Wayne might've lost running back Josh Way to graduation but the Bulldogs return plenty from last year's Class A state championship team.
Wayne returns eight starters on either side of the ball, including running back/linebacker Louden Johnson.
Johnson had more than 140 tackles last season as a sophomore, leading the Bulldogs in tackles for the second consecutive year, despite playing with a knee injury all year. Johnson also served as a solid second-option at running back behind Way.
“Louden is the hardest-working kid on our team,” Wayne coach Brandon Sharp said. “He lives in the weight room.”
Sharp said the 6-foot-2 Johnson had gotten quicker since last season.
KNOWLES LEADS SAVAGES
While Wayne returns as the state champions, many favor Wynnewood to win the district.
The Savages were 10-2 last season, falling to eventual runner-up Woodland in the second round.
Wynnewood returns even more starters than Wayne, with nine back on each side of the ball.
The biggest of those returnees is Trey Knowles, who ran for more than 1,400 yards and scored 30 touchdowns at running back and also had 62 tackles on defense.
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District A-5 coaches' poll
1. Wynnewood (10-2)
2. Wayne (14-1)
3. Elmore City-Pernell (6-4)
4. Wewoka (6-5)
5. Caddo (14-0)
6. Stratford (2-8)
7. Maysville (1-9)
Note: Last year's records in parentheses