Tahlequah Daily Press

High School Sports

October 31, 2013

Serving as spoiler

Tahlequah looks to dampen East Central's playoff hopes


Stanvon Taylor is no longer sporting an East Central uniform. For that, Tahlequah head coach Brad Gilbert is extremely grateful.

Taylor is now playing at the University of Oklahoma, so he won't be in red, white and black when the Cardinals take on Tahlequah tonight at the East Side Sports Complex in Tulsa at 7 p.m.

"When you lose the Gatorade Player of the Year from a year ago," Gilbert said, "that's a chunk out of your armor."

It certainly does.

The Cardinals have found life without Taylor and Deontre Youngblood tough at times. The Cardinals are still in the thick of the playoff race in District 5A-4, but they're sporting a 3-5 overall record and a 3-2 mark in district play. This time last season, East Central was 8-0 and virtually breezing through 5A-4 play.

Also, with Taylor gone on defense, the Cardinals are giving up more points to opposing teams. East Central is allowing 33 points per game in district play, including 55 last week in a loss to Collinsville.

"Losing players like (Taylor and Youngblood) is why they're not as good on defense," Gilbert said. "But they're still good."

As for Tahlequah (1-7, 1-4), the playoffs are no longer an option. It'll be another playoff-less season dating back to 2001.

Still, though, the Tigers are hoping to finish the season with at least three victories.

"We're still doing exactly what we've been doing," Gilbert said. "We, as coaches, haven't changed anything. We're focusing on the details and helping these guys become better football players."

With no postseason aspirations ahead, Gilbert was asked if playing younger players was an option to get ready for the 2014 season. Gilbert said that's not part of the plan this week or next week at home against Collinsville.

"We're wanting to finish strong, and we're wanting to give our seniors and the rest of these guys the best chance to win," Gilbert said. "Playing more underclassmen, we're not going to do that. They had their JV season as their opportunity. We want to give our seniors a chance to end their careers on a high note."

Text Only
High School Sports

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers