UCO - Position Battles: Quarterback
By Michael Collins
If competition breeds excellence, then the University of Central Oklahoma’s football team should be in for a treat. With Brandon Noohi finishing his last season of eligibility this last fall, the Bronchos will have to find a new quarterback. As of right now there are four quarterbacks on the roster: Ethan Sharp, Landon Greve, Carter Whitson and Brett Maxie.
“Coming into fall camp this season we will have four solid guys competing for the job,” offensive coordinator Jay Wilkinson said. “Obviously Ethan and Landon will have a slight edge, because they have been in the system for a year, but when practice starts we will be splitting the reps into fours.”
The front-runner for the job has to be Ethan Sharp, only because he was the backup this last fall.
“Ethan had a really good fall last year,” Wilkinson said. “We would have liked to have redshirted him, but when Brandon went down we had to throw him into the fire.”
Sharp’s last real game experience came in his senior season at Eufaula High School, where he completed 240 of his 400 passes for 3,750 yards and 43 touchdowns, while earning All-District, All-Area MVP and All-State honors. Having a passing background should provide Sharp with an edge in competing in the Bronchos’ offense which likes to throw the ball around. Out of the all the quarterbacks, Sharp is definitely the best true passer.
Broncho Breakout Players
By Chris Wescott/ Sports Editor of the Vista
Summer may be in full swing, but the end of it is fast approaching. With that in mind, fall sports are right around the corner, and there are many Central Oklahoma athletes with the potential to have breakout seasons when that time comes. Here are three athletes, in no particular order, who I think are on the verge of having a highlight-filled season.
1. Josh “Juice” Birmingham, Running Back, UCO Football
Birmingham is a guy I really like to have a breakout season for a few reasons. First, his attitude. I had the pleasure of speaking with Birmingham following the Bronchos’ spring practices this year. The young running back seemed excited to step into his new role as a starter, and even more excited to showcase his skills. Which is the second reason I believe Birmingham will have a good season; the guy has talent. I personally watched him bust off a long run in the spring scrimmage that left the defenders in the dust. His breakaway speed and small, evasive size, 185 pounds at 5 feet 8, make him an explosive speed back. Birmingham had an incredible career at Luther High School. He rushed for over 5,000 yards and claimed All-State honors as a senior. He showcased his speed by being a two-time 100-meter dash state champion. He also showcased his athleticism by winning a state long-jump title and performing at an All-Conference level in basketball. Although running the ball isn’t a major fixture in the Broncho offense, Birmingham doesn’t need to be handed the ball to make plays. He can catch it out of the backfield as well. So while a bunch of yards on the ground may be difficult to come by, look for “Juice,” as he is nicknamed, to be an important playmaker for the Bronchos this season.
Honorable Mentions for football
Ethan Sharp, Sophomore QB, UCO Football-Could open the season as the starter and has potential to be a good field general. He is surrounded by talent and that should help production.
Dolphin Davis, Sophomore WR, UCO Football-Talented wide receiver with youth and speed. Davis could develop into an above average deep threat.
Muleshoe's Wood in line for Hounds' starting QB spot
Wes Wood has gone from backup to the heir apparent at Eastern New Mexico University in a little more than a year.
Wood, who led Muleshoe to the school’s only state football championship in 2008, has been called the frontrunner to replace J.J. Harp following spring drills, according to ENMU’s coaching staff.
Greyhound head coach Mark Ribaudo wouldn’t say that Wood has been named the starter, because it wouldn’t be fair to do so before two-a-day workouts begin in August. But he conceded that Wood, who completed 55 of 98 passes for 492 yards and five touchdowns in seven games last season, is the leading candidate.
Draco Miller, an offensive line coach at ENMU, said this spring Wood, who will be a sophomore in the fall, showed he was the right man for the job operating the Hounds’ spread offense.
“He stepped in this spring, and did a phenomenal job of moving the offense up and down the field,” Miller said.
Further MIAA expansion a possibility
Four teams express interest in expanding conference from 12 schools to 16
By Josh Rouse
(We were not going to post this link due to numerous factual errors, but we feel it is important to correct the misinformation.)
1. Four LSC schools were selected for the NCAA playoffs, not three.
2. Central Missouri did not qualify for the NCAA playoffs, Northwest Missouri did. They were not 11-0 either, losing their season opener to ACU.
3. UCO and NSU joining the MIAA will not result in the SOS becoming tougher for the MIAA and weaker for the LSC. The two schools were a combined 6-16 last season, and 35-70 over the past 5 seasons, with just one winning season and no playoff appearances between them.
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