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South Oklahoma City metro area football notebook: Newcastle's Zach Bergt steady presence in move to 4A

Newcastle coach Keith Bolles said he doesn’t really know what to expect with the Racers moving to Class 4A this season. But he knows what to expect from senior running back Zach Bergt.
BY JACOB UNRUH, TRENT SHADID, ED GODFREY, CHRIS BRANNICK AND JONO GRECO Published: September 3, 2014
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Newcastle’s Bergt steady presence in move to 4A

Newcastle coach Keith Bolles said he doesn’t really know what to expect with the Racers moving to Class 4A this season.

But he knows what to expect from senior running back Zach Bergt.

“He’s got a lot of games under his belt and he knows how to handle adversity,” Bolles said. “He’ll step in there and he gets very yard he can get. That’s one of the best things about him is he’s hard to bring down the first time he gets hit.”

Bergt rushed for 1,006 yards and 18 touchdowns last season, averaging 5.1 yards per carry.

He’s expected to bring some balance to the offense following a strong summer in the 7-on-7 circuit.

NEW COACH MAKING CHANGES AT NOBLE

Greg George moves over to Noble from Tecumseh, and the new system in play is going well. Noble and Tecumseh are familiar foes despite being in different classes (Noble in 5A and Tecumseh 4A), and George said that played a big role in implementing a new system.

“We play each other every year,” George said. “And they know what I do.”

That includes the spread offense he is implementing for the Bears

“We’re going to spread the ball around and get the ball in the athletes’ hands,” George said.

MCGREGOR MOVING TO QB FOR PURCELL

Purcell senior Mac McGregor is making the move from receiver to quarterback to lead the Dragons this season.

McGregor brings dual-threat ability to the position as he is replacing three-year starter Drew Rolin. The Dragons are also replacing 1,000-yard running back Dominique Gavia.

Despite the losses offensively, Purcell returns nine starters on a defense that is expected to be a strength this season.

In its first season under coach Greg Willis a year ago, Purcell went 6-5 and fell to eventual state champion Kingfisher in the first round of the playoffs.

WAYNE HOPING TO DODGE INJURY BUG

Wayne coach Brandon Sharp hopes his Bulldogs can stay healthy this season.

“Last year, we did get hit with the injury bug,” Sharp said.

None was more devastating than the injury to running back Louden Johnson, who is now playing for East Central University.

“We were 4-1 with him and 0-5 without him,” Sharp said.

Wayne returns just five starters from last year’s 4-6 team, but Sharp said the 2014 Bulldogs do have talent.

“We have got an athletic team,” he said. “I feel like we’ve got some skill. The issue is experience.”

Sharp anticipates starting five or six sophomores.

“That’s a good group,” Sharp said of the sophomore class. “They are athletic. They do a lot of good things on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, we are a little bit timid right now but I think we are going to have pretty good team speed.”

Wayne returns two senior starters on defense in defensive tackle Cole Ellis (6-4, 215 pounds) and defensive end Braden Mills (510, 195 pounds). Both missed significant playing time last year because of injury.

Senior quarterback Joe Martin (6-1, 195 pounds) also is back after taking over the signal-calling duties midway through last season.

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