The Edmond Sun
Oklahoma Christian School head coach Derek Turner still has to be smiling since December’s thrilling 44-41 Class 2A state championship win over Davis for the school’s first state crown.
“That was quite a deal,” he said. “We really had a blast with that. Things fell into place, and it worked.”
Despite losing receiving star Blake Barnes, mammoth offensive tackle/nose guard Jason Goff (6-6, 285 pounds), quarterback Austin Brooks (58 TDs, 3,600 yards) among others, the leader of the Saints only looks forward.
“We’ve got some versatile kids that can play,” Turner said. “We’ll run some 2-back sets, some 1-back sets. We got a bunch of kids who are very talented athletically, but not a lot of size. We have to relay on different schemes and techniques.”
The kids toting the pigskin are Luke Frankfurt and Cameron James with Will McKinnis replacing Brooks as the signal-caller.
“He (McKinnis) was a receiver for us last year,” Turner said. “He’s played quarterback for years and last year we needed him at receiver. It’s hard to replace 58 touchdown passes. At the same time, Will is a better runner than Austin was.”
The Saints have eight returning starters on defense including all three linebackers in Braden Werner, Evan Welch and Evan Lashar. Senior Jack Fallon is back at corner and Jared Goff also will be back in the defensive backfield. Frankfurt also plays linebacker.
“We played nine different guys in the state championship game,” Turner noted. “Palmer Rice came in at nose tackle and went crazy the last two games for us. Didn’t start, but came in and played 2-3 games and was phenomenal. We’ve got a good group and we’re looking forward to it (a chance to repeat).”
Offensive lineman Asher Martel had a great offseason and Turner is looking for the line to jell with the graduation of Jason Goff and other first-teamers.
“We lost most of the offensive line, but we rotated a lot of people last year. Justin Lewis will be stepping in at center. He played all through the season and nobody noticed.
“We’re a lot more balanced this year. They’ve been very good through the spring and summer.”
Oklahoma Christian School will play host to Tulsa Metro Christian in Friday’s season opener.