District 6A-3 Football Preview- Is it Union's Year


Wednesday, August 30th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


District 6A-3


District prediction

1. Union
2. Stillwater
3. Choctaw
4. Edmond Memorial
5. Sand Springs
6. Sapulpa
7. Enid
8. Ponca City

Six Players to Watch

1.WR Jerome Janet and QB Tyler Gooch- I suppose this is the first real cop-out of all the district previews I’ve written. It’s impossible to separate the two. If the ball is anywhere near Janet, he’ll catch it. Gooch doesn’t normally make him work too hard for receptions.
2. WR Leonard Jones and QB Josh Fields- That makes this my second real cop-out. It’s a great argument as to which QB-WR combo is better. Jones is blazing fast. He took a kick back 99 yards the first time he touched the ball as a freshman. Fields nearly threw for 2,000 yards last year and could reach the mark in 2000.
3. Ryan Summers- Sand Springs- Quarterback- I really try to not be awe-struck by quarterbacks when writing this section. However, the signal-callers in this district are superb. Summers threw for 1,000 yards last year, he’ll probably throw more in 2000.
4. Joey Guzman- Union- Defensive Lineman- 6’5” 270 lbs. Very physical. Can be dominant at times. There’s too much talent among his linemates for him to be double-teamed.
5. Derek Warehime- Choctaw- Offensive Lineman- 6’2” 280 lbs. Part of a very big line for the Yellowjackets. Will be part of a division-one college line in 2001.
6. Chris Miller- Stillwater- Offensive Lineman- 6’1” 265 lbs. As good as the QB’s are in the district, the linemen may be a better group. Miller is part of one of the most talented senior classes in Pioneer history.

Six “Can’t Miss” Games

1. September 14th- Jenks at Union (Skelly Stadium)- There’s nothing else that can be said about this game, just mark it on your calendar.
2. October 12th- Stillwater at Union- This will likely be a match-up of top five teams in 6A. It may also be for the district title.
3. September 8th- Stillwater at Muskogee- It’s a very stiff early road test for the Pioneer’s. A win here could signal how serious Stillwater is about state title contention.
4. September 29th- Choctaw at Edmond- Two teams that should contend for last two playoff spots. The loser of this game may be left out.
5. October 5th- Sand Springs at Sapulpa- Two teams in the same boat as Edmond and Choctaw. Besides the fact that they’ll both fight for the playoffs, this is a good traditional rivalry. That always makes for big fun.
6. September 1st- Sapulpa at Broken Arrow - This game is an interesting opener for both teams. A good showing by the Chieftains may give them confidence. Broken Arrow debuts their new stadium.


Team Capsules


Union
Head Coach: Bill Blankenship
Last Year: 13-1 (State Finalist)
Strength: On offense, there’s tons of talent at skill positions. Gooch and Janet are well known, but Caleb Blankenship and Zac Spavital are very sound pass-catchers as well. On defense, it’s another reload for a very physical team. Guzman, Aaron Rooney and Cam Goodwin are three massive linemen.
Question Mark: There’s no ducking the obvious. Can they win the big game? Blankenship says he worries about the team resting on their tradition at times. Not against Jenks, but against teams they should easily beat. He wants to see full focus at all times.
Outlook: There’s no reason to believe it won’t be Jenks-Union again in December.

Stillwater
Head Coach: Bill Defee
Last Year: 8-3
Strength: They have a tremendously talented senior class. They’re big on the lines and have speedy skill players. A complete team.
Question Mark: Maybe a lack of self-belief may creep in. They haven’t been a serious contender to Jenks or Union in the past few year. If they get it into their heads that they are this year there may be a surprise or two.
Outlook: There’s enough talent for a state semi-final run. Then, who knows what could happen?

Choctaw
Head Coach: Nick Warehime
Last Year: 2-8
Strength: 15 of last years 18 starters return. The offensive line is huge and physical. The defensive backfield is experienced and pretty fast.
Question Mark: How will they adapt to the mostly eastern district? Some say it’s a benefit, others think the travel will take a toll.
Outlook: Muskogee and Choctaw are the two “buzz teams” in 6A. There’s a lot of talent coming back, but recent history hasn’t been so hot.

Edmond Memorial
Head Coach: Toby Daugherty
Last Year: 4-6
Strength: There’s a huge target in Jeff Davis (6’6” 235 lbs.) at tight end. The linebackers are good and very experienced.
Question Mark: Must replace three starting linemen from the 1999 squad.
Outlook: The final two playoff spots are wide open in this district. Only Union and Stillwater made the post-season last year. Edmond has the talent to claim one of the two spots.

Sand Springs
Head Coach: Archie Loehr
Last Year: 4-6
Strength: Skill players. Summers is joined by 1999’s leading rusher, receiver and a good kicker.
Question Mark: Is there enough size on the offensive line? Three starters graduated and the replacements are a bit light by 6A standards.
Outlook: If Summers gets time to throw, his offense could put up enough points for a playoff run.

Sapulpa
Head Coach: Mark Walker
Last Year: 5-5
Strength: New coach Walker brings a new off-season program and enthusiasm to Sapulpa. He’ll have one of the best kickers in the state in junior Brad DeVault.
Question Mark: has he had enough time to whip the Chieftains into shape? There are not many senior starters.
Outlook: The junior class is very good and a full year with this great staff should have them contending in 2001.

Enid
Head Coach: Ed Jones
Last Year: 1-9
Strength: Jones won four state titles at Frederick in the ‘90’s and thinks he can revive the program. He’ll have an experienced QB in Brandon Jenkins.
Question Mark: This may be the smallest offensive line in 6A. Jenkins weighs more at 205 lbs. than four of the five starters.
Outlook: Jones has his hands full at Enid. His underclassmen will get a lot of playing time this year.

Ponca City
Head Coach: Frank Piccirillo
Last Year: 1-9
Strength: Another coach with state titles under his belt taking on a wounded program. Piccirillo won two titles at Watonga. He’ll have a decent amount of seniors to work with.
Question Mark: This is another team with a small offensive line. That doesn’t bode well in 6A.
Outlook: Young players will benefit in the years to come from Piccirillo’s experience and ability.

District Previews

Eight-man Districts
Class A Districts
Class 2A Districts
Class 3A Districts
Class 4A district 4
Class 4A district 3
Class 4A district 2
Class 5A District 4
Class 5A district 3
Class 6A District 3