FOR ROBERT TOOMER, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE ROUX.
So, what is a roux? It's the ultimate base of a seafood gumbo and since Toomer went to LSU, he knows a quality roux when he tastes one. "I'm a big Cajun seafood guy," he said. "and anyone who knows about gumbo is that the roux is the foundation … the base. If you don't get it right, you have to start over. It takes time to make, but when it's right you can add anything else to it."
Toomer's roux has been cooking for two years and the flavor is starting to emerge. "I ask our guys all the time, what are you putting in the roux? Is it leadership, discipline, physicality or work-ethic? You have to bring something." Sterling has some ingredients who are coming together that want to leave their own legacy. "We don't have a successful tradition to really draw from over the past decade, so we are building this thing from the ground up," he said. "The process is coming along, but two years ago we were at Ground Zero. We had some success last season, maybe not in the win-column, but there were definitely some bright spots. I can see it coming."
Ryan De Luna
Sterling's strength this year is on the defensive side of the ball, just like Toomer likes it. "It has to start up front and being able to stop your opponent," he said. "It all starts with Omar Huntington – he's the leader. Gerald Hays and Noah Lister have also played well up front. Reece Sylvester, Camden Schoor and Jayden Khoury have continued to step up." Offensively, the Rangers have struggled mostly at the quarterback position. "We have three quarterbacks who don't have much experience," Toomer said. "Going live, when you are in a fire storm, you have to relax and trust your training. We have to apply what we've learned in the film room to the field. We just have to stop shooting ourselves in the foot."
Moving from Class 6A to Class 5A will help in years to come as Toomer gets his roux like he likes it. "Once the roux or the foundation is right, that's when you are able to add things to it to make it perfect," he said. "We aren't there yet, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel."
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