EDMOND — Deer Creek coach Grant Gower jokes that Caden Sander likely gets the team water at halftime.
For the soon-to-be senior who last season did everything but consistently play offense, that may be the only thing he doesn't do in the future for the team.
With the loss of 27 players to graduation, Sander has been named the starting quarterback for next season, replacing the graduated Joel Blumenthal and expanding his versatility and leadership role with the Antlers.
Sander will also remain at free safety — where he started the past two seasons — and possibly as the holder, kick returner and punt returner.
“I guess it kind of helps in the whole leadership role because you're in command of the whole offense now,” Sander said. “I've kind of had that leadership role on the defense behind Austin Loomis last year.
“Nothing I was really hoping for, but I am just going to try to step in and do the best I can and get us to the state championship.”
Blumenthal threw for 2,456 yards and 32 touchdowns last season, helping Deer Creek win the District 5A-2 title and advance to the Class 5A quarterfinals.
Sander, meanwhile, threw just four passes last season — completing three — as the backup but recorded 79 tackles and seven interceptions.
And in the final week of spring practice, Sander is already receiving glowing reviews from his teammates.