The Indians finished up spring football with a team camp at Sallisaw against Roland, Vian and the host Black Diamonds. Coach Shane Richardson and his club are coming off a 4-6 finish last year and are replacing the entire receiving unit for senior quarterback Zach Parish.
“Our seniors from last year accounted for 75 of 103 receptions,” said Richardson. “We’ve got 6-8 kids that are fighting for playing time at that spot and we want as many as possible.”
Parish who is in just his second year of football aired it out for 1,450 yards and 19 touchdowns last season.
“He (Parrish) gives us a calming sense with his influence in the huddle,” said Richardson. “We are developing more continuity in the passing game and expect a lot more out of him this year.”
The Indians return junior tailback Justin Hooper to help Parrish. Hooper was “the main offensive threat” last year with 1,272 yards and seven rushing scores. On the offensive line, the Indians are replacing three starters and return one senior. “We have a young line, and the spring has been up and down for them,” said Richardson.
Defensively, the Indians are converting to a 3-4 defense to “get more athletes on the field against the spread offenses.”
Sequoyah brings back four starters on defense, with the anchor and captain in senior Tanner Crow, Crow led the team in tackles last year with 78. “We have always been a base defense but this year we are working on being more blitz oriented and aggressive,” said RIchardson
The Indians’ new defense is depending heavily on outside linebacker Tiron Gourd and weak side linebacker Hunter Crow to bring the pressure from the edge and containment off the corners.
“Our main objective was to stay healthy and not get anyone injured this spring,” said Richardson. “We did that and I was most impressed with how well we have practiced and the amount of energy we have been playing with.”
Sequoyah begins its Summer Pride on June 9 and will participate in Fort Gibson’s 7-on-7 passing league every Tuesday in June and one in July. They will also be at Locust Grove for team camp June 26-27.