McCray brings option to Crooked Oak
Former Washington High School coach Dennis McCray is taking over at Crooked Oak.
When McCray resigned from Washington two years ago, he didn't plan to return to coaching.
“When I quit, I figured that was it,” McCray said. “It just doesn't get out of your blood, I guess. I wanted to go one more go around.”
McCray is bringing option football to Crooked Oak and is counting on new quarterback Shauntrell Skanes, a junior who didn't play football as a sophomore.
“He is learning the offense,” McCray said. “We run a true triple option where he has to make the reads. He has to make a lot of quick decisions under fire. He's got a lot of potential.”
Taking some of the load off Skanes will be fullback DeAntre Hawkins, who rushed for 1,300 yards as a sophomore last season.
“In our option offense the fullback is the main guy,” McCray said. “He will get the bulk of the carries. He is a very physical runner with a lot of speed.”
CHA excited about Lindsey, Blair
Christian Heritage returns a strong group of skill position players on the offensive side, led by junior quarterback Colton Lindsey.
Lindsey threw for around 1,500 yards as a sophomore.
“If you've got a quarterback, in this day and age, that can throw the ball, you're going to be in pretty good shape,” Crusaders coach John Merrell said. “He's got all of the tools that you want. He has an extremely quick release, a strong arm and he's accurate. You don't see that kind of package very often.”
One of Lindsey's primary targets will be senior tight end Jacob Blair.
The 6-foot-7 Blair figures to be a tough matchup for opposing defenses.
“A ball never hits his body when he's catching passes,” Merrill said. “He's got great hands and they're monster hands. They're twice the size of mine.”
Capitol Hill's Williams a big target
Capitol Hill could be on the verge of something special with tight end Marcus Williams.
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound junior has already caught the eyes of a few college programs with his strong body and soft hands.
“I really see Marcus as a big-time playmaker for us,” coach Jason Webster said. “He was an offensive tackle as a freshman. He was a little undersized, but he had tremendous heart. When we moved him to tight end, his natural position, he has been a mismatch.
“He can block defensive ends easily and in the passing game, he gets against smaller guys and can really use his power.”
CCS has to wait for district rotation
Community Christian is a member of the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association for the first time this season in everything but football. The Royals didn't get in the OSSAA in time to be assigned a district, and as a result will have to play an independent schedule for the next two seasons until districts are redrawn again.
“The only downside is we don't get to play for a state championship this year,” said Blake Nelson, a senior defensive end and wide receiver for the Royals. “I guess we got in late.”
Nelson, however, is looking forward to the tougher schedule this season, especially the second week of the season when Community Christian meets Casady. The Royals are pointing to that game.
“They are known for being good and we are known for being good, so we will see who is better,” Nelson said.
Speed key for SW Covenant
Southwest Covenant is looking to improve on a 2-7 season as the Patriots move into a new district.
“We will be traveling a lot, going to the eastern part of the state,” coach Bill Martin said.
The Patriots must replace all of their offensive and defensive line from last year.
“We are inexperienced,” Martin said. “We feel like we got speed."
A strength for the Patriots should be kicker T.J. Brown.
“We are excited about our special teams,” Martin said.
Young lines key for Windsor Hills
It will be a rebuilding year at Windsor Hills.
“I lost half of my team (from last season),” said Windsor Hills coach Wes Randall. “We lost four of our best players.”
After graduating a senior class that was 17-3 the past two seasons, Windsor Hills will be young in 2012.
Windsor Hills does return senior signal caller Bradley Keeton, who has been a starter at quarterback since he was a freshman.
Running back Nathaniel Blythe and fullback Jacob McBride are a talented backfield, but Windsor Hills will have to count on a young offensive and defensive line of freshmen and sophomores to mature quickly.
BY ED GODFREY, RYAN ABER AND SCOTT WRIGHT