It is only its first year in the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association, but coaches agree the Summit Christian football program is the team to beat in District B-4.
As an independent last year, the Eagles averaged more than 54 points a game and scored 80 points on two occasions.
The move to the OSSAA isn't the only adjustment the program will have to make as coach Keith Bell stepped down after last season and Ron Davis is taking over.
The Eagles will be paced by senior Danny Badley, who was effective on offense and defense. He rushed for seven scores and caught seven more while recording 118 tackles and eight sacks.
Teams to hit the ground running
In other classes, teams will have as many as four non-district games. However, all Class B districts have 10 clubs.
That means the teams won't have much of a feeling-out process as they will have one non-district game before hitting the grind.
“It gives you one less game to find, and you have to jump right in the mix,” Oaks coach Gary Hummingbird said. “It's going to make those first couple of weeks' practices that much more important.”
Welch has many returning starters
It wasn't the best of seasons last year at Welch, but it's helped for the maturity of this year's club, said coach Ryan Gleaves.
“We've got a lot kids coming back,” said Gleaves, entering his second year. “The kids believe in what I'm trying to do, and we had a better turnout in summer pride.”
Gleaves said the team will be led by James Root, a senior fullback and linebacker who is the most vocal of anyone on the team.
Welch will also get a boost from moving Austin Buchanan from quarterback to wide receiver, his more natural position.
Snell to pace Oaks
Oaks lost a bunch of top players from last year's playoff team, but it does return Jeremiah Snell.
“He's got good quickness. He's not overly fast, but he's quick on a football field,” Hummingbird said. “He's got a good arm, and we've got a couple of good receivers for him to throw it to.”
Snell is also the Class A state champion in the 300-meter hurdles and was second in the 110 hurdles.
Depew's Roy Lewis will be a player to watch as one opposing coach called him “the real deal.” ... Copan will be scrambling to try to duplicate last year's success as it hired Jason Collins to replace Steve Stanley as head coach on Monday night. Stanley has accepted the Newkirk superintendent position.