Stillwater coach Tucker Barnard is hoping his team will enjoy this football season.
Barnard isn't sure his team will be a part of the Class 6A-1 district in the future after the restructuring to separate the largest and smallest teams in 6A for playoff purposes.
“This could be our last year as we've known it, so it's our last opportunity to play teams like Jenks, Owasso and Union,” Barnard said. “We're going to make the most of it.”
Stillwater brings back leading receiver Brandon Prather as well as junior quarterback Braxton Noble, who threw for just over 1,000 yards in five games before dislocating the shoulder on his non-throwing arm.
“We played a lot of young kids last year due to injury situations,” Barnard said. “We're hoping to reap from the rewards of those young guys getting to play.”
UNION TO REBUILD OFFENSE AROUND THREE STAPLES
Tulsa Union returns just three starters on offense — wide receiver Jeffery Mead, tight end Carson Meier and tailback Justin Silmon, all seniors, all among the state's best at their respective positions.
The quarterback position and all five lineman position are up for grabs, with Zack Fisher and Mason Farquhar battling it out for the spot at signal caller. Union coach Kirk Fridrich is also facing a defense that returns just three starters.
“Our summer has been really good,” Fridrich said. “The guys that are returning obviously have some ability that allows us to lean on some of their experience as well as playmaking ability to help us out.
“No doubt though, we'll have some inexperience, especially in our offensive line. Those guys will have to grow up quick.”
YOUNG BARTLESVILLE TEAM WILL HAVE TO GROW
Bartlesville football's senior class totals just 17, leaving the team “young and very inexperienced,” per Bartlesville coach John McKee.