Do any 4A offensive lines have the talent to block Douglass DEs D.J. Ward and Deondre Clark?
There are a few teams that will have a tackle talented enough to block one of them, but it will be hard to find a 4A line strong enough to contain them coming off either edge. Oologah, led by tackle Sam Noble, has one of the bigger lines around and might provide the best matchup. Of course, those two teams would only meet in the playoffs, as they did two years ago. Clinton and Catoosa also have strong offensive fronts, but again, we'll only get to see them match up with Douglass in the postseason.
Who will fill the void of departed Wagoner stars Kevin Peterson, Jeremy Applegate and others who keyed last year's title run?
Cornerback Kerwin Thomas becomes even more valuable on defense, trying to fill the void of Peterson, now at Oklahoma State. He could also be in the mix at quarterback or running back on offense. Junior Lawrence Evitt averaged 9.4 yards per carry in a backup role at tailback last season. At linebacker, T.J. Ponds and Dylan Cantrell will be key to holding the middle of the defense together.
Do any of the teams moving up from Class 3A have a chance to contend?
Cascia Hall and Anadarko, which met for the 3A gold ball last year, both have the talent to be top-10 teams in 4A this fall, though both are rebuilding at key spots. Anadarko lost RB Sheldon Wilson, QB Tyler Melton and a few other longtime starters. Cascia Hall graduated the heart of its defense, linebacker Conner Sherwood. Still, both teams are well-coached and ready to jump into the mix right away.
By Scott Wright