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High schools: Norman North's Preston Couch, Redford Jones battling for punting job

Norman North's Preston Couch was probably the most decorated punter in the state after his performances over the summer in a couple of camps, but he might not wind up being the best punter on his own team.
by Ryan Aber Published: August 22, 2012
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“I just thought it was the best decision for me, gaining some weight and getting stronger in my legs,” Jones said. “Plus, I thought that was a good way to end it, going out with a national championship.”

While Couch played soccer with Jones when he was younger, he took a different route to punting.

He punted for his seventh-grade team at Alcott Middle School in Norman but hadn't given much thought to trying it again until Wade Standley took the Norman North job last year.

That's when one of his friends and teammates, Keaton Haney, encouraged him to give it another try.

“So I did and Coach Standley said, ‘OK,'” Couch said. “It all went well I guess.”

For Couch, who moved from linebacker to the offensive line this year, punting is one more route to get to where he wants to go — playing college football.

“It definitely can't hurt,” Couch said.

Having the duo helps an already-strong defense with field position and takes pressure off its offense, something quarterback Peyton Gavras alluded to after Norman North's first scrimmage, a win over Edmond Santa Fe.

Jones hit a 48-yarder in a game last season and this summer hit a 60-yard field goal at a kicking camp without the benefit of a tee.

“It's definitely great for the team,” Jones said. “I don't know if there's another team in the state with two guys like us.

“Coach feels confident I'm going to hit field goals and whoever the punter is, we're going to do a good job.”

by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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