
Arrington who has been slowed by a minor league injury this week, should be available if the coaches do choose to use him in the line up Saturday morning (9 a.m.) when Rusk visits Diboll Saturday morning for the first of two pre-season games that are on the Eagles' schedule.
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Arrington had 88 tackles and 10 tackles for loss last season.
“Octavian is a good one,” Patton, who played on the defensive line at Baylor during his college days, stated. “He's big, he's fast and he likes to tackle people.”
Morgan Johnson (6' 4”, 240) also works on the D-line with Arrington, to give the Red and Black two wide bodies up front.
Garrett Ault, Josh Ruiz, Jeremy Turner, Morgan Ballew and Austin Ballew all return and should hold down the line backing duties this fall.
Patton brought Robby May in from Prosper to serve as Rusk's defensive coordinator this year. The last time these two partnered up they helped coach Elysian Fields earn a Class 2A state runner-up spot.
May has been busy installing a TCU-like 4-2-5 defense this fall, which is the blueprint for the “Black Wall Defense.”
The defense works so well for TCU that there is a slogan, “Fear the Frog”, that has been floating around TCU circles for a while now.
If the “Black Wall Defense” comes together as planned, maybe a new saying will be unveiled in Rusk.
Only time will tell.