District 4A-3 football preview: Ball protection a must for Vinita

Jay is rebuilding its defense; Mannford will pass more
BY CORBIN HOSLER, Staff Writer, chosler@opubco.com Modified: August 18, 2010 at 9:43 pm •  Published: August 18, 2010
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Last year, the Vinita Hornets came close but failed to finish off games, football coach Duwayne King said.

"Last year, we turned the ball over way too much in crucial times," he said. "We have to be more consistent."

King said he hopes that a summer spent emphasizing ball protection will reverse the trend.

"We've worked on it a lot this summer," he said. "We think we'll be better this year, but we haven't played a game yet, so you never know."

King said he expects his team to get over the hump this season and win the close games.

"To challenge for a playoff spot or a district championship, we have to win those games we came up short in last year," he said. "We think we're going to be ready to take care of business when the opportunity presents itself."

Jay rebuilding defensive unit

Jay, which finished 7-4 last season, returns just four defensive starters and hasn't yet plugged the holes, coach Shane Holland said.

"We've got to replace a lot of guys on defense," he said. "We have to have some kids step up that haven't played before."

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District 4A-3 coaches’ poll

1. Wagoner (8-4)

2. Oologah (8-4)

3. Catoosa (7-4)

4. Jay (7-4)

5. Vinita (3-7)

6. Tulsa McLain (3-6)

7. Miami (2-8)

8. Mannford (0-10)

2009 record in parentheses

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