Huskies set to steam into campaign

Mike Tupa

Rev up the engine for Pawhuska High School football.

Back at quarterback is Bryce Drummond — who had started at guard the previous season.

Drummond — who measures out at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds — simply worked his way during the 2018 preseason into the starting signal caller role and kept a firm grasp on it heading into the 2019 preseason camp.

“He can throw it through a keyhole,” said second-year Huskie head coach Matt Hennesy. “He’s super strong, he throws a deep ball, and he’s big enough to run over guys. … I think that by the end of this season he could be one of the top quarterbacks in the state.”

Easton Kirk, who had played quarterback the year before Hennesy arrived, blossomed last year as a star tailback and safety.

“He’s probably our best all-around football player,” Hennesy said, adding Kirk excels in all sports.

Sophomore Kevin Davis, listed at 6-1, 180, also has a fast pair of legs.

“He was hurt as a freshman, but I think he could end up being a Division I player,” the coach said.

Pawhuska’s stable of players has one asset in common — pure, unadulterated, blazing, knee pumping propulsion.

Many of them helped power Pawhuska’s boys’ track team to the state championship spring.

“I think the biggest strength we have is team speed,” Hennesy said.

Two of his swifter dynamos are Evan Frye and Mason Gilkey combined to win seven state track gold medals.

Both have shot well past the six-foot tall level and should create a double-dose of headaches for opposing teams.

Cade McNeill and J.T. Waddle are slated as inside receivers.

“We’ve got a lot of weapons,” Hennesy summarized about his passing targets. “We’ll sling it all over the yard.”

Hunter Reed is slated to play fullback, but the offensive sets sometimes will go to one back or no back.

“We still have a 220 pound runningback in Drummond,” Hennesy said.

Assistant coach Duke Atterberry is working hard to elevate the play of the offensive line, the coach said.

On defense, “we’ll be super aggressive,” Hennesy said.

Reed will be back at middle linebacker and Drummond is slated to see some snaps at inside linebacker, while Jack Long and Kevin Davis — some more tracksters — will fill it up at outside linebacker, the coach said.

Along the defensive front will be Hayden McGuire, who Hennesy predicted would be “one of the top defensive ends around. He started six games last year as a freshman. He’ll be a force to be reckoned with.”

The rest of the defensive line will be fill by committee, although Hennesy is looking at move-in Jamar Goff (6-5, 315) as a steady force at noseguard — although he won’t be back from injury until midseason.

Some other potential impact players Hennesy mentioned are Tristian McCartney, Ryan Henley, and Gabe Letzkus.

Pawhuska’s 12th man is the community, which congregates en masse Friday nights at the home games to support the team, Hennesy said.

The Huskie fans will be rewarded with seven home games this year, Hennesy said.

The season opener is planned for Aug. 30 at Kellyville.