, Muskogee, OK

June 18, 2014

Prep offseason notebook

Phoenix staff reports

Porter football

In his first year at Porter, coach Zac Ross is getting a feel for his team and who fits where in his schemes.

Ross is wanting the team to evolve into more of a zone-read/option team.

“It’s hard right now getting things figured out,” said Ross, a former Muskogee Rougher quarterback. “We have team camp next week and we will figure more out then. It’s going to be a process.”

The Pirates have an experienced signal-caller in junior Dean VanBors to run Ross’ offense. VanBors was the starter a year ago on the Pirates 3-7 team. “He is one of our hardest workers,” said Ross. “A guy you can count on to out-work everybody else.”

Ross expects senior running back Jacob Benningfield and junior Daniel Smith to split the carries in the running game. Each player is moving to the backfield from other spots.

The main concern for Ross offensively is on the offensive line.

On the defensive side of the ball junior Jordan Macheras is moving from his linebacker position to defensive end. Ross says his size and strength are needed there.

“Most of our kids will be two-way starters,” said Ross. “But right now, I am just getting a feel for my team.”

Porter was team camp scheduled for June 23-27 and has an early scrimmage with Kechum that is yet to be determined. The Pirates kick off their season Sept. 5 at Hulbert at 7 p.m.

Wagoner boys hoops

Coach Zach Ange is in his first year at Wagoner and has been getting to know his team this summer. The Bulldogs were at Mannford’s team camp last week and finished up camp at Fort Gibson today.

“We have been working on the small things and fundamentals,” said Ange. “We have the athletes to get Wagoner basketball back where it used to be and the kids and community are ready for that.”

Ange inherits a four-win team from a year ago and has just one senior out of 18 players out this summer in Colton Strickland.

Ange says Strickland is the leader of the Bulldogs from his guard spot.

 “He is our tempo guy and a good leader,” said Ange. “He takes care of the ball well, and I am looking for steadiness from him.”

Two juniors in Kyle Curry and Tracy Thompson look to help Ange and the team turn around next season. Curry is a spot-up shooter and great defender while Thompson is a forward who can handle the ball and scores well inside.

Ange says getting his team to compete and play hard this summer is one of his main goals to begin to change the culture of Wagoner basketball.

The Bulldogs begin team camp at ORU on Friday, where Ange is looking for his go to guy to emerge from the crowd.