TULSA, Oklahoma – The Bishop Kelley Comets have been in the playoffs every year for the last decade, but are coming off one of their worst seasons during that stretch.
The Comets scraped their way into the postseason with a 5-5 record and were ousted in the first round by Coweta last season. But with the majority of their key players returning, the Comets are hoping to improve on that result this year.
"We've been in the playoffs I think 13 or 14 years in a row," head coach J.J. Tappana said. "We've had our ups and our downs just like anybody, but good kids make good coaches and that's what we have in this situation."
The road will not be easy, with early tests against Bishop McGuinness and Coweta and mid-season showdown with reigning state champion Booker T. Washington. But the Comets are aware of the challenges that await them and are prepared for them.
"5A is a tough thing on this side [of the state]," Tappana said. "East Central is loaded, you always have Booker T., Carl Albert and Guthrie. But you know it's fun; we love playing on this level."
Bishop Kelley will rely heavily on its team speed, one of its greatest strengths.
"We can just fly around and we know our positions and everyone is fast this year," linebacker Kurt Byers said. "No one's really slowing us down and we've got a bunch of good, solid returning starters who know the game."
Many of those returning starters were young last season, but with a year of experience under their belt are expected to yield greater results.
"We're going to be pretty tough again," Tappana said. "Last year we had a little bit of everything, but it was a good group of guys and we had fun. The young kids that had to play, we're going to get some dividends from that this year."
The Comets will start the season against Enid on Sept. 2 before facing McGuinness and Coweta in back-to-back games. Their duel with Booker T. Washington will take place Oct. 14.