ENID, Okla. —
Oklahoma Bible Academy football coach Mark Boyd has hope for the future when he looks at the Fairview Yellowjackets.
Two years ago, a young Yellowjackets team took its lumps in a 2-8 season, including a 41-7 loss to the Trojans.
The sophomores who played that season, though, gained valuable experience and would go 9-1 in the regular season as seniors, including a 43-13 rout of the Trojans.
OBA, with a team full of sophomores (12) and freshmen (10), went through a difficult 2-8 season in a district filled with senior-oriented teams.
“What Fairview went through gives us a lot of hope,’’ Boyd said. “We were 2-8, but the kids got some unbelievable experience. They are only going to get bigger, faster and stronger.’’
Boyd said the Trojans still might be a year away, “but we feel good about the direction we’re going.’’
Boyd points out OBA played two of its best games of the season in its final two contests — a 20-14 loss to Hooker and against Fairview.
“We played our best football at the end,’’ he said. “We competed and got better. That’s all you can ask.’’
Boyd was encouraged that no one quit, and his team kept a high level of enthusiasm.
“We had a lot of kids that basketball is their game,’’ Boyd said. “You would expect they would just want to get it over with, but it wasn’t like that at all. They finished what they started. They’re young, but they are understanding what is required.’’
Boyd said the players’ attitudes were one reason why the season was so satisfying to him and his coaching staff.
“I think we got more out of it (last two weeks) about how hard they competed and played than they would if they had beaten a bad team,’’ Boyd said.
“They were some things that we assumed they knew that they didn’t. That made us go back to the basics. That made it fun to coach. Sometimes the worst part of the week was Friday, because our backs were to the wall.’’
Boyd has no regrets about scheduling two top 10 teams (No. 7 Crescent and No. 9 Morrison) for non-district games.
“Who knows if we would have won those games if we had played a lesser opponent,’’ Boyd said. “I think playing teams like that helped us to compete against Hooker and Fairview.’’
Boyd used a two-quarterback system with Preston Atwood and Baylor Boyd. Both threw for two touchdowns. Boyd scored four touchdowns. Atwood scored once.
“They definitely had different styles, but we didn’t have to change our offense for what they do,’’ said coach Boyd. “They did exactly what we asked them to do.’’
Coach Boyd was able to get both of them on the field at the same time. Atwood hit Boyd for an 8-yard score for one of his two TD passes.
“They played so well together,’’ said coach Boyd, “We just played the quarterback who was the hottest at the time.’’
Chris Walker, who scored nine touchdowns, gives OBA a proven running back.
The Trojans graduated five seniors — defensive back-wide receiver Tanner Roberts, linemen Andrew Luskey, Doug Fain, Christian Bodick and Zach Hays.
“They all got better as the season went on,’’ coach Boyd said. “They kept playing hard. They did what they had to do for us.’’
Coach Boyd expects the numbers to be up with eight freshmen replacing the five graduating seniors. Three players have joined the program since the end of the season.
“We know if we keep working hard and doing the things we have been doing, it will pay off,’’coach Boyd said.
It still might not pay off until 2014 when the sophomores are seniors. District A-1 rival Okeene, for one, had a strong junior class and could be one of the teams to beat in Class A.
Chisholm, the other non-district opponent, is coming off a 5-5 season with a young team.
“We may not win more than two games next year, but we’ll be in more games,’’ said coach Boyd.
OBA was outscored 361-132 this past season. The two wins were exciting — 43-42 over Beaver and 7-0 over Turpin.
Campbell is a News & Eagle sports writer.