With the loss of star Jacob Overton, Minco is replacing one of the most productive players to come through the program in recent years.
In Overton’s absence, junior quarterback Hunter Jones has taken on a more involved role in the offense and is developing into more of playmaker according to coach Clint Warren.
“(Jones) is a more confident player this year,” Warren said. “We had our first scrimmage against Apache last night and he really stood out.”
Jones started last season as just a 14-year-old sophomore, throwing for 854 yards and nine touchdowns.
Overton, now a freshman receiver at Oklahoma Baptist, played several positions for the Bulldogs last season and scored 32 touchdowns before suffering a serious knee injury in a second-round playoff loss.
“We’re still running the same offense, but things are obviously going to be different without Jacob,” Warren said. “He played every position on the field. You don’t really replace a guy like that. You just hope to have two or three different kids step up at those skill positions.”
Warren says the team’s strength will be in the offensive line as they return five players who started games last season.
COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN MAKING MOVE FROM INDEPENDENT
Community Christian School enters A-4 in its first season under the OSSAA.
Community Christian has some familiarity with new district opponent Wynnewood, which defeated the Royals 32-0 in Week 4 last season.
Expected to lead the way are quarterback J.J. Cortez, running back Stephen Bradley, and offensive linemen Chris Kitchen and Tristan Miles.
The Royals went 5-5 last season after going 41-2 from 2009-12.
WAYNE LOOKING FOR TURNAROUND
Wayne is looking to rebound this year after going 4-6 and finishing with a losing record for the first time since 2008.
The losing season stopped a string of four consecutive trips to the playoffs, including a Class A state title in 2011.
Replacing running back Louden Johnson, who is now a freshman safety at East Central, will be key to the Bulldogs’ success.
Wynnewood is looking for a third consecutive district title under new coach Richard Norman, who was previously at Maysville. The Savages won District A-5 the past two seasons. … Elmore City-Pernell will lean on running back Cole Ratchford, and 6-foot-4, 260-pound Josh Hair anchors the offense and defensive line as a four-year starter. … Stratford returns 10 starters on offense, including Kyle Qualls and Kyler Wade at running back. Qualls rushed for 860 yards last season, and Wade rushed for 583 with 536 receiving. … Konawa, which has spent the past four years in Class 2A, is looking for its first winning season since 2004.
DISTRICT A-4 COACHES’ POLL
1. Wynnewood (10-2)
2. Minco (10-2)
3. Community Christian (5-5)
4. Elmore City-Pernell (7-5)
5. Stratford (6-5)
6. Wayne (4-6)
7. Konawa (4-6)
*Last year’s record in parentheses