Midnight Madness in Guthrie

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When most people hear midnight madness they immediately think the start of practice to the basketball season, but for the second time in five seasons it’s the start of Guthrie BlueJay football.

The Jays open the first day of full pads with Midnight Madness as the clock struck 12:01 at the high school practice field in front of a generous crowd that braved the early morning hours.

The two-hour and 15 minute practice finished up with the traditional Oklahoma Drill, a drill that features three offensive players against three defensive players with the offense trying to score with each player having a chance to run the ball before flipping sides and doing it again.

Guthrie returns back to the practice field Friday evening, at 7:00, before finishing the week with a Saturday morning practice at 10 a.m.

The Jays are looking to improve upon an 11-2 2010 season and extend their season by one more game after the last two seasons have ended in the state semi-finals.

Head coach Rafe Watkin will lean on senior leadership from players such as Landry Chappell, Luke Davis, John Clark and Blake Belcher.

The strength appears to be once again on the defensive side of the ball with the usual quick, aggressive attack style featuring Chappell and Clark at the linebacker spot. Davis gives defensive coordinator Kelly Beeby great run defense help from his safety spot, but has great speed in the secondary to go along with corners Kai Callins and J.T. McFadden, who return after starting as freshmen a season ago.

The Jays will plug-in senior move-in Clint Simek into the secondary with his 6’2 frame. The former Prague quarterback will be a big target at receiver on the offensive side of the ball.

The defensive line returns tremendous speed and size with players like Trevor Blassingame, Zac Brown, Richard Brothers and Vincent Norris.

Offensively the Jays will lean on junior quarterback Bryan Dutton, who is set to begin his third season under center. Dutton has produced record-breaking numbers in the passing department last year, but will have to find new receivers to throw to with his top three targets graduating.

The running game, also hit by graduation, will feature Davis and Callins along with McFadden. A benefit to the running game and Dutton will be an experienced offensive line.

The line will be anchored by Belcher on the left side along with Hayden Seifert, center Cooper Davis, right guard Malachai Galbraith and right tackle Evan Plagg, who is the only non-senior player up front. Plagg proved himself when he filled in for the injured Belcher last season and gave the Jays a good look throughout the play-offs.

In addition to practice time, Guthrie will have two scrimmages in the next few weeks to help receivers get more reps and fine tune the running game before traveling to Duncan for game one on Sept. 2nd.


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