Southmoore senior lineman Drew Nickell will miss the football season after suffering fractures in his left leg and ankle in Friday's scrimmage against Edmond North. The injury will require surgery.
SaberCats coach Jeff Brickman said the team would wear helmet stickers in Nickell's honor this year.
“We don't have a whole lot of guys that play both ways, but he's one of them because of the work ethic that he brings every day,” Brickman said. “He's the guy all summer that's been there, and the kids respect him so much because of what he does.”
Brickman said Nickell was as positive as possible following the news.
“He's never down,” Brickman said. “He's always an upbeat type of kid. He just said these things happen.”
RECEIVERS PLAY BIG ROLE FOR EDMOND MEMORIAL
Edmond Memorial coach Justin Merideth has managed a competition of as many as five quarterbacks for the Bulldogs' starting job this season, so with the inexperience behind center, the receiving corps will be important in easing the new QB's transition.
Fortunately, receiver will be a position of strength for the Bulldogs, led by Ashton Antwine, the Bulldogs' top big-play threat. Sam Kreutzer is experienced as well, and a few other juniors and seniors will be in the mix.
“It's all older guys who have been through things a little more,” Kreutzer said. “The whole group has handled the quarterback situation well, and we're doing our best to help those guys out.”
Kreutzer has enjoyed the energy in practice as the Bulldogs try to get back to the Class 6A playoffs.
“The older guys felt some unfinished business from last year. It wasn't the way we wanted it,” Kreutzer said. “So we were out there busting our tails, and the young guys came in with a ton of energy and saw how we were and picked it up real well.”
CARL ALBERT HAS GAPS TO FILL
Carl Albert football coach Gary Rose is in an unusual spot this season.
For the first time since he can remember, Rose has to replace virtually every skill-position player he had.
The Titans will feature a new quarterback, new primary running back and a new set of receivers this season.
“It's definitely different,” Rose said. “We've got some potential this year. We've got some young kids that, if they come on, we can be pretty good.”
The flip side to that is Carl Albert returns a strong bunch of linemen, perhaps none more promising than junior defensive end/tight end Chantz Woodberry.
“We think Woodberry's going to be pretty special for us,” Rose said.
The Titans scrimmage Midwest City on Thursday.
LUIS WILL BE VITAL FOR ROCKETS
As they move into the second year under coach Chris Stiles, the Mount St. Mary Rockets are shifting to more of a run-based offense that will make offensive linemen vitally important.
Among them, guard Scott Luis is getting moved inside from tight end to use his size and athleticism to open holes.
But the biggest impact of the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Luis could be at defensive end, where he made 11 sacks last year.
“He could be one of the best defensive linemen in 3A,” Stiles said.
NAULT STILL MAKING PLAYS
Kingfisher's first play from scrimmage Friday night against Piedmont was reminiscent of many from last year, with Landon Nault running for a touchdown.
The Yellowjackets' star running back scored untouched on a 40-yard run the first time he touched the ball Friday night.
Nault rushed for 1,517 yards and 25 touchdowns last season as a sophomore.
“It was just like last year,” Kingfisher coach Jeff Myers said.
Nault wants to have an even bigger season this year.
“I am always working to get better,” Nault said. “It felt great to get our here and get going and to get in an actual game situation. Our line looks awesome. They blocked really well. They are going hard every play and it helps me be successful.”