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Day 1: Camden Tharp leads Irish to strong finish

Bob Przybylo Modified: May 13, 2013 at 4:31 pm •  Published: June 1, 2011

Well, the Edmond North camp is just as fun as I remember. It’s also just as hectic. There is no way I’m going to be able to track down all 15 teams, but I’ll do my best.

The format was the same, too, thankfully. Teams go from station-to-station and then 20-minute scrimmages start at 11 a.m.

The first scrimmage I’m always going to be able to sorta give a better account. After that, it gets sketchy because I’m trying to track down players/coaches from the finished scrimmage and also watch the next set of teams.

Bishop McGuinness vs. Shawnee

Not the best start to this one for either team. In fact, that was kind of the general trend where teams started slow and then picked up the pace.

Irish turned the ball over first time in possession, and the Wolves capitalized. However, in final two possessions, Irish looked a lot better. The first was a sustained (well, as sustained as you can get going 40 yards) drive that ended in a Camden Tharp touchdown rush.

And then in the final minute, Tharp threw the ‘scrimmage-winning’ touchdown pass. He said it’s a lot different environment under coach Justin Jones as opposed to Kenny Young.

People are normally quick to say that’s bashing the former coach, but it’s not, if you ask me. Different doesn’t imply anything except that things are ‘different.’

Young was an in-your-face, no nonsense type of guy. Jones is a little more hands on, Tharp said. Tharp admitted it was tough initially in the scrimmage because the Irish were playing a lot of JV. To go from that to Shawnee is a leap, for sure. Gonna have to pick me up a Wolves roster for the next two days. Saying No. 2 and No. 12 had good days doesn’t amount to much, my fault.

Edmond Santa Fe vs. Bixby

This started the trend of things getting chippy. The Wolves are playing with a real chip on their shoulder, for the lack of a better term. The last two years have been tough to endure, and they’re looking to show things are going to be different right from the get go.

Leading that charge is wide receiver Tre Kelley. He was a-woofin’ and hollerin’ all scrimmage. He also backed it up. QB Justice Hansen looked good on a touchdown carry. Really excited to see what Phillip Sumpter and Trevan Smith can do in the open field.

But more than the offense, great day by the defense. Kenny Young has the team playing in a different tempo, swagger, and it showed in Day 1. I wanna say it was Santa Fe 14, Bixby 0 but don’t quote me on that one.

Midwest City vs. Stillwater

Ooh, pumped to see what is happening with the Pioneers right now. Cleaned house with the coaching staff, and the kids just look a little happier to go to work.

Obviously when you talk about Stillwater, it starts with QB Jerame Littell and WR Jesse Vester. Wednesday was no different as Vester made some outstanding plays, and Littell got to showcase his arm.

Stillwater made a nice late charge in this one. Not gonna judge the Midwest City offense too much because a lot of key players to replace. And this was a scrimmage that I was really scrambling to see. Hope to get a better look at the Bombers on Thursday or Friday.

Deer Creek vs. Altus

Deer Creek coach Grant Gower said he was really pleased with the team’s effort. Antlers scored on all three of their possessions.

When you’re talking about DC, Altus and the Irish, you’re looking at 5A teams that are going against 6A teams the entire time until this scrimmage portion. You get to see how much it helps to go against the speed of MWC, Edmond North, etc., when get back down to 5A.

- Look for videos with Tharp, Kelley and Vester on NewsOK. I’ll be keeping tabs on the health of Edmond North RB Jarion Tudman. He landed knee-first on the track on a tackle and had to ice his knee. Goal is to catch a better glimpse of Norman North, MWC, OCS and a couple of others on Day 2.

- And for the record, the 15 teams: Edmond North, Edmond Santa Fe, Midwest City, Bixby, Norman North, Stillwater, Deer Creek, McGuinness, Shawnee, Altus, OCS, Meeker, McLoud, Tecumseh, Little Axe.


Robert Przybylo,


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