EDMOND — Coming off a championship season, Oklahoma Christian School remains a top contender in Class 2A.
The Saints lost quarterback Austin Brooks and others to graduation, but they return key contributors like Luke Frankfurt, Cameron James and Will McKinnis.
“It's a tough road to get through 2A,” OCS coach Derek Turner said. “There's a lot of great teams in 2A ... and our deal is we've just got to be able to manage the kids we have, find what they do best and put them in the position where they can be successful.”
Turner started by moving McKinnis to quarterback, offering a more mobile threat than Brooks.
James and Frankfurt return in the backfield. James rushed for more than 500 yards and seven touchdowns, while Frankfurt rushed for nearly 1,200 yards and 10 TDs.
But Turner wants more from the running game.
“We've got to build a little depth at running back,” he said. “Even though we've got two great kids, I want to build a little more.”
But the skill players will only be as successful as the new-look offensive line. Asher Martel is the lone returning starter from last season, leaving the other four spots to newcomers.
The defense, though, features eight returning starters in the 30-stack formation, including Frankfurt at a hybrid linebacker position. Last season as a sophomore he led the team in tackles, and he did the same as a freshman.
Palmer Rice, at just 5-foot-6 and 160 pounds, also returns at defensive tackle. The only big change will be moving James from linebacker to safety.
But even that change fails to worry Turner.
What does worry him, though, is the road schedule and district schedule this season.
The Saints lost just one game last season — a one-point loss to Jones — but this season could be even tougher.
“We've got to play on the road a bunch,” he said. “We've got a really tough schedule at the first of the year. I know that there's already teams in our district that have made great improvements this year.”