Oklahoma Christian School returns six starters on both sides of the ball from last year's 10-3 team.
Austin Brooks is back at quarterback for a third straight season while running back/linebacker Luke Frankford led the team in tackles as a freshman.
Brooks will be looking to connect with wide receiver Blake Barnes a lot this season.
“He (Barnes) is one of our major playmakers,” OCS coach Derek Turner said. “He is a great athlete.”
Luther's Northerton a dynamic option
With a new quarterback running the offense, a versatile, dynamic player in the backfield can help the transition along. That's where Steven Northerton's value lies for Luther this season.
As Austin Weathers gets comfortable behind center, first-year coach Shawn Meek will try to get the ball to Northerton regularly.
“He's gonna have to touch the ball for us quite a bit,” Meek said. “He does a lot of things for us. We'll use him in the return game. We'll get him the ball in multiple positions, out of the backfield or in the slot. He's a guy we trust.”
Coyle hoping for big things from Aska
Coyle lost speedy running back Magnus Scott to graduation but the next Bluejackets' star could be wide receiver Tony Aska.
“This year we are really counting on Tony,” said Coyle assistant coach Jeremy Martin. “He works hard for us. He is going to be a big part of what we are doing.”
Aska is 6-6 and Coyle plans to take advantage of his size and wing span in the passing game.
“He is one of the best basketball players in Class A,” Martin said. “I tell him to rebound the football.”
Aska also added 20 pounds in the offseason and will play at 180 pounds.
“He is definitely more physical this year,” Martin said.
Wellston seeking turnaround
Wellston enters the 2012 football season on a 19-game losing streak, but second-year coach Fred Peery is determined to rebuild the program at his alma mater.
Wellston returns eight starters on offense and nine on defense. Peery vows the 2012 Tigers will be a much better team than last season.
“We know we are going to be better,” he said. “We just don't know how much better.”
But Peery thinks this year's Tiger club as it looks entering the season would beat last year's Wellston team by 40 points.
“We are making some big gains,” he said.
Wellston hasn't had a winning season since 2005 and has only won five games since then.
The Tigers are still going to be young with only four seniors on the active roster.
OCA hoping for improvement
Oklahoma Christian Academy Trey Sanchez admits other teams try to schedule the Eagles for their homecoming game. They see it as an automatic win.
OCA was winless last year but the Eagles' season was derailed by injuries.
“We had a lot of unfortunate injuries that piled up,” Sanchez said. “We didn't have our starting eight on the field for one game last year. If we stay healthy, we are going to surprise a lot of people.”
OCA will throw the ball more this season with senior quarterback Adam Jacob.
“We are going to try and spread the field out, make it a quicker paced game, make sure we control what's going on out on the field,” Sanchez said.