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Okemah

Okemah Panthers Football Preview – Presented by Excel Therapy

Coach: JOE TURNER

LAST 8 YEARS:

2021 – 9-2

2020 – 7-2

2019 – 5-6

2018 – 6-5

2017 – 7-4

2016 – 8-4

2015 – 8-4

2014 – 5-5

OFFENSE

In 2022 the Okemah Panthers and coach Joe Turner will look for new playmakers to make a name for themselves on the offensive side of the ball.

Returning seven starters on offense, the Panthers are most experienced down in the trenches, on the offensive line. Running a Wing T formation, the Panthers want to play physically and establish the run early but will also look to open up the passing attack for a balanced offensive approach.

Quarterback Andrew Swayze (6-1, 185, Jr.) can make things happen with both his arm strength and quickness. Swayze keeps opposing defenses on their toes with his dual threat capabilities. Linemen Wyatt Cooper (6-1, 270, Sr.), Cameron Hicks (5-10, 295, Sr.), and Conner Stacy (5-11, 245, So.) will be the big boys up front doing the dirty work. Davon Johnson (6-1, 210, Sr.) may provide additional pass or run blocking, but he’s a do-it-all type player from the tight end, and also excels as a receiving threat. Colton Parish (5-11, 180, Sr.) is a very tough runner and provides great leadership from the backfield. “He is one of the hardest workers in the weight room,” Turner said. Expect him to have a solid senior season behind an experienced offensive line.

DEFENSE

Running an aggressive 4-4 defense, the Panthers want to play physically in 2022, swarming to the ball and forcing turnovers. Chris Beasley (5-10, 245, Sr.) brings grit to a defensive front that also features two-way players Cooper and Johnson. Blake Gaxiola (5-9, 190, So.) is well on his way to a solid career in Okemah. Gaxiola is a bruiser. He appears on offense as a fullback and can cover sideline to sideline on defense as a linebacker. Turner and his coaching staff are excited to see how Gaxiola’s game develops as he continues to grow and mature. Swayze is a team leader on both sides of the ball. On defense he and fellow two-way star, Parish, orchestrate the defense from their positions at safety. Their leadership in the secondary is key to Okemah’s ability in eliminating big plays over the top.

Schedule:

9-9 – vs. Wewoka

9-16 – at Stroud

9-23 – at Seq. Tahlequah

9-30 – vs. Warner

10-7 – at Vian

10-13 – vs. Roland

10-21 – vs. Henryetta

10-28 – vs. Keys

11-4 – at Prague

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