Del City quarterback Terry Wilson showing progress
Last season, Del City quarterback Terry Wilson won a three-way battle for the starting job as only a 15-year-old sophomore.
At 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, his size, arm strength, and running ability made him one of the most talented young players in the state. After accounting for seven touchdowns over four games, Wilson’s season ended with a broken collarbone in Week 5.
Since then, he’s continued to develop the mental side of his game to go along with his natural abilities.
“Terry understands more about what we’re doing offensively heading into this year,” said Del City coach Nick Warehime. “He was only able to play four games last year, and he was 15-years-old. Now that he’s had the opportunity to be with us for two years and prepare over the spring and summer, he’s progressively gotten better with reading the defense and things like that.”
The Eagles expect to run much of the same offense from a year ago, which will allow Wilson to use his running ability in the option-read game.
Along with Wilson, Del City returns big-play threat Davion Freeman. After primarily playing cornerback and on special teams as a junior, Freeman is expected to also play receiver and in the backfield this season.
BROWER TAKING OVER AT EL RENO
As Wes Brower takes over as the new head coach at El Reno, he hopes to help return the once strong program to success.
Since going 12-1 in 2009, El Reno has had four consecutive losing seasons. Although the program doesn’t have a state title, the Indians have finished runner-up five times and were a regular championship contender in the 1990s and 2000s.
“We’re going to try to build championship football again here at El Reno,” said Brower, who was an assistant on the 1999 runner-up team at El Reno. “We we’re playing some pretty good football back then and I understand what that’s about. I feel like El Reno can produce those teams again. We’ve got some work to do, but that’s what we’re heading for.”
Brower spent 13 years as the coach at Sayre before returning to El Reno as an assistant last season.
CHICKASHA, DUNCAN REPLACING HALL OF FAME COACHES
El Reno isn’t the only 5A-1 school with some tradition breaking in a new head coach this season.
Chickasha and Duncan will also have a new face directing its program, and both are replacing Hall of Fame coaches.
Chickasha has replaced Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Famer Tom Cobble with alum Jerry Don Bray, who has spent the past eight seasons as an assistant at the school. Bray graduated from Chickasha in 2001, and was a three-year letterman as a defensive end at Oklahoma State.
Former Sallisaw coach Craig Benson is replacing Jim Holloway at Duncan. Holloway was inducted into the National High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2012.
THE BIG THREE
In 2013, Lawton MacArthur, Del City, and Ardmore separated themselves from the rest of the district.
All three went 6-1 in district games with Lawton Mac finishing six tie-breaker points ahead of Ardmore and eight ahead of Del City.
While the district isn’t entirely the same, Northwest Classen and El Reno have replaced Southeast and Capitol Hill, the coaches’ preseason poll has favored the top three to remain the same.
Lawton Mac was the overwhelming favorite in the poll with Ardmore second and Del City third.
ALTUS RECEIVES HIGH PRAISE
Despite coming off a 3-7 season Altus was selected by the coaches to earn a playoff spot as the No. 4 team in the preseason poll.
“I think Altus has a chance to be really good,” said Del City coach Nick Warehime. “They had a great underclass group last season. That’s a team to watch for.”
The Bulldogs do have one major hole to fill as they must replace the production of running back Taven Birdow. As a sophomore last season, Birdow rushed for 1,796 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has since moved to Florida.
Lawton MacArthur senior Will Collins, who recently received an offer from Louisiana-Monroe, is back as one of the top quarterbacks in the state after throwing for more than 2,700 yards and 29 touchdowns last season. ...Ardmore is returning just four starters on defense, but it is still expected to contend for the district title behind a strong senior class that includes CB Kevion McGee and LB Jarred Hall.... Northwest Classen will begin a new era under coach Bruce Madden as the Knights aim to finish .500 or better for the first time since 1973.
District 5A-1 coaches’ poll
1. Lawton MacArthur (10-3)
2. Ardmore (8-3)
3. Del City (7-4)
4. Altus (3-7)
5. Duncan (3-6)
6. Chickasha (5-6)
7. El Reno (4-6)
8. Northwest Classen (3-7)
*Last year’s record in parenthesis