MAUD — Kenon White knows what it’s like to travel the road to an eight-man state championship.
As a Tipton High School junior in 2011, White and his teammates were the Class C runner-up. Tipton then won it all in 2012.
It wasn’t a short-term run for Tipton. The last four state championship trophies reside there.
For Maud, the local road has been quite a bit bumpier as White readies for his head coaching debut.
Maud forged a combined 5-14 (2-7, 3-7) record the past two years under head coach Brant Hayes. When Hayes accepted the head position at Empire, White ascended to the helm after serving the last two years as Maud’s defensive coordinator.
Despite the Tigers’ recent struggles, White believes the sands are shifting.
“For me, this is a new type of Maud team,” White said. “It’s a different vibe.
“Our younger group, freshmen and sophomores, have really bought into the weight program. Some of the kids who didn’t play much last year had some good growth spurts over the summer.”
White will employ a variation of Tipton’s spread offense, featuring a lot of zone reads and motion.
A two-quarterback system is in the works. Returning signal-caller Lane Brooks, a senior, will share time with sophomore Bryce Bodkin.
“Lane is very athletic,” White said. “He gives us lots of opportunities offensively and defensively with his arms and legs.”
Brooks, who started his high school career last year as a junior, will also see duty at safety.
Of Bodkin, White said, “He’s very ball-savvy, making good reads. He is like a coach on the field and he can make the right throws.
“Both quarterbacks have become better at throwing the ball to the outside instead of the inside, just being smarter. They are really pushing each other.”
When Brooks isn’t taking the snap from center, he will be used as a running back along with sophomores Bobby Jo Watson and Dylan Armstrong.
“Dylan is a downhill runner, very shifty and has great hands. He’s probably our best true running back. Bobby has very good quickness,” White said.
Returning two-way starters Roman Cox and Nick Grove are defensive hubs. Cox will line up at end with Grove at tackle.
But by far the biggest line player is Zeke Gage, a move-in from Little Axe who stands 6-foot, 3-inch and packs 250 pounds.
“That was a nice move-in,” White said. “He’s very aggressive, very physical. He’s a hole-plugger. Roman is a very athletic player who will help on both lines.
“I think we can shock some people.”
• White played one year of football at both Northwestern State at Alva and East Central at Ada. He was a linebacker and deep snapper.
• Coaches Tim Collins and Jared Griffin will assist White.
• Maud is scheduled to launch the season Aug. 30 against Okeene. Maud was originally scheduled to play Sasakwa, which bowed out of the game. Maud will open its home season Friday, Sept. 6 versus Bowlegs.
• Maud’s 2018 victories came against Bowlegs, Sasakwa and Caddo.