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North OKC metro notebook: Stillwater hoping Noble's return aids offense

Braxton Noble is back this season as a junior and looks to be healthy for the Pioneers.
by Scott Wright and Jacob Unruh and Trent Shadid Published: August 30, 2013
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Stillwater went winless last season when quarterback Braxton Noble suffered a dislocated shoulder in his non-throwing arm.

Noble is back this season as a junior and looks to be healthy for the Pioneers.


“We were seeing some things in the way he was progressing as a quarterback that had us really excited, really optimistic about the remainder of the season,” Stillwater coach Tucker Barnard said. “Losing him definitely hurt us. Anytime you lose the quarterback, it's a big deal. We did the best we could trying to make things work after that.”

Noble threw for more than 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns in his four-plus games.

The Pioneers also return key skill players like senior King Williams, who can play running back, receiver and quarterback, and junior receiver Brandon Prather.

“I half-jokingly tell the offensive coordinator all the time I don't care how he does it, just score 49 points all the time and I'll be happy,” Barnard said. “He gives me a funny little grin about that.

“We think that there's going to be a lot of things that we can do this year.”

BRONCHOS LOOKING FOR POSTSEASON RETURN

Missing the playoffs has become a rarity at Bethany, and the Bronchos want to make sure it stays that way. After finishing 4-6 last season and missing the postseason, Bethany returns a strong core of young but experienced players who want to go back to the playoffs.

The offensive backfield of quarterback Kyle Duke and running back Tino Vann remains intact from last season, and Dalton Stout is the top returning wideout.

Blaine Coffee anchors a defensive front that should be much improved as well.

JOHN MARSHALL YOUNG BUT EXPERIENCED

Kalen Love and Kaleel Bowden are a couple of names that John Marshall fans will become quite familiar with this season. Both players will be in the backfield of first-year coach Rashaun Woods' I-formation offense.

And both will play a major role in the middle of the defense at linebacker.

Across the board, Woods will have an experienced team, with several players who have been in starting roles since they were freshmen and sophomores.

Cashion counting on young defenders

Cashion coach Lynn Shackelford will have a few seniors to rely on defensively, but he'll need some young players to step into key roles this season if the Wildcats want to contend for the District A-3 championship.

Jesse Lyon, John Pope and Caleb Cogburn provide the senior leadership in the Wildcats' 3-4 defense, while younger players like Peyton Maroney, Kyle Robinson and Austin Temple have the chance to make significant contributions.

YOUNG TALENT TO LEAD NORTHEAST

With just 23 players on the team to start the season, and few upperclassmen, Northeast will rely on several young players this season.

“We are a day care team,” said coach Kenny Blair, whose team coming off a 1-9 season in Class 2A. “We're very inexperienced, but the bright side is it's a young group that is playing together. We are still much more ahead of where we were last year, and more mature. I'm very proud of the guys I have out.”

The Vikings remain talented up front — lead by 6-foot-1, 260-pound junior Jervis Hollingsworth.

“I think I have a good offensive and defensive line,” Blair said. “Hollingsworth will help lead the offensive line, and we have Jordan Buckner at center that I think will really be good as a freshman.”

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by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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by Jacob Unruh
Reporter
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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by Trent Shadid
Copy Editor
Trent Shadid is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Weatherford, Okla., and attended Weatherford High School. Before joining The Oklahoman, he spent two seasons as an assistant wrestling coach at Weatherford High...
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