Stillwater News Press

High School Sports

June 3, 2014

Pioneers improve fundamentals during team camp

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Stillwater Pioneers football team got to see how they matched up with other teams as they hosted Bartlesville, Enid, Piedmont and Yukon in a team camp Monday and Tuesday at Pioneer Stadium.

“We weren’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination,” Stillwater coach Tucker Barnard said. “We played hard. We had a lot of passion and intensity. That can carry you through a little bit.”

During the camp the teams rotated scrimmaging each other. Senior lineman D.J. Peckham said they did better Tuesday but there were areas that needed improvement.

“We had a better attitude — we were hustling around, encouraging each other and not putting each other down,” Peckham said. “...We could have called the plays better and did the things we were supposed to.”

Senior running back Cameron Mayberry said he and Ty Smith had times they ran the ball well but also struggled.

“We opened up bigger holes today, on power (formation) especially,” Mayberry said. “That worked out really well for us. We scored a few times on power. Outside didn’t work as well for us today.”

Barnard said Mayberry and Smith’s running helped open up the passing game.

“Cameron and Ty are doing a really good job of pounding people in the middle,” Barnard said. “As we have success with that and the defense crowds in, it helps us out on the outside. It gives us better matchups and easier throws and catches. We were able to complete those.”

Ponca City and Bartlesville are former district rivals of the Pioneers as Stillwater moved down to Class 6A Division II. It was quite evident on the field that there was no love lost between Bartlesville and Stillwater — as there was some extra curricular activities after the whistle.

“I’ve don’t get it,” Peckham said. “We’ve never gotten along. Last year we didn’t get along when we went down there.”

“There were several moments throughout the camp where things got a little chippy,” Barnard said. “Nothing too bad, over the top. It gets emotional when everyone is playing hard as they can. We are trying to stay off the quarterback and off the ground.”

Defensively, Stillwater had some good moments but also was exposed at times. Barnard said he was really pleased with his defensive backs.

“Marlon McDonald is doing a great job, he is really stepping up,” Barnard said. “He’s helping lead the defense and orchestrate things from the safety position. Make sure we are in the right checks and lining up correctly. ... Brandon (Prather), Jordan (Brown) and Isaiah (Johnson) are all three playing really well at the corners.”

Mayberry said they played better defensively Tuesday.

“We’re tackling a lot better today, as far as open field,” Mayberry said. “We had a better attitude and made better plays.”

The Pioneers will travel to Jenks next week for another team camp.

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