Class A Football Preview


Wednesday, August 16th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


District A-5


District Prediction

1. Panama
2. Gore
3. Liberty
4. Verdigris
5. Porter
6. Keota
7. Hulbert
8. Kiefer


Six Players to Watch

1. Matt Tiffee- Panama- Offensive Lineman
2. Jacob Bloxham- Keota- Defensive Back
3. Rudi Nolan- Verdigris- Quarterback
4. Tim Painter- Panama- Quarterback
5. Justin Delcoure- Liberty- Linebacker
6. Stephen Dixon- Gore- Offensive Lineman


Six “Can’t Miss” Games

1 and 2. November 3rd- Panama at Liberty or Gore at Verdigris- My four picks for playoff teams from this district play each other for pecking order on the last day of the regular season. Great drama potential.
3. September 15th- Heavener at Panama
4. August 31st- Warner at Gore
5. September 15th- Dewar at Liberty
6. September 15th- Verdigris at Kellyville


Team Capsules

Panama
Head Coach: Rick Chalenburg
Last Year: 9-2
Strength: Offensive skill players. Painter is joined in the backfield by senior RB Eric Fairless for best 1-2 punch in district.
Question Mark: Not many. Must play close games better, or avoid close games all together.
Outlook: State title contender. Big and fast and strong. A good combination.

Gore
Head Coach: Steve Page
Last Year: 5-4
Strength: Offensive Line. Dixon is a superb sophomore and joins two good seniors in Mike Cheater and Tom Winburn.
Question Mark: RB Brandon Ellis. He’s a good running back coming off of an ACL injury. His recovery could go a long way.
Outlook: Sure playoff team that could push for first in district, but likely 2-4.

Liberty
Head Coach: Bill Mooney
Last Year: 5-4
Strength: Defensive front seven. Delcoure is a very good linebacker and leads the D.
Question Mark: Offensive line and backfield. Lost four linemen and three backs from last year.
Outlook: Graduation hit hard, but the talent is there for playoff run.

Verdigris
Head Coach: Randy Risenhoover
Last Year: 4-6
Strength: Nolan and receiver Chad Humphrey are a deadly pass-catch tandem.
Question Mark: Defensive line size. Four starters average 175 pounds.
Outlook: Third season of football brings first real hope for playoff season.

Porter
Head Coach: Bill Kelley
Last Year: 4-6
Strength: Offensive line. Good size and loads of experience. Four returning starters.
Question Mark: Defense. Lost six starters from last year’s squad.
Outlook: Replace the defensive front and playoff push is possible.

Keota
Head Coach: Daniel Maly
Last Year: 1-9
Strength: Bloxham and fellow senior Cory West lead a strong backfield.
Question Mark: Unfortuantely, Bloxham and West are about the only upperclassmen on this very young team.
Outlook: Maybe this year. More likely a contender in 2001.

Hulbert
Head Coach: Jackie Griffith
Last Year: 7-4
Strength: Defensive Line. Three returning starters with good size.
Question Mark: Twenty seniors graduated from last year’s playoff team.
Outlook: Graduation losses may be too much to overcome.

Kiefer
Head Coach: Todd Scott
Last Year: 3-7
Strength: Defensive backfield returns three starters.
Question Mark: Loss of good starting QB and RB are a lot to recover from.
Outlook: Coach Scott comes over from Tahlequah and could rebuild the program in a year or two.


District A-7


District Prediction

1. Hominy
2. Tonkawa
3. Luther
4. Crescent
5. Barnsdall
6. Woodland
7. Davenport
8. Drumright


Six Players to Watch

1. Kolby Simpson- Tonkawa- Linebacker
2. Michael Toineeta- Hominy- Offensive Lineman
3. Brady Fath- Tonkawa- Defensive Back
4. Kiel McClure- Luther- Tailback
5. Kieth Beeby- Crescent- Tailback
6. Grant Cheves- Woodland- Offensive Lineman


Six “Can’t Miss” Games

1. September 15th- Tonkawa at Fairview- Put two defending state champs together and it’s one of the best in the state, regardless of class.
2. September 15th- Hominy at Pawhuska
3. November 3rd- Hominy at Luther
4. October 27th Luther at Tonkawa
5. November 3rd- Crescent at Barnsdall
6. September 8th- Perkins at Luther


Team Capsules

Hominy
Head Coach: Danny Daniels
Last Year: 8-4
Strength: Toineeta is joined by three other linemen at 250 pounds or better.
Question Mark: New QB and RB must hit their strides early.
Outlook: Too much beef to leave off the top of the district board.

Tonkawa
Head Coach: Steve Love
Last Year:14-0, State Champs
Strength: Take a guess!! Success breeds success.
Question Mark: Scott Klufa led a tremendous senior class out the door.
Outlook: Hard to pick against this team, but graduation losses hit hard. That being said, don’t bet against them.

Luther
Head Coach: Randy Hedge
Last Year:11-3, State Semi’s
Strength: Skill positions. Fath leads four returning starters at five skill positions.
Question Mark: Thin in the defensive backfield.
Outlook: Playoff team that can put up points in bunches.

