Originally Published: Aug 13, 2010 4:59 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Mobile Journalist
TULSA, Oklahoma – Isaac Maselera shook his head when asked to recall the Warriors’ painful early exit from the 2009 postseason. The incoming senior two-way talent didn’t even want to think about Glenpool’s bitter finish a year ago.
“We should have won it all last year, but the team wasn’t right,” he said. “You’ve got to be aggressive. You can’t just let anybody run you over.”
The coaching staff won’t let the painful memories fade away. During practice-ending sprints this week, coaches bark at the players:
“Remember how much it hurt!”
Warriors head coach Steve Edwards got in his players’ ears during those final moments of team workouts, reminding them that they “were close, but close isn’t enough” when you’re in the business of winning.
“I think it was a good lesson to learn as coaches and as kids,” Edwards said of last season’s first round loss. “Anybody on any given night can beat you. I think it’s going to make a big impact.”
The 2010 Glenpool Warriors have 2009’s nightmares to thank. The premature conclusion of a promising gold ball run fuels the players and angers them a little bit, too.
“We’ve got the talent, but it takes more than talent,” Maselera said. “It takes hard work. It takes people showing up on time. It takes discipline.”
This year’s team is under new leadership. Last year’s go-to guy is wearing a different shade of blue. Marco Nelson moved on to play for Todd Graham at the University of Tulsa. He left behind a tradition of winning that the team’s new leader embraces.
“I’m excited,” smiled Maselera. “Hopefully, we win a state title.”
Glenpool has to plug up a lot of holes from last year’s 9-2 team. The starting quarterback and running back both graduated. The defense is missing some experience. Developing their youth early will be key for Edwards’ staff.
“We try to be a blue collar team. We want to outwork people,” said Edwards. “That’s what they understand, and that’s what our coaches press.”
Before every season, the Warriors compile a Top Ten list that’s far more serious than Letterman’s nightly countdown. Glenpool sets goals to strive for during the season in hopes that, after reaching them all, they’ll hoist a championship trophy in December.
The number one item on that list in 2010 is focusing out, and putting the team ahead of the individual. Edwards is confident his team can do that and can win another championship this season.
TEAM SNAP SHOT
2009: 9-2/6-1 record, second in 4A-District 2. (Has gone 23-2 in last 25 games.)
PLAYOFFS: Lost to Douglass at home in the first round of the 2009 postseason.
BEST PLAYER: Isaac Maselera. The senior has committed to Oklahoma State and will play both ways for the Warriors this season. He will be one of two running back threats for Glenpool, and the team’s top defensive back. He plans to play defense in college.
MASELERA ON LEADING: “I wouldn’t say it’s MY team this season. We’re all together. We’ve been playing together since first and second grade. The seniors, it’s OUR team, not just mine.”
BIGGEST GAME: Week 2, September 10th vs. Cascia Hall. This clash crosses classes, but could be one of the top games in the state in the early part of the season. Both are top contenders for gold balls in their respective classes and have a ton of talent on both sides of the ball.