EC coach Bobby Klinck says offense, defense ready, time for seasopn to begin
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
5/29/12 at 5:44 AM
Related Story: Q&A: Jake and Zack Castillo, Bixby linemen
After two weeks on the job, Bobby Klinck now knows almost all of his players' names.
A former All-State player at Jenks, Klinck became East Central's head football coach the day before spring practice began.
"We've got the offense installed, the defense installed," he said last week. "I'm excited. It's been great."
In less than six months, the Cardinals lost two coaches. Travis Hill resigned in December after 14 seasons at the helm amid an investigation by Tulsa Public Schools. His replacement, Ben Bowling, resigned last month after an alcohol-related arrest.
"Just coming into this situation with them losing two coaches, I didn't know how these kids were going to respond," Klinck said. "It just shows that these kids are fighters and they're resilient. I'm just proud to be their coach."
The past two weeks have been a learning experience for everyone involved.
"We're just trying to get adjusted to the new coach and see how he is, and he's trying to teach us new stuff," said cornerback Devanta Johnson, a move-in from Central. "He keeps telling us he's going to get us to that gold ball this year, and I'm trying to believe him.
"Hopefully we'll get what we're working for."
Multiple times during a recent practice, the coaching staff reminded the players that East Central is coming off a loss in the second round of the playoffs.
"Last year we lost in the second round, and also my freshman year we lost in the second round," said Stanvon Taylor, a cornerback and receiver who has verbally committed to Oklahoma. "We've got that chip on our shoulders."
The defense will be a major advantage for the Cardinals in the fall, with Taylor, Johnson and Deontre Youngblood in the secondary and Kimmie Carson at linebacker.
"The defense looks great," Klinck said. "A lot of the stuff we're incorporating is very similar to what they've done."
Offensively, East Central will be strong at the skill positions.
"We've got more (skill players) than we can handle," Klinck said. "That's a good problem to have, so we're going to get these guys the ball in space, and let them make us great coaches."
Already, Klinck sees a lot of potential in his new team.
"We've got a ways to go," the coach said. "We're not anywhere near where we need to be. We've got to get tougher mentally, but the talent is there."
2011 record: 10-2
Coach: Bobby Klinck (first season)
»» Travon Cherry is expected to be the team's starting quarterback. William Goree will see the majority of carries at tailback. The key receivers are Stanvon Taylor and Demontre Burkhalter.
»» The defense is led by three standouts: Taylor, a cornerback committed to Oklahoma; Kimmie Carson, a linebacker with offers from Arkansas State and New Mexico; and Devanta Johnson, a three-star cornerback with interest from more than a dozen schools.
»» The Cardinals lost 20-14 to eventual Class 5A state champion Guthrie in the second round of last year's playoffs.
(subject to change)
Aug. 31: at Del City.......7:30 p.m.
Sept. 7: at Bartlesville.......7:30 p.m.
Sept. 14: B.T. Washington.......7:30 p.m.
Sept. 21: Central.......7:30 p.m.
Sept. 28: at Coweta.......7:30 p.m.
Oct. 5: Claremore.......7:30 p.m.
Oct. 12: at Grove.......7:30 p.m.
Oct. 18: Collinsville.......7:30 p.m.
Oct. 26: at Tahlequah.......7:30 p.m.
Nov. 1: Pryor.......7:30 p.m.
Original Print Headline: Klinck proud to coach Cardinals
Kelly Hines 918-581-8452
East Central seniors Kimmie Carson (left), Stanvon Taylor and Devanta Johnson are ready for the football season to begin. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World