MIDWEST CITY — Last season got off to a bad start before it ever began for Midwest City.
Joel Davis, the senior and returning starter at quarterback for the Bombers, injured his elbow in a summer baseball tournament the week before camp opened, and it sent Midwest City into a downward spiral that couldn't be stopped.
The result was a 3-7 season and some hard knocks for a very young team.
But fighting through that pain has helped the Bombers grow up, and they feel like they're ready to turn the corner now.
Second-year coach Darrell Hall has seen the most progress from the defense, which is playing with an attitude once again.
“The defense is playing fast out there, trying to create turnovers and get the ball back to our offense,” Hall said. “That's our goal and what we want to see from those guys.”
Senior Tyquae Russell is central to the defensive game plan at linebacker, while Devin McLellan and Brandon Jones both return on the defensive line. The secondary has players like Anthony Barclay and Kesean Brown back again, with nine starters in all returning on defense.
The offense has eight starters back, filling a couple of holes up front, while Hall tries to settle on a quarterback. Sophomore Brendan Brown and junior Aaron McKinney emerged as the front-runners for the job as Hall waits for one of them to claim it.
“They're both good-size guys, but they've got to show command of the offense,” Hall said. “They've got to take command and work quickly. We do huddle up, so we're not that kind of fast-paced team, but we want to be able to go at a fast pace.”
At running back, Bryan Hartfield and Dante Sezer will be the main options, with Hall's focus to run the ball first and throw second.
“We're a running team,” he said. “We've got to be able to run, then that will open up the pass.”
Most importantly, Hall looks around the field and sees players who know what it takes to compete in varsity football at the 6A level.
“Experience makes a huge difference,” he said. “We had none last year. The only way you get experience is by playing, and that's what we had to do last year.”