2010 Preview: East Central’s “Bad” Reputation

Thursday, July 28th 2011, 5:41 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Aug 15, 2010 4:34 PM CDT

Kyle Dierking
Oklahoma Sports Mobile Journalist

TULSA, Oklahoma – East Central has been known for doing well on the football field over the last 10 years.

The Cardinals have been atop their district seven times since 2002 and won the 5A Gold Ball in 2005.

That’s how they’ve developed a “bad” reputation.

“You’ve got to have the bad guy, but at East Central we love to be the bad guy,” said senior wide receiver Dino Teague.

East Central coach Travis Hill perhaps summarizes what the Cardinals best represent by saying, “East Central: tough school, tough place, tough football team tough kids. Okay, you know what? We’ll take that and use that to our advantage.”

That reputation will again make the Cardinals a favorite in 5A this season. Teague is coming off a year where he had 485 yards receiving and five touchdowns. He is expected to be a dynamic playmaker in East Central’s offense.

The thing Hill puts a huge emphasis on is team chemistry. It’s something that he says is certainly the difference.

“If it takes getting rid of kids to be close we’ll do that,” Hill said. “We’ll do whatever it takes to make sure we are a close-knit group that we are a team before we are individuals.”

It’s obvious that East Central enjoys the “bad guys” reputation, but they don’t like the other connotation.

"We don't want to be represented as the bad, bad guys,” said senior linebacker Marcus Dees. “You know living here on the east side, you learn to take care of yourself more street-wise - just bring in tough kids you know."

"Every time we come and play against somebody, they come out and play us hard. I guess that's why they always talk crap about us,” said senior tight end Ashton Dandy. ”So we just go out there and show them what we've got."

They'll be talking.

East Central Cardinals

2009: 10-2/7-0, 1st in District 5A-4

PLAYOFFS: Lost in the 2nd round to Guthrie

BEST PLAYER: Dino Teague. The wide receiver and defensive back has a chance to have a breakout season. Opposing teams will need to watch out for his quickness and ability to get into open space.

BIGGEST GAME: Week 10, November 5 at Claremore. A season after tasting success at the 6A level and staying with Union for a half in the playoffs, the Zebras move down to 5A and pose the biggest threat to East Central. This game falls in the last week of the season, so this could potentially be a game that decides the district championship.

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