Norman football coach Greg Nation certainly isn't celebrating now that Donovan Roberts has moved on to play at Arkansas.
But Nation feels pretty comfortable with the running backs he has stepping in since Roberts graduated.
“It's life after Donovan Roberts and I know a lot of people are wondering how we're going to be there,” Nation said. “We've got A'erion Hines and Imond Robinson who have been looking really good there.
“They're both faster than Donovan, they just don't have that power that made Donovan so good.”
Nation also expects to use Cale Stumpff in the backfield as a fullback.
MOORE QB RACE HEATING UP
Early on in camp, Derek Harris has a slight edge on Colin Webb for the Moore starting quarterback job.
“In the spring, he showed more confidence running the option,” first-year Lions coach Todd Watters said. “Colin has been the better passer of the two.”
But while each has his strengths, Watters said both worked hard to close the gaps, with Harris improving his throwing and Webb becoming a better runner.
“We feel like if one wins the job, the other one isn't that far behind,” Watters said. “We've been really pleased with both.”
Watters is implementing a spread option attack for the Lions.
Also, Moore senior defensive tackle Robert Venter was competing for a starting spot but suffered a strained MCL in Friday's first day of practice in pads and will miss a few weeks.
“You hate to see that,” Watters said. “Hopefully he'll be able to make it back quickly.”
STAR SPENCER SENIORS LEANING ON EXPERIENCE
Kenneth Davis was a starting linebacker for Star Spencer as a freshman in 2009.
That year, the Bobcats were Class 4A state champions. It seems like a long time ago, after two difficult seasons trying to rebuild.
But Davis and the other seniors are trying to lead this year's squad back to its winning ways, reminding the younger players of just what's possible at Star. It helps that the seniors are playing for the same coach, James Harding, for the second year — and the first time during their careers.
“We've got newcomers every year, and I try to help them be in the position I was, to start as a freshman,” said Davis, a 5-foot-11, 205-pound linebacker. “I just try to do what I can to help the team.
“The last two years have been tough. We just have to keep going, keep getting better. We've got to put it all together to go win games and get back where we used to be.”
PRACTICES EASIER TO HANDLE
Edmond North linebacker Brock Byford said the summer football practices are easier now as a senior than they were as a sophomore.
“You get used to these workouts,” he said. “I have been through it three years. It gets easier every year. It's more of a mental thing. You got to mentally prepare yourself.”
Players also have to take care of their bodies.
“I usually drink about two gallons of water a day,” Byford said. “After practice, I usually go to 7-Eleven and get me two bags of ice and put it in the tub, sit in it for about 10 minutes and feel 100 times better for the next practice. You feel like a brand new man the next day.”
ANADARKO QB BATTLE CONTINUES
For two years, Tyler Melton led Anadarko under center. Now Melton is at Wichita State for baseball, and the Warriors are searching for his successor from a group of three players.
Anadarko coach Kent Jackson said the battle is between senior Galen Satoe, junior Mykel Shaw and sophomore Brandon Pollard.
Satoe appears to be the front-runner, as he was the backup last season but never saw time during blowouts so he could remain healthy at linebacker. Pollard is likely the quarterback of the future, according to Jackson. But he may not be ready just yet.
And Jackson said Shaw can throw really well, but is behind the others in his running ability.
“We've let all three of them get reps, and hopefully the next week or two we'll decide which direction we want to go,” Jackson said. “It's hard to replace Tyler, not so much what Tyler did on the field but all the intangibles he brought with him.”
HERITAGE HALL'S MEWBOURN BOUND FOR TULSA
Trent Mewbourn's college plans encountered a late change.
Originally, the Heritage Hall golfer planned to go to school at Oklahoma, and possibly walk on with the golf team.
But a late offer from Tulsa has him on his way to the next level with a roster spot in hand.
Mewbourn finished his senior season strong, winning the Class 4A regional and state championships. Out of his 11 tournaments, he had five first-place finishes and was second three more times, with an overall stroke average of 71.2.