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District 5A-1 football preview: Lawton MacArthur players expect success

Lawton MacArthur's Brett Manning says his players expect to win. The Highlanders return standout wide receiver Gary McKnight and linebacker Mitch Fritts, who have received Division-I attention.
BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM Published: August 1, 2013

The coaches voted Lawton MacArthur as the No. 1 team in the District 5A-1 preseason poll, and coach Brett Manning says that fits his team's mindset.

His players expect to win. They expect to have success.

“It was one of the first things that really caught my attention when I got to MacArthur,” said Manning, who is entering his fifth season as the Highlanders' coach, about his players' expectations.

The consistency of that success also comes from a stable coaching staff. Manning doesn't give credit, though, to any one player or coach. However, Manning expects a large amount of production this season from wide receiver Gary McKnight and linebacker Mitch Fritts, both of whom have received Division-I attention.

“We feel really good about the players we have coming back and think we can have a good year,” Manning said.

Mason ready to lead Del City


Del City running back Anthony Mason might be the shortest player in the huddle, but the 5-foot-6, 175-pound senior will be the biggest reason the Eagles will be in the 5A-1 race.

Entering his fourth year of varsity action, Mason surpassed Mike Woods as Del City's all-time leading rusher last season, and with a three-player quarterback competition going on, he'll be the focal point of the offense again.

"He's a small package, but he's a hard-nosed player, a team player," coach Nick Warehime said. "This is his bunch. He's running this deal. He wants to be successful.

"We lost a lot of good players, but what those kids have done from December to now has been really good. They've matured and they know how close we are." 

Three players are competing for the job to replace graduated quarterback Jon McBride, but Warehime isn't too concerned.

"I think we're in good shape there — better shape than people might think," he said.


Senior Carter Swanson is a three-year starter for the Ardmore Tigers and while he seems to have an interest in his father's alma mater, he hasn't received an offer from the Sooners.

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