District 5A-4 Football Preview

Friday, August 25th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

District Prediction

1. Bishop Kelley
2. Booker T. Washington
3. Claremore
4. Bixby
5. Coweta
6. Tulsa Hale
7. Tulsa McLain
8. Durant

Six Players to Watch

1. Mike Wilson- Booker T. Washington- Linebacker- Super fast linebacker, may be a better baseball player. Could make two college coaches very happy.
2. Brandon Jones- Bishop Kelley- Defensive End- 6’2” 220 lbs. Tall, lean and fast. Left a big impression on TU coaches after their summer camp.
3. Marco Hutton- Tulsa McLain- Offensive Lineman- 6’5” 270- One of the most sought-after linemen in the state this year
4. .Jake Murrell- Bishop Kelley- Running Back- 5’10” 190 lbs. Runs extremely hard on every play. I’m not quite sure if he’s a college RB or DB, but he’ll be a good one at either position.
5. Mark Steenhoek- Bixby- Quarterback- 6’0” 190 lbs. Strong armed QB threw for 1,800+ yards in 1999.
6. Michael Ballard- Claremore- Offensive Lineman- 6’4” 250 lbs. Has definite college size and skills. He’ll be the leader of a very good, very big Zebra O-line.

Six “Can’t Miss” Games

1. August 31st- Booker T. Washington at Owasso- Season-opener for new head Antwain Jimmerson is a stiff test against 6A power.
2. September 1st- Springdale, AR at Bishop Kelley- Springdale is a traditional big school contender across the border. The season-opener should be good test for Comets.
3. September 1st- Bixby at Jenks- No one can accuse this district of ducking tough non-conference teams. Bixby has the toughest three-game stretch; Jenks, Glenpool and Miami.
4. October 2nd- Claremore at Bixby- Season-ender could be very valuable to both playoff hopefuls.
5. September 1st- Tulsa Hale at East Central- A good showing to open the year against the Cardinals could propel Rangers towards playoff run.
6. September 8th- Claremore at East Central- Both teams are quietly being talked about as contenders from the Tulsa-area.

Team Capsules

Bishop Kelley
Head Coach: Greg Nation
Last Year: 10-3 (State Semi’s)
Strength: Ten starters return to the offense, seven to the defense. Many of them have started for two years already. Kicker David Carlton is a huge asset. He’s won Uwe Von Schamen’s summer camp three straight years.
Question Mark: The offensive line has god size, but didn’t give QB Tommy Griffin much time in the pocket last year.
Outlook: Got a wake-up call at last Friday’s Catoosa scrimmage. If they don’t believe all the hype, they have the talent to grab the gold ball.

Booker T. Washington
Head Coach: Antwain Jimmerson
Last Year: 5-6
Strength: Defense. Linebackers Wilson and Roy Gage are the best tandem in the state. Four DB’s and two DL’s return from last year’s team.
Question Mark: Can new QB Rico Hines sustain his good All-City performance (165 yards and 1 TD in two quarters)? Can Shawn Chambers give the running game anything resembling Renaldo Works?
Outlook: 5-6 seasons don’t sit well with Hornet fans or new coach Jimmerson. The talent’s there and the discipline will follow.

Head Coach: Rex Trent
Last Year: 9-3
Strength: The offensive line is monsterous. Three starters over 260 pounds and all three are very intelligent players.
Question Mark: Last year’s high scoring offense lost heavy numbers to graduation.
Outlook: Trent is one of four new head coaches in the district, all with high hopes. This team has enough talent to fill some of those hopes.

Head Coach: Pat McGrew
Last Year: 5-5
Strength: Defensive line. All four starters are experienced, big and good.
Question Mark: Let two wins slip through their hands in last minutes last season. Can they bounce back mentally?
Outlook: McGrew knows how to win. His second year should bring at least one or two more W’s.

Head Coach: Ron McHenry
Last Year: 6-5
Strength: Skill positions are very deep. Lormer has good RB’s to hand the ball to and good WR’s to throw to.
Question Mark: The offensive line is a bit small.
Outlook: Move to 5A from 4A may be a shock for the traditional playoff team. A year or two in the class and it will be like nothing happened.

Tulsa Hale
Head Coach: Clarence Smith
Last Year: 1-9
Strength: Stephen Ballard leads a big, experienced offensive line.
Question Mark: Has the shock from last year’s drop to 1-9 won off?
Outlook: Start with that great line and improve the running game. The wins will follow.

Tulsa McLain
Head Coach: Jaime Melendez
Last Year: 3-7
Strength: Hutton leads a mammoth offensive line that averages 275 pounds per man among top seven players.
Question Mark: Who will run behind that line? Scots lost four good skill players from ’99 squad.
Outlook: Need to develop some skill players. Enough good linemen will be here next year for a serious run at playoffs.

Head Coach: Paul Smith
Last Year: 1-9
Strength: New coaching staff could infuse enthusiasm to ailing program.
Question Mark: Do consecutive 1-9 years stick in the minds of players?
Outlook: It may be a tough year for the team with the smallest offensive line in the district.

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 3: Monday, August 28
Class 6A district 4: Tuesday, August 29
Class 6A district 3: Wednesday, August 30