SEMINOLE FAVORED IN DISTRICT 3A-2
After going 12-1, ending its season with a loss to Heritage Hall in the third round, Seminole is once again the favorite in its district.
The Chieftains, though, must replace a strong group of departed seniors, especially on offense where Garrett Clark had been the starter at quarterback for the previous four years.
The leader of Seminole's offense this year figures to be senior running back Trenton Newson.
Newson ran for 1,476 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior last season.
Seminole's defense has six returning starters form a unit that allowed eight or less points six times last season.
In the first year of a new district rotation, 3A-2 might be the toughest on paper.
All seven teams in the district made the playoffs last season with two — Seminole and Perkins — winning their district.
Bethany, Bristow, Chandler and Prague each made the playoffs in Class 3A. Cushing, which finished fourth in its district last year, drops from 4A to 3A.
Teams from the district combined to go 53-27 a year ago.
BETHANY TURNING TO PAGE
Bethany senior John Page has been starting on both sides of the ball since he was a freshman, and though he's one of the smallest guys on the field, he'll play a huge role for a Broncho team that lacks experience.
“He's one of the best players we've had come through here,” coach Reagan Roof said of Page. “He's an enjoyable, great kid. We're excited about what he's gonna do this year. He'll probably be our most valuable player on both sides of the ball.”
Page plays defensive back and receiver, and he also returns punts, where he routinely takes some big hits. But he always bounces back.
“I started as a freshman, and I've always had a chip on my shoulder since then,” Page said. “If you want something bad enough, size doesn't matter. Yeah, I'm small, but I make up for it with what's inside.”
CHANDLER, PRAGUE OPEN WITH NEW COACHES
Two of the longest-serving coaches in the state — Seminole's Mike Snyder and Perkins' Lloyd Wertman — coach in the district.
There are also a pair of coaches starting out in the district, though each are plenty familiar with the places they are at.
Scott Myers was a standout quarterback at Chandler. He had been the head coach at Moore in recent seasons before accepting the job with his alma mater early in the year.
Prague's Dan Maly was an assistant under Kyle Fridrich, with Maly earning the promotion when Fridrich resigned in April.
Maly has head coaching experience, with stops at Chisholm and Keota before taking the assistant-coaching job at Prague.
BY RYAN ABER AND SCOTT WRIGHT
District 3A-2 coaches' poll
1. Seminole (12-1)
2. Bethany (9-3)
3. Perkins-Tryon (8-3)
4. Bristow (6-5)
5. Cushing (7-4)
6. Chandler (4-7)
7. Prague (7-4)
Note: Last year's records in parentheses