2018 LEFLORE COUNTY →
2018 LEFLORE COUNTY →
By David Seeley PDN Sports Editor To say there’s high ex- pectations for the 2018 Poteau Pirates football team is an understate- ment. “We’re anywhere from No. 1 in some to No. 5 in others,” Poteau coach Forrest Mazey said. “I won’t say there’s pres- sure, but we’re expected to be good — but at the end of the day, it’s go- ing to be all about where we’re at come Weeks 10, 11 and 12. We can’t worry about where we’re at in the preseason polls.” The Pirates will open their season at 7:30 to- night in a non-district game against the El Reno Indians in a Zero Week game at Costner Stadium. That means the team had to get into game mode early this preseason. “It put everything in a bind,” Mazey said. “It’s kind of a anxious feeling because you’re a week behind. We’ve had to put everything into high gear. So, these past two weeks were chaotic. Once we start getting to the weekly games, the weight will be off our chests a little bit. Then, we can get into a routine. I think there’s the disadvantages of not get- ting the [customary] two [preseason] scrimmages, but I think an advantage is there’s a bye in there somewhere, and we’re fortunate enough our bye week comes in between our non-district and dis- trict games.” The Pirates were 7-4 last season and came within an eyelash to up- setting powerhouse Wag- oner in a Class 4A open- ing-round playoff game. (See POTEAU, Page 17) ROSTER — Players are Jayden Mankin, Easton Francis, Carson Cheek, Garren Brance, Kagan Stockton, Colton Williamson, Caleb Skelton, Jace Sommers, Quincy Pate, Nathan Ulmer, Jett Pitchford, Dauntay Warren, Jake Patterson, Ethan Bradshaw, Todd Mattox, Dean Odom, Christian Duncan, Jagger Dill, Jack Duschel, Cameron Duncan, Bryce Palmer, Curtis Culwell, Wyatt Foster, Gunnar Thompson, Jarrett Lilley, Cole Hensley, Kaleb Nixon, Ryan Scott, Stetson Qualls, Jake Gullick, Jaxon Dorsey, Ethan Carey, Ben Brooks, Logan Midgley, Nathan Rice, Caden Fox, Dalton Brock, Hunter Mundy, Bailey Kneisley, Grant Ford, Seth Ford, Kennedy Thornburg, Nick Manifold, Austin Restine, Peyton Owens, Rylan Cooper, Lorenzo Cervantez, Clay Cross, Vakameialo Tuifua, Grant Harris, Payton Bernard, Kass Fenton, Brian Granier, Trevor Lewis, Jaxon Culwell, Conner Moss, Austin Anderson, Alston Lloyd, Trey Jones, Logan Gerhardt, Walker Snapp, Kameron Shropshire, Austin Zimmerman, Kale Harrison, Bryson Myers, Wyatt Waddell, Joshua Smith, Jarrett Gregory, Gannon Cheek, Tucker Garrett, Garrett Clark and Ethan Branscum. Coaches are Forrest Mazey, Mike Odom, Andy Perdue, Chris Ford, John Thompson, Jeremy Branch, Cameron Grubb, Brett Marsaln, Trevor Shankle and Matt Lamb. Managers/water girls are Tiffany Tucker, Haley Powers, Alex Kasper, Dru Martin, Hannah Baker, Bailey Pickle, Tristan Riley and Tabi Zabala.
PDN photo by David Seeley PAGE 2...FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview POTEAU DAILY NEWS Lots of high expectations for Poteau Pirates this season
As usual, the Poteau Pirates football schedule is a stout one, both as far as District 4A-4 is con- cerned as well as their three non-district games. Not much changed in District 4A-4. Tulsa Central has replaced Tul- sa Rogers, and former district foe Muldrow — back up after two years in Heavener’s District 3A-8 — has returned, replacing Tulsa Metro Christian. The other six district foes stayed the same — Broken Bow, Fort Gib- son, Hilldale, Sallisaw and Stilwell. “Ithinkyoureallyhave a lot of talented teams in it,” Poteau coach Forrest Mazey said. “To me, this year, I think you have Broken Bow, Hilldale and us. You never know about Fort Gibson be- cause they’re a move-in away from behind good, and you never know what they got in the off- season. They could have had a couple of talented kids move out, but they also could have had a couple of talented kids move in during the off- season. So, I don’t know what they have, but they lost some good ones.” While Hilldale is still in the district, there’s something new with the Hornets. Former Poteau coach Greg Werner, who helped guide the Pirates to the Class 4A state title game in 2013, left Van Buren, Ark., to take over at Hilldale, who will visit Poteau in the regular-season finale at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at Costner Stadium. Werner will be joined by former Poteau wide receiver, basketball player and golfer Jarrett Lowrimore, who is now Warner’s assistant. There could be a lot riding on the Week 10 match-up between the two, and Mazey said that’s all it should be.
“That’s old hat for us,” he said. “Half these kids didn’t play for Coach Werner. I don’t know if any of these kids played for him. We don’t know about that situation yet because that’s not until Week 10. Right now, our only focus is on El Reno. That’s the biggest thing. We will not look ahead.” Speaking of the El Reno Indians, that is to- night’s season-opening opponent at 7:30 p.m. at Costner Stadium for the first of Poteau’s three non-district games. Du- rant and McAlester fol- low.
“I think El Reno is the biggest question mark,” Mazey said. “In the late ’90s, they were hell on wheels. They were com- peting for state cham- pionships. We’ll have our hands full because they have tradition, and they’ll want to go prove themselves against us and everybody else. Then, you’ve got McA- lester. [Coach James] Singleton is familiar with us. I like that rivalry. It’s a good one fire up. You never know what you’re going to get with Du- rant. They’re coached by a former college head coach [Ray Richards]. They have great facilities down there, and I’m sure they’ve been working just as hard as we have. We have to be prepared, and we have to play to the best of our abilities each night you’re out there.” POTEAU DAILY NEWS 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018...PAGE 3 Poteau has formidable District 4A-4, non-district schedule Gridiron Notes By PDN Sports Editor David Seeley The Poteau Daily News is your best source for local sports coverage in LeFlore County
PAGE 4...FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview POTEAU DAILY NEWS Enthusiam fills the air for Panama Razorbacks Kevinattheshop@windstream.net MASTER AUTO TECHNICIANS ASK TO SEE YOUR MECHANIC’S CREDENTIALS 802 S. McKenna Poteau, OK 74953 Shop: 918-649-0776 Fax: 918-649-0778 KEVIN REPASS ASE Certified Master Tech For 25 Years THE SHOP Give us a chance to beat other shops quotes. No additional charges if you bring parts. Front row, from left — Coach Jeff Broyles, Dawson Jackson, Jeffrey Martin, Colton Bledsoe, Chance Timms, Mason Barcheers, Jesse Linne, Preston Hale and Bryce Armstrong. Second row — Coach Richard Cheely, Michael Taylor, Joshua Jorgensen, Landon Tackett, Hunter Hopkins, Bryant Cline, Elijah Black, Tanner Thompson, Jacob Bledsoe, Canon Shoup and coach Jared Rogers. Third row — Dilon Burns, Tustin Timms, Kevin Martinez, Caden Milligan, Michael Rothermel, Tanner Hagler, Collin Simkins and Jayce Gregory. Fourth row — Kaleb Davis, Brandon Vang, Lane Dyer, Kyle Jiminez, Jacob Davidson, Avery Cameron and Dillan Hickman. Back row — Coach Randy Darneal, Micah Oakes, Colby Woodral, Jacob Liddy, Wesley Arter, Journie Moore, Dylan Emmert and coach Chris Gollihare. PDN photo by David Seeley By David Seeley PDN Sports Editor After another playoff appearance and an 8-3 re- cord, there’s enthusiasm in the air for the Panama Ra- zorbacks.
“I like what I see,” Pan- ama coach Jeff Broyles said. “The kids are very energetic. They’re flying around to the football. We’ve got about four or five holes to fill, but right now I like where we’re at. We have high expectations. This is my fourth year here. We’vehadtwo8-3seasons, but we haven’t gotten past the first round [of the Class 2A playoffs]. That’s some- thing we would really like to change.” If there is a side of the ball that graduation hit hard, it’s in the offense. “Offensively, we had quite a few to replace,” Broyles said. “We had some really good one last year.” This year’s quarterback will be Mason Barcheers. “Mason has done well throwing the ball,” Broyles said.
Canon Shoup, Colton Bledsoe and Bryant Cline are running back candi- dates. “Colton was our junior high quarterback last year, and he’ll be the first to tell you he can’t throw but he runs well,” Broyles said. “We’re kind of excited to see him back there — but he’s having to learn all over again.” Tanner Thompson is back at a wide receiver, and he’ll be joined by Mi- chael Taylor and Chance Timms. However, there’s one more spot open. “Our tight end is still up for grabs,” Broyles said. “TustinTimms and Landon Tackett are candidates [for the tight end position].” The good news for the Hogs on offense is their stalwarts on the line are back. Lane Dyer will be at left tackle, Collin Simkins at left guard and Kyle Jimi- nez at center. Dillan Hick- man, who did not play last fall, came out and likely will be the right guard. Journie Moore will be the right tackle.
“We have just about every one of them back,” Broyles said. “We’re pretty pumped about that. Jacob Liddy will do some offensive tackle, but he’ll probability end up being our kicker.” There are quite a few holes to fill on the defen- sive side of the ball. “We like them, but that’s where we have most of our holes right now,” Broyles said. “Linebacker wise, we feel pretty good.” Barcheers, Timms, Shoup and Landon Tackett are linebacker candidates, but Tackett also is a can- didate for a defensive end position. Another defen- sive end position likely will be filled by Bledsoe, while Simkins and Moore are being looked at as de- fensive tackles.
“We’ve got a couple of guys who might be able to spell them, Tanner Hagler, Avery Cameron and Mi- chael Rothermel,” Broyles said. Thompson and Taylor will be safeties, and Stigler move-in Dawson Jackson, Bryce Armstrong and Jes- se Linne are cornerback candidates. “Cornerback is big con- cern for us right now,” Broyles said. Panama’s district, now District 2A-5, has gotten a facelift from what it was for the Hogs in the last two seasons [District 2A-6]. Spiro is still in it, but rival Pocola is as well — along with Tulsa Holland Hall, Keys [Park Hill], Sequoy- ah-Tahlequah, Vian and Westville.
“I don’t see our kids be- ing scared [of the district foes]. I keep telling my kids we’re going to have to get after it,” Broyles said. “We’re not going to back down from anyone. We’re going to go in and play every game hard. We want to try to win this thing. We have to approach it one game at a time.” After a two-year hia- tus, the rivalry between (See PANAMA, Page 17)
POTEAU DAILY NEWS 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018...PAGE 5 Good luck to all 225 Dewey Ave. • Poteau, Ok 74953 • 918-647-4747 LeFlore County Teams! GOOD LUCK ALL AREA TEAMS! 4103 N. Broadway Poteau, OK • 918-647-0507 BEFORE THE GAME, TRY OUR NEW LOADED BONELESS WINGS Tulsa senior from Spiro always has his hometown in his thoughts By Mike Moguin Sports Correspondent When McKinley Whit- field is in action for the University of Tulsa, his hometown is on his mind. “I’m from a small town. so every time I get on the field, I think about my family back home, or my little niece or my little cousin,” Whitfield said. “I’m just flying to the ball and making my home town proud. It’s never been about me or any- thing like that. It’s about the guys back home and me making them happy.” Whitfield, a standout at quarterback and safety for the Spiro Bulldogs, is hoping for Tulsa to re- bound from last year’s disappointing 2-10 finish. “[Last year] was tough,” he said. “My sophomore year, we went 10-3 and then the next season we go 2-10. It was really tough for us, but, at the end of the day, we knew we were better than that last year. We lost like five games by seven points or under. We lost two games by a field goal. We know we are way bet- ter than that. The thing this year is we’ve got so many guys back from last year’s team. So, there’s so much talent on this team going into [this] year. We’re go- ing to shock the world this year.” Since arriving as a freshman in 2015, Whit- field, has made his impact for TU. A three-year let- ter winner, he made big plays on special teams his first two seasons before starting the 2017 season at STAR linebacker. Due to injuries, he was moved back to safety by the fourth game.
