BLUEJACKET — Friday’s scrimmage will be important in several ways for the Bluejacket Chieftains.
Because several players didn’t report until the start of school on Wednesday, Aug. 16, head coach Ronnie Simmons hasn’t had a full squad participate in practice.
As a result, the Chieftains realize their scrimmage at home with Oaks will be critical.
“We are just going to go out and play football,” Simmons said. “Hopefully we are sharp on offense. I know we will be a little rusty. I know our offense is ahead of the defense right now.”
He’s been expecting at least 14 players.
Simmons planned on having several starters back from last year’s team that went 10-2 and reached the Class C quarterfinals, but two opted not to play and two others are sitting out.”
“With those four, we could be contenders (in District C-3) for sure,” Simmons said.
The scrimmage starts at 7 p.m.
Wyandotte’s scrimmage at Checotah was moved up to Thursday in an attempt to dodge severe weather that is in the forecast.
In other preseason action Friday night, Ketchum visits Commerce, Quapaw hosts Summit Christian, Afton is at Westville, Fairland travels to Chelsea and Welch motors to South Coffeyville.
Muldrow, Hartshorne and Checotah joined the Bears in their four-way scrimmage.
“It will be a good test for us,” head coach Brad Homer said Wednesday afternoon following practice. “We absolutely need this being that we are young up front. We haven’t had a real good look at times up front for our varsity kids.
“We need the scrimmage to find out more about ourselves.”
The Bears return Roberto Bravo, who rushed for 823 yards and 16 touchdowns and was co-offensive player of the year in District 2A-7.
Jordon Burney moved in at quarterback, succeeding the graduated Braxton Douthit, who accounted for 2,433 yards and 19 passing and 17 rushing touchdowns.
“We have confidence in Jordon,” Homer said. “He started every game at free safety for us. We have other kids who have quite a bit of varsity playing time. We feel we are going to fill some of those roles. Is the level of play going to be where it was? Probably not early, but those guys are younger and are just starting. Once we get to midseason we will revaluate that.”
The Bears were 9-2 a year ago, losing 21-19 at Antlers in a second-round playoff game.