Aubrey showing no complacency as a senior

Kentravis Aubrey had a perfect season as junior. Pulling off a rare trifecta - Aubrey helped his team win the state championship, earned All-State honors and verbally committed to sign a football scholarship to LSU in the spring.

For whatever reasons, there have been numerous cases of star players following up such seasons with a disappointing senior year. Sometimes it's a matter of the athlete becoming complacent.

 

Rest assured that Aubrey does not fall into the category of resting on his laurels. Through Bastrop High's first five games, Aubrey has gone beast mode, recording a team-high 30 tackles. Last week against Ruston, he logged four tackles, one in the backfield and two quarterback hurries.

 

Aubrey, a 6-4, 290-pound defensive lineman, says committing early has enabled him to relax this season.

 

"I am really glad I committed early," Aubrey said. "It makes the season more enjoyable. I don't have to worry about recruiting. I can just focus on playing the game and helping us win another state championship."

 

Another factor in Aubrey's favor is that he has already met the NCAA's academic qualifications. A 3.3 student, he plans to major in anesthesiology.

 

Aubrey has plenty of company en route to the Southeastern Conference as wide receiver DeAngelo Benton and defensive tackle LaMarcus Williams have committed to LSU and Alabama, respectively.

 

Aubrey and Williams, who also cracked the starting lineup as a sophomore, are the nucleus of one of the best defensive lines in the state. Naturally, the duo jokes about their future rivalry.

 

"When we're lifting weights we try to encourage each other," Aubrey said. "He'll say, 'If you don't hit this lift, LSU isn't going to want you. I'll say, 'If you don't hit this lift, Alabama isn't going to want you.'"

 

From an opponent's perspective, the Rams' front four - and the entire defense for that matter - has been no laughing matter. Through the first four games, the starting defense allowed just nine points. Both scores - a Huntington field goal and a Richwood touchdown - were set up by turnovers deep in Bastrop territory.

 

Ruston solved the Rams' defense by scoring on two of its first three possessions, including a two-play, 80-yard drive and a 13-play, 70-yard march.

 

"Everybody gets scored on," Aubrey said. "You have to bounce back from your mistakes and that's what we tried to do."

 

Mission accomplished. Coming out in a three-man front, the Rams held the Bearcats to 14 total yards in the second half en route to a convincing 46-14 victory.

 

"We switched defenses at halftime," Aubrey said. "We had a rotation with Michael Harris and Kelvin Binns at right defensive end and Deddrick Jones at left defensive end. I moved to tackle and LaMarcus was at the nose.

 

"Ruston's a spread team, so we put more people in coverage."

 

 The Rams responded by shutting out West Ouachita 49-0 last Friday night. The Chiefs had all of 74 yards of total offense in the game.

 

Aubrey began his career as a defensive tackle, before moving outside last season. This year, he has flip-flopped between tackle and end. Although he is projected as a tackle at the next level, Aubrey has no preferences regarding positions.

 

"I like them both," said Aubrey of his two positions. "It's great getting the experience at either spot. I just like playing the game."

 

With the departure of defensive end Jody Ancar and tackle/nose guard Troy Brown, the Rams had some holes to fill in the defensive line. Bastrop's D-line may be even better this season because of its depth. Counting Aubrey, the Rams have four quality ends. In addition, Rocky Seay and Geanie Lyons provide solid options inside.

 

"Last year, we had some special things we could do. This year, we have some special things we can do," Aubrey said. "This year, we have a lot more experience. We're learning the plays better and we have a great rotation. We have more defensive linemen now."

 

Despite sporting a 5-0 record and the No. 1 ranking in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 4A poll, the Rams have faced a series of well-documented distractions for the last seven weeks, including being stripped of the 2005 Class 4A state title. Aubrey says the adversity has actually worked to the team's advantage.

 

"We've been taught to play ball and not worry about other people," Aubrey said. "It's just the challenge we get. I like the controversy the people have put on us because it makes me a better man to face the world."

 

One of the highlights of Aubrey's career has been getting to play with his brother, sophomore linebacker Tai (Speedy) Alford. Coming off of a fractured fibula, Alford made his first appearance of the regular season against Ruston.

 

Making an immediate impact, Alford scooped up a fumble after Jones jarred the ball loose on a quarterback sack and scampered 69 yards for a touchdown which all but sealed the Rams' victory.

 

It should come as no surprise that the brothers frequently talk football off the field.

 

"Playing with my brother is great," Aubrey said. "We talk about what we are supposed to do. Sometimes we laugh about some of the stuff we do on the field."

 

At 5-9, 185 pounds, Alford did not inherit his brother's size. But don't be misled, 'Li'l Aubrey' can play.

 

"I feel like he has a bright future as long as he sticks it out," Aubrey said. "He has to grow some, but he has a big heart and works hard, and you can't beat that. He's my brother and he's a great person."

 

Aubrey says the Rams' fan support has made the team feel at home away from home this season. Even though the game was televised live by Cox Sports, an estimated 2,500 Bastrop fans made the trip to Ruston.

 

"We have great fans," Aubrey said. "The support they have given us has been great. We really appreciate them being there and sticking beside us through everything we have been through. It also makes it even better with the game being on TV. We still had a lot of people make the trip when they could have stayed home and watched it."

 

Aubrey and the Rams would like nothing more than to reward their fans with an early Christmas present - a trip to New Orleans 10 weeks from now.

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