Whitfield topped the team in tackles last year with 113, including 67 solos, six tackles for mi- nus-18 yards, eight pass break-ups and an inter- ception. He was also an honorable mention Amer- ican Athletic Conference selection. For his career, Whitfield has 193 tackles, 8.5 for minus-26 yards, 12 pass break-ups and two interceptions. The losses to Toledo (54-51) and New Mexico (16-13) hurt the most. “Those games were won by field goals,” Whit- field said. “Those two losses hurt the team a lot, and it definitely hurt me a lot to lose those games back-to-back. I wouldn’t say it set the stage for the season, but it definitely had a lot of guys down. We could just never get it going or finish the game.” One game Tulsa flour- ished was in a 45-17 victory against Houston on Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium. The Golden Hurricane have often come up short in games with the Cougars in the past.
“Our mindset is the same for every game,” Whitfield said. “I feel like in that game, the whole team was just clicking. The defense and the of- fense were playing good, and [we] had some turn- overs here and there. Ev- erything was just clicking right. It showed the whole team what we can do in this conference. “If we do that every game this year, there’s go- ing to be a lot of trouble [for the opponent]. I think this year, we’re going to turn around.” Whitfield also had to overcome an injury through the off-season. He hurt his shoulder in the next-to-last game at South Florida. He still played in the regular-season finale against Temple, then had surgery to repair a labrum tear after the season. He had to sit out through win- ter and spring workouts. Tulsa opens the season at home against Central Arkansas on Sept. 1. Then it’s down to Austin to face Texas.
McKINLEY WHITFIELD (See TULSA, Page 18)
PAGE 6...FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview POTEAU DAILY NEWS Front row, from left — Chrystian Martinez, Graceon Huggins, Mario Diaz, Francisco Hernandez, Trace McDaniel, Jacob Thompson, Ross McGee, Michael Gomez and Jonny Ardemagni. Second row — Ryan Moore, Cael Lawson, Kalobe Hudlow, Joshua Mooreland, Ryan Norton, Jeffrey Martinez, Everett Muller and Hunter Gandy. Third row — Kaleb Brown, Darren Sanders, Jaxson Metzker, Derek Moore, Brent Laneave, William Akins and Ford Tuck. Fourth row — Garrick Caldwell, Michael Lusk, Isaiah Thompson, Klen Martinez, Luke Ledere, Dylan Hamner, Braden Hudlow, Dilion Moore and Seth Anderson. Fifth row — Filmer Trenton Massey, Allen Leder and managers Mauricio Gavina and Christopher Garcia. Back row — Coaches Nathan Janway, John Long, Jim Farmer, Jeff Stewart, Micah Baker and Chad Ritter.
PDN photo by David Seeley Everything new this season for Heavener Wolves By David Seeley PDN Sports Editor The 2018 season indeed will be a new one for the Heavener Wolves. Not only is it a new football season, they have a new coach in Jeff Stewart, who has a new set of players. “I’m still learning last names, but I’ve pretty well got first names down,” said Stewart, who is the third new coach in three seasons for the Wolves. “We’ve got 36 kids out there, then you put helmets on them they all look alike. It’s been a learning curve.” One thing Stewart has noticed since coming from Arkansas to Heavener is the seeing a new mindset and work ethic by the Wolves.
“The attitude has been great,” he said. There’s a dif- ferent attitude. I couldn’t have asked any more out of these kids. They’ve worked well and hard. My assistants have done a great job. It’s been a great mesh. They’re very anxious [for the season to begin]. The kids are ex- cited. They’re trying to turn this thing around. It’s not going to happen overnight, and I can’t wait to see these kids get their first win of the season. The seniors haven’t won a game since they were freshmen [as the Wolves are on a 22-game losing streak dating back to their last win, beating Spiro 14-6 Oct. 23, 2015, at Harvey Sta- dium].” The good news is there’s numbers, but the not-so- good news is trying to learn a third new system in three years.
“We’ve got some depth,” Stewart said. “With 36 kids out there and only have five seniors, we’re looking for JV games so our younger guys can get some playing time — so, we need to get them reps. There’s still a lot of learning and understanding what I want from them. With a wing-T offense, it’s more of a shudder forearm/ shiver block vs. having your hands up higher. It’s differ- ent than what they’ve been doing in the past. They still have to learn to do that. We’re trying to give the kids something that gives them a chance. We’re working on blocking angles, and we’re trying to run the ball.” Graceon Huggins likely will be the starting quarter- back, but he’s got some competition. “He’s been doing a great job,” Stewart said of Hug- gins. “Trace McDaniel has worked his way into being a quarterback, as well as Ross McGee. Then, there’s Ja- cob Thompson whose worked some at quarterback.” Hunter Gandy, Kaleb Brown, Kalobe Hudlow, Ryan Norton and Jeffery Martinez are all in line for spots in the offensive backfield as running backs. “Both Kaleb and Hudlow can come in and do both, but Kalobe’s got the speed,” Stewart said. “Kalobe’s got some of the things you just can’t coach, but he’s also working at wingback as well as Ross McGee and Jonny Ardemagni.” Noe Alvarado and Whitesboro transfer Cael Lawson, who played in the Bulldogs’ Class B state-qualifying basketball team, are the leading candidates for the re- ceiving spots, with Ryan Moore as the tight end. “[Lawson] is coming along,” Stewart said. “He has speed. He can fly.” Isaiah Thompson will be the center, Derek Moore will be one tackle, with Michael Lusk likely being the other tackle.
“We’re expecting a lot out of them [tackles],” Stewart said. (See HEAVENER, Page 18)
POTEAU DAILY NEWS 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018...PAGE 7 Despite being young, Keota Lions expecting winning ways to continue Front row, from left — Keelyn Parker, Chaz Williams, Bryson Akins, Jance Welch, Cash Long and Cody McCormick. Second row — Eli Ramirez, Trent Ary, Brandon Geer, Johnathan Seaton, Drayson Wells and Braydon Cooper. Third row — Logan Scoggin, L.J. Butler, Colby Dority, Cordell Ramsey, Kaleb Heffner and Adrian Calvillo. Fourth row — Kole Hoover, Colby Ross, Shawn Davis, Cole Wise, Trace Valentine, Garrett Butler and Christian Ross. Fifth row — Titus Carry, Raymond Weece, Cayce Winklepleck and Rylan Mooneyham. Back row — Coaches Jeremy Jones and Eric Henry. Not pictured — Tracen Williams and coach Doug Cagle.
PDN photo by David Seeley By David Seeley PDN Sports Editor Despite dealing with some youth and inexperience, the Keota Lions still are primed for more success this new season. “We’re still kind of young,” Keota coach Eric Henry said. “We have four seniors on the team. We’ve had to move kids around. I think we’ll be an ironman team with kids having to go both ways. Our lineman will probably have to go both ways, meaning they’re going to be on the field twice as long. I’ve told our team that we want to win our first game and our last game and win several in the middle. We want to be one of the two teams playing in the final game of Class B [the state championship].” The biggest gaps personnel wise the Lions, who were 9-3 last season and got to the Class B state quarterfi- nals, were hit hardest by graduation was in the offensive line.
“We graduated our last linemen that was on that state championship game squad,” Henry said. “We’re really searching for some offensive linemen really. We’ve got a few kids there, one is a senior — Rylan Mooneyham — and the other one is a sophomore — L.J. Butler. It’s kind of new to them. They’ve just got to get their foot- work down and the concept of our blocking. If those guys will step up and do what they’re supposed to do, and we can get a blocking tight end in there, I think we’ll be all right running the football, and that’s kind of our go-to offense to set up our little play-action passing game. If we can get our offensive linemen clicking, I think we’ll be all right.” After suffering a preseason injury last year, Cash Long should be back at his familiar starting quarterback position.
“He was probably going to play there last year, but he broke his collarbone in the [preseason] Week 2 scrim- mage at Dewar,” Henry said. “He did come back later in the season, and we put him back in on some designed plays in certain situations.” In Long’s absence, Chaz Williams saw most of the quarterbacking duties, but he’ll be moved to fullback this season.” Junior Keelyn Parker, freshman Jance Welch, junior Eli Ramirez and senior Cody McCormick are among the running back candidates.
“It’s going to be kind of a rotation at that spot,” Hen- ry said. “We’ll go with whoever has the hot hand or gets on a roll to stay in the game quite a bit. We can even put Jance out there at wideout, so he’s pretty much has locked down a spot.” (See KEOTA, Page 18)
PAGE 8...FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview POTEAU DAILY NEWS Debbie Dunigan, Owner • 918-647-4737 2501 N. Broadway, Poteau, OK 74953 Good Luck to All LeFlore County Teams! Talihina Golden Tigers trying to overcome youth this season ROSTER: Players are Garrett Russell, Ryker Baughman, Logan Maxey, Nick McLemore, Kyler Baugh, Levi Hill, Noah Bryant, Kadyn Dyson, Brent Johnson, Nolan Baughman, Kyle Johnson, Garret Taber,Alex Johnson, Preston Moreland, Peyton Kirkes, Jeremy Standridge, Isaac Bryant, Aiden Stevens, Connor Pierce, Ethan Taylor, Cole Wilson, Tracer Chitwood, Jett Clemens, Chance Wilcox, Michael Long, Garrett Dyson, Eli Adams, Maverick Moyer, Corbin Walker, Gus Griffith and James Grogan. Coaches are Kelly Gravitt, Toby Hawkins, Jon Bradberry and Matt Adams.
PDN photo by David Seeley Businesses and parents show your support and team spirit for your team or child. Place an ad in our sports section 5 days a week. 1 x 3 for $29.00 2 x 3 for $58.00 3 x 3 for $88.00 By David Seeley PDN Sports Editor Success on the football field is nothing new for the Talihina Golden Tigers, who have LeFlore Coun- ty’s only state football title [won in 1966]. However, while success breeds suc- cess, success this season for the Golden Tigers will mean doing it with a lot of youth. “Success does breed success,” Talihina coach Kelly Gravitt. “That’s why I’m not panicking right now. It’s a rich tra- dition around here, but the teams we’re playing are out to get us because we’ve had great tradition over the years — nobody cares just because you put a [Talihina] jersey on, so we have to go right now. I’m so glad we have this extra week [scrimmage to- night at Panama] because last year at this time it was game time [with a Zero Week game]. We’ve got another week to prepare. I will tell these guys that it’s a go now. We have to have a sense of urgency.” The strong point for the 2018 Talihina team is its linemen.
“We don’t win any games with spring ball, but our [offensive] line did a good job at the [sum- mer] camps,” Gravitt said. “We’re going to try to con- trol the ball at the line of scrimmage.” The downside is only three players return from the offensive unit — line- men Isaac Bryant and Tracer Chitwood and re- ceiver Kyler Baugh. What has always helped the re- serves from the previous year is the Golden Tigers being in so many lopsided victories that they get a lot of playing time, but there’s nothing like starting on Friday night.
“We’ve always talked about our No. 2s getting reps,” Gravitt said. “It’s good for them, but it’s dif- ferent when you’re in the first group. The speed of the game is different.” However, there are comrades who are willing, ready and able to step up. “Tailback Garret Tabor came in and got to play some, but it was as a back- up role,” Gravitt said. “The quarterback [Ryker Baughman] is new, but he got to play some — but again it was in a back-up role. All our receivers are new. All the skill guys are new [to the starting line- up], and it’s going to take a little bit [to get going]. Garret has gotten the most reps out of those guys, and he’s a good little scatback. We’re going to hang our hats on our linemen, and they’re big ol’guys. We’ve got to do what we can to make this team have the best chance at being suc- cessful.” The front line will be Bryant at left tackle, Jett Clemons at left guard and Conner Pierce at center. “We have a new center,” Gravitt said about Pierce. “He’s the most important position on the football field, especially with all your timing stuff.” Rounding out the offen- sive line will be Chitwood at right guard and Cole Wilson at right tackle. Baughman will be the quarterback, with Tabor at tailback and Kadyn Dy- son, Nick McLemore, Lo- gan Maxey and Baugh as receivers.
