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.