Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

September 6, 2013

Thwart the Fort?

Tahlequah aims to take down Fort Gibson in season opener.

bjohnson@tahlequahdailypress.com

Tahlequah couldn’t have asked for a more auspicious start in 2012. Twenty seconds into their game at Leo Donahue Tiger Stadium, Fort Gibson was celebrating a 75-yard touchdown pass from J.R. Singleton to Zach Peterson.

Brad Gilbert, Tahlequah’s head coach, has made it a point to avoid such a gigantic misstep this year.

“We know they’re going to come out and be extremely energized for the opener,” Gilbert said of his team’s Week 1 opponent, Fort Gibson. “We have to weather the storm in the beginning.”

Both Tiger teams will clash for the fourth straight season, this time kicking off at Doc Wadley Stadium at 7:30 tonight. Gilbert said some inexperienced youth on his club has to avoid a huge pitfall in the opening minutes — or opening quarter.

“We have a lot of guys who didn’t play last year, and they have a lot of returning players,” Gilbert said. “So we just have to weather the storm early. If we can do that, I think we’ll be OK.”

Also high on Tahlequah’s priority list: contain Singleton, Fort Gibson’s quarterback. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound junior signal caller ran for 147 yards and passed for 168 more in Fort Gibson’s 40-20 triumph.

“We know that he’s a threat through the air and on the ground,” Gilbert said. “One of our keys is to slow him down. We have to play a more disciplined style of defense.”

With Jake Gandara — Fort Gibson’s running back last season who had more than 2,000 yards on the ground — now at the University of Central Oklahoma, Singleton will become even more of an offensive weapon for Fort Gibson.

“We’re going to ask him to throw the ball a little more than we have in the past,” said Fort Gibson head coach James Singleton, J.R.’s father. “One of the nice things that’s happening for us coming out of the spring and the fall is that we’ve got some quality running backs. We feel confident that they can carry the ball and move the chains. J.R. won’t have to carry the whole load.”

Taking Gandara’s spot will be Michael Richey in the starting lineup. Paving the way in front of Richey and Singleton will be fullback Tristan Johnson

“He’s a very, very athletic kid for us who also plays linebacker,” James Singleton said of Richey. “He’s got some nice wheels.”

For Tahlequah, 2013’s season opener comes a week after the Tigers turned in a clunker at a preseason showdown with Hilldale and Wagoner. Gilbert left Wagoner less than impressed with his club.

“We had a very difficult time tonight,” Gilbert said following the scrimmage. “This was not what we were expecting. We thought we would be a little more physical and sharper. We took a step back tonight.”

Nearly a week later, Gilbert was less critical but still solid in his stance.

“We just kind of came out flat,” Gilbert said. “I wasn’t just disappointed with just the players, but the coaching staff, too — and especially myself.

“But it was something we learned from. Once we watched the video, it wasn’t as bad as it appeared.”

Gilbert said it all boils down to practice habits.

“Last week, we didn’t have a very good week of practice,” he said. “This week, we’ve had much better practices. We’ve told (the players) that they have to have good practices every single day. And they’re responded to that.”

Text Only
Sports
  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.

    July 28, 2014

  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • BobBowlsby.jpg Media Week: Change is coming

    Changes are coming to college athletics.
    That was the theme of the state of the conference speech by Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the first day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peterson.jpg Cowboy quandary: OSU defense trying to replace seven starters

    A year after the best defensive team in the Mike Gundy era, the questions now surround how those few returning starters and second-year defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer can maintain that high level of efficiency.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Really one true champion?

    I decided to spare the colleagues in front of me – and myself from making a scene – by holding back flipping my table at the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days in Dallas.
    I had become exhausted by the constant use and misrepresentation by the Big 12 with their moniker of “One True Champion.” If they are going to live with the slogan, then they need to abide by that slogan.
    Perhaps its a simple case that they are keeping constant with the poor math of the 10-team Big 12 Conference.

    July 23, 2014

  • Hill expected to be used in multiple facets

    The picture became a little clearer recently of how Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year Tyreek Hill will be utilized in the Oklahoma State offense.
    And the picture is rather wide.

    July 23, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Stocks