Not many high school teams have a kicker who can reliably change the game. But Beggs coach Bob Craig thinks his kicker Daniel Bond can do just that.
Bond can reliably send kick-offs to the opponent's goal line, which is an automatic touchback in high school football.
"It adds a lot to your game when you have a player like that," he said. "When the offense has 80 yards to go, it makes it a lot easier on your defense."
Bonds' field-goal kicking ability also adds a dimension to the team's offense, Craig said.
"We know that even getting inside the 30-yard line gives us a chance to get three points," he said. "When you can do that, it changes the way the defense has to play and gives you more options on offense."
Victory Christian fills out coaching staff
Last season, Brent Marley's coaching staff at Victory Christian was undermanned with only four coaches. That meant more work and responsibilities for each coach, something that negatively affected their ability to work with the players and contributed to the team's 0-10 season, Marley said.
"Things weren't as fine-tuned," said Marley, who has added three coaches to his staff this summer. "It helps a lot when a coach only has one or two things to focus on."
The coaching additions have helped the players improve throughout the summer, Marley said.
"It shows the kids that the school is placing an importance on this program and seeing us do well," he said. "It also helps that the players try to impress the new coaches, so they're working really hard."
Okmulgee coach has big expectations for first year
John Horner is entering into his first season with Okmulgee, which finished 6-5 last season. His first challenge has been teaching his players a new system.
"It's a slow process in the first year, but they've caught on pretty good," he said. "I stress that the big thing is fundamentals and work habits."
One of Horner's first changes was to speed up the tempo of the team's practices.
"The tempo you have in practice sets the tempo you're going to have in a game," he said.
Horner believes his team can compete with anyone, even as they learn a new offense and defense.
"We expect to win every game we line up in," he said.
District 3A-7 Coaches' Poll 1. Checotah (8-3) 2. Roland (6-5) 3. Okmulgee (6-5) 4. Beggs (7-5) 5. Keys (5-5) 6. Victory Christian (0-10) 7. Henryetta (1-9)