2010 Preview: Claremore Zebras

Thursday, July 28th 2011, 5:44 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Sep 1, 2010 9:33 PM CDT

Bobby Lewis
Oklahoma Sports Mobile Journalist

CLAREMORE, Oklahoma – The Zebras fared well in 6A last season, but didn’t make it far in the playoffs. Claremore lost to the Union Redskins 27-9 in the first round of the postseason after an up and down season.

Now they give 5A District 4 a try.

Claremore moves down a class and ups its chances at a gold ball. Instead of battling the likes of Jenks, Union and Broken Arrow, the Zebras will tangle with Booker T. Washington, Collinsville and Bishop Kelley. The competition may not be quite as tough, but won’t be a walk in the park either.

“6A was really rough on us the last two years,” chuckled head coach Rob Gilbreath. “I think we got some great knowledge out of it and some good experience.”

Claremore returns five offensive starters and four linemen on defense. Many of the team’s players will see time on both sides of the football. The running game will be the strength of the team in 2010.

Gilbreath took some time to chat with Oklahoma Sports about his team and his expectations for this year.

Claremore Zebras

2009: 6-5/ 3-3 record, fourth in 6A-District 3.

PLAYOFFS: Lost to Union in the first round of the 2009 postseason.

BEST PLAYER: Chase Talbert. The junior tailback had a lot of success running the ball as a sophomore in 6A. Now as a veteran on the team, Talbert will be expected to carry an even bigger load in 2010. He racked up over 900 yards on the ground a year ago. Look for more of the same this season.

BIGGEST GAME: Week 10 vs. East Central, November 5th. The Cardinals are widely considered to be a gold ball contender in 5A. They are definitely one of the top teams in the district. Claremore potentially has a shot to sneak in the backdoor and steal a title away from East Central on the last weekend of the regular season if both teams play up to par to that point. The season finale could have some fireworks in Claremore.