“We had a little bit of jitters [in our first scrim- mage]againstHartshorne,” Gravitt said. “Ryker pretty much did a good job, and I know he’ll get better each week. We’ve got a handful of receivers, and we’ll ro- tate them in and see who produces.” The front two lines of defense for Talihina also may be another strong- point for Talihina. “Our front five is pretty good, and we return them all,” Gravitt said. “We’re big, and they’re all se- niors. We’re going to be hanging our hat on them. We think we can defend the run pretty well.” Wilson [lineman], Bry- ant [lineman] and Garrett Dyson [nose guard] will be in the trenches, Baugh and Chitwood will be inside linebackers, while Tabor and Preston Moreland will be the outside linebackers. McLemore, Maxey, Ka- dyn Dyson and Baughman will make up the defensive secondary.
District A-8 has a new look for the Golden Ti- gers. Gone are Pocola and Quinton, while Hulbert and Porter Consolidated have been added. “Hulbert comes into the district,” Gravitt said. “Sallisaw-Central had them in the opening-round of the [Class A] playoffs last year, and [Sallisaw- Central] Coach [Jeremy] Thompson said they’re very good. They have re- ally good skill guys, and that’s where we’re lack- ing — we have some good receivers but we don’t run very well. They’ll be really competitive. I think they were picked second [in the district]. Porter Con- solidated is coming back in, and I don’t know much about them. They’ll have a new turnover there with a new coach. The [Sallisaw] Central Tigers are picked No. 1 in the district. Sa- vanna, Warner and Gore are still in it. It’s going to be competitive, if we can stay healthy.”
Class 6A-I Quarterfinals Jenks 49, Moore 16; Owasso 37, Westmoore 16; Tulsa Unio 28, Ed- mond Santa Fe 3; Broken Arrow 31, Norman North 28. Semifinals Owasso 21, Jenks 0; Tulsa Union 21, Broken Arrow 0. Championship Owasso 21, Tulsa Union 14. Class 6A-II Quarterfinals Midwest City 47, Sand Springs 12; Bixby 41, Stillwater 14; Tulsa Washington 56, OKC Putnam City 21; Lawton High 57, Muskogee 36. Semifinals Bixby 14, Midwest City 12; Tulsa Washing- ton 50, Lawton High 12. Championship Tulsa Washington 28, Bixby 21. Class 5A Opening Round Ardmore 41, Guthrie 14; Noble 36, Tulsa Bish- op Kelley 7; Tahlequah 19, Coweta 7; OKC Bishop McGuinness 28, Del City 21; MWC Carl Albert 41, Lawton Mac- Arthur 15; Claremore 21, Shawnee 14; Skiatook 38, Glenpool 7; Altus 35, Lawton Eisenhower 28. Quarterfinals Noble 28, Ardmore 14; OKC Bishop McGuin- ness 19, Tahlequah 9; MWC Carl Albert 49, Claremore 23; Skiatook 20, Altus 7.
Semifinals OKC Bishop McGuin- ness 38, Noble 10; MWC Carl Albert 42, Skiatook 12. Championship MWC Carl Albert 35, OKC Bishop McGuin- ness 23. Class 4A Opening Round OKC Heritage Hall 55, Tuttle 21; Broken Bow 29, Tulsa Cascia Hall 13; Wagoner 35, Poteau 28, OT; Blanchard 33, Elk City 23; Ada 42, El- gin 19; Oologah 20, Fort Gibson 3; Hilldale 37, Catoosa 14; Bethany 35, Weatherford 21. Quarterfinals OKC Heritage Hall 36, Broken Bow 9; Blanchard 23, Wagoner 14; Ada 27, Oologah 20; Bethany 21, Hilldale 17. Semifinals OKC Heritage Hall 37, Blanchard 7; Ada 26, Bethany 22.
Championship OKC Heritage Hall 14, Ada 0. Class 3A Opening Round Oklahoma Christian School 66, Little Axe 8; Seminole 8, Anadarko 6; Beggs 62, Mannford 28; Lincoln Christian 24, Muldrow 21; Sulphur 47, Purcell 6; Prague 42, Perkins-Tryon 40; Jay 35, Stigler 7; Sperry 52, Cushing 13; Berryhill 51, Checotah 14; Sequoyah- Tahlequah 50, Eufaula 21; Jones 58, Chandler 6; Plainview 67, Mar- low 48; Idabel 27, Keys (Park Hill] 6; Bristow 28, Sequoyah-Claremore 14; OKC John Marshall 42, Pauls Valley 7; Kingfish- er 40, OKC Douglass 14. Second Round Oklahoma Christian School 31, Seminole 16; Beggs 43, Lincoln Christian 14; Sulphur 34, Prague 14; Sperry 31, Jay 21; Sequoyah-Tahlequah 32, Berryhill 30; Jones 42, Plainview 30; Idabel 38, Bristow 20; OKC John Marshall 51, King- fisher 35.
Quarterfinals Beggs 32, Oklahoma Christian School 26; Sul- phur 41, Sperry 8; Jones 42, Sequoyah-Tahlequah 6; OKC John Marshall 38, Idabel 20. Semifinals Beggs 37, Sulphur 28; OKC John Marshall 29, Jones 26. Championship OKC John Marshall 14, Beggs 7. Class 2A Opening Round Chisholm 37, Meeker 7; Washington 49, Coal- gate 12; Valliant 68, We- woka 53; Commerce 21, Salina 14; Davis 47, Ho- bart 18; Hennessey 21, Luther 20; Tulsa Holland Hall 63, Caney Valley 0; Spiro 41, Okemah 30; Vian 41, Panama 20; Tulsa Victory Christian 62, Wyandotte 14; OKC Millwood 63, Tonkawa 0; Dibble 27, Kingston 0; Adair 52, Colcord 20; Antlers 18, Holdenville 6; Lindsay 40, Marietta 8; Alva 33, Christian Heri- tage Academy 26.
Second Round Washington 34, Ch- isholm 14; Commerce 48, Valliant 28; Davis 40, Hennessey 27; Tulsa Holland Hall 45, Spiro 14; Vian 23, Tulsa Vic- tory Christian 20; OKC Millwood 42, Dibble 0; Adair 28, Antlers 14; Alva 14, Lindsay 7, OT. Quarterfinals Washington 63, Com- merce 21; Davis 28, Tul- sa Holland Hall 27, OT; OKC Millwood 44, Vian 0; Alva 40, Adair 8. Semifinals Washington 31, Davis 21; OKC Millwood 37, Alva 0. Championship OKC Millwood 42, Washington 7. Class A Opening Round Thomas 27, Merritt 0; Apache 33, Crossings Christian 28; Morrison 28, Kiefer 0; Hulbert 50, Sallisaw-Central 27; Minco 53, Rush Springs 7; Fairview 16, Cordell 6; Afton 48, Savanna 7; Cashion 28, Woodland 6; Crescent 76, Porter Consolidated 12; Re- joice Christian 20, Gore 12; Watonga 42, Okeene 35; Oklahoma Christian Academy 48, Healdton 35; Talihina 58, Barn- sdall 21; Hominy 36, Pawnee 33; Ringling 35, Wynnewood 21; Hooker 26, Mangum 13. Second Round Thomas 34, Apache 7; Morrison 52, Hulbert 22; Minco 20, Fairview 14; Afton 40, Cashion 14; Crescent 63, Rejoice Christian 21; Oklahoma Christian Academy 48, Watonga 7; Hominy 36, Talihina 22; Hooker 23, Ringling 6.
Quarterfinals Thomas 37, Morrison 36, OT; Afton 30, Minco 6; Crescent 70, Oklaho- ma Christian Academy 41; Hooker 35, Hominy 18. Semifinals Afton 52, Thomas 7; Crescent 35, Hooker 25. Championship Afton 44, Crescent 12. Class B Opening Round Laverne 60, Garber 14; Cyril 40, Waurika 12; Dewar 46, Strother 0; Prue 68, Arkoma 20; Alex 60, Central Marlow 14; Seiling 36, Ringwood 24; Depew 56, Gans 0; Weleetka 42, Empire 22; Wetumka 28, Allen 26; Davenport 50, Cave Springs 0; Pioneer 58, Turpin 26; Synder 38, Ryan 8; Keota 50, South Coffeyville12;Maysville 66, Canadian 52; Carn- egie 62, Fox 16; Shattuck 59, Waukomis 0.
Second Round Laverne 62, Cyril 14; Prue 60, Dewar 56; Alex 54, Seiling 26; Depew 64, Weleetka 16; Davenport 44, Wetumka 14; Pioneer 56, Synder 14; Keota 46, Maysville 0; Shattuck 73, Carnegie 28. Quarterfinals Laverne 58, Prue 8; Depew 54, Alex 12; Dav- enport 46, Pioneer 0; Shattuck 48, Keota 0. Semifinals Laverne 66, Depew 28; Shattuck 48, Daven- port 16. Championship Shattuck 30, Laverne 16. Class C Opening Round Tyrone 76, Grandfield 30; Paoli 54, Medford 22; Pond Creek-Hunter 48, Thackerville 0; SW Cov- enant 59, Sharon-Mutual 14; Tipton 46, Kremlin- Hillsdale 0; Tulsa Re- gent Prep 48, Midway 6; Coyle 64, Bluejacket 14; Timberlake 56, Mountain View-Gotebo 0.
Quarterfinals Tyrone 52, Paoli 6; Pond Creek-Hunter 34, SW Covenant 30; Tipton 92, Tulsa Regent Prep 58; Timberlake 32, Coyle 18. Semifinals Pond Creek-Hunter 40, Tyrone 8; Tipton 56, Timberlake 8. Championship Tipton 56, Pond Creek- Hunter 8. POTEAU DAILY NEWS 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018...PAGE 9 2017 High School Football Playoff Scores
PAGE 10...FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview POTEAU DAILY NEWS 27355 Hwy 112 • Cameron, OK (918) 654-7344 • www.eastokfab.com Good luck this season to all the area teams! Visit us online 2017 Final Local District Football Standings District 4A-4 Standings Team District Overall +/- Hilldale-y 7-0 9-1 +93 Broken Bow-x 6-1 9-1 +70 Fort Gibson-x 5-2 6-4 +40 Poteau-x 4-3 7-3 +18 Tulsa Metro Christian 3-4 4-6 +7 Stilwell 2-5 5-5 -46 Sallisaw 1-6 1-9 -72 Tulsa Rogers 0-7 0-10 -105 x — Clinched district title. y — Clinched playoff berth. • • • District 3A-8 Standings Team District Overall +/- Idabel-y 4-1 6-4 +46 Muldrow-x 4-1 7-3 +31 Eufaula-x 3-2 6-4 +88 Stigler-x 2-3 7-3 +13 Roland 2-3 3-7 -23 Heavener 0-5 0-10 -75 x — Clinched district title. y — Clinched playoff berth. • • • District 2A-6 Standings Team District Overall +/- Valliant-x 4-2 5-5 +45 Antlers-y 4-2 7-3 +34 Spiro-y 4-2 4-6 +23 Panama-y 4-2 8-2 +16 Hartshorne 4-2 5-5 +15 Wilburton 1-5 2-8 -60 Hugo 0-6 2-8 -73 x — Clinched district title. y — Clinched playoff berth. • • • District A-8 Standings Team District Overall +/- Talihina-x 6-0 10-1 +90 Sallisaw-Central-y 5-1 6-4 +42 Gore-y 4-2 8-2 +39 Savanna-y 3-3 6-3 +6 Pocola 1-5 2-7 -50 Warner 1-5 1-9 -54 Quinton 1-5 2-7 -73 x — Clinched district title. y — Clinched playoff berth. • • • District B-8 Standings Team District Overall +/- Keota-x 5-0 7-2 +71 Arkoma-y 4-1 7-3 +28 Cave Springs-y 3-2 5-5 +9 Gans-y 2-3 3-6 -4 Watts 1-4 4-6 -29 Porum 0-5 2-7 -75 x — Clinched district title. y — Clinched playoff berth. • • • District C-4 Standings Team District Overall +/- Coyle-x 7-0 8-2 +105 Paoli-y 5-2 7-3 +46 Midway-y 5-2 6-4 +45 Thackerville-y 5-2 6-4 +44 Webbers Falls 3-4 3-7 -15 Sasakwa 2-5 3-7 -48 Bokoshe 1-6 1-9 -88 Bowlegs 0-7 1-9 -104 x — Clinched district title. y — Clinched playoff berth. Businesses and parents show your support and team spirit for your team or child. Place an ad in our sports section 5 days a week. 1 x 3 for $29.00 2 x 3 for $58.00 3 x 3 for $88.00 AP Playoff Predictions: Crimson Tide, Tigers, Huskies, Wolverines By Ralph D. Russo AP College Football Writer The College Football Playoff has yet to produce a real surprise team.
