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District 5A-4 football notebook: McAlester poised to rebound; East Central wants more

RYAN STEWART Published: August 27, 2009
McAlester poised to rebound this season
A 5-6 record from 2008 might not look inspiring, but McAlester lost its first four games and finished with a flurry that led to a playoff berth.

The Buffaloes enter 2009 as the coaches’ pick to win District 5A-4 with 15 returning starters, including three-year starting middle linebacker Jessie Patton, safety Chance Carey and offensive lineman Matt Eldridge, who has recovered from a torn ACL suffered in the season finale.

"We have a great bunch of kids with leadership across the board,” coach Bryan Pratt said. "This group learned how to win late and the maturity and experience has carried over.”

Most programs would consider an 8-3 season an accomplishment, but perennial power Tulsa East Central is not one of them.

"I think whenever you win a state championship and have undefeated seasons you’re going to be a little disappointed,” coach Travis Hill said. "But there are two ways to look at it, when you go 8-3 and you’re disappointed, that’s probably a good thing.”

Even though East Central might lack the star power it has had in recent years with Pearlie Graves (Texas Tech) and David Gordon (Arkansas), Hill said this year’s team has sleepers that will prove themselves hot commodities in recruiting, and they will help make a solid foundation as the Cardinals contend for championships.

Hill said senior quarterback Dillon Wallace (6-4, 205) is a "fantastic prospect who does a terrific job running the offense.” Hill was high on senior corner Steven Daniels (5-11, 170), too.

McAlester poised to rebound this season


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