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District A-8 football preview: Optimism high in Fairland

Foyil, a team that won two playoff games last season before losing in the Class A quarterfinals to Carnegie, is the pick to repeat as champions in District A-8. But the team with the most experience returning is Fairland, which was a surprise last season with its second-place finish in the district.
by Ed Godfrey Published: July 25, 2012
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McMullen installed the wing-T offense upon arriving at Warner and believes the Eagles are now comfortable running it. Last year Warner almost doubled its scoring output.

“They got another year of experience with it (wing-T),” he said. “It just fit my kids. People just don't see it much and it's tough to prepare for in two or three days. ”

At Tecumseh, McMullen coached running back Patrick Cobbs, who played for the Miami Dolphins for several seasons.

“If I had a Patrick Cobbs, I would get in the I-formation and toss it to him, but you adjust to the kids you have,” he said.

Warner is solid up front, let by Luke Moses (6-0, 235 pounds), a two-year starter in the offensive line and nose guard on defense.

“He is the strongest guy we have on the team,” McMullen said.

Moses' cousin, Briar Campbell, plays running back and linebacker and was the linebacker of the year in Warner's district last season, McMullen said.

But Warner — located on I-40 in Muskogee County — is in a new district this season and will be traveling north instead of south this season to face district opponents.

“We played Porter in a nondistrict game, but other than that I don't know anything about them,” McMullen said if his new district foes.

AFTON LOOKS TO RELOAD, NOT REBUILD

Afton lost a strong senior class to graduation last year. It included three players now suiting up for Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and Northeastern State University and another who is playing college baseball.

“That don't happen very often at a Class A school,” coach Zach Gardner said.

Afton finished 8-3 last season, losing its first-round playoff game to Morrison.

While Afton lost a strong senior class, the Eagles do return twin brothers Dillon and Austin Johnson, a pair of smart and brawny linemen who both scored 33 on the ACT.

“They are pretty special kids,” Gardner said.

Gardner still expects his club to contend for the district title even with lots of new faces at the skilled positions.

“We got kids who can make plays, but everybody else does too,” he said. “It's just a matter of making more of them.”

by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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District A-8 Coaches' Poll

1. Foyil (9-4)

2. Fairland (5-5)

3. Afton (8-3)

4. Warner (5-5)

5. Liberty (3-7)

6. Porter (0-9)

7. Summit Christian (3-7)

Note: Last season's record in parentheses.

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