Aug. 19—Football is returning to southeast Oklahoma.
Savanna, who would have been kicking off the preseason for small schools on Thursday, had its first scrimmage against Central Sallisaw cancelled. But now, they'll get back to work and look forward to scrimmage action next week.
Central had a 4-5 record last season, with wins over teams such as Porter, Talihina, and Canadian. The Tigers ended their 2020 season with a 35-28 loss in the opening round of the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are coming off a scrappy 2-7 season where they notched wins against Canadian and Liberty. Returning impact players for Savanna include Ayden Fry and Ty Hoffman, as well as Hayden Moore, Levi Franklin, and Dawson Jones.
Fry, who helms the offense at quarterback, said he was really finding his stride at the end of last season — and wants to continue that in 2021.
"Last three games of the year, I think I threw for over 600 and ran for over 300 (yards)," Fry said. "I just want to keep doing what I was doing at the end of the year."
The Bulldogs are ready to face off against the competition, and have set plenty of goals for themselves this year.
"As a team, I want to go back to the playoffs," Fry said. "I think we've really got the tools to do it this year."
Hoffman, who also wants to lead the team in tackles this season, agreed with Fry. He believes that the Bulldogs will be ready for whatever trials face them as they start the year anew.
"I think people are really looking down on us because we lost a few good lineman, so they're not expecting much," Hoffman said. "I think we're going to be a lot better than people think this year."
PANAMA/MULDROW AT WILBURTON
Wilburton will be taking on two opponents in scrimmage action when they take the field on Friday.
The Razorback went 3-7 in 2020, taking wins over Heavener, Pocola, and Central Sallisaw. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs of Muldrow finished 1-8, with their lone win being a 41-6 win over McClain.
The Diggers went 4-6 last season after powering through the tough season. They averaged 147.8 passing yards and 102.2 rushing yards per game in 2020, and will see the full return of senior quarterback Grayson Mathis — who racked up nearly 1,000 yards in four games before being sidelines due to injury.
HEAVENER AT HARTSHORNE
The Miners will be back to football as they face off against Heavener on Friday.
The Wolves finished 2020 with a 2-8 record, notching wins of 22-6 over North Rock Creek and 49-28 over Pocola.
Hartshorne, meanwhile, generated more than 2,300 yards of offense last season with 28 touchdowns, and will be looking to exceed that as they bring a few new players into the fold that will be replacing some of those that graduated in May.
With a tough and talented senior squad backed by a trove of hard-working underclassmen, the Miners will be ready to battle every week this season.
POCOLA AT CANADIAN
The Cougars will face off against Pocola in preseason scrimmage action on Friday.
Pocola finished the 2020 season with a 1-8 record, with its lone win coming in the form of a 32-27 shootout over Central Sallisaw.
The Cougars, meanwhile, went 2-8 in their hard-battled season — taking wins over Ketchum and Hulbert. Although they lost some players to graduation, they'll return a group of tenacious, hard-working players that'll be ready to make some noise in the 2021 season.
Contact Derek Hatridge at email@example.com.