Originally Published: Aug 25, 2009 7:21 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
WOODWARD, Oklahoma - Despite winning just three games in 2008, Woodward made the playoffs but was eliminated by eventual state champs Glenpool. The Boomers reload this season returning 10 starters including their entire offensive line. That spells good news for running back Travis Harvey. The senior running back broke his leg in the first game last season, but head coach Justin Jones is expecting Harvey back at full strength.
“Probably one of our strongest kids pound for pound,” Jones said of Harvey. “Just a tenacious runner, the guy just continues to pound the ground with his feet.”
The Boomers are just as experienced on defense with seven starters back. However with only one returner in the secondary, defensive end Jesse Huff as well as the rest of the front seven will be leaned on heavily in order for Woodward to find its way back into the playoffs.
“We feel like defensively we got some of the fast front I’ve ever had,” Coach Jones said. “Two guys on the defensive line run sub five’s (in the 40) and two others right at five flat, and our linebackers all run 4.7. We feel like our defensive front is the strength, and we ought to be able to do some good things with those guys.”
Even though the Boomers were in the postseason last year, they still have a chip on their shoulder due to their sub .500 record.
“There’s not a whole lot of teams are going to respect you, they’re going to see that you were 3-8 the year before,” Jones said. “We’ve done a lot of growing up even though the record last year doesn’t show that. I tell our kids every day we gotta go out and we gotta prove things. We don’t deserve respect until we earn it.”
But with another playoff appearance, schools might not bank on the Boomers for homecoming.