MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

October 31, 2012

Column: Young squad gives hope for Rougher fans

— Down about the Roughers this football season?

Maybe Muskogee Youth Football’s seventh grade white team will pick your spirits up.

It just completed the regular season in the Indian Nations Football League at 8-1. Its only loss came against an Owasso team in a early-season game in which Muskogee’s starting quarterback broke his hand on the first offensive series of the contest. They recovered from that and are averaging 37 points a game while allowing 4.4.

They host Union Silver in a first-round playoff at Indian Bowl on Thursday.

“We went from being a team nobody talked about to a team many are talking about,”  said Jason Medrano, the team’s head coach. And if that name rings a bell, it should. Medrano is the co-offensive coordinator for the varsity squad that is 1-7 heading into Friday’s season finale at Bixby.

And they’re talking all right. On a league website, a rather enthusiastic mother of the Union Crimson team said, “I think they could win a 3A or below high school state championship.”

That’s a Union mom and yes, she was talking about now. She went on to say they will “have one heck of a high school team.”

A Broken Arrow parent notes: “Saw them play at the end of the season last year in what I thought was their coming out game. I was thoroughly impressed then and I have been ever since. They have all the tools.”

Then he starts sounding like the Union mom:

“They have size (if you like three or four kids over 250), they have speed (if you like five receivers that look like they run 4.2 40s) and they have a quarterback who looks like a smaller version of Brett Favre slinging it all over the field.”

OK, we know how those hand-held times can sometimes vary and it’s usually from the high school to the college level, and he did say “looks like they run 4.2 40s. But three or four kids over 250 in the seventh grade?

Medrano says yes. He lists Chase Gray and Bryan Perez at 6-foot-1, 260 pounds. Sammy Webster is 6-0, 300.

Looking like 4.2 isn’t quite the same as running 4.2 but his mix of Karrington Ashley, D.J. Mayes, Kristan Hillmon and John Smith run anywhere from “4.6 to 4.8,” said Medrano.

Jacob Medrano is his starting quarterback who, after breaking his pinky finger against Owasso, was back within two weeks.

Other players are B.J. McVay, Noah Fields, Joseph Vieira, Devin Hillmon, Colyn Farley, Jacob Kaiser, Joseph Christie, Parker Hall, Justin Jones, Johnny Webster, Nathan Coffman and Braylen Duncan.

The team not only has a good shot at an INFL title but it has also been invited to participate in the 2013 Pride Junior National Football Championship Tournament on Jan. 9-13 in Las Vegas. They’re the only team from Oklahoma going and they’re soliciting funds for that trip.

“For three years, this bunch was never mentioned by anyone. We won one game that first year, then four, then six last year and won our first playoff game before losing to Claremore,” Medrano said. “This year they’ve really blossomed.”

But it’s the patience he learned in that 1-8 year that has helped him deal with the 1-7 job he’s paid to help coach.

“When we started 1-8, I knew I had to learn to teach and not just coach,” he said. “Now I approach both sets of kids the same way.”

And he insists, brighter days are ahead at MHS.

Really bright days.

Game time is 7 p.m. if you would like to get a glimpse of that hope.

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