Metro Christian Patriots hope for big year
BY BARRY LEWIS World Sports Writer
Thursday, May 24, 2012
5/24/12 at 6:33 AM
Metro Christian senior Matt Woolslayer knows he has big shoes to fill as the Patriots' quarterback.
Woolslayer succeeds Andrew Hearon, the Tulsa World's 2011 Metro Player of the Year, who passed for 91 touchdowns over the past two seasons.
The Patriots have been led by several outstanding quarterbacks during the past decade, also including Mackenzi Adams, Joey Rogers and Beau Marsaln. In the past four seasons, Metro starting quarterbacks have averaged 42 TD passes per season.
Metro coach Jared McCoy is optimistic that Woolslayer can keep the Patriots' offense at a high level. Woolslayer was primarily a wide receiver last year as he caught 38 passes for 547 yards and five touchdowns. However, Woolslayer saw playing time as a wildcat quarterback last year.
"Matt's skill set is pretty amazing," McCoy said. "He and Connor are the top two athletes on the team.
"The key to Matt's success is he's an accurate quarterback with a good arm. He has good velocity and makes good decisions."
The Patriots cut down on their turnovers last season and that was a big reason they went 12-1 and reached the Class 3A quarterfinals.
"A key is that Matt has to make the game come to him," McCoy said. "He can't force things early. If he doesn't turn the ball over we're going to be successful offensively."
Woolslayer has made a smooth transition during spring practice to quarterback.
"I'm not going to try to be like Andrew but I'm going to try and mimic a lot of the stuff he did," Woolslayer said. "He was a great player. I think one thing I will do is run it a little more." His receivers will include Luke Preaus and Connor Drake, who also has been used as a Wildcat quarterback and been very effective in short-yardage situations. He has scored 24 touchdowns over the last two seasons.
"Connor is very versatile - a big-play guy who is a deep-threat receiver and also starting defensive back," McCoy said. Drake is excited about the offense's potential as he gets used to another starting quarterback.
"There are some adjustments," Drake said. "Matt throws at a different speed than Andrew. Matt and I have great chemistry - we've known each other since Kindergarten. We're always on the same page."
Another Patriots standout is lineman Zach Webb, a two-way performer. He had 94 tackles and 11 sacks at nose guard last season.
"Our defense is going to be a strong point again this year," Webb said.
The Patriots gave up only 14.8 points per game last year compared to 20.3 in 2010.
"On defense I think we're going to pick up where we left off and that was the best defense we've ever had," McCoy said.
If the offense also picks up where it left off, the Patriots should be a title contender again. Metro reached the semifinals in 2010.
"Our senior class is used to winning," Drake said.
Original Print Headline: Patriots ready to ring bell
Barry Lewis 918-581-8393
Metro Christian football's Matt Woolslayer (left), Michael Brothers, Connor Drake and Zach Webb are looking to improve on last season's state quarterfinal finish. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World