Shawnee head coach Billy Brown won’t soon forget the 2018 season opener.
His Wolves were up 18 points, only to be tied by Choctaw in regulation, then losing 35-34 in overtime.
“It’s what we face every week,” said Brown, in his 16th year at the Shawnee helm. “When we are fresh, we are pretty good, but we have so many guys going both ways that attrition sets in and it makes a difference at the end of the game.”
Brown said he will employ six full-time starters on both sides of the ball when Shawnee travels to Choctaw for Friday night’s 2019 season opener.
Several other players will split time as two-way performers.
“Our numbers are way down so a lot of guys are going both ways.”
Shawnee has 62 players listed on its pre-season roster. That’s certainly not a large number for a Class 6A member.
“Choctaw is really talented at the skill positions,” Brown said. “They had some good kids move in, including a Division 1 linebacker from Harrah who has been offered by Oklahoma State. Their quarterback is also outstanding.”
Brown said Shawnee fared better against Ardmore in scrimmage action than what transpired between the two squads in 2018.
“Both of us scored a touchdown and we were a lot more physical this year,” Brown said.
Unfortunately, Shawnee lost defensive lineman Terrance Shaw to an injury in the scrimmage.
Friday’s kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The non-district schedule won’t get any easier. Top-10 and perennial power Guthrie will be Shawnee’s home-opening foe Sept. 6 and Carl Albert will come to Jim Thorpe Stadium Sept. 20 after a bye week. Carl Albert has captured three straight 5A state championships and enters the year with a 36-game winning streak.