After a disappointing first scrimmage performance against Del City, Carl Albert's coaches huddled up over the weekend to discuss changes.
The most immediate was altering their practice schedule, which included extending practice by 30 minutes.
The results, so far at least, have been solid.
Titans coach Gary Rose was much happier with his team's performance Thursday night in its second scrimmage against Midwest City.
“We had a much better week of practices after that,” Rose said. “There's still plenty of things we need to work on, but it's getting better.”
NO REST FOR GUTHRIE'S CALLINS
Guthrie coach Rafe Watkins doesn't mask the fact that junior Kai Callins will fill a much bigger role for the Bluejays this season, being used at running back, receiver and defensive back.
As the team's most gifted playmaker, and a key weapon for quarterback Bryan Dutton, Callins will rarely leave the field this season.
“We've got to get a lot of mileage out of him,” Watkins said. “He's got to be in shape, because he'll probably need to carry the ball about 20 times a game, and he'll play every down on defense. We're gonna split him out at receiver, because he's special out there. Not many people can cover him one-on-one.”
SMITH PLEASED WITH KNIGHTS' PROGRESS
Heading into his second year coaching Northwest Classen, Lloyd Smith has been pleased to see the excitement building within the program, as he tries to build the Knights back into a playoff-caliber team.
“We have a core of 16 to 18 kids returning, and of those, 14 of them were either yearlong starters or they got significant starting time at the end of the year,” Smith said. “They've really been progressing in the weight room. They understand the terminology of our schemes, but more importantly, they understand the responsibilities of their position.”
The Knights only have five seniors, but they have provided the team with strong leadership on an otherwise young team.
“We're pleased with what we're seeing and where we're going,” Smith said. “We're getting there.”
DEER CREEK EXPECTING IMPROVEMENT FROM JACKSON
With Jared Rayburn moving over to the slot position that Hunter Dinkines held last year for Deer Creek, the Antlers have been looking for a No. 2 receiver to take the top spot out wide.
It looks like that will be senior Kale Jackson.
Last season, Jackson had 11 catches for 76 yards, but he is one of the fastest players on the team, finishing near the top in both hurdles events in last year's state track meet.
IRISH MAKE THE MOVE TO 5A
After becoming one of the top programs in Class 4A over the past several years, Bishop McGuinness makes the leap to 5A this year.
While second-year Irish coach Justin Jones understands the challenges his team faces moving up, he's also looking forward to it.
“I'm never going to shy away from who we play,” Jones said. “We knew it was coming, and we understand that our district is one of the toughest in the state. We're not going to shy away from them, but we're certainly going to respect them.”
District 5A-2 coaches' poll
1. Guthrie (14-0)
2. Carl Albert (9-2)
3. Deer Creek (7-4)
4. Bishop McGuinness (10-3)
5. El Reno (3-7)
6. Western Heights (1-9)
7. Northwest (3-7)
8. Guymon (1-9)
Note: Last year's records in parentheses