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Northeast Area Football Preview – Salina and Chouteau-Mazie – Presented By Hooker’s Sports Grill




Head coach Kyle Fowler is excited to see what this season holds for his football program, having taken over with a new coaching staff that includes Matt Simmons, Brock Thomas, Jeff Chambers, Jake Sitsler and Nate Holman. With nine starters returning to the offense, the Wildcats look like a team ready to compete for a playoff spot. Jack Wilkins (5-10, 185, Jr.) is a tough running back who will handle the rock a ton this season running behind the heavies in Kolby Chancellor (5-11, 240, Jr.), Carson Gaskins (6-1, 245, Jr.) and Wyatt Murphy (6-0, 190, Sr.). A pair of wide receivers are tasked with stretchy the field and making key receptions to move the chains. Treyton Bailey (5-11, 175, Jr.) and Brayden Williams (5-9, 155, Sr.) are possession type receivers with big play potential. Look for a more balanced attack from Salina this season with Conner Johnson (So.) playing quarterback. Last year Johnson started the last four games of the season. 


Everything starts up front for the Wildcat defense and the man in charge is Kolby Chancellor at defensive tackle. Chancellor is expected to have a big year and help free up guys like Wilkins and J.T. Kelley (5-11, 160, Sr.) so they can fly around and make plays from their outside linebacker spots. Defensive end Gregg Willis (5-11, 215, Jr.) is quick off the edge giving the Wildcats a true disrupter on every down. Also look for Gavin Montgomery (5-7, 150, Jr.) at corner. Montgomery gained some valuable experience last season and is ready for the challenge of taking on opposing team’s top receiver. Expect to see the Wildcats in a 4-2-5, playing fast with 11 helmets rallying to the ball. 

9-2 – at Locust Grove 

9-10 – vs. Inola 

9-17 – vs. Fairland 

9-24 – at Rejoice Christian 

10-1 – at Claremore Sequoyah 

10-8 – vs. Kansas 

10-14 – vs. Sperry 

10-22 – at Adair 

10-29 – vs. Dewey 

11-5 – at Nowata 




Don’t let the 0-10 record of a year ago persuade you in believing this team does not want to compete. Head coach Aaron Compton believes they have the talent to compete. “We are looking to improve by putting trust in the process,” said Compton. “We will work to get better each and every day. We can do this by showing up with great energy every day and choosing to do what is right over what is easy. These guys have to start believing in the WE is greater than the ME mentality.” With seven starters back on offense the Wildcats are looking like a team that may be ready to turn the page. Andy Hill (5-10, 170, Sr.) accounted for more than 1,000 yards last season with five touchdowns. Hill is a versatile athlete who was named the District Returner of the Year last season. Nick Lunsford (5-10, 160, So.) looks to return at quarterback after throwing for 683 yards and six touchdowns last year. Lunsford has certainly bought in and is ready to lead this team into the win column. Toby Burkholder (5-11, 170, Jr.) and Hayden Spencer (5-8, 145, Jr.) are two receivers to watch in the passing game. Also look for Mathew Soldier (5-9, 168, So.) at wide out. The trio could have a big year. Connor Whitson (5-8, 295, Jr.) will anchor the offensive line. After moving over from Tahlequah, Whitson was able to play in one game last season and recorded 18 pancakes in one game. 


A few of the offensive starters will turn their attention to the defense as players like Andy Hill and Nick Lunsford look to contribute in any way possible. Hill will play linebacker where he recorded 83 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and Lunsford will start in the secondary where he made 34 tackles with one interception. Daniel Burkholder (5-8, 185, So.) is back to play linebacker where he accounted for 30 tackles and made three fumble recoveries. Toby Burkholder will start in the secondary with Soldier and Spencer. Combined the trio made over 80 tackles and intercepted one pass. “We will base out of a three-man front,” said Compton. “Our goal is, be simple and fast.” The coaching staff includes Josh Middleton, Mike Inglett, Travis Brannon and Austin Goodman. 

8-27 – vs. Quapaw 

9-3 – at Liberty 

9-10 – vs. Wyandotte 

9-17 – at Warner 

9-24 – vs. Chelsea 

10-1 – BYE 

10-8 – at Hominy 

10-14 – at Woodland 

10-22 – vs. Caney Valley 

10-29 – at Pawnee 

11-5 – vs. Morrison 

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