Few players in 2A piled up as many tackles as Chelsea linebacker Donavan McLeod. The 6-0, 210-pounder had 139 stops as the Green Dragons went 5-5.
And with standout defensive linemen Brett Schuller and Hayden Delozier, Chelsea's defense figures to be among the best in 2A-7. Schuller is one of the biggest linemen in 2A at 6-5, 290 pounds.
Pawnee to test 2A teams
A move up from Class A to 2A hasn't dampened anyone's thoughts on whether Pawnee can maintain the type of success they had last year.
The Black Bears went 9-3 in 2009, but lost to the one 2A school they played (District 2A-7 foe Pawhuska 19-16). Still, Pawnee ranks second in the district poll. The reason it is expected to do well is a wealth of experienced talent. There are 10 offensive starters back, including four-year starting quarterback Tate Beer. Running back Cameron Heisler, who ran for 1,136 yards and averaged 8.1 yards per carry, also returns.
Six starters are back on defense.
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District 2A-7 coaches poll
1. Lincoln Christian (14-1)
2. Pawnee (9-3)
3. Pawhuska (11-3)
4. Newkirk (6-5)
5. Chelsea (5-5)
6. Caney Valley (1-9)
7. Chouteau (1-9)
Note: 2009 record in parenthesis