BETHANY — The jersey says “West” on the front, but the team is still going east.
The Putnam City West Patriots have one more year in an east-side district with Jenks, Broken Arrow and Muskogee this season, putting one of Class 6A's smaller schools on the schedule with some of the state's biggest.
But none of that fazes PC West coach John Jensen, who is working to build his program on hard work, with the faith that it will produce victories.
The Patriots defeated Shawnee 30-21 last season to snap a 28-game losing streak and give the program a jolt of excitement. They lost some valuable seniors from last year's squad, but Jensen is confident the program can keep on the upward climb.
“The kids have had a solid off season and gained much needed strength,” Jensen said. “The attitude of this group of kids is great and they look forward to anything football-related.
“We really expect this group to be very fundamentally sound, and we believe that we will surprise some people this season. This program continues to take positive steps impacting the lives of young men while striving to build a competitive program.”
The offensive and defensive lines will be a big key to this year's success. Three offensive linemen return in Tyler Loudenback, Darius Dudley and Ben Holley. Tight end Cameron Sisco and fullback A.J. Leineweber are also back to help open holes for the Patriots' committee of running backs.
Reggie Alford is the likely starting quarterback, which will give the Patriots a strong, athletic player under center.
The defensive front seven will be solid, led by Sisco and Joseph Wilcots at linebacker. The defensive line has some valuable depth, with Loudenback, Dudley and Holley all playing both ways, and getting some help from players like Darian Frazier, Corey Sisco, Adolfo DeArcos and others.
The secondary will be young, but very athletic once again, anchored by Levon Eudaley, with Hassain Williams also working into some action.