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High school football: Blanchard has some holes to fill

by Trent Shadid Published: August 26, 2014

— For the first time in two years, preseason uncertainty surrounds the Blanchard football program.

The good news is the Lions answered all the questions in 2012 by winning the Class 3A state championship, their first title since 1979.

It’s yet to be seen if Blanchard is capable of producing a similar run in 2014, as the Lions are replacing 3,000-yard running back Braden Stringer and productive starting quarterback Blake Owen from last season’s 3A runner-up team.

Seniors Brandon Montano and Hayden Hamlin and sophomore Holden Mayfield are all expected to see time at running back, while senior Kanon Kirchner becomes the new quarterback.

“Those other guys are ready to step in and get their shot,” said Blanchard coach Jeff Craig. “We’ve had our time with Braden, and the guys here now at running back have been inspired by his hard work and his work ethic. That’s kind of transcended into their game now, so they’re ready to take things on.”

Blanchard also has holes to fill defensively at linebacker. Jalan Daniels, who had over 140 tackles each of the last two seasons, is one of four linebackers the Lions are replacing.

“I’m a little nervous about that,” Craig said. “But in 2012 when we won it, we had four new linebackers that year. Putting in that perspective, anything can happen. But we know we’ve got some work with a lot of holes to fill that were filled by some really good players the last two years.”

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by Trent Shadid
Copy Editor
Trent Shadid is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Weatherford, Okla., and attended Weatherford High School. Before joining The Oklahoman, he spent two seasons as an assistant wrestling coach at Weatherford High...
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