District 3A-4 preview: Line figures to key Purcell's success
First-year Purcell coach Shannon Watford has been pleased with his team's performances early in practice.
Watford, who guided Hennessey to back-to-back state titles the last two years, takes over a team with another district title on its mind.
District 3A-4 coaches' poll
1. Plainview (9-4)
2. Purcell (9-2)
3. Pauls Valley (5-6)
4. Madill (8-4)
5. Sulphur (4-6)
6. Lone Grove (4-6)
7. Dickson (3-7)
8. Atoka (4-6)
Note: Last year's records in parentheses
If Purcell is going to keep up its recent strong showings in district play, the Dragons are going to have to do it with a mostly new group of skill-position players.
They do have some experience, though.
Dominique Gavia rushed for more than 500 yards last season as a sophomore, sharing the carries with the graduated Damian Shea.
Now, Gavia will be asked to carry much more of the load.
He'll be running behind a line that's expected to be solid, though, averaging around 270 pounds across the front.
“We're really blessed with a lot of size here,” Watford said. “Our skill guys are young but they're very athletic.”
PLAINVIEW PICKED TO WIN
Despite having just a handful of starters returning from the team that went 9-4 a season ago, Plainview is the strong favorite to win District 3A-4.
Chris Berus' team, though, has strong returning players at key positions and a solid group of young players filling in.
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