District B-5 Preview: Caddo is the preseason pick to win district
Caddo is the preseason favorite in what is expected to be a tightly-bunched District B-5 race with Maud, Allen and Maysville.
“I really think any of those four could beat any of the other four on a given day,” said Maud coach Bruce Harrell. “It just kind of depends on who stays healthy and who gels.”
Caddo has six starters returning on defense and five on offense as it moves into a new district.
Leading the returnees is senior running back Daniel Hawkins, who had 1,819 all-purpose yards last season. Hawkins rushed for 839 yards and 14 touchdowns while also returning kicks and punts for Caddo.
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“He has been a big part of our offense for a while,” said Caddo coach Jeremy Proctor.
Also back is senior quarterback Colton Ledford, who threw for 1,148 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, and fullback/linebacker Daniel Stone, who also plays slot receiver and tight end at times for Caddo.
“We can put him anywhere,” Proctor said.
Caddo made the playoffs last season for the first time since winning the state title in 2011.
MAUD MAKING A CHANGE
Bruce Harrell is entering his 11th season as Maud's head coach and admits he's doing something he really doesn't want to do.
He is changing the offense from a run-oriented option attack to a pass-heavy spread formation. Harrell said the offense is a better fit for his personnel.
“I sure like to run it, but if it's going to be better for us, that's what we are going to do,” Harrell said. “Right now we got a guy that has a big, strong arm.”
That guy is senior quarterback Kash Bodkin, who shared time at quarterback last season and threw for 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns.
The Tigers also have some talented receivers back in seniors Devon Reid and Caleb Troxell. In addition, junior receiver Braylen Brewer has shined in the preseason with more than 100 yards receiving in each of Maud's two scrimmages.
“It's different for me,” Harrell said of the new offense. “I've never played or coached in a system like this before, but we spent a lot of time in the summer with other coaches. I hope we can continue to get better doing it.”
STROTHER WILL RELY ON YOUTH
Strother may be the youngest team in the state. With only one senior on the club, coach Scott Douthit plans to start seven freshmen on both sides of the ball.
“They are good athletes, but they are young,” Douthit said. “It will be a learning year for sure. As long as we stay healthy, we will get better as we go.”
Douthit will be counting on a production from his son, Jaxon, who will be a freshman running back. Sophomore tight end/nose guard Ty Lemay is the only returning starter from last year's 2-8 team.
“I know they will play hard,” Douthit said of his young club. “They won't lay down for anybody.”
Allen returns a talented backfield in running back Joe Howsher and quarterback Colton Frederick, a three-year starter and rushed for 1,236 yards last season while passing for 816.