“That's absolutely encouraging,” McCoy said. “To know we lost to the state champs and gave them a similar fight to the other teams they beat, it just adds to our confidence.”
Taking the next step forward this year, though, could be a challenge.
The Patriots return six starters on both sides of the ball and a batch of others who have received significant playing time. But after that, the talent is down and the overall numbers have taken a hit.
In previous years, Metro Christian usually keeps more than 60 players on its roster. This season, they will have between 50-52.
“We look pretty good,” McCoy said. “Our one's are going to be as good as they have (been) in a while, but we are probably as thin as we have been the last two or three years. So if we can stay healthy this year, we will give it a pretty good run.”
Berryhill favorite, Verdigris will threaten
With Cascia Hall's departure, the firm stranglehold on District 3A-5 has been lifted, meaning Berryhill will slide into the vacant role of league favorite.
Traditionally, the Chiefs are talented. Returning a core group of players from last year's state semifinalists, 2012 should be no different.
But there will be many challengers for the unclaimed crown, including an experienced Verdigris squad.
“The wild card, I think, is Verdigris,” McCoy said. “I think they are the one that could surprise some people. They've got a lot of talent, probably as much talent as Berryhill has coming back.”
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District 3A-5 coaches' poll
1. Berryhill (13-2)
2. Verdigris (10-2)
3. Sequoyah-Claremore (5-4)
4. Metro Christian (12-1)
5. Sperry (4-6)
6. Dewey (4-7)
7. Blackwell (2-8)
Note: Last year's record in parenthesis