BOSSIER CITY, La (KMSS/KTAL) – At Bossier High School, Friday night football has long been an afterthought.

Instead, the attention of Bearkat nation has focused on the hardwood. In the last ten seasons, the team has captured three 4A basketball titles. But that success hasn’t translated to the football field.

“We were one dimensional, our high school was just based on run run run,” says Quarterback Carlos Butler.

In the past seven seasons, the Bearkats have finished with a winning record just once. That’s where former Grambling defensive back and first-year Head Coach De’aumante Johnson comes in, with a new spread offense, and a fresh plan.

“In 2011-12 when Bossier won the District, a lot of those guys were basketball players,” says Johnson.

That 2011 team went 10-2. Johnson plans on using that same blueprint to return the program to that same mark. The last time Butler and top receiver Joseph Manning played football the two were eighth-graders. That doesn’t concern Johnson.

These guys are tough and they want to play football.”

They’re not the only ones who want to play. Bossier finished 2020 with just 16 players. This season, they have 57.

“We have so many kids now we don’t have enough jerseys,” Johnson explains.

In the first year of the Coach Johnson era, the basketball players, turned football seniors are looking to help set the foundation for the future.

“I’m just looking forward to helping the younger guys because one day this will all be theirs,” Manning says.

“It’s exciting, everybody is talking about they hope we do good, hope there’s a new change. We’re going to have the best season we’ve ever had,” says Butler, while admitting there was some rust involved with not playing quarterback in over four years.

The rust isn’t an issue for his Head Coach, who is happy to have the athletes who bring a winning pedigree with them to the football field.

“We let it be known, we want you here, we want you around this program to do something around here that’s never been done before and that’s win a state championship.”

The quest for that first football state title begins September third against Arcadia.