High school preview: Sperry, Beggs again on 2A-3 collision course; Metro, Vian are district favorites

THREE STORYLINES

1. Can defending state champion Sperry win its first district title since 1992?

Sperry and Beggs are strong favorites again to battle for the district title. They will meet in Week 10 at Sperry. Last year, they also met in the Class 2A state final, won by Sperry after Beggs captured the district crown. Victory Christian, a perennial playoff team, will probably reach the postseason again, but it has only one returning starter on each side of the ball.

So what is it like for Sperry to go into the season as a defending state champion?

“I think our backs are kind of against the wall now,” Sperry linebacker Joe Whiteley said. “Everyone wants to go after us and try to beat us. We are definitely maintaining our intensity and no one is letting down. I think us and Beggs will be there again (playing for the district title).”

2. After losing in the state finals the past two years, can Beggs win the gold ball this year?

Beggs suffered major graduation losses but also still has a lot of talent. Easton Davis had 27 sacks last year, and receiver/defensive back Kendal Daniels is one of the state’s top juniors.

“We graduated 24 seniors, so we are having to rebuild,” Beggs coach David Tenison said. “We have some pretty athletic young players, but we have to teach them how to play. We lost so much experience on both offensive and defensive lines, and at quarterback. Dusty Pendergrass, he was a linebacker last year, now our quarterback — I love his athleticism. Last year was a special group, but the ones we have are really good.”

3. Another coaching change for Haskell

Haskell has its third head coach in three years as Greg Nation succeeds Frank Marsaln. Nation enjoyed considerable success at Bishop Kelley, going 54-35 there from 1996-2003, including a trip to the 5A semifinals in 1999. Nation was Norman’s head coach from 2008-16, with three consecutive playoff berths in 2010-12, and led Dibble last year.

TEAM CAPSULES

Teams ranked by participating coaches’ voting

1. Sperry Pirates

Head coach: Robert Park (20th year, 120-93)

2019-20 ADM: 296.61

2018 record: 14-1

District titles: 1951, ’67, ’68, ’69, ’70, ’74, ’85, ‘92

State titles: 2018

Top players: Bryce Carter, RB (5-10, 180, Sr.); Kohlby Foster, WR/DB (5-10, 160, Sr.); Levi Juby, L (5-6, 240, Sr.); Walker Niver, LB/RB (6-2, 215, Sr.); Cooper Park, QB/DB (5-9, 160, Sr.); Stormy Weathers, WR/DB (5-10, 170, Sr.); Joe Whiteley, LB/RB (5-11, 180, Sr.)

Notable: Robert Park was the World’s 2018 state coach of the year. … Nondistrict games are against Verdigris, Claremore Sequoyah and Kingston.

2. Beggs Golden Demons

Head coach: David Tenison (2nd year, 13-2)

2019-20 ADM: 328.27

2018 record: 13-2

District titles: 1957, ‘71-72, ‘75-77, ‘82-85, ‘91, 2001, ‘10-11, ‘14, ‘17-18

State titles: 1975

Top players: Kendal Daniels, WR/DB (6-4, 191, Jr.); Easton Davis, DE/WR (6-3, 180, Sr.); Trey Gaines, WR/DB (6-1, 160, Jr.); Dusty Pendergrass, QB (6-2, 170, Sr.); ; Matthew Pierce, L (6-4, 315, Sr.); Tafv Sanders, L (6-1, 335, Sr.)

Notable: Beggs hosts Class A No. 2 Rejoice Christian and Hennessey in a scrimmage Friday. Regular-season nondistrict foes are Okmulgee, Webster and Shiloh Christian (Arkansas).

3. Victory Christian Conquerors

Head coach: Dub Maddox (2nd year, 8-3)

2019-20 ADM: 317.50

2018 record: 9-3

District titles: 2002, ‘04, ‘06-07, ‘12-13, ‘16

State titles: None

Top players: Solomon Byrams, RB/DB (5-3, 163, So.); Gabriel Calhoon, WR/DB (6-3, 180, Jr.); Triton Chandler, QB/LB (6-2, 180, So.); Luke Freeman, QB/DB (6-2, 180, So.); Kyle Pittman, WR/DB (6-0, 155, Sr.); Emerson Reichert, L (6-5, 340, Fr.); Rayn Stafford, WR/DB (5-11, 160, Sr.)

Notable: The Conquerors host McLain on Friday. Other nondistrict opponents are Rogers and Verdigris.

4. Morris Eagles

Head coach: Robert Daniels (2nd year)

2019-20 ADM: 298.44

2018 record: 5-6

District titles: 1947, ‘53, ‘56, ‘58, ‘78-84

State titles: 1983, ‘85

Top players: Kolby Burgess, QB (6-0, 190, Jr.); Jerry Ramos, RB (5-9, 180, Jr.)

