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Midwest City hopes to lighten the load for James Flanders

By Ryan Aber, Staff Writer, raber@opubco.com Published: August 9, 2011
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There's no questioning James Flanders' effectiveness last season for Midwest City.

As a junior, Flanders averaged nearly 6.6 yards per carry, scoring 22 touchdowns.


Bombers coach Steve Huff, though, wants to pull down one particular stat of Flanders': his carries.

“I'd feel good about giving him the ball just about every play,” Huff said. “But we've got some guys that are good enough to give him some relief, so we're going to try to get them some of those to keep things fresh.”

Flanders had 254 carries last season as Midwest City finished 10-1.

The Bombers opened practice at 7 a.m. Tuesday. They'll practice early again Wednesday to try to beat the heat before Thursday's first day of school pushes practice to the afternoons.

While Flanders isn't about to willingly give up carries, he understands the benefit.

“It's a little bit of both,” Flanders said. “Whatever makes the team win, though, I don't really care how many times I touch the ball.”

Ricky Reeves, the Bombers' standout defensive back, figures to be one part of the puzzle in helping to lighten the load.

Also a senior, Reeves is one of the Bombers' starting cornerbacks. But he and Zeke Lewis, who starts at linebacker, will likely see occasional carries.

“It's different after being on defense most all of the time since after my freshman year, but the transition hasn't been that bad,” Reeves said. “I've really been trying to work at it and get better at blocking, especially sustaining blocks, and it's paying off.”

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