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Bush Happy with His Quarterbacks 8/30/21

Bush happy with his quarterbacks

By Kevin Taylor

Alma Schools


With his flowing black flocks, it's almost as if Joe Trusty blew into town to sing at the upcoming Arkansas Oklahoma State Fair — minus a black cowboy hat, green and gold bandana, and an electric guitar. 


Joe Trusty is here to play quarterback for the Alma Airedales. 


As for the hair?


"I'm not sure when I'm going to cut it," kids Trusty, the tall, right-handed slinger who may be just as adept with his legs as he is with his strong right arm. Trusty threw the ball well in the team's scrimmage with Southside. 


He has good mobility in the pocket, too. 


Who is Joe Trusty? And what was he like as a kid?


"I wouldn't say I was quiet, but I wasn't super vocal, either," Trusty said. “I was kind of in-between. I played basketball a few years ago, but I wasn't too good at that. I've always liked sports, but I was mainly drawn to football."


Having Trusty on campus was important, Alma coach Rusty Bush acknowledged, if for no other reason than to mingle with his teammates.


"It was huge," he said. "To be around his teammates was big. Those guys are beginning to trust him to see what he can do. And getting here early enough to learn the offense, it's something completely different from where he came from. To be able to come in and learn from his quarterback coach, his offensive coordinator, and to get to know his teammates and have them trust him, that's extremely important."


Trusty transferred from Greenwood to Alma at the start of the second half of the 2020-21 semester.


"It was kind of a bad time to leave, right in the middle of the semester, but I think it's gone pretty well," Trusty said. "I haven't known these guys for very long, but already we're a family. "


The Airedales open the 2021 season this week against the Van Buren Pointers. 


Alma's revamped program has been a work-in-progress since Bush took the job. There have been many distractions, such as COVID-19 and one injury after another. 


But with Trusty and sophomore Jackson Daily, the Airedales appear to be settled at quarterback for the next three seasons. 


Last fall, Bush started four different quarterbacks. 


"I was talking with coach (Chris) Smith the other day — it's nice knowing we have our quarterback for the next three years," Bush said. "They're both extremely talented, and they're students of the game.


"It's exciting knowing for the next three years you've got solid people at that position."


Bush said both are capable of starting Friday's opener.


"They're both doing extremely well," he said. "Joe's doing some things a little bit better, but that's only because he has a year on him. As far as both of them throwing the football, I think they are right there together. Joe's making a little bit quicker decisions."


Trusty made some nice throws during the team's scrimmage with Southside. 


'"I think it helped us a lot," Trusty said. "We did a lot of things right, but there were a lot of things we needed to fix in the (two) weeks until Van Buren. 


"After we get a few things cleaned up, I think we'll be pretty good."


Like any quarterback worth his weight in gold, Trusty said he loves throwing the football. And, with speedy receivers like Conner Stacy, that could potentially lead to some big games.


But he likes to run, too.


"I kind of like the balance," Trusty said. "We just have to execute our plays. If we execute the way we practice, we should be fine."


Bush said he and Smith, the team's offensive coordinator, feel comfortable playing either quarterback.


"It's different than most years," Bush acknowledged. "If something were to happen to Joe, I wouldn't be scared for Jackson to go in there. Jackson Daily has come so far from the end of his ninth-grade year until right now. I think a lot of that has to do with his work ethic.


"(But) this thing will stay wide open for as long as it has to because whoever has the hot hand is going to play."


As for learning the names of his teammates? He got to know Stacy pretty quickly last winter while sharing the same lunch table with fellow teammates Hunter McAlister and Derek Hatcher, three of the four quarterbacks to throw passes for the 2020 Airedales.  


"Your whole team gets so close from all the practicing,” Trusty added. “Every Friday night is something special.”