For the past four years, Bryan Dutton was a steady presence at quarterback for Guthrie.
Dutton led the Bluejays in multiple last-minute comebacks last season after losing Kai Callins to an injury on top of other accomplishments. Dutton also broke nearly every quarterback-related record in Guthrie's record book.
So it's no surprise coach Rafe Watkins' biggest concern is replacing Dutton this season.
But it could be easier than some think.
Senior Reed Roberts is set to take the snaps after serving as Dutton's backup the past two seasons.
“Reed fits the bill,” Watkins said. “He's 6-3, 200 pounds, has got a cannon for an arm, he's just a little bit different type of player than what Bryan is but he can throw the ball better.”
Roberts isn't a stranger to pressure situations. He pitched in the state baseball tournament last year.
“He's had his feet to the fire,” Watkins said. “Maybe not having some 270-pounders chase him around, but we'll see.
“He does provide us a big ol' strong kid in the pocket who can stand tall and deliver the ball.”
CARL ALBERT O-LINE A WORK IN PROGRESS
Carl Albert coach Gary Rose has a few holes to fill on the offensive line that played a huge role in the Titans' run to the Class 5A state championship last fall.
Two starters, Robert Lolofie and Anthony Woods, return along with tight end Trenton Ball, who is a major part of the Titans' run blocking schemes.
Gavin LaValley, one of the team's top blockers last season, has decided not to play football this year after suffering a knee injury in summer baseball. With a college scholarship waiting for him, and the potential to be drafted in baseball next year, LaValley decided not to risk further injury.
Quarterback Stevie Thompson rushed for 1,926 yards and 36 touchdowns last season, and his running ability will be at the forefront of the offensive gameplan again.
“Our philosophy is that we're gonna run the football first, and if you don't stop it, we're gonna keep doing it,” Rose said. “If you stop it, hopefully we'll be able to do something else.”
Thompson threw for nearly 1,400 yards last year, and with receivers like Ball in the mix, Rose expects that part of the offense to be improved as well.
DEER CREEK'S DEFENSE RETURNS 4
Deer Creek returns four players on defense from last year's team that won the district championship, including Class 5A sacks leader Eli Hooks.