In four seasons, nine schools have reached the semi- finals — and even the teams that came from outside the AP preseason Top 25 were traditional powers. The lowest-ranked team in the preseason media poll to make the CFP was Oklahoma in 2015. The Sooners were 19th to start the season, mostly because they were coming off a disappointing season (8-5) and few knew how good Baker Mayfield would be. Clemson made the playoff that same year after start- ing the season ranked No. 12. The Tigers went 10-3 the season before, but Deshaun Watson was a sophomore coming off a knee injury, there was major turnover on defense and exactly what Dabo Swinney was building at Clemson had not yet been fully revealed. Washington was No. 14 going into the 2016 season before going on a playoff run. The Huskies were also coming off a mediocre season (7-6), but there was defi- nitely a sense Chris Petersen’s team was ready to take a significant step forward in year two of his tenure. Turns out it was even bigger than expected.
Last year, Georgia went from No. 15 to the CFP. The Bulldogs were 8-5 the season before, Kirby Smart’s first in Athens. The Bulldogs had an experienced team in ‘17 that was favored to win the SEC East, and ended up being the second-best team in the country. So, what does this small sample tell us? If you want to pick a playoff dark horse, look for a brand-name team ranked somewhere in the teens of the preseason poll. Maybe one with a talented quarterback who still has some uncertainty attached to him.
With that, predictions for the 2018 college football season: (See PLAYOFFS, Page 19)
POTEAU DAILY NEWS 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018...PAGE 11 (See SLATE, Page 19) 2018 Composite Local Football Schedules August 24 El Reno at Poteau, 7:30 p.m. Talihina at Panama, scrimmage, 6 p.m. Heavener at Roland, scrimmage, 6 p.m. Pocola at Wilburton, scrimmage, 6 p.m. Keota at Weleetka, 7:30 p.m. August 30 Panama at Sallisaw- Central, 7 p.m. August 31 Durant at Poteau, 7:30 p.m. Gore at Heavener, 7 p.m. Hackett, Ark., at Poco- la, 7 p.m. Roland at Spiro, 7 p.m. Arkoma at Oaks, 7:30 p.m. Talihina at Wilburton, 7 p.m.
September 7 Poteau at McAlester, 7:30 p.m. Heavener at Panama, 7 p.m. Oaks at Keota, 7:30 p.m. Sallisaw-Central at Po- cola, 7 p.m. Hartshorne at Spiro, 7 p.m. Antlers at Talihina, 7:30 p.m. Arkoma at Webbers Falls, 7 p.m. September 13 Talihina at Owasso JV, 7 p.m. September 14 Spiro at Heavener, 7 p.m. Panama at Hackett, Ark., 7 p.m. Arkoma at Midway, 7 p.m. Keota at Canadian, 7:30 p.m. Pocola at Gore, 7 p.m. September 21 Sallisaw at Poteau, 7 p.m. Canadian at Arkoma, 7:30 p.m. Eufaula at Heavener, 7 p.m. Gore at Talihina, 7 p.m. Keota at Depew, 7:30 p.m.
Panama at Westville, 7 p.m. Pocola at Tulsa Holland Hall, 7 p.m. Spiro at Vian, 7 p.m. September 28 Fort Gibson at Poteau, 7 p.m. Watts at Arkoma, 7:30 p.m. Wetumka at Keota, 7:30 p.m. Vian at Panama, 7 p.m. Tahlequah-Sequoyah at Pocola, 7 p.m. Porter Consolidated at Talihina, 7 p.m. Heavener at Atoka, 7 p.m. Spiro at Westville, 7 p.m. October 5 Poteau at Tulsa Central, 7 p.m. Pocola at Panama, 7 p.m. Porum at Arkoma, 7:30 p.m. Valliant at Heavener, 7 p.m. Gans at Keota, 7:30 p.m. Keys [Park Hill] at Spiro, 7 p.m. Talihina at Hulbert, 7 p.m.
October 12 Poteau at Stilwell, 7 p.m. Panama at Spiro, 7 p.m. Sallisaw-Central at Tal- ihina, 7 p.m. Arkoma at Dewar, 7:30 p.m. Heavener at Antlers, 7 p.m. Keota at Porum, 7:30 p.m. Pocola at Keys [Park Hill], 7 p.m. October 18 Broken Bow at Poteau, 7 p.m. Keota at Arkoma, 7:30 p.m. Spiro at Pocola, 7 p.m. Hugo at Heavener, 7 p.m. Keys [Park Hill] at Pan- ama, 7 p.m. Talihina at Savanna, 7 p.m. October 25 Stigler JV at Talihina, 7 p.m. October 26 Poteau at Muldrow, 7 p.m. Tahlequah-Sequoyah at Panama, 7 p.m. Arkoma at Cave Springs, 7 p.m. Dewar at Keota, 7:30 p.m.
Vian at Pocola, 7 p.m. Tulsa Holland Hall at Spiro, 7 p.m. Heavener at Wilburton, 7 p.m. November 1 Cave Springs at Keota, 7:30 p.m. November 2 Hilldale at Poteau, 7 p.m. Gans at Arkoma, 7:30 p.m. HeaveneratHartshorne, 7 p.m. Panama at Tulsa Hol- land Hall, 7 p.m. Pocola at Westville, 7 p.m. Spiro at Sequoyah- Tahlequah, 7 p.m. Talihina at Warner, 7 p.m. Junior Varsity August 27 Roland at Spiro, 6:30 p.m. September 4 Sallisaw-Central at Panama, 7 p.m. September 10 McAlester at Poteau, 7 p.m. Spiro at Panama, 6:30 p.m. September 17 Spiro at Heavener, 6:30 p.m.
Panama at Roland, 7 p.m. September 24 Sallisaw at Poteau, 7 p.m. Panama at Pocola, 7 p.m. September 25 Stigler at Spiro, 6:30 p.m. October 1 Poteau at Broken Bow, 6 p.m. Wilburton at Panama, 7 p.m. Spiro at Eufaula, 6:30 p.m. October 7 Spiro at Wilburton, 6:30 p.m. October 8 Panama at Heavener, 7 p.m. October 15 Pocola at Spiro, 6:30 p.m. Warner at Panama, 7 p.m. October 22 Checotah at Poteau, 7 p.m. Panama at Talihina, 7 p.m. Freshmen August 30 Broken Bow at Poteau, 7 p.m. September 6 Poteau at McAlester, 7 p.m. September 11 Muldrow at Poteau, 7 p.m.
September 17 Idabel at Poteau, 6:30 p.m. September 27 Poteau at Sallisaw, 7 p.m. October 2 Vian at Poteau, 7 p.m. October 16 Poteau at Hilldale, 7 p.m. October 23 Poteau at Broken Bow, 7 p.m. Junior High August 27 Heavener at Panama, 6 p.m. Roland at Spiro, 5:30 p.m. August 30 Broken Bow at Pansy Kidd Middle School, 5:30 and 6:15 p.m. Pocola at Hackett, Ark., TBA. September 4 Talihina at Pocola, 6 and 7 p.m. Sallisaw-Central at Panama, 6 p.m. HeaveneratHartshorne, 6 p.m. September 6 Pansy Kidd Middle School at McAlester, 5:30 and 6:15 p.m.
September 10 Spiro at Panama, 5:30 p.m. Wilburton at Heavener, 6 p.m. Talihina at Quinton, 6 and 7 p.m. September 11 Muldrow at Pansy Kidd Middle School, 5:30 and 6:15 p.m. September 17 Idabel at Pansy Kidd Middle School, 5:30 and 6:15 p.m. Spiro at Heavener, 5:30 p.m. Sallisaw-Central at Po- cola, TBA. Panama at Roland, 6 p.m.
By Cliff Brunt AP Sports Writer A year ago, new Okla- homa coach Lincoln Riley was scrambling to find his way after Bob Stoops’ abrupt retirement put him in command just two months before fall camp. The 34-year-old offen- sive mastermind now has a season under his belt and the kind of pay increase that often comes with a job well done. He led OU to a No. 3 final ranking and cashed in with a new five-year, $25 million contract. There are plenty of reasons to believe OU’s investment will will pay off. Riley’s No. 1-ranked offense from last year re- turns two of its top three receivers, the top two run- ning backs and three start- ing linemen.Though Riley has to replace Heisman Trophy-winning quar- terback Baker Mayfield, his expectations haven’t changed. He believes ei- ther Kyler Murray or Aus- tin Kendall can step in and lead the Sooners back to the College Football Play- off.
“We did lose an out- standing individual play- er, no question about that,” Riley said of May- field, “but we also had a lot of players around him that helped make him that player, too, and a lot of those guys are still here.” OU lost All-America left tackle Orlando Brown and Mackey Award-win- ning tight end Mark An- drews, who both now play for the Baltimore Ravens, but the Sooners are strong in both spots as they pur- sue a fourth consecutive Big 12 title. On the defensive side, the Sooners have to re- place Ogbonnia Okoronk- wo, the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Line- backer Kenneth Murray is the top returnee after fin- ishing second on the team with 78 tackles last season. Caleb Kelly, another line- backer, had 56 tackles last year. Cornerbacks Parnell Motley and Tre Norwood are the top returnees in the secondary.
It’s rare that a corner- back gets so much hype in Big 12 country, but fresh- man Brendan Radley- Hiles is the preseason Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and one of the most highly sought after recruits in the nation. He’ll help a sec- ondary that has been as- signed blame for many of OU’s issues in big games in recent years. QB Competition Riley isn’t saying who will replace Mayfield as the starter, but he likes his options. Murray was se- lected in the first round of the Major League Base- ball Draft by the Oakland A’s but chose to return to school. The speed- ster completed 18-of-21 passes for 359 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions last season as Mayfield’s back-up. He also ran 14 times for 142 yards, including a 66- yard burst on the first play against West Virginia. Kendall completed 16-of- 22 passes for 143 yards as a freshman before red- shirting last year. Rodney’s Roost Running back Rod- ney Anderson suffered a season-ending knee injury two games into the 2015 season and a season-end- ingneckinjuryinfallcamp in 2016. He didn’t even start until mid-season last year, but he finished with 1,442 yards and 18 touch- downs from scrimmage. In his best game, he had 290 yards and four touch- downs from scrimmage in a regular-season win over Texas Christian Universi- ty. In his final eight games last season, he had 1,333 yards and 16 touchdowns from scrimmage. At 6-1 and 220 pounds, he is a powerhouse with break- away speed and good enough hands to have grabbed five touchdown receptions last season. He’s a potential Heisman candidate if he gets off to a fast start.
Receiving Threats OU’s receivers were a question mark heading into last season, but they are a strength heading into this one. The main weap- ons are Marquise Brown, Ceedee Lamb and tight end Grant Calcaterra. Brown had 57 catches for a team-leading 1,095 yards last season. Lamb had 46 grabs for 807 yards and Calcaterra had 10 grabs for 162 yards. Hot Seat? Despite his critics, Mike Stoops remains the defensive coordinator. The Sooners have had no- table defensive collapses the past several years. OU improved on that side last season, yet fan disappoint- ment reached a boiling point after the 54-48 loss to Georgia in last season’s College Football Playoff. The criticism will increase if the offense continues to dominate and the defense doesn’t close the gap. PAGE 12...FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview POTEAU DAILY NEWS Good Luck to All LeFlore County Teams!
Debbie Dunigan, OWNER • 918-647-3028 2201 N. BROADWAY, POTEAU, OK J-N-B Tire & Auto GOOD LUCK LEFLORE COUNTY & HA VE A GREAT SEASON OU coach ready to build on success in his second year 2018 Oklahoma Football Schedule Date Opponent Site Time Sept. 1 Florida Atlantic Norman 11 a.m. Sept. 8 UCLA Norman Noon Sept. 15 at Iowa State Ames, Iowa TBA. Sept. 22 Army Norman TBA. Sept. 29 Baylor Norman TBA. Oct. 6 Texas Dallas TBA. Oct. 20 at Texas Christian University Fort Worth, Texas TBA. Oct. 27 Kansas State Norman TBA.
