MANDEVILLE, La. — This fall, the youngest of the Bernard brother trio will suit up for the Lakeshore Titans football program and head coach Craig Jones one final time.
“As good as Jacob and Zack were, Ryan is his own person. He leads his own way. He was guided very well by Zack and Jacob,” says Lakeshore head football coach Craig Jones.
Offensive Lineman Ryan Bernard was an all-state selection in 2020. He recently committed to play his college ball for Nicholls State University next year where his older brother, Zack plays defensive line.
Jacob, the oldest brother, plays wide receiver at UL.
“Zack was fast, but he was bulkier and stronger, and he just fit perfectly at defensive line. I was more of an offensive lineman by nature, size. Jacob was always just the fastest one and had the best hands and fit perfectly for a wide receiver. He’s just not tall,” says Lakeshore senior Ryan Bernard.
Jacob and Zack were both members of the Lakeshore team that went 5-6 in 2016.
Since then, the program has seen a 4A state runner-up finish in 2017, quarterfinal finish in 2018, and a semi-final appearance in 2019.
Ryan was the lone Bernard in 2020, a year the Titans finished 4-5.
A year his older brothers became his biggest resource.
“They taught me definitely how to be a leader. Jacob and Zack went through losing seasons like I did last year, and I relied on them heavily. Just through texts and calls on the weekends and to give me a point of view on how to be a leader and how to step up,” says Bernard.
The pair also provided Ryan with some much-needed brotherly advice along the way.
“They still tell me, no matter what you do, we’re still going to be better than you. I get that text every day and it’s just motivation,” says Bernard.
Number 74 has turned into what Coach Jones calls a huge piece in the Lakeshore puzzle.
One hoping for a bounce-back run in 2021 like the one Ryan’s brothers were able to help create 4 years ago.
“He cares so much about it, it’s invaluable. Everybody looks up to him. They’re paying attention to what he’s doing in the weight room. They’re paying attention to how focused he is in meetings. They’re paying attention to what he’s doing in the summer, and he has stepped up to the challenge in every one of those roles. As a coach you couldn’t ask for anything more,” says Jones.
Ryan is making the transition to center this season and will continue his defensive line duties for the Lakeshore Titans this season.
For Lakeshore’s full 2021 schedule, click here.