Notable: The Eagles made the playoffs last year for the first time since 2012. They are 9-12 over the past two years after going 3-37 over the previous four. … Nondistrict foes are Quapaw, Henryetta and Kellyville.

5. Kiefer Trojans

Head coach: Trent Worley (1st year)

2019-20 ADM: 275.17

2018 record: 3-7

District titles: 1945-47, ‘51, 2010-12, ‘14, ‘17

State titles: none

Top players: Hayden Cooper, WR (6-1, 160, Sr.); Tanner Folsom, QB (6-0, 180, Sr.); Matthew Gilmore, FB (5-10, 210, Sr.); Isaac Sharbutt, C (6-0, 250, Sr.)

Notable: Worley coached Piedmont into the 5A playoffs in 2018. … The Trojans’ nondistrict foes are Morrison, Kellyville and Rejoice Christian.

6. Haskell Haymakers

Head coach: Greg Nation (1st year)

2019-20 ADM: 224.02

2018 record: 5-5

District titles: 1973, ‘76, ‘90, ‘99

State titles: None

Top players: Zane Adams, L (6-3, 255, Sr.); Kyle Burris, RE (6-1, 210, Sr.); Jakolby Gouldsby, QB (5-8, 170, Sr.); Ines Mendoza, LB (5-4, 150, Sr.); Brace Polk, L (6-3, 220, Sr.); Easton Roberts, WR (6-2, 180, Sr.); Jaxon Sanders, RB (6-0, 180, Sr.)

Notable: The Haymakers open Thursday at Gore. They also play Porter and Rejoice Christian in nondistrict games.

7. Dewey Bulldoggers

Head coach: Trent Turner (1st year)

2019-20 ADM: 325.71

2018 record: 2-8

District titles: 1944-45, ’47, ’55, ’61, ’63, ’65, ’70, ’72, ’91, 94

State title: 1947

Top players: Kale Carner, WR (5-11, 165, Sr.); Zayne Lorenz, RB/LB (5-11, 170, Sr.)

Notable: Turner was Adair’s offensive coordinator last year. Adair defeated Dewey 60-0 in 2018. … Dewey hosts Adair on Friday. Other nondistrict foes are Nowata and Vinita.

8. Caney Valley Trojans

Head coach: Stephen Mitchell (4th year, 11-20)

2019-20 ADM: 213.41

2018 record: 2-8

District titles: 1980

State titles: None

Top players: Seth Gilbreath, QB/LB (61, 155, Jr.); Hayden Wingo, WR/DB (6-1, 175, Jr.)

Notable: The Trojans host Barnsdall on Friday. Other nondistrict foes are Oklahoma Union and Liberty.

OTHER AREA 2A TEAMS

Adair Warriors

Head coach: Rob Gilstrap (3rd year, 22-5)

2019-20 ADM: 256.61

2018 record: 12-2

Projected 2A-4 finish: 2nd

District titles: 1975-77, ‘79, ‘83, ‘85, ‘89, ‘91-92, 2011-18

State titles: 2015

Top players: Barrett Bradbury, WR/S (6-1, 170, Sr.); Brock Borin, TE/DL (6-4, 240, Sr.); Avery Couch, L (6-2, 250, Sr.); Lucas Hendrex, L (5-9, 225, Sr.); Jacob Lappe, RB/LB (5-9, 165, Sr.); Garrett Long, WR/S (6-0, 160, Jr.); Gunnar Rader, T/LB (5-10, 210, Sr.)

Notable: Bradbury has 71 career catches for 1,600 yards and 20 TDs. … Rader has 238 tackles over the past two seasons. … Nondistrict foes are Dewey, Commerce and Locust Grove. Adair hosts Metro Christian in a district opener Sept. 27.

Henryetta Knights

Head coach: Lance Beck (1st year)

2019-20 ADM: 313.66

2018 record: 1-9

Projected 2A-2 finish: 7th

District titles: 1945, ‘51, 2007

State titles: None

Top players: James Martin, DB (5-8, 160, Jr.); Jake White, QB (5-11, 185, Jr.); Logan Whitlock, RB (5-7, 175, Sr.); Tyler Wilson, L (6-2, 230, Jr.)

Notable: White passed for 1,142 yards and nine TDs last season. … Wilson had 64 tackles. … Nondistrict foes are Morris, Warner and Hartshorne.

Holland Hall Dutch

Head coach: Tag Gross (20th year, 113-90)

2019-20 ADM: 339.25

2018 record: 9-3

Projected 2A-5 finish: 2nd

District titles: 2017-18

State titles: None

Top players: Daniel Bowers, OL (6-4, 270, Sr.); Nunu Campbell, DB (6-0, 175, Jr.); Wallace Clark, QB (5-10, 170, Jr.); Charlie Goddard, OL (6-2, 210, Jr.); Owen Ostroski, DL (6-2, 225, Jr.); Ty Tetrick, RB (5-10, 190, Sr.); Zane Woodham, LB (5-10, 175, Jr.)

