Edmond Memorial coach Justin Merideth didn't know what to expect from his team when they showed up for spring practice in May, just a few months removed from a frustrating 3-7 season.
But he was pleased to see his players arrive with a positive attitude for what was ahead, and the mood has only gotten better through summer and into preseason practices.
“I'm extremely proud of their attitudes,” Merideth said. “It's as good as it has ever been as long as I've been here.
“They're working hard, very positive. They want to get better and be successful. It's been as much fun as you can have at preseason practices as you can possible have.”
The Bulldogs will rely on the leadership of players like left tackle Lucas Gerdes and defensive back Sam Kreutzer, who are among the team's returning starters.
TECUMSEH FILLING HOLES UP FRONT
Tecumseh coach Greg George knows what to expect from senior quarterback Colton Owen, one of the top returning signal-callers in the state.
“He's really been working hard,” George said. “I feel like if we can protect him, he can make all the throws.”
Protecting Owen is the issue as the Savages are rebuilding up front, with three new starters. Two, though, saw some playing time last year.
“That's one of our biggest things right now is building that line up to where we need it,” George said.
One of those returners up front is Brad Wolf, who is 6-foot-5, 300 pounds.
REPLACING SHELDON WILSON
Last season Anadarko running back Sheldon Wilson rushed for 3,335 yards and set state records with 57 rushing touchdowns and 64 total touchdowns.
So how will Anadarko replace him?
Anadarko coach Kent Jackson said junior R.J. Sink will move from receiver and join Wilson's backup sophomore Tramayne Wauaudooah in the backfield.
“It's hard to replace Sheldon, obviously,” Jackson said. “We've been excited about those two guys for a lot of years now, knowing that when Sheldon graduated we had two more coming up. We're pretty confident in those two guys.”