District A-5 football preview: Defending champion Wayne returns eight starters

Wayne returns eight started on either side of the ball from last year's Class A state championship team.
by Ryan Aber Published: July 28, 2012
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photo - CLASS A HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP: Wayne's Louden Johnson catches a pass as Woodland's Tracey Wilson defends during the Class A state championship high school football game at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
CLASS A HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP: Wayne's Louden Johnson catches a pass as Woodland's Tracey Wilson defends during the Class A state championship high school football game at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Wayne might've lost running back Josh Way to graduation but the Bulldogs return plenty from last year's Class A state championship team.

Wayne returns eight starters on either side of the ball, including running back/linebacker Louden Johnson.

Johnson had more than 140 tackles last season as a sophomore, leading the Bulldogs in tackles for the second consecutive year, despite playing with a knee injury all year. Johnson also served as a solid second-option at running back behind Way.

“Louden is the hardest-working kid on our team,” Wayne coach Brandon Sharp said. “He lives in the weight room.”

Sharp said the 6-foot-2 Johnson had gotten quicker since last season.

KNOWLES LEADS SAVAGES

While Wayne returns as the state champions, many favor Wynnewood to win the district.

The Savages were 10-2 last season, falling to eventual runner-up Woodland in the second round.

Wynnewood returns even more starters than Wayne, with nine back on each side of the ball.

The biggest of those returnees is Trey Knowles, who ran for more than 1,400 yards and scored 30 touchdowns at running back and also had 62 tackles on defense.

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by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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District A-5 coaches' poll

1. Wynnewood (10-2)

2. Wayne (14-1)

3. Elmore City-Pernell (6-4)

4. Wewoka (6-5)

5. Caddo (14-0)

6. Stratford (2-8)

7. Maysville (1-9)

Note: Last year's records in parentheses

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