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.”
Northeast's Pina takes over at QB
New Northeast coach Kenny Blair doesn't have a lot of experience to work with anywhere on the field, but he has a quarterback with a winning mentality.
Junior Shawndale Pina steps into the QB role for the Vikings, just a few months after helping Northeast to the Class 2A state basketball championship.
The 6-foot, 175-pound athlete was a starter there, and also ran track in the spring. He's joined in the backfield by another youngster, sophomore running back Elijah Bronner.
They'll be playing behind one of the few returning starters on the team, offensive lineman Nate Beller, a 6-foot, 310-pound senior.
Centennial looking to take next step
With new coach Don Willis returning to Oklahoma City after spending eight years in Texas, Centennial has its eyes on a turnaround.
Centennial has struggled to build its football program since 2007, when the school opened. But success in other sports, including back-to-back state titles in boys basketball, lead Willis to believe the school can succeed in football, too.
“When I first got the job, people kept telling me, ‘Coach, you've got a lot of talent there. You've just to get them out of the halls,'” Willis said. “The kids who are out are buying in and doing a good job, but we don't have the numbers yet.”
Willis will focus on utilizing the team's speed, with gifted athletes like Trevon Threatt, Malcolm Mitchell, Terrance Barnes and Terry Davis in a variety of roles.
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,” Merrell said. “He's got great hands and they're monster hands. They're twice the size of mine.”
Crossings Christian young in more ways than one
There are young teams, and then there's Crossings Christian. Not only is the program itself very young, preparing for its first year at the varsity level — also its first year in the OSSAA. But the players are young, too.
The vast majority of the roster comes from the freshman and sophomore classes at a school that has only graduated two seniors over the last two years.
Coach Chris Roberts, formerly an assistant at Edmond Santa Fe and Kingfisher, has overseen the construction of the program from the junior-high level up. He expects to rely heavily on a couple of sophomores who have been part of that process as well.
Christian Osterhout will start at both running back and linebacker, while Cole Travis will play a key role on both the offensive and defensive lines.
Windsor Hills filling holes
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 Scott Wright, Ryan Aber and Ed Godfrey