Ricky Holba is curious to see how he meshes with his Green teammates during time leading up to the Oklahoma Eight-Man Football Coaches Association all-star game Saturday night in Commerce.
"I really don't know who I will be playing with on my team, but it will be interesting to see how I do," said Holba, who helped Morrison roll to three straight Class B state titles. "We had such a good chemistry with my team. We worked so well together. It will be interesting to see how I adjust to different linemen, a different quarterback - different everything."
Holba will be one of 72 players expected to arrive in Miami on Tuesday to begin preparation.
Coaches and counselors will check in Monday then players report Tuesday morning.
Practices will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. on the practice field at Northeastern A&M.
A wide variety of activities are planned for the players - a cruise on the Cherokee Queen, a picnic in George Francis Riverview Park, swimming and bowling.
The annual awards banquet will be held Friday at the Carter Student Union Ballroom at NEO. University of Tulsa head coach Todd Graham will be the guest speaker and former OEMFCA executive director Richard Grady will be inducted into the group's hall of fame.
The football game kicks off at 7 p.m.
Head coach Cory Bales calls Holba the best player he's had in 15 years at Morrison - which has traditionally been THE powerhouse in eight-man football.
"He's the best one I've ever coached," Bales said. "That is a very high compliment. I said at out sports banquet that I hoped he realized how big of a compliment this is for me to say this because of the many great players that have come through our system."
Holba accounted for 320 of Morrison's 715 points during a 14-0 season in 2007.
Because of the Wildcats' prolific offense, Holba logged less than two full quarters in each game.
He ran the ball only 108 times yet netted 1,828 yards - an average of 16.9 yards per carry. He scored a whopping 40 touchdowns.
As a junior, he had 2,023 yards on 178 attempts while scoring 40 times.
"I was lucky if I got to play two quarters," Holba said. "Usually a quarter or a little more was about it. I didn't even average two quarters."
"He just had the ability," Bales said. "First, he ran well. There are other kids in eight-man who ran as well as he does, but he was so strong. He saw the field better than any running back we've had here at Morrison.
"He saw cutback areas real well. And he was strong enough to break a tackle. Once he got into the open, there wasn't anybody that could catch him."
Holba grew up in Morrison but moved to Stillwater for the sixth and seventh grades. He returned to Morrison for his eighth-grade year.
The Wildcats crushed Dewar 58-20 in the championship game last December, with Holba rushing for 200 yards on 19 carries. He scored on runs of 65, 42 and 6 yards and had a 35-yard reception in the first quarter as the Cats broke out to a 28-8 lead.
Never were the Cats even remotely threatened during the season. The 20 points allowed in the championship game were the most they has surrendered all year (averaged allowing 6.5 points per game).
Morrison won its games by an average of 44.4 points this season (nearly the mercy rule total of 45). The closest game of the season was a 44-14 victory over private school Christian Heritage.
Morrison pounded Welch 46-0 in Week 9 of the 2007 season.
The Wildcats will be moving up to Class A for the 2008 season. They've been assigned to District A-7 with perennial contenders Pawnee and Tonkawa.
We really didn't know until midway through the season 100 percent that we were moving up, Holba said. I wish I had another year to play.
Holba is undecided as to where he will be going to school this fall.
I am interested in playing anywhere, to tell you the truth, he said.
What's his best position? It varies.
One thing that kinda gets lost with Ricky is he was such a good defensive back, Bales said. Many times, people wouldn't throw his way or run his way. He has the opportunity to play at the next level because of his ability at defensive back.
But Holba has a different opinion.
A lot of people say defensive back, but I think I would be a better wide receiver, he said. I played tailback and cornerback in high school. But I caught the ball a lot.