Originally Published: Jan 25, 2010 4:1 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
PAWNEE, Oklahoma -- Experience is key for the Pawnee Black Bears.
A year after claiming the Class 2A Gold Ball a season ago, they bring back seven players, so it’s no wonder they are 12-3 and favored to win their third-straight 2A Championship.
“Two years ago we won state, but lost seven players so we had all new starters and everything. Last year we kind of surprised people,” said head coach David Page. “We feel like if we play right and do the right things we can win [another championship].”
“Having the same kids back it should be easy coaching them,” said Page. “The kids should know what we expect and what we’re doing. We’re a well-balanced team.”
To prepare for the stretch run of the season, Pawnee plays teams well above their class to challenge the players.
“Even if we go to the Tournament of Champions and [lose] it prepares us,” said Page. “We got beat by Booker T. Washington and Muskogee. Muskogee had us down by one with a minute to play and at the time Muskogee was ranked No. 1.”
Despite the expectations, the pressure and the top ranking, it’s not more than the experienced players can handle.
“We won state last year and got our seven best players back, we kind of expected to be in this position,” said Page.