Tahlequah Daily Press


May 23, 2014

Back to normal

No restrictions on Sequoyah this time around during spring practice


Players gathered around as Sequoyah head coach Shane Richardson voiced his necessity for permission slips. Sequoyah is heading to Sallisaw during the summer months to partake in an offseason team camp, and Richardson needed his players to go through the proper steps before being allowed to go.

A year ago, Richardson couldn’t have made a similar request.

Now, though, things are back to normal for Sequoyah football.

After being dealt a tough blow by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association for the school’s involvement in paying for summer camps — which was forbidden until recently — Sequoyah was limited during spring practices in 2013, and the Indians could not partake in summer activities or any preseason scrimmages.

Those days are long gone now.

“Last year we were a young team and couldn’t get started until the fall, so there was a lot of unknown,” Richardson said. “This year we’re a young team, but we’re in a lot better position because we can come out and build the foundation. We can do spring ball, we can do summer camps, we can go to passing league; do everything that high schools do every year.”

During spring practice last year, Sequoyah was only allowed to be on the field during normal school hours. That didn’t even allot the Indians an hour on the field each day. They also had to practice in T-shirts and shorts, while keeping the pads packed away.

Sequoyah is still in shorts this year, but the pads have been checked out — and in full use.

“Last year was a strange summer for us, but now we get to come out and do it like everybody else,” Richardson said. “We feel pretty good about where we are, but we know in August, no matter what, we’ll be further ahead than we were last year.”

The Indians will be further ahead of the game because they’ll have the luxury of knowing what they have at tailback. Justin Hooper will be returning for his junior season, after amassing 1,179 yards and seven touchdowns on 222 carries as a sophomore during the 2013 campaign.

Oh, and Hooper will be much stronger when the 2014 season start off.

“Justin had a great offseason,” Richardson said of his 5-foot-6, 175-pound tailback. “He was a powerlifting state champion and he keeps getting stronger. He had over 200 carries last year as a sophomore tailback, and he’s going to be a guy that carries a big part of the load for us again.”

As a team, Sequoyah ran the ball 364 times last season, meaning Hooper logged nearly 61 percent of the Indians’ carries. Zach Parish and the rest of the quarterbacks passed the ball 235 times, and that’s just how Richardson wants it: with the ball in Hooper’s hands and on the ground.

“We still want to be the kind of offense that establishes a physical presence and runs the ball,” Richardson said. “We want to run the ball to set up the pass, and be more efficient in the passing game.”

Speaking of the passing game, Richardson said he hopes to get Hooper more involved when the Indians put the ball in the air. Hooper caught six passes for 11 yards last season, and Richardson hopes that numbers increases once the 2014 season starts.

“We’re wanting to get our tailbacks involved in the passing game with some flare screens and some other types of screens,” said Richardson, whose club went 4-6 and missed the playoffs in Class 3A last season. “We just want to get the ball to some of our better athletes in the open space, where they can make something happen for us.”

Text Only
  • Hooper.jpg Sparking the flame

    Sequoyah High School’s Justin Hooper looking to lead this year

    Last season was Justin’s last chance to play alongside Cody at Sequoyah High School.
    Justin had to battle to win the Indians starting tailback. The coaching staff did not know who was going to be the Indians starting running back coming into fall practice.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NSU-fishing-team.jpg NSU teams compete in fishing tournament

    Three teams from Northeastern State University’s Bass Fishing Team competed in the Fishing League Worldwide College Fishing Tournament on Grand Lake in Grove on Saturday, June 21.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Johnson, East win easily at All-State

    Jake Johnson was able to hold off Lawton MacArthur’s Trent Meisel at the Class 5A state tournament in May. On Monday at the All-State tournament at Cherokee Hills Golf Club, Johnson had it much easier against Meisel.

    July 29, 2014

  • 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


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

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating