HEADED TO ARKANSAS: Jordon Curtis is expected to lead the Trojans in rushing this season. He has reportedly committed to play at Arkansas.
KEVIN ADAMS for GTR Newspapers
A driving force in the Jenks offense this fall will be the rushing attack.
Jordon Curtis (6-2, 185, senior) and Rueben Thompson (5-10, 185, senior) will be the 1-2 backfield punch that should factor into the Trojans’ quest to five-peat as state champions.
“I’m more of a shifty type of speedy guy,” Curtis says.
“I’m more of the power-back,” Thompson says.
So if the Trojans are faced with third-and-long, Curtis is the guy they go to. If it’s third-and-three or a goal line situation, Thompson gets the ball.
Curtis, a University of Arkansas commit, rushed for 781 yards and 12 touchdowns on 87 carries in the Trojans’ 2015 state title campaign. He also caught 14 passes for 308 yards. Thompson ran for 967 yards and 14 TDs on 143 rushes. In the 6AI championship game, he scored three TDs and ran for 117 yards on 24 carries.
Both runners are returning starters. They’ll be taking handoffs from a new quarterback in 2016 as Ian Corwin (5-11, 155, sophomore) appears to be assuming the role after the graduation of Cooper Nunley, the Trojans’ signal caller the past three seasons. It will be no big deal.
“It’s not going to be that difficult,” Curtis says. “We’ve worked with (Corwin) all summer, and he’s done well so far. We’re comfortable with each other. So it’s pretty good.”
“He’s a great quarterback,” Thompson says of Corwin. “A few people may say he’s really young, but once he gets going, he’s like rapid fire. He continues to get better every day.”
This will not be another season for Jenks. The Trojans will play with more inspiration than they ever have before to honor their coach, Allan Trimble.
Early in the summer, Trimble announced his retirement, then decided to continue coaching. In July, he announced that he had been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Trimble intends to coach as long as he is able.
“It motivates our team, and we know we’re going to try to win (state) for him,” Curtis says. “In past seasons, we haven’t really had something to motivate us. We’ve had motivation, but nothing like this. We’re out to win it for him and our team as well.”
“Coach (Jordan) Johnson, our weightlifting coach, says, ‘We’re fighting for something that no one really ever fought for before because we’re fighting for Coach Trimble,’” Thompson says. “We’re Coach Trimble Strong!’ We just have to be ready for the season and just push and fight for him and let him get the gold ball, holding it at the end of the season.”
Seven starters return on each side of the ball and there’s never been a problem filling in voids.
“We’re just a team that can re-load because we have young guys who have the ability, and then once they get going, they just come out and help the team tremendously,” Thompson says. “And we have great coaches and the top coaches. They make sure we do everything right,” Curtis added.
“We have the top coaches in Oklahoma in my opinion and some of the top in the country,” Thompson says. “They go out of their way to prepare us, from scouting reports, telling us who needs to go out where. Our coaches are a major key for us too.
Reese Leitao (6-4, 245, senior) is back at tight end and Brett Standlee (6-4, 210, senior) is back at wide receiver. Diego Moya (5-10, 250, senior), Hagen Meservy (6-4, 305, senior) and Aaron Herbig (5-11, 290, senior) are back on the offensive line.
Leitao and Steven Krager (6-0, 265, junior) are back on the defensive line. Hayden Johnson (5-9, 175, senior) returns as a linebacker. The secondary welcomes back Curtis, Noah Strong (5-9, 165, junior), Brett Nelson (5-11, 200, junior) and Hunter Spankowski (6-2, 260, junior).
With all that says, there is no doubt the Trojans can five-peat come December.
“Working as a team is the key,” Curtis says.
“We just need to bond as we have in past years we won state,” Thompson says. “We just build the team up and get ready for the ride.”