MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

August 18, 2013

Solid, but not perfect in Tigers’ skirmish


Phoenix staff report

— Fort Gibson head coach James Singleton said it could have been crisper.

The Tigers went through an 1 1/2 hour intrasquad scrimmage Saturday in their second day in pads.

“Little raggedy,” he said. “I think we’re still trying to get the cobwebs out. But there were some good things that happened. It’s just not everything of what I’d liked to have seen.”

The coach said tailback Michael Richey and fullback Tristan Johnson “did some nice things on runs,” and newcomer tight end Shane Salinas also caught his eye.

“Richey is settling in as the main guy at tailback but we’ve still got a number of guys there, even down to some freshmen who looked really good today,” Singleton said. “Whether that translates to Friday nights with those younger guys, I wouldn’t say that yet but they’re catching our attention.”

Johnson was “solid” at fullback, Singleton added.

“He’s a tailback in short yardage situations but mostly a fullback or H back,” he said.

Both are trying to help plug the hole left by Phoenix Player of the Year Jake Gandara out of the FGHS backfield.

“We know on offense we’ve got with quarterback and the experience returning at wide receiver and up front so we’ll change somewhat,” Singleton said.

One defensive player that stood out, he said, was Kiefer Kirkhart at safety. The son of Brian Kirkhart, who retired from coaching after a stint at Okay and Wilburton relocated to Fort Gibson with the family over the summer.

“We have four guys competing there but he did some good things coming up and making some tackles,” Singleton said.

Fort Gibson’s first of two true scrimmages comes Friday when the Tigers go to McAlester with Wagoner.