After a perfect regular season last year, Midwest City thought it had what it took to make a run toward a Class 6A state title.
But the Bombers fell to Westmoore, 14-13 in overtime, to open the postseason and start the long offseason quicker than anyone on the team wanted to.
This year, Midwest City once again looks like the team to beat on the West side of the state, and the Bombers are hungry for redemption from the way last season ended.
The Bombers return just four starters from the offense that helped them score 28 or more points in every regular-season game.
One of those returners, though, is dynamic running back James Flanders.
Flanders, a junior who is committed to Tulsa, ran for 1,672 yards and 22 touchdowns last season.
Bombers coach Steve Huff said he hoped to lighten the load some on Flanders, though.
“I'd feel good about giving him the ball just about every play,” Huff said. “But we've got some guys that are good enough to give him some relief, so we're going to try to get them some of those to keep things fresh.”
Huff likes to use his players both ways, at least sparingly, to keep players a bit fresher on one side of the ball.
That's what he'll do with standout cornerback Ricky Reeves, who will see some time in the backfield to spell Flanders, as will standout linebacker Zeke Lewis.
Who they are running behind, though, is a question.
Just two offensive line starters return — Dakota Moran and Devin Crisp.
Tight end Chris Shannon is also a returning starter.
“He's gotten himself a lot more flexible and a lot stronger,” Huff said. “He has very, very good tools and now he's made himself into more of a complete player.
“I think the flexibility is a big thing for him. In the past hip flexibility and being able to keep his hips down have been some of the things we've been on him about, but he's definitely gotten better with those things. He's also a lot tougher mentally.”
On the defensive side, Midwest City returns a solid group of six starters, with Reeves and Lewis leading the way.
Also back are linebacker Myles Hogg and defensive ends William Dial and C.J. Smith as well as Ronnie Davis. Davis is expected to man the other cornerback spot.
“The back half of our secondary is going to be pretty good overall,” Reeves said. “We've just got to keep working and we've got a chance.”