Down in numbers, Waukomis hosts Synder

Devin Wagner of Waukomis carries the ball against Coyle during a scrimmage at Pond Creek-Hunter High School Friday, August 23, 2019. (Billy Hefton / Enid News & Eagle)

WAUKOMIS, Okla. — Waukomis opened summer workouts with 20 players on its football roster. After one individual moved and several more either left the team or went down with injuries, the Chiefs fielded just 13 players at the start of last week's season-opener against Wetumka.

By the end of the 46-6 loss, Waukomis was down to just 11 players in the 8-man contest.

"Really, we might as well get all of the adversity out early," Chiefs' first-year head coach Mark Timberlake said. "If you can overcome this, you can overcome anything as far as the team."

Roster size again will be an issue for Waukomis when it plays host to Snyder Friday at 7 p.m.

The Chiefs (0-1) had 13 players in uniform during Thursday's practice at Dean Lovell Field. Only 12 of those will be eligible to participate against the Cyclones.

Junior wide receiver Jordan Young exited last week's game with a knee injury. Timberlake said Young got twisted up on a tackle following a 65-yard gain.

"He goes to the doctor on Monday," Timberlake added. "They're going to check him out and maybe get an MRI."

The Chiefs' leading returning rusher from last season, senior Devin Wagner, left in an ambulance during the first quarter with what Timberlake described as an irregular heartbeat.

Timberlake anticipates Wagner will be released to play Friday.

Waukomis was shutout by Snyder, 48-0, in last season's matchup. The Cyclones went undefeated in the regular season before losing to Laverne in the second round of the Class B Playoffs.

Friday's contest will be Synder's first of the season.

"We're just going to have to minimize our mistakes and rely on our strengths to get us where we need to be and execute," Timberlake said. "Ball control is a necessity. We cannot turn the ball over. Like, at all."

The Cyclones posted five shutout victories last season. Offensively, Snyder is led by junior quarterback Ryan Kelly and sophomore running back Jervon Galvan.

Kelly completed 52 of 86 attempts for 954 yards, 15 touchdowns and just one interception a year ago. He added six more touchdowns on the ground. Galvan gained 546 yards rushing last season and scored eight touchdowns.

Sophomore Dominic Doersom will start at quarterback for Waukomis after playing the entire second half a week ago. Senior Cooper Wieden, who had three turnovers as the starter in the first half, will move to tight end.

Despite losing by 40 points in the season-opener, Timberlake walked away satisfied with how the Chiefs handled the harsh situation.

"There was no give-up last week," he said. "They fought through everything. Afterward, they understood that it's going to be another rough week. But they've come to work. That won't be the issue."

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Nagel is a sports reporter for the Enid News & Eagle.

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