Nov. 3 at Texas Tech Lubbock, Texas TBA. Nov. 10 Oklahoma State Norman TBA. Nov. 17 Kansas Norman TBA. Nov. 23 West Virginia Morgantown, W.Va. 7 p.m. Dec. 1 Big 12 Championship Game TBA TBA. Businesses and parents show your support and team spirit for your team or child. Place an ad in our sports section 5 days a week. 1 x 3 for $29.00 2 x 3 for $58.00 3 x 3 for $88.00
POTEAU DAILY NEWS 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018...PAGE 13 OSU seeks replacement for longtime starting QB Rudolph 2018 Oklahoma State Football Schedule Date Opponent Site Time Aug. 30 Missouri State Stillwater 7 p.m. Sept. 8 S. Alabama Stillwater 7 p.m. Sept. 15 Boise State Stillwater 2:30 p.m. Sept. 22 Texas Tech Stillwater TBA. Sept. 29 Kansas Lawrence, Kan. TBA. Oct. 6 Iowa State Stillwater TBA. Oct. 13 Kansas State Manhattan, Kan. TBA. Oct. 27 Texas Stillwater TBA. Nov. 3 Baylor Waco, Texas TBA. Nov. 10 Oklahoma Norman TBA. Nov. 17 West Virginia Stillwater TBA. Nov. 24 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, Texas TBA. Dec. 1 Big 12 Championship Game TBA TBA. By Cliff Brunt AP Sports Writer It has been a long time since someone other than Mason Ru- dolph was the starting quarterback at Okla- homa State.
It was late in the 2015 season when the Cow- boys faced Oklahoma, and that was because Rudolph wasn’t at full strength. He closed his career by starting the next 27 games and left the school as its all-time leader in passing yards, completions, attempts and touchdowns. Now that Rudolph is with the Pittsburgh Steelers, several play- ers are competing for the job at OSU. Senior Taylor Cornelius led the pack at the end of the spring. Dru Brown, a graduate transfer from Hawaii, and Spencer Sanders, a freshman, also are battling for the position. Neither was on campus during the spring and are catching up. Keondre Wudtee, who was injured during spring practice, is in the mix, too. They’ll try to keep things going for a squad that went 10-3 last season and won the Camping World Bowl. The Cowboys will have to choose before their Aug. 30 opener against Missouri State.
OSU coach Mike Gundy believes Corne- lius, Rudolph’s backup last season, can get the job done. “I don’t have any doubt that he can be a really good college quarterback,” Gundy said. “We just don’t know what he’s go- ing to do in front of a crowd because he’s never done it. That’s the only thing we don’t know about him.” Brown started the past two seasons at Ha- waii and passed for a combined 5,273 yards and 37 touchdowns. Sanders was the Texas Gatorade Player of the Year last season for Denton Ryan and was one of the nation’s top quarterback recruits. “I’m still shocked that they can absorb as much information as they can and play the game the way we play it so fast as early as they have in their ca- reers [at OSU],” Gundy said. “I mean, they’ve been here 12 days, and they’re doing really well. I think they’re re- ally intelligent football players, and they’re gathering information. I like where those guys are at. They’re doing a good job.” Knowles Knows New defensive co- ordinator Jim Knowles will implement an at- tacking 4-2-5 scheme. Knowles held the same position at Duke for seven years before joining the Cowboys staff. He has more than 30 years of coaching experience. He has an anchor in defensive end Jordan Brailford. The 6-3, 250-pounder was a second-team All-Big 12 performer last season after piling up 57 tackles and 10.5 tackles for loss. He also had 4.5 sacks. Brailford likes Knowles and his defense.
“I like him a lot,” Brailford said. “I like the new defense. I think everyoneonthedefense likes the new defense. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun with it this season.” Justice Serves Junior running back Justice Hill ran for 1,142 yards as a fresh- man and tacked on 1,467 as a sophomore. He’s one of four play- ers in OSU history — along with Barry Sand- ers, Thurman Thomas and Terry Miller — to average at least 100 yards per game for a career. At 5-10 and 190 pounds, Hill is compact and powerful, yet he’s shifty and has break- away speed. He also caught 31 passes last season. He could creep into the Heisman con- versation if the Cow- boys can pull a few upsets.
Receivers OSU lost Bilet- nikoff Award winner James Washington to the Steelers, starter Marcell Ateman to the Oakland Raiders and reserve Chris Lacy to the Detroit Lions. The Cowboys have three productive returnees in Jalen McCleskey, Dil- lon Stoner and Tyron Johnson. McCleskey was third on the team with 50 catches for 645 yards and five touch- downs last season. Stoner had 44 catches for 576 yards and six scores. Johnson had 18 catches for 293 yards and three touchdowns. “The timing for the quarterback at this time is pretty good for a guy that’s just stepping in after having three guys going into the NFL,” Gundy said.
Experienced Offensive Linemen OSU returns three starters up front, led by left guard Marcus Keyes, a first-team All- Big 12 pick last sea- son. Right guard Larry Williams is back for a sixth year of eligibility. Johnny Wilson, who started 10 games last season, looks to be the starting center.
By Kurt Voigt AP Sports Writer Dre Greenlaw thought winning a minimum of seven games last season was a given for Arkansas. That false confidence is what made life even more difficult for the Ra- zorbacks’ linebacker as hopes of a fourth straight winning record came crashing down. “About Game 7, you could feel the emotional drain start wearing on you,” Greenlaw said of Arkansas’ 4-8 record a year ago. “It was like, ‘Dang, this is really hap- pening.’” Greenlaw’s disappoint- ment was shared by many across Arkansas a year ago, resulting in the firing of coach Bret Bielema af- ter five years and the hir- ing of Chad Morris away from Southern Methodist University.
Morris brings to Fay- etteville a reputation as an offensive guru, thanks to his time as offensive coordinator at Clemson and how he rebuilt SMU’s offense during his three seasons there. More than that, however, he brings hope to a program mired in one of the worst six- year stretches in school history — and by far its worst since joining the Southeastern Conference. It’s hope even the up- perclassmen have bought into, even if the turn- around takes longer than they will be around. “I think the future for Arkansas football is in great hands,” said Green- law, a senior.
Arkansas was picked to finish last in the SEC West this season, an indicator of just how far it had fallen by the end of Bielema’s disappointing tenure. While the transition from Bielema’s more- traditional approach to Morris’ up-tempo look isn’t likely to be perfected in one season, the Razor- backs have had just about all they can handle of finishing last in the SEC West. Last year’s 1-7 record in the SEC is plenty of motivation to avoid an- other last-place finish. “We finished 4-8 last year, and everybody who was here last year is tired of hearing that,” senior linebacker Randy Ram- sey said. “We just want to come out and prove every- body wrong this season.” QB Watch Morris has yet to name a starting quarterback during his first preseason camp in Fayetteville alongside first-year offen- sive coordinator Joe Crad- dock. Sophomore Cole Kelley and junior Ty Sto- rey seemed to be the top two candidates to replace graduated starter Austin Allen, though Morris isn’t ruling out a freshman — or in-season changes at the position as called for. “Just because we get to the point where we do name one, it doesn’t mean it’s a lifetime contract,” Morris said. “They’ve all got to keep pushing and getting better.” Chavis’ Impact Arkansas was 114th in the country in scoring defense a season ago, al- lowing 36.2 points per game. The Razorbacks hope to improve this sea- son because of the return of experienced players such as Greenlaw and Ramsey, along with ju- nior defensive lineman McTelvin Agim. The big- gest change, however, has been the addition of first- year defensive coordina- tor John Chavis , the for- mer Texas A&M assistant. Chavis won the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach while at LSU in 2011, and Ar- kansas’ defensive players have embraced his belief of putting opposing quar- terbacks under constant pressure.
Offensive Line Woes Arkansas’ weakest area a year ago was its offen- sive line, which was 113th in the country while al- lowing an average of 2.92 sacks per game. The line has also been Morris’ top concern during the pre- season, thanks to a knee injury that will keep se- nior Deion Malone out for the season. Also, junior Colton Jackson is likely to miss the first six games after off-season back sur- gery and freshman Dalton Wagner is out for at least a week after surgery to re- move his appendix. PAGE 14...FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview POTEAU DAILY NEWS Arkansas intent on quick turnaround under new coach 2018 Arkansas Football Schedule Date Opponent Site Time Sept. 1 Eastern Illinois Fayetteville 3 p.m. Sept. 8 Colorado State Fort Collins, Colo. 6:30 p.m. Sept. 15 North Texas Fayetteville 3 p.m. Sept. 22 Auburn Auburn, Ala. TBA. Sept. 29 Texas A&M Arlington, Texas TBA. Oct. 6 Alabama Fayetteville TBA. Oct. 13 Mississippi Little Rock, Ark. TBA. Oct. 20 Tulsa Fayetteville TBA. Oct. 27 Vanderbile Fayetteville TBA. Nov. 10 LSU Fayetteville TBA. Nov. 17 Mississippi State Starkville, Miss. TBA. Nov. 23 Missouri Columbia, Mo. 1:30 p.m. Dec. 2 SEC Championship Game Atlanta TBA. Businesses and parents show your support and team spirit for your team or child. Place an ad in our sports section 5 days a week. 1 x 3 for $29.00 2 x 3 for $58.00 3 x 3 for $88.00
By Schuyler Dixon AP Pro Football Writer Dak Prescott threw two interceptions just a few plays apart in a training camp practice, including an ill-advised pass across the field to a receiver just a few yards from the line of scrim- mage. Those picks, and the decisions that go with them, are under more scrutiny after the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback followed his remark- able rookie season with a somewhat pedestrian encore, and Prescott is among those doing the scrutinizing — each night at camp in the film room.
“When I go back, I’m being super-critical of myself, of the throws, of the placement, of where I should have went with the ball,” Prescott said Sunday. “I’m tough on myself. So, when I go back tonight, all of that was OK, it’s got to bet- ter and this is why it’s got to better. I take my notes and I move forward.” With the release of three-time Pro Bowl re- ceiver Dez Bryantand the retirement of 15-year tight end Jason Witten , Prescott is working with a revamped group of re- ceivers and unproven batch of tight ends. The resulting rough patches for the passing game nearly three weeks in California aren’t sur- prising, but notable none- theless considering how the offense usually ap- pears to be ahead of the defense with the Cow- boys this time of year. “The best teams I’ve been on are where it’s back and forth all day and everybody is just competing and battling and no one really domi- nates the whole day,” Dallas coach Jason Gar- rett said. “The other side competes back and chal- lenges back and fights back. That’s what we’ve had really throughout training camp.” There’s a reality fac- ing Prescott, though. Two years ago, he set an National Football League rookie record for passer rating and was voted the league’s offen- sive rookie of the year for a team that finished with an NFC-best 13 wins. In 2017, the interceptions more than tripled [from four to 13], the passer rating dropped by almost 20 points and the Cow- boys missed the playoffs at 9-7.
Some will point to running back Ezekiel El- liott’s six-game suspen- sion over domestic vio- lence allegations, which started halfway through the season just as Prescott and the Cowboys were looking good enough for another playoff trip. Others will remind of injuries that sidelined left tackle Tyron Smith for three games, a big reason the offensive line didn’t live up to its reputation as one of the best in the league. Regardless, the onus will be on Prescott to keep defenses honest with the Cowboys mak- ing no secret of build- ing their offense around Elliott, Prescott’s fellow rookie star who led the NFL in rushing that sea- son.
“We have a lot of knew kinks here and there that is going to help every- thing else,” Prescott said. “It’s going to help our running game. It’s going to help our play- action game out. As long as we’ve all bought into the offensive system, it is going to pay off.” Of the two key free agents Dallas signed at receiver, Allen Hurns has missed some time with leg discomfort and De- onte Thompson hasn’t practiced at all because of Achilles heel sore- ness. Terrance Williams, the second-longest tenured Dallas receiver behind Cole Beasley, is working back slowly from offsea- son surgery for a broken foot.
