Originally Published: Sep 1, 2009 6:3 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
ELMORE CITY, Oklahoma – The Elmore City-Pernell Badgers had one of their best seasons in recent memory last year, going 7-4 and earning a playoff bid. With many of their starters returning, the Badgers will be looking to string two successful seasons together.
Elmore City’s defense was clearly its strength last season, and essentially determined if the team won or lost. In the Badgers’ seven wins last season, the defense allowed an average of just 12 points per game. In their four losses, they surrendered more than 35 points per game.
The strength of the Badgers’ defense this year will be their linebackers and defensive backfield. The linebackers will be led by juniors Jake Phillips, John Roady and Justin Anderson.
The secondary will be led by seniors William Watson and Ethan Nelson, and should get an infusion from sophomore John Harrel. Harrel grabbed four interceptions and returned one for a touchdown as a freshman last year.
Elmore City’s success last season came after some lean years. The Badgers were a combined 5-25 in the three previous seasons, and never won more than two games.
The Badgers’ attempt to continue their success will begin Sept. 4 against the Wayne Bulldogs, who barely defeated Elmore City 28-27 in last season’s opener.