Huskies gridders at home Friday

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

After getting a sneak peak of the Pawhuska Huskies’ football teams at last week’s “Meet and Greet,” local fans will be able to take a longer look this Friday when the Cleveland Tigers pay a scrimmaging visit to Ormand Beach Stadium.

Scrimmage sessions are to get underway at 6 p.m. and include seventh-and-eighth graders and freshman-jayvee squads as well as the varsity two units.

Full football workouts began statewide on Friday following four days of limited (no-pads) practice. Approximately 30 players have turned out for the Pawhuska High School practices under the new head coach of the Huskies, Joe Sindelar. The sessions have provided a glimpse of the fast-paced, pro-style offense that’s being installed for the local program.

“We’re working from several different schemes,” said Sindelar, who is returning to the sideline after a four-year “layoff” as he launched his career as PHS principal. “That’s going to give us lots of flexibility.”

The coach admitted players will have a lot to learn in a fairly short amount of time and said “the learning curve is very, very fast.”

“Everyone is excited about getting on the field Friday and seeing how things are progressing,” said Sindelar. “I always have high expectations.”

Around 85 percent of the team’s 2014 offensive production will be returning this season, which adds to the coach’s natural optimism. A junior trio — comprised of running backs John Bighorse (6-0, 210 pounds) and Caleb Bruce (5-8, 150) and quarterback Colton Hindman (5-10, 160) — will be supplemented by senior Mathew Taft (5-10, 180), junior Warren Graves (6-2, 160) and sophomore Brian Jeffers (5-11, 170), as well as others. Senior Gage Dagenais (5-10, 160) is back on the field after missing all last season with an injury. Stalwart senior Hayden Henley (6-4, 215) and sophomore Kienan Cheves (6-1, 240) provide two of the squad’s bigger building blocks.

“I think we’ll have plenty of weapons,” Sindelar said. “It should be fun.”

Longtime Huskie assistant coach Mark Frye will continue serving as the Huskies’ defensive coordinator. New assistants with the squad include Ben Rawlinson, Seth Patrick, Christian Supernaw and Seth Creamer. Randall Esch will still be assisting the team, as will “volunteer” coaches Joe Tillman and Patrick Wright.

Sindelar said Pawhuska’s junior high-level football teams will be coached by Frye, Supernaw and Rawlinson, as well as newly-hired Huskies’ basketball coach Chad Kills Crow.

Other fall sports coaching assignments include Monty Brewster and Mike Stroud for the junior high-level softball squads. Cheerleaders. coach Jodie Culver is expected to take over coaching duties for Pawhuska’s cross-country programs, according to Sindelar, who also serves as the school district’s co-athletic director. (Lauri Shatswell will assist with the AD duties and in an administrative role at the high school.)

On Thursday, Aug. 27, the Huskie football teams are slated for a trip to Tonkawa for their second and final pre-season scrimmages. The Pawnee Bears will also participate in those sessions.

PHS opens the regular season at home on Friday night, Sept. 4, against the Verdigris Cardinals. Kickoff is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. for all of this year’s varsity contests.