“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.”
MORE FROM NEWSOK
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.