Lauren Cherry interviews Dereck Rush
Dereck Rush took over a struggling program that went 1-9 a year prior to his arrival at Conroe Oak Ridge in 2012. His philosophy was simple, when faced with adversity never back down. In his 4th year as head coach, the War Eagles wrapped up the last two seasons with a 7-4 record after first round playoff losses. Rush is pleased with the direction his program is going, but his team is looking to go from "Good to Great" in 2015. "When I took over I knew it would be a marathon and not a sprint" Rush said. "We're not satisfied and we want more. Being district champs and making it deep in the playoffs are goals the team has set for themselves." Leading the way on the offense is senior quarterback Braden Letney who threw for over 1,290 yards and 13 touchdowns to only two interceptions last season. The loss of Kwami Etwi, who led the ground attack with 1,244 yards last season will be replaced by Lamar Handy and junior running back Jimmie Moore. The War Eagle's have a versatile athlete in Handy, who will get the ball in a variety of ways and lend his hand as a defensive back. With the defense losing nine of its top 10 tacklers to graduation, Rush has been focused on fundamentals in the offseason. "When we open up with Katy Martin Ranch, I want to see our defense do things right. We need to stop the run and not give up the deep ball". At the helm of the D is senior defensive back Daylon Johnson, who had 68 tackles last year and three interceptions last season. "The attitude and overall effort of the kids during spring ball was great and we're looking to recall that focus and enthusiasm during the season".
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