Gore began the 2011 season with two straight losses before reeling off eight wins. The Pirates were perfect in district play and are looking to repeat that performance in District A-6 in 2012.
“We lost a lot of seniors last year, but the kids that we have coming up to replace them are quality kids,” Gore coach Lee Blankenship said. “I look for us to be a contender for our district title again.”
Gore reached the first round of the playoffs last year, losing 45-29 to state quarterfinalist Dibble. The defense gave up an average of just 17.4 points per game.
SAVANNA BUILDING ON SUCCESS
Savanna reached the second round of the playoffs before falling 24-21 to state quarterfinalist Foyil. The Bulldogs were 5-1 at home last season.
Savanna coach James Bond believes his team will challenge the rest of the district.
“We've got several good starters returning on both sides of the ball and got a pretty good core of offensive and defensive linemen,” Bond said. “We should be pretty decent.
“We got some kids that really want to be out there and really want to hit you.”
HAILEYVILLE FEELS IT CAN COMPETE
First-year coach Dave Martin will begin the rebuilding process this season after Haileyville's lackluster 2011 campaign. Martin was an assistant coach at Haileyville for eight years before taking over the program.
“We feel like if we can go and execute and take care of our game that we can compete against any team in our district,” he said. “It's a wide-open district. It always is.”
MORE FROM NEWSOK
District A-6 coaches' poll
1. Gore (8-3)
2. Savanna (7-5)
3. Talihina (5-5)
4. Canadian (3-7)
5. Quinton (4-6)
6. Central Sallisaw (3-7)
7. Haileyville (2-8)