Rookie Michael Gal- lup, a third-rounder who was the team’s first draft choice at receiver after dumping Bryant, has shown promise in camp. That’s a sampling of the collection the Cowboys hope to use to replace Bryant — and develop a rapport with Prescott. “It’s challenging, but it’s not tough,” Prescott said. “That is what you want. Those guys are go- ing to be rotating in the game. So, we have to go ahead and get in out here ... so I can gain chemistry with all of them and fig- ure out who is a guy I can call on in that time.” POTEAU DAILY NEWS 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018...PAGE 15 Cowboys, Prescott working through rough patches in passing game 2018 Dallas Football Schedule Date Opponent Site Time Sept. 9 Carolina Away 3:25 p.m. Sept. 16 New York Giants Home 7:20 p.m. Sept. 23 Seattle Away 3:25 p.m. Sept. 30 Detroit Home Noon Oct. 7 Houston Away 7:20 p.m. Oct. 14 Jacksonville Home 3:25 p.m. Oct. 21 Washington Away 3:25 p.m. Oct. 28 Bye Nov. 5 Tennessee Home 7:15 p.m. Nov. 11 Philadelphia Away 7:20 p.m. Nov. 18 Atlanta Away Noon. Nov. 22 Washington Home 2:30 p.m. Nov. 29 New Orleans Home 7:20 p.m. Dec. 9 Philadelphia Home 3:25 p.m. Dec. 16 Indianapolis Away Noon. Dec. 23 Tampa Bay Home Noon. Dec. 30 New York Giants Away Noon. POST IT IN OUR CLASSIFIEDS FOR LESS THE $50.00!!! $33.00 gets you 3 days Thursday, Friday and Saturday in our daily paper. THAT’S ONLY $11.00 A DAY! OR post it for 5 days for $45.00 ($9.00 per day). Want more exposure?
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By Dave Skretta AP Sports Writer Orlando Scandrick was on a plane headed home for a last-minute visit with his family when the Kan- sas City Chiefs played the Atlanta Falcons in their second preseason game last week. He didn’t get to see an- other shaky performance by their secondary un- til reporting to his new team. Now the veteran cor- nerback who spent nearly a decade with the Dallas Cowboys and was recent- ly cut loose by the Wash- ington Redskins will try to help patch it up. The Chiefssignedthe31-year- old Scandrick over the weekend in the hopes he can stabilize one of their biggest areas of need. “I’m just trying to find my way around right now. I’ve only been here a few days,” he said with a smile Monday. “I’m do- ing a whole lot of listen- ing and not a lot of talk- ing.” Scandrick won’t have a whole lot of time to get up to speed. The Chiefs visit the Chicago Bears this weekend for their third preseason game, then have a quick turn- around before their pre- season finale.
Their regular-season opener is a mere three weeks away. “After being in the league for 10 years, there’s only so many cov- erages a team can run, only so many philoso- phies,” He said. “I’m just trying to learn the termi- nology right now.” Chiefsgeneralmanager Brett Veach has been a bit uncertain of his defensive backfield since the start of training camp, when they had Bashaud Breeland in for an extended visit. But Veach didn’t pull the trig- ger on a veteran addition until signing Scandrick last week.
“Youcan’thaveenough corners, so Brett’s kept his eyes open, brought a couple in,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “This one, he felt comfortable.” Finances were a big part of it — the cash- strapped Chiefs would only owe him $1.5 mil- lion for the upcoming season — but so was were injuries and underwhelm- ing performances early in camp. The Chiefs lost Daniel Sorensen for at least the start of the season after the safety broke a bone in his shin. They are also without cornerback Ste- ven Nelson — expected to start opposite new arrival Kendall Fuller — after he sustained a concussion in their preseason opener. A lingering heel inju- ry has forced Eric Berry to the sideline the past couple of weeks, and the trade of Marcus Peters to the Los Angeles Rams this year has made a sec- ondary that struggled last season potentially worse. “The big thing for us is just communicating and being on the same page and at the end of the day, making plays on the ball,” said Fuller, who arrived in the trade for Alex Smith. “As a DB, the more plays on the ball that you make, the better the opportunity you give your team to win.” The Chiefs hope Scan- drick can help make some of those plays. They hope Berry can, too.
TheperennialProBowl safety missed almost all of last season with a torn Achilles tendon, but he appeared ahead of sched- ule in his recovery when he participated in the off- season program. Berry also was on the practice fields of Missouri West- ern State University for the start of training camp, which Chiefs fans took as a good omen for the up- coming season. Then he began sitting out practices with a heel injury. And so far, the injury has caused Berry to miss enough time that many are wondering whether there is some- thing more serious afoot. “I just don’t want to go backward. That’s what I don’t want to do,” Reid said between Monday’s morning walk-through and an afternoon practice. “I’m OK with it. He’s far enough long . I just have to monitor it and see where he’s at. I’m com- fortable where he’s going with this thing.” PAGE 16...FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview POTEAU DAILY NEWS Chiefs add Scandrick in hopes of fixing shaky secondary 2018 Kansas City Football Schedule Date Opponent Site Time Sept. 9 Los Angeles Chargers Away 3 p.m. Sept. 16 Pittsburgh Away Noon. Sept. 23 San Francisco Home Noon. Oct. 1 Denver Away 7:15 p.m. Oct. 7 Jacksonville Home Noon. Oct. 14 New England Away 7:20 p.m. Oct. 21 Cincinnati Home Noon. Oct. 28 Denver Home Noon. Nov. 4 Cleveland There Noon. Nov. 11 Arizona Home Noon. Nov. 19 Los Angeles Rams Mexico City 7:15 p.m. Nov. 25 Bye Dec. 2 Oakland There 3 p.m. Dec. 9 Baltimore Home Noon. Dec. 13 Los Angeles Chargers Home 7:20 p.m. Dec. 23 Seattle Away 7:20 p.m.
Dec. 30 Oakland Home Noon. Businesses and parents show your support and team spirit for your team or child. Place an ad in our sports section 5 days a week. 1 x 3 for $29.00 2 x 3 for $58.00 3 x 3 for $88.00
POTEAU DAILY NEWS 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018...PAGE 17 POTEAU The majority of those players are back this season, which has keyed the high expectations, along with a strong off-season program. “We should be seasoned, I’ll say that, but we have to stay healthy,” Mazey said. “Last year, we had a rash of injuries. If you get the right amount of injuries at the wrong time, things can go bad really quick. You have to have some luck involved, you can’t just be good. Most good teams that win a state champion- ship or go deep into the playoffs have some luck mixed in. Our off-season was outstanding. We had all of our kids here. The only time I allow our kids to miss is for a church camp, a leadership camp or something of that na- ture. So, we didn’t have many miss. They understand what’s at stake.” One of the team’s strong points will be on the line. Of- fensively, it will be spearheaded by Seth Ford, Bryson Myers and Clay Cross.
“I think it all starts up front with the offensive line,” Mazey said. “The majority of those guys are three-year starters. They anchor down everything we do. I can’t say enough about the offensive line, and what they’re able to do for us. When they’re on, we’re really good. Those three cats have done an outstanding job for us for the last three year.” Jett Pitchford should see most of the time at quarterback, with the duo of Kagan Stockton and Cole Hensley as back-ups. There will be a two-headed monster at running back with Easton Francis and Nathan Ul- mer, who likely will get spelled by the likes of Jarrett Lilley, Jake Patterson, Todd Mattox, Jake Gullick, Jaxon Dorsey and Ethan Carey.
Tight end Gunnar Thompson and receiver Carson Cheek will lead the receiving corps. “Easton had a big year last year as a sophomore,” Mazey said. “Jett really came on strong at the end of the year. We return seven on both sides of the ball. I think one of our unsung heroes is [receiver] Carson Cheek. He doesn’t have a lot of catches, but he blocks as well as any receiver I’ve ever had.” Another scoring weapon is se- nior place-kicker Garrett Clark. “You can’t forget about Gar- rett Clark,” Mazey said. “He’s a big weapon for us. He was named the Best Kicker and the Most Accurate Kicker at a camp last summer. We feel like we have a good weapon there.” Shifting to the defensive side of the ball, the Pirates have sev- eral key players throughout the three levels.
“You have Gunnar Thompson [in the line], Kagan Stockton [at linebacker] and Jayden Mankin in the back end,” Mazey said. “I think losing [defensive back] Race Williams in the back end hurts us a little bit because I think the biggest thing we lost was his aggression, but we’ve got kids who will step up in all those [de- fensive positions]. You’ve got Nathan Ulmer [linebacker], Dal- ton Brock [linebacker] and Gun- nar. We’ve got a lot of guys back in some way, shape or form. We have a wealth of experience back, but experience only goes so far. You have to go perform every week. You can’t let your guard down on any week.” If there is a downside to this year’s team, it’s the fact that some Pirates likely will have to go both ways this season. “I think Easton Francis is a guy who’ll go both ways even- tually because he plays good in the defensive secondary,” Mazey said. “Jayden Mankin and Caleb Skelton do good jobs, and we lost Caleb a year ago with an ACL on routs on air [practice]. Losing him was big last year, on both sides. We have to get [Skel- ton] back up to speed. We’ve got a wealth of ability and knowl- edge, but we’ve got to get that translated on the ﬁeld.” During Summer Pride and preseason practices, fans who came out to watch the Pirates saw some players don T-shirts with question marks on them. There was a reason for it. “The question was ‘Who are you going to be?’,” Mazey said. “That was the big question in the off-season. Once you know, then they got their gear. The big- gest thing with the T-shirt with the question marks on them was some of our players didn’t know what they were going to be until they made a certain per- centages of the [Summer Pride] workouts. We actually had some of the kids wear them in our preseason practice because they hadn’t proven themselves to the coaching staff and their teammates yet. Those individu- als have to make sure they do their part. What are they going to prove to your teammates and you’re coaching staff.” POTEAU Panama and Pocola is renewed as the Indians were bumped up from Class A.
“We’re excited about it,” Broyles said. “It’s neat. We haven’t played in two years. I kind of got to know their new coach [Jason Parker]. We have an alumni game, and he actually played on my team. I really enjoyed being around him.” PANAMA PANAMA Businesses and parents show your support and team spirit for your team or child. Place an ad in our sports section 5 days a week. 1 x 3 for $29.00 2 x 3 for $58.00 3 x 3 for $88.00 Check out the Gridiron Notes Column each week in the Poteau Daily News
PAGE 18...FRIDAY, AUGUST 25, 2018 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview POTEAU DAILY NEWS “In the second game of the season, we go to Texas [Sept. 8]. We go to Arkansas [Oct. 20] this year and we got Houston [Oct. 4] at their place,” Whitﬁeld said. “Our schedule is not easy, but we’ve got to go out and play every game and han- dle business.” Tulsa has been picked by media out- lets to ﬁnish last in the AAC this year. “We all kind of expected that after the season we had last year, but it moti- vates you a lot when you’re picked last in the conference,” Whitﬁeld said. “I’m ready to play.” Whitﬁeld is amazed at how 2018 will be his last year wearing the blue, red and gold for TU.
“Every time I get out on the ﬁeld, it’s crazy to think I’m a senior in col- lege now,” he said. “[It] just seems like yesterday I was a senior at Spiro playing QB. Time ﬂies by.” For the rising athletes back home, Whitﬁeld has a message. “To all the kids in LeFlore County, I see where I’m at right now, and I’m from the same town you guys are from,” he said. “Just continue to work hard. If you do that, you can end up where I am — at the next level.” TULSA TULSA 2018 Tulsa Football Schedule Date Opponent Site Time Sept. 1 Central Arkansas Tulsa 6 p.m. Sept. 8 Texas Austin, Texas 7 p.m. Sept. 15 Arkansas State Tulsa 6 p.m. Sept. 20 Temple Philadelphia 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4 Houston Houston 7 p.m. Oct. 12 South Florida Tulsa 6 p.m. Oct. 20 Arkansas Fayetteville TBA. Oct. 27 Tulane Tulsa TBA. Nov. 3 Connecticut Tulsa TBA. Nov. 10 Memphis at Memphis, Tenn. TBA. Nov. 17 Navy Annapolis, Md. TBA. Nov. 24 Southern Methodist University Tulsa TBA. Dec. 1-2 American Conference Championship TBA TBA. Businesses and parents show your support and team spirit for your team or child.
