EDMOND — It’s no secret what type of weapon Edmond Memorial possesses in the backfield with senior running back Warren Wand.
He’s arguably the most exciting player to watch in the state, producing highlight after highlight with his 5-foot-7 frame.
But he’s also the focal point of opposing defenses, which led to problems offensively for the Bulldogs last season as they struggled in the passing game with an average of 112.5 yards per game.
The hope is that changes this season.
“One of our biggest things — we always want to be balanced — but we came into this offseason saying we have got to be able to throw the ball and be good at it, and we have to win games throwing the ball,” Memorial coach Justin Merideth said. “We want to be balanced. As a guy with a defensive background, I know teams that are balanced and you can’t focus on their run game or focus just on their passing game, those are the toughest offenses to stop. That is our goal.
“We want to be able to run it with Warren and be able to throw it with our quarterback.”
Last season, the quarterback was junior Mick Mayerske, who passed for 1,198 yards, nine touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59 percent of his passes.
Mayerske is back this season, but still competing with sophomore Grant Decker for the job. But Merideth feels like Mayerske has shown improvement as he works to expand the offense.
“You can tell Mick has an understanding of what we want,” Merideth said. “You can tell Mick has played in 11 games, started nine games for us last year.
“Grant’s extremely talented and he’ll be a good player for us in the future. If Mick does continue to compete and play well, we have confidence in Grant. He just doesn’t have that experience and he’s a younger guy.”
Mayerske will have plenty of targets, too, with Donovan Nunley, Jordan Reed and Mac Misialek returning along with the possibility of Division I prospect Robert Charlton playing receiver and Wand spending some time split wide.
“It is huge that we be able to throw the ball and having somebody back with a lot of experience should help that,” Merideth said.