Former Rattan baseball player Brandon Jones received his Class A state championship medal last week when his parents delivered it to him at his Army basic training graduation in Fort Jackson, S.C., KXII.com reported.
Jones was unable to play with the Rams due to the lengthy postponement of the tournament after Wright City's appeal to the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association. He had to report to the Army a week before the tournament concluded.
Rattan players dedicated the win to Jones, who now reports to Fort Lee, Va.
JENKS NO. 42 IN NATIONAL POLL
The FAB 50 national high school football rankings placed Jenks at No. 42 in its preseason poll, released this week.
The Trojans started last season 0-2 but won 12 straight to take the Class 6A state title. They open the season Sept. 7 in Texas against Euless Trinity, which comes in at No. 22 on the FAB 50.
Tulsa Union's season-opening opponent, DeSoto, Texas, is No. 9 in the poll, with Miami (Fla.) Central at No. 1.
McGUINNESS' MIDNIGHT SCRIMMAGE OFFERS GLIMPSE OF WR BATTLE
McGuinness players couldn't wait to hit somebody Friday.
They started the day with the Oklahoma Drill, and then ended it with their annual midnight scrimmage in front of a few hundred fans.
Irish coach Justin Jones said the scrimmage gives the chance for some position battles to clear up, specifically wide receiver.
McGuinness is rebuilding its receiver corps, and 6-foot-6 senior Carl West is the only player locked in at a starting spot as he looks to replace Cody Chancellor, who is now at the University of Oklahoma.
“In our offense, we know we can run the ball, so we want to be able to stretch the field vertically at times,” Jones said. “Carl's nice, but it's nice to have two guys that can go and do that.”
Jones said seniors John Ditmars, Kyle Cummings and Cameron Branum are all battling for playing time, and the fifth spot remains a battle between multiple players.
LAWTON'S WARREN SETTLING IN
A year ago, Michael Warren was Lawton's fourth-team running back.
But after the Wolverines lost eight starters in a five-game span midway through the season, Warren was elevated into a leading role.
Over the last five games, Warren rushed for 100 yards three times and performed well at defensive end.
This season, Lawton coach Randy Breeze is expecting big things from the senior, who is expected to play exclusively on offense.
“He finally had a good summer,” Breeze said. “He moved in as a sophomore and didn't have a good summer that year and was buried. But he went out for track last year and that really helped him a great deal.”
Breeze said Warren was timed at 4.34 seconds in the 40-yard dash at Texas A&M this offseason.
“Every week he's faster and faster,” Breeze said.
NORMAN'S NATION: THEY'VE REALLY ‘STEPPED UP'
Just a week into practice, Norman coach Greg Nation feels like his Tigers are really responding to the new offensive and defensive schemes they are trying to install.
That includes everyone from the quarterback who made a position switch to the second-team squad.
“I feel like our kids have really stepped up,” Nation said.
A special hat tip was directed at senior Jakcob Dean, the Tigers' 5-foot-9, 155-pound quarterback who made the switch from receiver.
“He's really got down his reads and his keys,” Nation said.
NEW COACH, FAMILIAR OFFENSE AT PURCELL
Purcell senior quarterback Drew Rolin is entering his third straight season with a new head coach.
But unlike last year, he won't be adjusting to an entirely different style of play.
Coach Greg Willis' pistol offense will rely heavily on a veer running game, with a zone blocking scheme, a combination of what the Dragons have learned under their past two coaches.
“It's a mix of stuff we've ran in the past,” Rolin said. “It's a little bit different, but it's nothing we haven't seen before. I already know what I'm expected to do.”
The Dragons' zone blocking style is the same scheme coach Shannon Watford use last season. The veer running game was used by longtime coach Mike Wilson, who retired in 2011.
ANADARKO OL STILL WORK IN PROGRESS
After winning the Class 3A championship in 2011, Anadarko returned its entire offensive line last season and featured all new skill players en route to a runner-up finish in Class 4A.
This season, the Warriors will have an entirely new offensive line.
And entering the first scrimmage week, at least three of the positions remain open for the Warriors.
Anadarko coach Kent Jackson said Courtland Kaulity will start at center and Elgin move-in Ethan Smith will fill one of the guard positions. The rest, though, is up in the air.
That leaves Jackson hoping players like running back R.J. Sink help make up for the inexperience up front.
“Last year I felt like the line covered up a lot of the skill players' mistakes, and this year I think the skill players are going to have to cover up the line's mistakes until they get a little experience under their belt,” Jackson said.
HOOKS HOPING ADDED WEIGHT WILL PROVIDE BOOST
Deer Creek senior defensive end Eli Hooks has been consuming calories at an impressive rate this offseason.
Hooks played near 170 pounds last season and still recorded 12 sacks. Now, he ranges from 195-200 pounds, and he hopes to continue adding weight.
“It went just as I had hoped (this summer),” he said. “But I am still trying to gain and gain and gain because I've got those big ol' lineman from everywhere coming at me.”
The problem for Hooks to maintain his weight stems from being a wrestler. Once football season ends, he immediately has to cut weight.
But this year he is hoping to wrestle at 220 and keep the interest of college football recruiters.
Adding the weight will also help Hooks stop the run, he said.