The Pryor Times

Sports

May 31, 2014

Experience key for young Warriors

ADAIR, OK — The word for the Adair football team in 2013 was "young." Over 85 percent of the Adair offense flowed through freshmen and sophomores on a Warrior squad that posted an 11-2 record and a return trip to the Class 2A quarterfinals.

So what's the word for 2014?

"We're still awful young," Adair head coach Mark Lippe said.

The Warriors concluded spring practice Wednesday and Thursday with a team camp at Locust Grove, and while the key pieces may be young, that doesn't make them inexperienced.

"Our kids understand what it takes to be good in the playoffs," Lippe said. "Before Week 11, you have a lot of goals. One of our main goals is to win a district championship."

Before Week 1 arrives, however, Lippe has set other goals — namely, replacing most of his offensive line.

"We've got to replace our offensive linemen, that's probably priority No. 1," he said. "We're down five linemen from last year ... that raises a lot of concerns."

One major move Lippe made in spring ball was to move tight end Alec Brand to tackle.

"We've got seven linemen we feel pretty comfortable with right now," Lippe said. "Luckily, these guys we're asking to step up are juniors and seniors."

Returning from last year's quarterfinal group is a strong batch of skill players, including sophomore quarterback BJ Bradbury.

He returns his entire receiving corps, led by senior Hunter Rosebrough and juniors Brock Martin and Cody Eby.

"We've got so much depth at receiver," Lippe, who is known to trot out four-wide or empty sets, said. "We've got about eight guys that could play receiver and not have a huge drop-off. A lot of guys you haven't heard much from, [Will] Hefner, [Bo] Rogers, [Jason] Kincade, we can rotate them in and not lose a whole lot.

"We're not going to have a superstar. We're going to have a lot of guys that can make plays."

Lippe and his staff are also trying to expand the role of defensive staple Tayler Conseen and replace departing tailback Cody Yoder. Lippe will look to junior Ben Woolman for some quality carries.

Adair's fall schedule doesn't feature powerhouses like OKC Millwood and Nowata from 2013, but that's no reason to expect the district favorites to breeze through the slate.

"We may not have that marquee game on our schedule, but overall our schedule is much tougher. We'll have Verdigris, Kansas, Colcord, Salina, Haskell in five straight weeks." Lippe said. "It's a lot tougher stretch than we've had around here in a long time."

Lippe will host the Green Country Middle School and Elementary Football camps next week from 8 to 11 a.m.

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