By Andrew Glover
COYLE, Okla. —
Every year high school football coaches are faced with the challenge of replacing key seniors. This year, Coyle coach Shane Weathers had to figure out who was going to for the 1,932 yards and 32 touchdowns that Magnus Scott produced in his senior year.
“We lost two pretty good seniors that played since their freshman season,” Weathers said. “
With new players carrying the load, the Bluejackets offense didn’t skip a beat as it went 8-3 and reached the playoffs a second straight season.
“After the first four games, we were 2-2,” Weathers said. “After that we really just internalized on ourself and working on things we really needed to work on to be successful.”
While Coyle finished the season strong, it didn’t start well. The Bluejackets lost two of their first three games including a loss to Rejoice Christian, that ultimately cost Coyle from getting its first district title. A Week 4 victory over Welch, started a seven-game winning streak where it recorded three touchdowns and scored 50 or more points in five of those games.
“I feel that after week five we really came together,” Weathers said. “We had a tough stretch to start the season. We really played some really good football.”
The Bluejackets had plenty of offense as they averaged 42 points per game. Senior Fidel Simpson led the team in rushing with 834 yards and 16 touchdowns. Simpson also had seven receptions with 108 yards. Junior quarterback Ryan Weathers carried the team with his arm and legs. He passed for 713 yards with 24 touchdowns to five interceptions. On the ground Weathers had 648 yards and 15 touchdowns.
“We had our whole offensive line coming back,” Weathers said. “I knew that we had good enough skill players, that if they learned their positions we would be OK. Fidel Simpson, Gary Hunter and Ryan in the backfield really stepped up.”
Coach said his players are buying in to the system.
“We don’t change a lot from year to year,” Weathers said. “Defensively we are really flying to the ball. We are using our team speed on defense. We have a lot of skill players that mature through the years. By the team they are juniors they will step in and help us out.”
Last season, Coyle qualified for the playoffs for the first time in school history. Weathers said his team’s seasons in District 3-C prepared it for success.
“Not only have we had a good coaching staff around me and good players, that district prepared us for the toughness. Every week is a tough ball game and that prepared us for this point we are at in our program.”
Coach said his team is starting to build a tradition.
“We played well enough to make the playoffs for a second year in a row,” Weathers said. “That’s where we want our program going, stepping up from Class C to Class B.”