Originally Published: Aug 24, 2010 12:10 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Christian Heritage Crusaders look at last season as a year of rebuilding, prepping for a playoff run in 2010.
The team went 5-5 last year after losing several seniors, but return this year stronger and more experienced. They played young in 2009, but the returning starters are poised to edge their way into the playoffs this season.
Their district offers pretty tough competition though, including Millwood, who they’ll face this season.
“Last year, I would have been nervous, but this year we’re faster, we’re stronger and we’re tougher,” linebacker Jared Wheeler said. “I can’t wait for it. I’m chomping at the bits to play them.”
Teammate Josh Blair echoed Wheelers comment. The linebacker knows Millwood, who’s projected to finish at the top of the district, will be no easy feat.
“They’re very talented, they’re very athletic,” Blair said. “But we are bigger and stronger.”
The team’s bigger, due in large to their intense summer workout regimen. They lifted in their new weight facility for two hours each morning. Most of the team bulked up, benching over 225.
Linebacker Caleb McGehee also feels stronger. The junior has been rehabbing his knee after injuring Christian Heritages’ first game of the season last year.
“It was really hard to get hurt in the third play of the game,” McGehee said. “Rehab’s gone really good and it feels stronger than it’s ever been.”
The team’s ready physically, but also mentally. During Oklahoma Sports and Coaches Aid Media Day, the entire Crusade clan got fired up with the mention of Lincoln Christian and Oklahoma Christian, arch rivals.
Find your team's press conference and season preview on their individual team page.
Both schools beat the Crusaders last year, including a 53-6 beating by Lincoln Christian. With a traveling trophy and pride on the line, Christian Heritage won’t let that happen again this season.
“This year, I don’t think they really know what’s coming,” Blair said. “We plan on popping them in their mouth and putting them in their place.”