Everything seems to be heading in a positive direction for the El Reno Indians these days, and expectations just keep going up. With 15 returning starters from their state semifinalist squad, the Indians have their eyes set higher than last year’s strong finish. "You get all these guys back and you have high expectations,” coach Tom Cobble said. "One of the problems, though, is getting your players to understand you can’t just show up. What happened last year was last year, and this is a new deal. "But we’ve got a good group coming back, we’ve got a new stadium. Everything’s going pretty well. It’s a good time to be in El Reno.” The Indians will debut a $2.5 million version of Memorial Stadium at the same location as the previous field when Elk City visits on Sept. 18.
Ronig a surprise for Deer CreekOne of the bigger questions for Deer Creek entering this season was how strong the secondary would be. A solution has been found from an unexpected source: cornerback Jacob Ronig. "He is just such a great athlete,” coach Grant Gower said. "He’s never played the game like this before this season, but he’s been extremely impressive.” Ronig has made his name on the soccer field for the Antlers but decided to give football a chance this year. Gower said the play of Ronig and the secondary has been a pleasant surprise in the first two scrimmages.
Jets get new offenseWestern Heights coach Kevin Ball knows he can expect some growing pains as he installs a no-huddle offense with a young backfield. The Jets return several talented senior linemen, but the new offense will rely on several juniors and sophomores.
Rough road for the ChicksThough their home schedule is no cakewalk, the Chickasha Fightin’ Chicks face a brutal road schedule this season, with trips to play several of their toughest opponents. Chickasha goes on the road to play non-district games against Shawnee and Weatherford, and district contests at El Reno and Lawton MacArthur.
Extra pointsAltus coach Lyn Hepner says his team’s weakness will be the absence of size and depth on the offensive and defensive lines. ... Duncan gained a player from a district rival when senior fullback/defensive lineman DeVante Harris moved in from Lawton MacArthur before the season.
District 5A-1 coaches’ poll→1. El Reno (10-3) →2. Lawton MacArthur (10-3) →3. Duncan (5-5) →4. Deer Creek (7-4) →5. Altus (6-5) →6. Chickasha (1-9) →7. Northwest Classen (3-7) →8. Western Heights (0-10)