District 2A-7 notebook: Expectations high for experienced Sperry

Modified: July 31, 2008 at 1:00 am •  Published: July 31, 2008
Huntington granted extra semester of eligibility
Nowata already had a lot of experienced players coming back, but with Justin Huntington getting a second shot to play his senior season, it gives the Ironmen more maturity.

A torn knee ligament forced Huntington to miss almost all of last season. He played quarterback before the injury but will move to wide receiver for the 2008 campaign. He was granted an extra semester of athletics participation by the OSSAA.

Josh Engert replaced Huntington at quarterback last season as a sophomore and will remain the starter.

"He's really come around and looks like the real deal,” said Nowata coach Eric Walkingstick of Engert. "Our team is very mature. We have a lot of experience, and that's going to help a lot this year.”

•Big expectations at Sperry: With seven starters back on offense and seven on defense, Sperry is expecting to eclipse the 4-6 mark of a year ago. And the Pirates aren't alone. Coaches have voted Sperry second in the preseason poll. A big reason is that not only do the Pirates have a lot of returning starters, they return five players who will be in their third season as a starter and most of their skill position players.

Sean Stapleton, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior running back, and Mario Gonzalas, a 5-11, 185-pound senior linebacker, are expected to have a major impact.

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