Tulsa Central is coming together after losing 18 seniors
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
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Slowly, the pieces are starting to fit together for Central's young football team.
Coming off an 8-3 season, the Braves are trying to replace 18 players who have graduated.
"We've got a lot of holes to fill," coach Dan Phillips said. "There's just not a lot of experience like we had last year. We're waiting to see who's going to step up and play."
Central, which returns five offensive starters and four starting defenders, scrimmaged Saturday at Booker T. Washington and spent Monday watching film to identify areas in which to improve.
"It's getting there, but we've got a lot of freshmen coming in and some younger kids who haven't been in the program," Phillips said.
But as is usually the case, the team has plenty of athletes.
DeAngelo Brewer, who will be a junior, has the chance to be a star. He's moved to quarterback after playing receiver and running back in the past.
"He's legitimate," his coach said. "He's a good football player."
Gerald Hardridge, a senior, also is getting practice reps at quarterback as well as at receiver. Other veteran players include safety Delton Forrester, running back Keizon Reed and linemen Deontai Bradford and Nigel White.
"We're trying to build some leadership," Forrester said. "With the coaching and everybody involved, we have the potential for victory this year."
After winning only five games in 2010, the Braves opened last season 5-0 but wound up finishing third in District 5A-4.
"This year, we want to win our district and get two rounds at home in the playoffs," Phillips said. "We were just seconds from doing that last year when we lost in double-overtime to East Central and let a tough Coweta team come back and beat us in the fourth quarter.
"We've learned from it, and hopefully we can regroup and make another run back in the playoffs."
Said Forrester: "After seeing what we didn't have last year, we're all trying to build off each other as individuals and hopefully become a team as spring ends and summer begins. I feel as though we're going to be ready."
Original Print Headline: Central is settling on a lineup
Kelly Hines 918-581-8452
Central's DeAngelo Brewer is tackled by a pair of Coweta defenders last season. Brewer has moved to quarterback after playing receiver and running back in the past. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World file
Dan Phillips: The Central coach wants his team to win its district this season.