David Love had firsthand experience to tell him that this season's move up to Class 5A shouldn't be viewed as a daunting task, but an intriguing challenge for the Bishop McGuinness football team.
“We moved up to 5A in basketball last year and we won state,” said Love, a basketball player who also starts at defensive end for the Irish.
“We saw it as an opportunity to show that we're the real deal,” added linebacker Nick Jeffreys.
Love, Jeffreys and the rest of the McGuinness defense are a big reason why the transition to 5A has been smooth so far.
The fourth-ranked Irish are 4-0, with three of the wins coming against 5A opponents, including a 52-0 win over El Reno in the district opener last week. They also knocked off fifth-ranked Tulsa Kelley 34-10.
In all, the defense has yet to allow more than 13 points in a game, perhaps an unexpected strength considering there were so many new starters on the field.
“We knew we had the potential to be a good defense,” second-year coach Justin Jones said. “Our staff worked really hard putting the puzzle pieces together, and our kids have done a good job of executing.
“We've exceeded expectations a little bit, but one thing about Bishop McGuinness, there's a certain expectation of a level of play for defense, and our kids are meeting that right now.”