“Next season” is here.
Oklahoma high school football teams begin practice Tuesday, leading up to season openers on Aug. 30 and Aug. 31.
Three of the area's schools head into the season with new coaches.
The biggest move came at Commerce, where Rick Trimble resigned after 17 seasons. Mitch Crittenden, who was record-setter Courtney Tennial's position coach at 4A power Glenpool, was named the replacement for Trimble, who now is an assistant at Owasso.
Zach Gardner takes the reins of his alma mater, succeeding Jerry Springer at Afton.
And Choo Thomas is now in charge at Fairland. Jerry Johnson stepped aside recently but will remain on the staff as defensive coordinator. Thomas was head coach at Afton in 1994-95 and he's been superintendent at Fairland for eight years.
Grove hopes it can repeat the success of 2006, when it reached the Class 4A state championship game.
The Ridgerunners (10-4) lost to Oklahoma City Bishop McGuinness 31-0 in the finals.
“We've got experienced players from a runner-up season for'06, but we've got to stay healthy and fill in positions vacated by graduated seniors,” Grove head coach Dennis Millican said.
Miami will have 35 players in camp when it starts workouts Tuesday at 9 a.m. The Wardogs will work out until about 1:30 p.m., according to head coach Chris Risenhoover, who is entering his fourth season here.
“Our team camps went well this summer,” Risenhoover said. “The main thing is we got through the summer with no injuries. We lost two critical players last year for a while with injuries. We got a lot accomplished.”
The Tigers will practice from 8 a.m. to noon through Friday.
Quapaw will hold practices from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., also through Friday.
Wyandotte head coach Lynn Cutshaw, entering his second season, says the Bears will start practice at 7 a.m. through Friday. They have a 45-minute break built into the schedule and will wrap things up at about noon.
The Bears will revert to their regular afternoon schedule the following week.
Welch will have two-a-days since in-service for teachers there begins Wednesday.
The Wildcats will practice at 7:30 a.m. and again at 6 p.m., head coach Craig Hood said. He said he would “play it by ear” on the practice schedule for Week 2.
“If we're progressing like we should be, then we will probably just have one practice a day that second week,” Hood said. “If not, then we might have two on the off days.”