The secret is out. A year ago, Copan hadn’t seen a win in two seasons. Their new coach, school superintendent Steve Stanley, hadn’t patrolled the sidelines in 12 years. But the Hornets finished the season 10-2 and won the district. "Our kids really bought into the system,” Stanley said. "We only had one kid miss one practice all season.” This season, the Hornets return 4 starters from an offense that scored 496 points, the most in District B-4. After last season, Copan isn’t the only place with higher expectations for the Hornets. "We’re not going to surprise anyone this year,” Stanley said. Porter’s ‘animal’ back for more If pads are cracking in Porter, Marcus Bruner is probably involved. Bruner, a junior fullback and linebacker for the Pirates, is collecting praise from throughout the district. "There is an animal at Porter,” said Watts coach Kelly Husted, who coached Bruner in junior high. "I really believe he has the ability to play at a D-I-level school.” That doesn’t surprise Porter coach Ron Coppedge. "If you watch game tape, he’s the first thing that jumps out at you,” he said. "He’s the key to our defense.” At 6-1 and 205 pounds, Bruner has the size many in the eight-man football district lack, and with two seasons of eligibility remaining, there’s still plenty on his highlight reel fans haven’t seen yet. "His feet are still catching up to the rest of his body,” Coppedge said. Returning stars While driving home after last season’s 56-18 win over Arkoma, Porter tight end Derek Meyers fell asleep and crashed his vehicle. In the crash, he detached the retina in his left eye, and couldn’t play the rest of the season. Through four games, he had four touchdowns for the Pirates. "That’s pretty spectacular for us, we’re pretty much just hand the ball off and run,” Coppedge said. "When we lost him, we lost our passing game.” Meyers has regained most of the vision in his eye after several surgeries, and Coppedge says he’ll be a big part of their game plan again this season. Gans quarterback Mike Royal sat out all of last season after breaking his leg in a preseason scrimmage. "We worked most of the offseason on a scheme that featured the quarterback,” Gans coach Trent Holt said. "That was devastating.” Royal will return as a senior this season.
Copan’s secret out