Stillwater News Press

Sports

August 13, 2012

Stillwater Pioneers ready for first scrimmage against Broken Arrow

STILLWATER, Okla. — One year ago, the Stillwater High School football team was still getting to know their new coach and his playbook.

Now in his second year, coach Tucker Barnard says his team is almost fully prepared for the season-opener at McAlester still two weeks away.

“We’re coming along nicely,” Barnard said. “We have got to a place where we’ve got the majority of what we’ll take into Week 1 pretty much installed. ... It’s nice that we’re way ahead of where we were last year. Last year at this time we were absolutely scrambling. Everything that we did everyday was brand new to all the kids and a lot of the coaches. It’s comforting to know that we’ve got a jump on this thing.”

With several returning players on defense, the biggest concern for the Pioneers has been on the offensive side of the ball — namely the quarterback and running back positions. Barnard said he’s still trying to get the offense to pick up the pace a little more, but he has seen a lot of potential.

“Offensively, we’re a good ways into pretty much having the offense installed,” Barnard said. “We’ll have wrinkles and things that we’ll develop throughout the course of the season, but we’re pretty much to a place now where we’re still working on kids getting better at doing their jobs, but the basics for the offense and defense is installed.”

According to Barnard, it’s been Stillwater’s two senior running backs that have made the biggest difference in the first week of practice.

“I’ve been really pleased with Davyn Thompson and Chuck Neal,” Barnard said. “Both guys look really, really solid running the football. They’re a little bit different guys. Chuck is a little bigger and you might say he’s more straight-line speed, but they’re both relatively shifty and run pretty well. And they’ve shown themselves as defensive leaders as well.”

There may still be two more weeks to go before the Pioneers kickoff the season against McAlester, but Barnard said it won’t keep his team from working hard. Stillwater will travel to Broken Arrow on Friday at 6 p.m. for its first scrimmage of the season.

“This week has seemed a little more like a normal week, with a game on Friday, but we haven’t structured it like a normal week,” Barnard said. “We’re working on us right now, and we’re just going to guess on Broken Arrow’s formations. We have a little idea on what they’re going to do because we saw them in the team camp. Right now we’re just focusing on getting ourselves better each day in practice.”

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