Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

May 18, 2012

Numbers crunch

The Sequoyah football team is going through spring practice with a smaller turnout than in the past.

In 2011, Sequoyah’s roster featured roughly 50 players on Friday nights. The Indians’ 2012 head count will be a much more slimmed down version of that.

After only a couple of days of spring practice, Sequoyah head coach Brent Scott is realizing how slim his numbers are going to be when the season starts in August.

“We don’t have the depth that we used to have,” Scott said. “It’s a concern, so we have to get in better shape.”

Scott said there is a way to boost the numbers — it’s just not feasible in reality, though.

“If we consolidate with another school is the only way we’re going to get more,” Scott deadpanned. “This is it. There just isn’t as many soldiers anymore.”

Scott’s glass-half-full side gazes at the size of other schools that Sequoyah will play in 2012 and realizes that the Indians won’t be the only team trotting out players who play on both sides of the ball.

“We’ve been beaten by teams with the same concern that we’ve had — lack of depth,” Scott said. “Those teams have had players go both ways, so our guys are just going to have to toughen up and strap (the helmets) on a little tighter and go both ways.”

The silver lining for Scott during spring drills is that time hasn’t been wasted on learning basic fundamentals. His players have already picked up on those after several years in the program.

“We’ve picked up right where we left off [last season],” said Scott, whose team was 7-3 last season after a first-round loss to Berryhill in the Class 3A playoffs.

“We haven’t had to go over a lot of schematics and review a whole lot, because we have a lot of old guys.”

Leading the pack of elder statesmen is quarterback Brayden Scott. The soon-to-be senior passed for 2,270 yards with a 62.5 completion percentage (158 of 253). He also had 26 touchdowns, including three to Niko Hammer, the Indians’ leading receiver last season.

Hammer, who will be a senior in 2012, caught 36 passes for 473 yards during his junior campaign.

Sequoyah also returns three of its top for ball carriers in Kyle Helsley, Scott and Robert Smith.

On defense, the Indians will rely on Karter Woodruff, Cody Hooper and Tanner Sheets to fill the void left by Zack Robinson, Stuart Polk and Sonny O’Field.

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