Place an ad in our sports section 5 days a week. 1 x 3 for $29.00 2 x 3 for $58.00 3 x 3 for $88.00 Jaxson Metzker, Klen Martinez and Darren Sanders are among the offensive guard candidates. On the defensive side, Stewart is hop- ing powerlifting star Braden Ludlow will spearhead the defensive line as a nose guard. “Our defense depends on someone who can blow up that center spot,” he said. “We’ve got junior Braden Ludlow at nose guard, and he can do that. He can be a game changer there.” Moore, McGee, Hudlow, Metzker, Norton, Sanders and Brown are all can- didates to be linebackers, while Alva- rado and Lawson will spearhead the de- fensive secondary.
There’s a whole new look for the Wolves for the in district play. For starters, they’ve been dropped down to Class 2A. Secondly, they’ve been moved south into District 2A-6 with Antlers, Atoka, Eufaula, Hartshorne, Hugo, Valliant and Wilburton. “I don’t know much about them,” Stewart said about his district foes. “I’ve always been one to just take each game one at a time. We’re going to go after them.” HEAVENER HEAVENER The offensive line will be spearheaded by Chris- tian Ross.
“We put him at center lastyearafterwegraduated Kevin McKenzie, and he’s done a great job,” Hen- ry said about Ross. “He knows what everyone else is supposed to do. I know our other linemen go to him to ask about blocking schemes and other things. I’m pretty conﬁdent in that position.” Mooneyham, Tracen Williams and Butler also will see time in the offen- sive trenches. “We’ve just got to ﬁg- ure out which two out of those three who can re- ally hook up and do what they’re supposed to do,” Henry said.
That same trio will be counted upon to be just as much defensive linemen leaders as when the Lions have the ball on offense. “Those three guys will be our defensive ends,” Henry said. “We’re going to go a smaller package in the middle. We’ll put a quick guy at our nose tackle [McCormick] to see if we can disrupt the back- ﬁeld a little bit. Freshman Cayce Winklepleck can play there, and we need him to step up. We return seven on the defensive side of the ball, so I feel pretty conﬁdent there.” The strength for the de- fense will be the lineback- ing corps.
“We’ve pretty much got our linebacking squad back,” Henry said. “We’re coming back with Kaleb Heffner, who’s led the team in tackles each of the last two years. I think we’re going to put Eli Ramirez in at linebacker, who I thought did a fantas- tic job at the Dewar Team Camp [this summer].” Brandon Geer, Chaz Williams, McCormick and Welch will see lots of time in the defensive second- ary. The Lions have high hopes for another district title, this time in District B-6 — which almost is the same as the last two years in District B-8.
“Arkoma played a lot of young kids last year,” Henry said. “Watts went up north, and we pulled Dewar from the west. De- war is one of those schools that usually is good year in, year out, and competes for a district champion- ship and makes noise in the playoffs. I say those two teams and us will be the top three making a push for the district title, and our expectations are very high. The other guys [Porum, Cave Springs and Gans] you just really can’t tell.” KEOTA KEOTA The Poteau Daily News is your best source for local sports coverage in LeFlore County
POTEAU DAILY NEWS 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018...PAGE 19 Top 25 Three teams in the AP preseason poll that will not ﬁnish the season ranked: No. 16 Texas Christian University, No. 20 Virginia Tech, No. 25 Louisiana State Univesity. Three teams not in the AP preseason poll that will ﬁnish the season ranked: Boston College, Memphis, Utah. Conference Winners • American Athletic Conference: Memphis [West] over Temple [East]. The last two teams to win the American lost their coaches soon after. So where’s Mike Norvell going?
• Atlantic Coast Conference: Clem- son [Atlantic] over Miami [Coastal]. The Tigers are stacked and freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence could give the offense an explosiveness it was miss- ing last year. • Big Ten: Michigan [East] over Wis- consin [West]. Jim Harbaugh ﬁnally qui- ets his critics. • Big 12: Oklahoma [No. 1] over [West Virginia No. 2]. The Big 12 is the most likely Power Five conference to provide an unexpected champion. There is little separation among the top six or seven teams but when in doubt, pick the Sooners.
• Conference USA: Florida Atlantic [East] over Louisiana Tech [West]. Lane Kifﬁn brings a second straight C-USA title to FAU. • Mid-American Conference: Ohio [East]overNorthernIllinois[West].Ohio wins its ﬁrst MAC title since 1968. • MountainWest: Boise State [Moun- tain] over San Diego State [West]. Could be the Broncos best post-Chris Petersen team. • Paciﬁc-12: Washington [North] over Utah [South]. The Huskies win their sec- ond Pac-12 title in three seasons, but the opener against Auburn could determine playoff hopes.
• Southeastern Conference: Ala- bama [West] over Georgia [East]. This time only the SEC champion makes the playoff. • Sun Belt: Arkansas State [West] over Troy [East]. Red Wolves win the ﬁrst Sun Belt championship game. Heisman Trophy The favorites are running backs Bryce Love of Stanford and Jonathan Taylor of Wisconsin, but the Heisman has become a quarterback’s award. Fifteen of the last 18 winners have been QBs. Feels like a season where a not-so-obvious player makes a run. Top ﬁve vote-getters: 1. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon 2. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin. 3. Will Grier, QB, West Virginia. 4. Shea Patterson, QB, Michigan. 5. A.J. Dillon, RB, Boston College. Coaching Carousel There seems to be no such thing as a slow season when it comes to coach- ing moves. Almost inevitably a few jobs that seemed safe in September open up by December. Florida, for example, just last year. What job will unexpectedly open this season? How about Oklahoma, when Jerry Jones decides to hire another Sooners coach and brings Lincoln Riley to the Cowboys.
New Year’s Six/CFP Cotton Bowl: Alabama (1) vs. Wash- ington (4). Orange Bowl: Michigan (2) vs. Clemson (3). Sugar Bowl: Georgia (SEC) vs. Okla- homa (Big 12) Rose Bowl: Wisconsin (Big Ten) vs Oregon (Pac-12) Fiesta Bowl: Boise State (Group of Five) vs. Ohio State (at-large) Peach Bowl: West Virginia (at-large) vs. Miami (at-large) National Championship Clemson and Alabama make it four straight seasons meeting in the playoff. The Tigers even the series at two and win another national title. PLAYOFFS PLAYOFFS Talihina at Gore, 6 and 7 p.m. September 24 Panama at Pocola, 6 p.m. Heavener at Roland, 6 p.m. September 25 Stigler at Spiro, 5:30 p.m. September 27 Pansy Kidd Middle School at Salli- saw, 5:30 and 6:15 p.m.
October 1 Hartshorne at Heavener, 6 p.m. Wilburton at Panama, 6 p.m. Spiro at Eufaula, 5:30 p.m. October 2 Vian at Pansy Kidd Middle School, 5:30 p.m. Warner at Talihina, 6 and 7 p.m. October 7 Spiro at Wilburton, 5:30 p.m. October 8 Panama at Heavener, 6 p.m. Quinton at Pocola, TBA. October 9 Talihina at Sallisaw-Central, 6 and 7 p.m. October 15 Pocola at Spiro, 5:30 p.m. Warner at Panama, 6 p.m. October 16 Pansy Kidd Middle School at Hill- dale, 5:30 and 6:15 p.m. Savanna at Talihina, 6 and 7 p.m. October 22 Panama at Talihina, 6 and 7 p.m. October 23 Pansy Kidd Middle School at Broken Bow, 5:30 and 6:15 p.m.
Pocola at Heavener, 6 p.m. October 29 Talihina at Wilburton, 6 and 7 p.m. SLATE SLATE Check out the Gridiron Notes Column each week in the Poteau Daily News POST IT IN OUR CLASSIFIEDS FOR LESS THE $50.00!!! $33.00 gets you 3 days Thursday, Friday and Saturday in our daily paper. THAT’S ONLY $11.00 A DAY! OR post it for 5 days for $45.00 ($9.00 per day). Want more exposure? Then post your ad in the Poteau Daily News and the Mini Penny Shopper for only $78.00. Ad will also be posted online! All ads are limited to 7 lines of text and a 1 x 1 picture. Item must be over $200.00, include price, contact info., and short description NEED TO SELL YOUR vehicle, boat, RV, or home?
PAGE 20...FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview POTEAU DAILY NEWS 918-436-2228 Best of Luck to the Pocola Indians! “People are what our facility is all about.” We operate a first class quality care facility in a genuine compassionate manner. Pocola Health and Rehab is a family-owned and operated 90-bed facility. Front row, from left — Managers/water girls Baylee Beutelschies, Bethany Albertson, Sam Baty, Amy Hemphill, Kennedi Logan-Johnson, Kaylea Nicholson, Kylie Meadors and Gracie Kuhns. Second row — Colton Billy, Gabe Woodrall, Evan Piovesan, OwenAshmore, Eli Garrett and Travis Carter. Third row — Mateusz Mulica, Ricky Mendez, Eric Carlton, Greg Mendez, Robert Trent and Nathan Gulley. Fourth row — Slater Mancuso, Logan Southerland, Drake McConnell, Brandon Carlton, Able Kukla and Nathan Sharpe. Fifth row — Coach Randy Ragland, Logan Piovesan, Alex Needham, Daniel Ahne, Robert Seals and coach Grant Ducker. Back row — Coach Jason Parker, Landon Jones, Keyshaun Steele, Parker Killion, Derek Carter, Austin Hancock, Buddy Williams and Coach Jason Henry. Not pictured — Coach Clint Beesley.
PDN photo by David Seeley New coach for new season for Pocola Indians in 2018 By David Seeley PDN Sports Editor For the second straight season, the Pocola Indians will have a new coach. However, this one isn’t quite as new. After being the offensive coordina- tor for the Indians last year for former Poteau coach and Pocola alum Jason Prescott, Jason Parker, also a Pocola alum, now will be in charge of trying to turn his alma mater’s football program around. Parker said that having been with the Indians is a big help. “It helps a lot,” said Parker, whose Indians were 2-7 a season ago. “Once I became the head coach, I talked to the players about buying in and what we needed to do to win. We made a decision to do that. I told them what we needed to do summer wise, and they’ve bought into that. That’s been the biggest thing, the improvement the kids made this year. Not only did they work out to get bigger, they just developed. It’s kind of been a combination of that which has made us fortunate. We’ve all gotten along well, and I’ve got a really good relationship with the players. Based off what we did last summer, it’s carried over into our preseason as well. I really feel good about the direction we’re going. What I’ve impressed upon these kids is mak- ing a culture change here. I intend on winning every game we play. I want to see our kids play with intensity, and I want to see the kids being successful. We’re ready to get out on the field.” Another plus for Parker’s team is they return all starters.
“I like this year’s team a lot,” he said. “One of the biggest things is instead of (See POCOLA, Page 24)
POTEAU DAILY NEWS 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018...PAGE 21 www.cnbpoteau.com HAVE A GREAT SEASON POTEAU 918-647-2233 HEAVENER 918-653-3088 PANAMA 918-963-4625 POCOLA 918-436-2471 STIGLER 918-967-0700 Front row, from left — Bryson Cunningham, Chris Call, Judge Lang, Grant Williams, Joseph Caldwell, Hayden Wood and Easton Smith. Second row — Ian Lenard, Dalton Ellison, Alex McLemore, Hunter Harmon, Jay Tate, Josh Killion and Eli Lenard. Back row — Coach Mark Weatherton, Tiyeze Castleberry, Braxton Chesher, Gavin James, Brackin Ollar, Cade Weatherton, Brandon Dye, Brett Chambers and coaches Paul Cates and Greg Wise. Not pictured — Coach Kevin Arnold.
PDN photo by David Seeley Check out the Gridiron Notes Column each week in the Poteau Daily News Arkoma Mustangs have lots of questions about this year’s team By David Seeley PDN Sports Editor The Arkoma Mustangs were 7-4 last season, but graduation hit them hard — losing seven starters on both sides of the ball. That means this year’s team is going to have a lot of question marks go- ing into the 2018 season, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. next Friday with a road game at Oaks. “We’re definitely go- ing to be a young group,” Arkoma coach Mark Weatherton said. “We’re going to have a lot of in- experience. We have a lot of guys we’re unsure of, where they’re going to play and where they’re going to fit into the sys- tem. We’ve got a lot of stuff to work on. We’ve told them every day, and it’s never been more true than this season, we don’t really have any starters right now. We’re looking at someone to take those spots — on the offensive line and at our skill spots like quarterback and run- ning back.” The quarterback will come down to two indi- viduals — Cade Weather- ton and Alex McLemore. However, there’s a chance neither could be.
“If Cade or Alex aren’t the quarterback, they’ll probably be our split ends,” Weatherton said. Easton Smith, Joseph Caldwell and Brett Cham- bers are the leading candi- dates at running back, but Chambers could be a very busy man — and not just toting the pigskin. “Brett has done a really good job at fullback, but we may need him on the offensive line — we may even need him to switch back and forth some- times,” Weatherton said. “So, Brett is going to be a key player somewhere in there, but we just don’t know where he’s going to be yet.” Along the offensive line, Brackin Ollar likely will be the center, Cham- bers and Braxton Cheser the guards. However, Chesher, like Chambers, could be called upon to be a running back or a re- ceiver.
“Braxton could be a skill guy, too, as a fullback or a tight end,” Weather- ton said. Dalton Ellison and Ian Lenard also are linemen candidates but are inexpe- rienced. “They haven’t played very much, but they are also in the mix.” The good news was several of the returning players saw time playing on the defensive side of the ball, but the big issue is experience. “Defensively, we had some freshmen play quite a bit last year, but they haven’t had to be the guys the whole time,” Weather- ton said.
Grant Williams will be at defensive end but could be moved to line- backer. Caldwell, who led the team with 72 tackles, should be one of the start- ing linebackers. Cham- bers and Chesher looked good in the preseason as defensive linemen, while Josh Killion returns after playing time as a defen- sive back. “We’ve got a bunch of different guys who are going to get opportunities to show us they can be the guy [at all the posi- tions], even with most of them being sophomores,” Weatherton said. District B-8 got a little bit of a new look as Watts was sent north, and De- war was sent east as its replacement. That makes the district even tougher, according to Weatherton. “I think Dewar and Ke- ota are probably quite a bit ahead of everyone else,” he said. “I think it will be a good battle between Dewar and Keota for the district championship. They both return a lot, but I think we’re right in the mix to be in the playoffs. If we can do that, with a m c c o n n e l l s f l o o r i n g @ l i v e . c o m WOOD FLOORS • CERAMIC TILE • LAMINATE • VINYL • CARPET RICK & RICKEY McCONNELL 2306 N. Broadway O: 918.647.2592 Poteau, O K 74953 F: 918.647.0468 (See ARKOMA, Page 23)
PAGE 22...FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview POTEAU DAILY NEWS ROSTER — Players are Ty Clayton, Will Dunigan, Nick Johnson, Crayton Zarrigoza, Deontei Braggs, Dakota Lashley, Jared Huff, Mekhi Roberson, Malik Roberson, Jansen Steele, Kwame Sey, Cole Warner, Conner Rodgers, Matt Watts, Braxton Peterson, Jeremiah Phillips, Kaleb Hull, Cory Rodgers, Peyton Upchurch, Nathan Bandy, Conner Reed, Hayden Harrison, Tim Parker, Sam Dolan, Tyler Lock, Samuel Draper, Tyler Andrews, Landry Gist, Bryten Sebo, Clark Fant, Trey Baker, Todd Winn, Andon Jerrell, Trevor Ayala, Brandon Hammontree and Michael Cueves. Coaches are Chris Bunch, Larry Greenwood, Rod Kimmel, David Hogan and Ronn Dale Hull. Photo by John Clark/The Spiro Graphic The Poteau Daily News is your best source for local sports coverage in LeFlore County Spiro Bulldogs look to be better in 2018 season By David Seeley PDN Sports Editor The Spiro Bulldogs got into the Class 2A playoffs last season and won a post- season game en route to a 5-7 season, in which they started the season 0-4 be- fore going 4-2 in District 2A-6. “The off-season turned out pretty good for us,” Spiro coach Chris Bunch said. “We went to a lot of 7-on-7 pass- ing leagues, and those really helped.We could work on our passing and our tim- ing. Just being up here lifting weights and getting stronger all will help us. We had quite a few up here until near the end. I just hope the kids are looking forward to the season, and I think the time is ready to get some football going again. Hopefully, we’ll be a lot smarter than last year, and that will be a key factor for us. We can’t go out there and make a lot of stupid mistakes. We lost a good group of linebackers last year, so we’ve got to replace those guys. Those guys have to step up and do the same thing those guys did. We have to read our keys and do what we’re supposed to do.” The preseason started on a high note, at least personally, for Bunch as he was inducted into the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame in late July. “That was a great honor,” he said. “I want to thank all those guys who were behind it, especially my former player and coaches. It was one of those deals where I wasn’t aware it was going to happen until it happened. They kind of pulled one over on me. The ceremony itself was pretty good. I had a lot of people show up. It was a nice deal. Re- ally, it was a big honor, but it was big- ger than I thought that would be.” The ’Dogs bring most of their skill players back, but their linemen is where Spiro’s question mark remains. “I think we can be pretty good,” Bunch said. “We’re going to be aw- ful young in the line. That will be our biggest worry right now, our offense and defensive linemen. We’ve got a lot of our skill kids coming back, so we should be pretty good there.” Asforskillplayersback,quarterback Deontei Braggs, tailback Malik Rober- son, receivers Ty Clayton, Kwame Sey, Mekhi Roberson and Nick Johnson are all back, plus there’s some reserves to help.
“We’ve got Conner Rodgers listed as a tailback, but we’ll move him to a re- ceiver for us,” Bunch said. “Hopefully, we’ll have some younger kids step up, like [receiver] Brandon Hammontree, who will be a sophomore.” (See SPIRO, Page 23)
POTEAU DAILY NEWS 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018...PAGE 23 group as young as this, that will set us up for success in the years to come. I think it will be a good battle with the other four teams [for the other two playoff spots]. I think it can be any of those four teams [Arkoma, Porum, Cave Springs and Gans]. It’s going to be where we have to bring it every week.” Although the Mustangs are young, they have enjoyed past success, which Weatherton hopes will carry over into this season.
“It deﬁnitely keeps our numbers up,” he said. “When you go out and have suc- cess year in, year out, we have more kids who want to be involved in that as op- posed when you go 1-9 or 0-10. Then, you only end up with 14 to 15 kids be- cause no one wants to be a part of that losing process. I think that’s played a role in our work ethic and how many kids we have out. It’s been a big plus for us.” BUENA SUERTE to ALL LeFlore County Teams! 3115 North Broadway, Poteau, OK Spiro’s offensive linemen will be young, with only one starter back — Sam Dolan. Bryten Sebo, Peyton Upchurch, Conner Reed and Clark Fant — all sophomores — likely will ﬁll out the offensive line.
“We’re going to be counting on [Dolan] to pull those other kids through for us,” Bunch said. “He’s been playing there for the last two years.” On defense, the defensive sec- ondary should be one of Spiro’s strengths, with Braggs, Sey, Clay- ton, Johnson, Mekhi Roberson, Malik Roberson and the Rodgers twins, Cory and Conner, all going to see playing time in the defensive backﬁeld. Dolan andWill Dunigan will lead the way among linebackers, but the defensive line will be young. “Jeremiah Phillips is a kid who’ll play some for us at defen- sive end, and maybe on offense, too, as a J-back type kid,” Bunch said. “Trevor Ayala and Hayden Harrison are candidates at defen- sive guards. We’ll also have some freshmen who may get to play, too. We’re going to have a lot of kids going both ways, and conditioning is going to play a big factor in that. We’re going to have to play a lot of of people at those positions to give the other linemen rest. Hopefully, we can have some kids step up as back-ups on both offensive and de- fensive side.” Spiro’s district is different this season. It’s now District 2A-5 and not 2A-6. Secondly, most of the teams from the old district have moved on, with only Panama the lone constant.
The district has now been joined by Pocola, Sequoyah-Tahlequah, Tulsa Holland Hall, Keys [Park Hill], Vian and Westville. “I thought our district was pretty tough last year, but it’s going to be a lot tougher this year,” Bunch said. “It’s going to be a dogﬁght every game. I’m pretty sure Tulsa Hol- land Hall and Vian will be picked at the top. “Sequoyah-Tahlequah will prob- ably be picked in there somewhere. Most people are looking at the rest of the district as ﬁghting for fourth place. Hopefully, we can sneak in there. Basically, we have to stay healthy, learn fast and be aggres- sive. Those will be three key fac- tors for us to move up a little higher in the district [than what we’re pre- dicted to do].” SPIRO 2018 LeFlore County Gridiron Preview SPIRO ARKOMA ARKOMA Businesses and parents show your support and team spirit for your team or child. Place an ad in our sports section 5 days a week. 1 x 3 for $29.00 2 x 3 for $58.00 3 x 3 for $88.00
PAGE 24...FRIDAY, AUGUST 24, 2018 POTEAU DAILY NEWS just going with an offense that we knew, we went ahead and evaluated our players and their talents, and what would work best for us. We put the kids into better positions with our new offense and de- fense to have a better chance to be suc- cessful. We don’t have anyone who can sling the ball around, so we’re not going to spread you out. We’re going to run the ball, and we’re going to control the clock. We have two really good running backs, a big tight end and a big offen- sive line, so we returned to that type of football.” Greg Mendez will be the quarter- back.
“He’s been the leading tackler here for the last two years at free safety,” Parker said. “He came out during the spring, and our offensive coordinator, coach [Randy] Ragland, said he wanted to try him out at quarterback. He said we’re going to run the football, and we need someone who runs the football. This kid [Mendez] just jumped out at us, and he’s been doing a great job.” Keyshaun Steele and Nathan Sharpe are his running backs. “They both put in a lot of work this summer,” Parker said. “Keyshaun was 185 [pounds] last year, and he’s bulked up to 215. He’s elusive and powerful. He went from being a hard runner as a soph- omore to being a ‘man’ this year — he’s going to punish you. We’ve got a guy who will come bust you, then we’ll run Nathan who you’ll be ﬁguring out how you’re going to get a hold of him. So, it makes for a great combination.” Derek Carter will be the tight end. “This summer, he stepped up to the challenge [of doing what needs to be done to be successful],” Parker said. “He went and busted his butt in the weight room, and he’s made himself into a play- er.” The Carltons, Brandon and Eric, along with Nathan Gulley will be wide receivers, with Parker Killion anchoring the offensive line.
Parker believes his team’s strength is his defensive unit. Carter and Killion will be defensive ends, while Daniel Ahne will be in the middle of the defensive line. Both Car- ltons, Polish foreign-exchange student Mateusz and Alex Needham — a trans- fer from Van Buren, Ark. — will be in the linebacking corps. Mendez will spearhead the defensive secondary. Not only is Pocola’s head coach new, so, too, is its classiﬁcation and district. The Indians are back in Class 2A and will be in District 2A-5 with rival Pan- ama, Spiro, Tulsa Holland Hall, Keys [Park Hill], Sequoyah-Tahlequah, Vian and Westville. It will mean the Pocola- Panama rivalry will get renewed after a two-year hiatus.
“The last time I looked, one poll had ﬁve teams from the district in the top 2,” Parker said. “Panama and Spiro are big rivalry games. I feel like we stack up against them ﬁne. I know Panama lost a lot, and I know Spiro lost a lot on the of- fensive line. I feel 100 percent conﬁdent that we can be complete competitive this year in what I think is the hardest district in [Class] 2A. Our goal is to get into the playoffs and win a playoff game.” Parker also can tell the enthusiasm is there from his players, wanting to play for a fellow Pocolian.
“It’s there,” he said. “It’s just the way I am. I’m a ﬁred up guy. I go lift weights with the kids. I get there and get after it with the kids. My senior year, we went to the playoffs for the ﬁrst time in 13 years. I take a lot of pride in that foot- ball team and what we were able to do. I told the kids, since being in [Class] 2A, Pocola has been to the playoffs twice, but never to the second round [of the Class 2A playoffs]. That’s something we want to do this year. The kids have really latched on to it. They believe in what we’re doing. They’re working hard and want to win. We’re going with a positive approach, and the kids are picking up on it.” POCOLA POCOLA Check out the Gridiron Notes Column each week in the Poteau Daily News 2210 N Broadway St, Poteau, OK 74953 Phone: (918) 647-4999 GOOD LUCK TO ALL LEFLORE COUNTY TEAMS!