Crescent
Head Coach: Wayne Owens
Last Year: 6-5
Strength: Linebackers Josh Cutter and Brad Klopfenstein are outstanding duo.
Question Mark: Lack of size on the offensive line.
Outlook: Playoff team last year could make it two in a row.

Barnsdall
Head Coach: Larry VanBeber
Last Year: 8-3
Strength: Offensive backfield returns starters with lots of yards under their belts.
Question Mark: Offensive line is a bit thin in both size and numbers.
Outlook: Great year last year could be tough to duplicate. Could push for last playoff berth.

Woodland
Head Coach: Curtis Layton
Last Year: 3-7
Strength: Cheves leads a big, strong offensive line.
Question Mark: Small players at skill positions must sustain ten weeks of bangs and bruises.
Outlook: That line is so good they could lead this team to a playoff spot by themselves.

Davenport
Head Coach: Brian Davenport
Last Year: 4-6
Strength: Big, strong offensive backfield.
Question Mark: Young on the defensive front seven.
Outlook: Davenport coaches Davenport? That’s good enough for two extra wins in my mind.

Drumright
Head Coach: Rick Lang
Last Year: 0-10
Strength: 12 starters return and many are seniors.
Question Mark: Lost 13 in a row and gave up points in bunches during the losing streak.
Outlook: Tough task for first year coach Lang.


District A-8


District Prediction

1. Picher-Cardin
2. Commerce
3. Wyandotte
4. Afton
5. Fairland
6. Oklahoma Union
7. Kansas
8. Ketchum
9. Quapaw


Six Players to Watch
1. Kris Garret- Picher- Quarterback
2. Bryan Speer- Afton- Running Back
3. Deric Douthit- Wyandotte- Linebacker
4. Clint Herriman- Oklahoma Union- Offensive Lineman
5. Josh Bear- Commerce- Offensive Lineman
6. Corey Reeves- Picher- Tight End


Six “Can’t Miss” Games

1. September 15th- Picher at Commerce- Third of a brutal three game start for Picher will tell a lot about the district.
2. September 8th- Afton at Picher
3. September 15th- Wyandotte at Colcord
4. October 3rd- Commerce at Wyandotte
5. August 31st- Picher at Victory Christian
6. September 1st- Colcord at Kansas


Team Capsules

Picher-Cardin
Head Coach: Willie Ng
Last Year: 9-3
Strength: Garret has good receivers to throw to and can put up big numbers.
Question Mark: Offensive line is a little small.
Outlook: Any team with the nickname Gorillas is my favorite regardless of talent.

Commerce
Head Coach: Rick Trimble
Last Year: 12-1
Strength: Great season last year and returning three good offensive linemen
Question Mark: Only one “returning starter”, however there is experience at key positions.
Outlook: Losing all those players is tough, but there’s enough talent for a playoff berth.

Wyandotte
Head Coach: Jim Herring
Last Year: 4-6
Strength: Five offensive line starters of 210 pounds or more.
Question Mark: Who plays quarterback? Three candidates early battle for the spot.
Outlook: Too much talent not to make playoff run.

Afton
Head Coach: Jerry Springer
Last Year: 4-6
Strength: Speer has returning starters at QB and FB joining him.
Question Mark: Offensive line is not very big.
Outlook: Springer will have these guys scratching and clawing for a playoff spot. (I couldn’t help it.)

Fairland
Head Coach: Robert Hokit
Last Year: 3-7
Strength: Return three juniors to starting backfield.
Question Mark: Not much size all around.
Outlook: One more year of eating and working out could have the Owls pushing for the top in 2001.

Oklahoma Union
Head Coach: Mike McClure
Last Year: 6-5
Strength: Herriman and Travis Houser are huge linemen and can knock people around.
Question Mark: Small wideouts must take the beating over the middle.
Outlook: Playoff spot is not out of question.

Kansas
Head Coach: Jon Hanna
Last Year: 3-6
Strength: Big defensive linemen and fast linebacker make for a strong defense.
Question Mark: Can QB Scott Rivas come back from a torn ACL?
Outlook: If he does, Kansas will sneak up on some folks.

Ketchum
Head Coach: Ron Pitts
Last Year: 5-5
Strength: New coach Ron Pitts brings enthusiasm to the team.
Question Mark: Move from 8-man to 11-man is a huge challenge.
Outlook: May take a year or two to get accustomed to the move up.

Quapaw
Head Coach: Rick Simpson
Last Year: 0-10
Strength: Experience on the defensive line.
Question Mark: Receivers and defensive backs are small and young.
Outlook: Could be a tough year for the Wildcats, but stars of the future will play now.


District Preview Schedule

Eight-man Districts
Class 2A districts: Friday, August 18
Class 3A districts: Monday, August 21
Class 4A district 4: Tuesday, August 22
Class 4A district 3: Wednesday, August 23
Class 4A district 2: Thursday, August 24
Class 5A district 4: Friday, August 25
Class 5A district 3: Monday, August 28
Class 6A district 4: Tuesday, August 29
Class 6A district 3: Wednesday, August 30