Special to The Sun
The Antlers football program made the trip to Mustang to join some of the top teams in camp that concluded Wednesday.
Deer Creek faced a dozen different teams in attendancea and the Antlers will have to replace standout quarterback Caden Sander.
But the Antlers have a good nucleus of players back in September.
Deer Creek head coach, Grant Gower, was pleased with his team after the camp concluded.
“I like what we accomplished this week at team camp. After two weeks of spring ball and our blue and white game, it is always nice go up against a different jersey.
“I thought our guys responded well and competed hard against a lot of 6A schools and some really good 5A schools.”
Quarterback Clayton Sims moved into the Deer Creek school district this offseason from Jones High School. Last season as a sophomore, Sims had a terrific year throwing for over 2,500 yards. Despite his great sophomore season, he has some tough competition from sophomore Julian Hoskins. As a freshman, Hoskins took Deer Creek to a conference title.
Hoskins and Sims looked neck and neck in competition at team camp. Coach Gower has a tough decision to make. The offense ran like a well-oiled machine at Mustang with both quarterbacks rotating on calling the signals.
On defense, the Antlers played fundamentally sound and held their own regardless of the opponent. The anchor on D is junior linebacker Blake Landon. As a sophomore, Landon had a breakout year posting 174 tackles and 6 sacks.
“He is a great young man, great leader, and has great character,” Gower lauded. “He really is just a topnotch young man.”
Over the three-day span at Mustang, Deer Creek was the most consistent team. Each day Deer Creek displayed effort and improvement on fundamentals.
“You always kind of wonder how guys will respond in those settings,” Gower said. “I was very pleased with how we competed and responded over the three days.”