“After the game, we were disappointed and we had kids crying,” Box said. “I mean, you're not a competitor if it doesn't hurt to lose. But at the same time, we were really proud of the outcome of the season and the experience it gave us.”
And now, returning many of its better players, Hollis confidently strolls into District A-2, setting up a potential rivalry with league-favorite Thomas.
“Even after the game last year, we knew that was going to be hyped up game,” Box said. “We are trying to get to where they have been.”
Realignment has swept across Oklahoma high school football, and its reverberations were felt in District A-2.
Essentially, the league will be an altered version of last season's District A-3, with five of the teams (Hollis, Sayre, Apache, Snyder and Burns Flat-Dill City) coming over.
Joining them will be Thomas (District A-1 winners in 2012) and Cordell (a 2-8 team in 2A-3 that was demoted).
“I like the changes,” Box said. “I think we are going to have a competitive league.”
For other teams, the benefits stretch past the competitiveness.
“Well, last year we were up in the Panhandle league,” Ward said. “So the travel will be less in this district, and that's always good.”
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District A-2 coaches' poll
1. Thomas-Fay-Custer (13-1)
2. Hollis (5-6)
3. Cordell (2-8)
4. Sayre (5-6)
5. Apache (1-9)
6. Snyder (3-7)
7. Burns Flat-Dill City (3-6)
Note: Last year's record in parenthesis