Defensive players showing strength for Santa Fe
Edmond Santa Fe coach Lance Manning continues to be impressed with outside linebacker Phillip Sumpter, who was moved to the defense this season after being the Wolves' starting tailback last year.
“He is a playing really well, playing physical, playing fast,” Manning said. “He is really becoming a force defensively.”
Sumpter still will get some carries at running back, but the emergence of junior Cameron Westbrook in the backfield allowed Santa Fe to move Sumpter to defense full-time.
Manning predicts a big season for Westbrook.
“He is a talent,” Manning said. “He will wow you at times, the way he moves and his vision and speed.”
Manning also liked the preseason play of safety Khari Harding, a University of Arkansas commit.
“I think he is a lot better football player now than he was last year,” he said.
Calmus' shift should help Mustang defense
Last year, Tucker Calmus anchored the Mustang defense from middle linebacker, but with the 6-foot-2, 240-pound senior moving to defensive end, coaches believe it strengthens the defense.
“That's probably his position,” coach Ty Prestidge said. “We were so young and scrambling last year, we had a lot of guys who were our best 11 on defense but had to play somewhere else. We had a lot of defensive ends but didn't have many linebackers, so he had to play there.”
Along with third-year starter Jared Chance at tackle, the Broncos are strong on the defensive front, with the back seven being predicated on speed.
Foster another big-play threat for Lawton
While Maurice Chandler has been the eye-popping athlete among skilled position players in Lawton, the Texas Tech defensive back commit isn't the only one with star potential.
Tevin Foster will play both ways, but his big-play ability truly shines at receiver. Currently committed to South Dakota, he could still draw a lot of attention from college coaches.
“(Washington State coach) Mike Leach has heard about him, and he'd be a great fit for that type of offense,” Lawton coach Randy Breeze said. “He's a little bit under the radar, but people are gonna find him pretty quick.”
Walker shows versatility
After losing Andrew Long to graduation, Southmoore's run game might've been expected to slip, even with Karltrell Henderson still around.
But through the two scrimmages, the SaberCats ground game has looked like the strongest part of the offense.
A big part of that is junior Jaelon Walker, who gives Southmoore a versatile option in both the running game and the passing game.
Walker scored three touchdowns Friday in Southmoore's scrimmage game vs. Bartlesville at Tulsa Union.
“We've been looking for a guy we could use in the backfield and also put out wide,” Southmoore coach Jeff Brickman said. “He's that guy. He's skilled enough as a receiver and runs really good routes, but he's also athletic enough and strong enough to line up at running back.”
Gerdes anchors Edmond Memorial line
With a new quarterback behind them, the Edmond Memorial offensive line knows there is an even stronger need to protect him. And it all starts with left tackle Lucas Gerdes, who is pushing his teammates to be more aggressive.
“Our goal is to be more physical this year,” he said. “We have to step up our physicality to get through the season.”
By Scott Wright, Ryan Aber and Ed Godfrey
District 6A-4 coaches' poll
1. Edmond Santa Fe (10-2)
2. Lawton (9-3)
3. Norman (7-4)
4. Mustang (2-8)
5. Southmoore (5-6)
6. Edmond Memorial (3-7)
7. Choctaw (1-9)
8. Putnam City West (0-10)
*-Last year's records in parentheses