Broken Arrow Football (copy)

Fall practice starts this week for defending Class 6AI champion Broken Arrow and other teams across the state. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World

Defending state champions Broken Arrow, Bixby and Sperry are among the area high school football teams looking forward to the start of fall practice this week.

Monday is the first day that the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association allows its members to practice — without pads. Teams can begin practicing with pads on Friday.

For Broken Arrow (Class 6AI) and Sperry (2A), this is the first fall where those teams are going into fall practice as defending champions.

“There’s a different feeling at the start this year, we’re more confident,” Broken Arrow defensive lineman Jaylen Moss said. “I’m very excited.”

Broken Arrow announced Sunday that Moss and his teammates will have their opening practice Monday pushed back four hours to 7 p.m. due to the projected high heat index.

Sperry defensive lineman Walker Niver said that the first day of practice “might be a little more intense coming back from a state championship.

“You’ve got more of a target on your back. We know every game is going to be a little harder because everyone wants to knock off the defending state champions.”

Bixby is coming off its fourth 6AII state title in five years.

“I’m ready for it to start,” said Bixby receiver/defensive back Brennan Presley, an Oklahoma State commit.

Regent Prep goes into fall practice with high hopes of a gold ball after finishing as the Class B runner-up last year.

“We’ve been waiting for this ever since we got beat last year in the finals,” Regent receiver/defensive back Jack Wright said. “We’ve put this on the calendar, everybody has a good mindset and we’re looking forward to it.”

The World will start its coverage of fall practice online Monday at and in Tuesday’s print edition. District previews will begin Sunday and a special high school preview section will be published Aug. 25.

Voting in the All-World Preseason Football Contest, where readers select the best high school football players in the Tulsa area, will conclude at 3 p.m. Tuesday. The winners will be announced Aug. 25.