Led by senior wide receiver Lexus Lee, Westmoore returns several talented skill position players from a 6-5 team that made the playoffs last season.
“We've got just about all our skill position players back,” said coach Billy Langford, whose offense averaged 36.3 points per game last season. “Lexus is probably our best player overall. Offensively and defensively, he'll be a two-way guy playing slot receiver and safety.”
Lee had 33 receptions for 663 yards and eight touchdowns last season as the favorite target of now graduated quarterback Jhames West.
The front-runners in the competition to replace West at quarterback are senior Devin Navarro and junior Bryson Lee. Navarro spent last season backing up West, while Lee has started the last two seasons at outside linebacker. He hasn't played quarterback since junior high.
“Devin is more of a drop-back passer, and then Bryson is probably more of a dual-threat guy,” Langford said. “The best guy that can take care of the football and run the offense the way we want it ran is going to win that job.”
The Jaguars also return running back Kieron Hardrick who rushed for 892 yards and 15 touchdowns while averaging 8.6 yards per carry last season.
KNOX TO LEAD INEXPERIENCED PC TEAM
The Putnam City offense relied heavily on running back JaVone Knox last season and he delivered, rushing for 911 yards and 11 touchdowns to help lead a strong rushing attack.
This season, Knox will play an even bigger role with dual-threat quarterback Devin White gone and the Pirates expected to turn to a sophomore at quarterback.
“He's (Knox) a good tailback, really solid runner,” said coach John Wofford. “We lost a pretty good one at quarterback so we'll be looking for a new starter there. We have two sophomores fighting for the spot and I feel like both of them can be pretty good.”
Quarterback isn't the only position in which the Pirates are lacking experience. They return just four starters on offense, with five back on defense from a 6-4 team that narrowly missed the playoffs last season.
JENKS LOADED ON DEFENSE
The Jenks defense returns eight starters from a strong group that helped lead the Trojans to 12 straight wins and the Class 6A state championship.
Led by seniors-to-be Steven Parker and Dylan Harding in the defensive backfield, Jenks held opponents to under 11 points per game during its 12-game winning streak.
Parker is widely considered one of the top safeties in the country. His long list of scholarship offers includes Alabama, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas A&M.
Harding, who plays the other safety position alongside Parker, has scholarship offers from 13 Division I programs — including seven BCS conference schools, according to Rivals.com. Harding had two interceptions in last seasons 55-20 state championship win over Norman North.
BIXBY RELYING ON EXPERIENCE, LEADERSHIP
Since moving up to Class 6A in 2009, Bixby has struggled to find the same success it achieved as a consistent state championship contender for several years in Class 5A.
However, the growing pains of going 12-20 over three seasons in 6A has produced several players with multiple years of starting experience heading into this year.
“From a leadership perspective this is probably the best group of seniors we've had since I've been here,” said coach Loren Montgomery. “We're getting a lot of guys with playing experience back. (Class 6A) is extremely competitive, so we're constantly looking for an advantage. This group understands that and that's why they are working hard all the time.”
Among the top returnees for Bixby will be offensive lineman Chandler Miller, who has verbally committed to Tulsa, and defensive lineman Matt Dreyer. Miller and Dreyer, both seniors, have been mainstays up front as three-year starters.
District 6A-2 coaches' poll
1. Jenks (12-2)
2. Broken Arrow (8-4)
3. Westmoore (6-5)
4. Bixby (4-6)
5. Sapulpa (6-5)
6. Putnam City (6-4)
7. Muskogee (1-8)
8. Tulsa Edison (1-9)
Note: Last year's record in parentheses