Notable: Woodham had 97 tackles as a freshman. … Nondistrict opponents are Cascia Hall, OKC Casady and Metro Christian. The Dutch visits Vian on Oct. 25.

Kellyville Ponies

Head coach: Joe Brown (1st year)

2019-20 ADM: 276.90

2018 record: 8-4

Projected 2A-2 finish: 4th

District title: 2002

State titles: None

Top players: Colton Ayres, QB (6-2, 1655, Jr.); Jeremy Hicks, H-B/LB (5-10, 190, Jr.); Shawn Lay, TE/DE (6-3, 195, Sr.); Tra McFadden, WR/CB (5-9, 160, Jr.); Jordan Ruhl, H-B/LB (6-3, 205, Sr.); Tayver Thornbrugh, RB/S (6-0, 175, Jr.); John Vaughan, L (6-2, 235, Jr.)

Notable: The Ponies have doubled their previous season’s win total in three consecutive years. … Nondistrict foes are Pawhuska, Kiefer and Morris.

Metro Christian Patriots

Head coach: Jared McCoy (12th year, 92-26)

2019-20 ADM: 275.50

2018 record: 12-2

Projected 2A-4 finish: 1st

District titles: 1993-94, 2000, ‘03, ‘09-13

State titles: None

Top players: Price Allman, LB (6-2, 185, Sr.); Ethan Benson, OL (6-0, 275, Sr.); Carson Callaway, WR (5-10, 175, Sr.); Aiden Currivean, WR/DB (6-0, 175, Sr.); Asher Link, QB/DB (6-0, 197, Sr.); Andrew Marouk, DE (6-1, 225, Sr.); Junior Simpson, WR (6-0, 160, Jr.)

Notable: Marouk was the district’s defensive lineman of the year in 2018. … The Patriots have new turf and video board. … After hosting Broken Bow on Friday, other nondistrict opponents are Oklahoma Christian School and Holland Hall.

Nowata Ironmen

Head coach: Chris Messner (1st year)

2019-20 ADM: 207.04

2018 record: 1-9

Projected 2A-4 finish: 7th

District titles: 1945-46, ‘51, ‘53, ‘70, ‘83, ‘87-88, ‘99, ’04, ‘14

State titles: 1970

Top players: Dillon Barnes, RB/DE (6-1, 190, Sr.); Dayne Bowlin, L (5-10, 250, Sr.); Josiah Clark, TE/LB (6-0, 170, Sr.); Jace McKisson, RB/CB (6-0, 160, Sr.)

Notable: Messner was an offensive lineman for Oklahoma from 2002-06. … Nondistrict foes are Oklahoma Union, Dewey and Vinita.

Tahlequah Sequoyah Indians

Head coach: Shane Richardson (7th year, 33-33)

2019-20 ADM: 352.16

2018 record: 3-7

Projected 2A-5 finish: 4th

District titles: 1949, ‘51-53, 2002-03, ‘06-07, ‘09, ‘12

State titles: None

Top players: Skylar Birdtail, QB (6-0, 170, Sr.); Drake Brueklander, L (6-3, 250, Jr.); Tyson Cochran, L (5-10, 230, Jr.); Joah Fourkiller, L (5-9, 215, Sr.); Trenton Harris, WR/LB (6-3, 190, Sr.); Tyler Purkey, LB (5-9, 175, Sr.); Shade Watie, RB (5-7, 160, Sr.)

Notable: Purkey had 132 tackles last year. … Nondistrict foes are Muldrow, Miami and Locust Grove.

Vian Wolverines

Head coach: Gary Willis (4th year, 30-8)

2019-20 ADM: 253.64

2018 record: 10-3

Projected 2A-5 finish: 1st

District titles: 1965-67, ‘70-73, ‘79-83, ‘87, ‘89, ‘95, 2004-06, ‘08, ‘11-13, ‘15-17

State titles: 1971

Top players: Gunnar Griffith, TE/LB (6-1, 205, Sr.); Nick Hughes, L (6-2, 240, Jr.); Xavin Lackey, LB/RB (6-1, 220, So.); William Lyons, L (6-0, 270, Sr.); Elijah Wright, H-B/LB (6-0, 215, Sr.); Javyn Wright, QB/CB (6-0, 160, Jr.); Solomon Wright, NT (6-0, 275, Jr.)

Notable: Elijah Wright had 13 TDs and 12 sacks last year. … Nondistrict foes are Eufaula, Lincoln Christian and Okmulgee.

High school preview: Sperry, Beggs again on 2A-3 collision course; Metro, Vian are district favorites

Stormy Daniels
Stormy Daniels Photo ( from Brazzers Network )

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