The District 2A-6 coaches voted Vian as the favorite to win the district, and if the Wolverines do it, they'll likely do it with as many as eight sophomores in the starting lineup.
Hunter Spencer, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound senior, anchors the offensive and defensive lines, but Vian could have a pair of sophomores manning the backfield.
Rowdy Simon is the expected starting running back, and Landon Decker could be the team's quarterback, though he will have to win the job away from senior John Jumper.
Jumper suffered a severely broken ankle early in the season and Decker took over as a freshman.
"Landon really got thrown into the fire as a freshman," coach Brandon Tyler said. "He's working hard and running the offense a lot better, but picking between those two guys is probably a Sept. 3 decision."
Hartshorne will stay on ground
Hartshorne hasn't been afraid to throw the ball around the last couple years, but the Miners are more likely to pound out yards on the ground this season with a strong trio of running backs — Kenny Simpson, Garrett Grivette and Blake Beare.
Beare was one of the team's top players last season, but tore up his knee in the first game.
"This is a strong, tough-nosed team," coach Bill Williams said. "We took second in power lifting. It's been one of the most dedicated groups we've had."
Eagleroad still leading Talihina
With his accomplishments in the football and basketball playoffs the last few seasons, it seems like Jordan Eagleroad should have graduated by now.
But Eagleroad has one more season left with Talihina and is back to quarterback the Golden Tigers once again.
With nine returning starters on a defense that had nine shutouts, and a new spread offense to open the field for Eagleroad, Talihina hopes to surpass last year's 12-1 mark.
Eagleroad will be working with a senior running back in Kane Owens and five returning starters on the offensive line.
"We think we'll be better up front," coach Kelly Gravitt said. "Those five guys have been really important and with them up front, we think we'll be able to do some things."
With a sophomore and freshman battling for the starting job at quarterback, Heavener thankfully has some big targets to throw to — in fact it might be the tallest receiving duo in the class with 6-foot-4 wideouts Zach Roll and Shawn Bradley. ... Pocola has only one senior this season and coach Rick Lang says he might start several sophomores on both sides of the ball, including quarterback Blake Johnson and three offensive/defensive linemen. "I've been here seven years and this is the youngest team I've ever put on the field," Lang said. ... Seniors Brad Knight and Taylor Davis will get plenty of touches at fullback in Wilburton's Wing-T offense under new coach Gavin Crocker, the former defensive coordinator at Berryhill.
District 2A-6 coaches' poll
1. Vian (9-2)
2. Talihina (12-1)
3. Hartshorne (7-4)
4. Panama (5-5)
5. Heavener (2-8)
6. Wilburton (0-10)
7. Pocola (2-8)
Note: Last year's record in parentheses