GUTHRIE — It was a strange offseason for Guthrie.
After winning the Class 5A football championship, the Bluejays have gone through changes on the field with a massive group of seniors graduating and a coaching change.
Still, things are close to the same under new coach Kelly Beeby, and that was evident during the spring practice period.
“Coach Beeby is really doing his thing,” senior L’liott Curry said. “It feels like nothing has changed to me. I feel like I can completely trust Coach Beeby. I know he’s going to make the right changes.”
Beeby said it’ll be the same formula for the Bluejays, one built on the running game and success of both lines.
“It hasn’t been broke,” said Beeby. “The formula’s been pretty good. Again, it’s the culmination of over 10 years of staff unity as far as the way we’ve done things and the way the program’s been built. The road map’s there and we’re just trying to stay on that path.”
The map just may be a little crazier next season as the Bluejays return just three offensive starters and five starters from a defense that was the top defense in the class.
The biggest area of concern the past two weeks has been rebuilding the offensive line, which returns only one starter in Conan Maltz.
“They were better on Tuesday than they were Monday and they were better on Wednesday than they were Tuesday,” Beeby said. “It’s going to be a process and we’ll continue to base what we do and our success on being able to block people up front, so that’s an area of concentration for us.”
But Beeby is hoping talented skill players like Curry and Idae Alexander can offset the inexperience.
“We’re expecting him to be a workhorse for us,” Beeby said about the powerful Alexander, who rushed for more than 1,300 yards and 25 touchdowns last season. “He’s going to have to carry the ball and protect our young offensive line to a certain extent as they try to grow up early.”
Both will possibly carry the ball from the backfield, while Curry will also be a top target in the passing game after catching 10 touchdowns last season.
But they aren’t feeling the pressure being the lone returning skill players.
“We’re looking at it as competition,” Curry said. “We know everybody is going to be out to get us, so we’re going to be prepared. We’re just ready to play.”
And after a different offseason for a championship team, getting back to the field will restore some normalcy.
“I was just going with the flow,” Curry said. “I’ve got one more year; that’s all I’m worried about. You’ve got to leave the past in the past.”