Texhoma coach Aaron Witten believes he'll field a team that can contend for a district title this season after finishing 6-1 in district play in 2011.
He returns seven starters on offense and seven on defense.
“We've got a lot of experience back, especially at the skill positions,” he said.
The biggest obstacle Witten thinks his team will encounter will be adjusting to a brand new linebacking corps. Texhoma lost all three starting linebackers from last year's playoff team.
“We've got some kids that can step up and play in there pretty well though,” he said.
OKEENE YOUNG BUT TALENTED
Okeene only returns two starters and will lean on its two seniors to lead this season. However, Okeene boasts 10 juniors and 10 sophomores.
“We've had a good summer,” Okeene coach Jeff Wardlaw said. “We're probably as inexperienced as we have been in a long time. We've only got two coming back on both sides of the ball that were starters.”
Wardlaw said the first half of Okeene's schedule will be the toughest part of the season because so many of his players haven't seen game time.
“They're a pretty talented bunch,” Wardlaw said. “Our biggest challenge will be getting through the bumps and the bruises and the trials with some young inexperienced guys early.”
HOOKER RETURNS KEY PLAYERS
Hooker coach Jacob Kreamer believes his team is in good shape to challenge for a playoff spot in November.
He said returning key players like 6-foot, 190-pound quarterback Joe Bean bodes well for the team.
“I feel pretty good,” Kreamer said. “We've had a good summer, had a good spring, got a lot of good kids coming back. So I feel pretty good about it.”
District A-1 coaches' poll
1. Texhoma (8-4)
2. Okeene (6-5)
3. Hooker (5-5)
4. Fairview (6-5)
5. Beaver (5-5)
6. Oklahoma Bible Academy (3-7)
7. Mooreland (1-9)
8. Turpin (1-9)
Note: Last year's records in parentheses.