EDMOND — As his team tries to bounce back from a three-win season, Edmond Memorial coach Justin Merideth is looking for leaders.
And he doesn't care how old they are.
“We don't care if you're a sophomore, junior or senior. If the guy next to you isn't getting it done, you let him know about it and you be a leader in that way,” Merideth said. “I think that's why our attitude and work ethic are getting better. The guys are getting more comfortable doing that.
“It's really unique. I've never been on a team that's been that way, where everybody's picking everybody up, no matter what grade they're in.”
Merideth and his staff have been closely watching a quarterback competition that included as many as five players as the Bulldogs try to get the position set for the season opener.
Whoever the winner is, he knows his best friend will be Lucas Gerdes, the Bulldogs' left tackle and best offensive lineman.
“The offensive line has really been working hard, lots of team stuff and schematics,” Gerdes said. “I think it will be really good. Our goal is to be more physical this year. We have to step up our physicality to get through the season.”
From the fullback position, Jake Mamman will also help in the blocking schemes as well.
Receiver will be a position of strength, led by Ashton Antwine, the Bulldogs' top big-play threat. Sam Kreutzer will also see time at receiver, though he's most valuable at defensive back.
He, too, has been pleased with the effort and excitement coming from the team in preseason workouts so far.
“The older guys felt some unfinished business from last year. It wasn't the way we wanted it,” Kreutzer said. “So we were out there busting our tails, and the young guys came in with a ton of energy and saw how we were and picked it up real well.”