Bixby Spartans Continue Off-Season Workouts

GTR Sports Writer

Photo by David Stacy
STAYING FIT: Spartan football player Miles Hill works out during Bixby’s Annual Night of Champions held July 15 at Lee Snider Field.

Bixby football players are more thankful now than ever to have won the Class 6AII state championship last year.
Not because of the accomplishment alone, but the fact they seized the opportunity before COVID-19 came around forcing sports cancellations the following spring.
“Without a doubt,” Bixby coach Loren Montgomery said, “I feel for our seniors who ran track or played baseball and their seasons were taken away from them due to this pandemic. But I know most of them were thrilled that we were able to get through football season and a lot of the events that came along in celebrating the state championship.”
The Spartans have done offseason workouts despite the lockdowns.
“It was tough,” Montgomery said in regards to the school closings that took effect in March. “Some of our kids did a real good job of continuing to train. We’ve got a platform that we put their individualized workout plans on; however, some of the kids might not have access to weights or a gym and we also had home workouts and running (drills). Some of the kids did a really good job with it and as you would expect there were some that were unable to do it and reported back. Everybody had their own challenges they had to deal with. But it was hard.”
When players were allowed back on campus in the summer they worked on individual skills. “No team-type settings or anything like that, but we’ve been doing some 7-on-7 drills,” Montgomery said.
The coach said that while his staff and players are doing everything they can to prepare for the 2020 season, “It is challenging because when you get to work at football skills, it’s tough to maintain a distance when you work on some aspects of it,” he said.
“We’ve had protocols where every day when the kids get there, we check them in with a COVID-19 questionnaire, take their temperature, record it, sanitize their hands when they go from one location to the next. We worked out in smaller groups than we had in years past,” Montgomery added.
There are other precautions in place too.
“We’re going to strongly suggest that they wear a facemask, just do everything we can to keep from having to quarantine a group of them or whatnot,” Montgomery said.
Two former Spartans are having success at Oklahoma State – defensive tackle Brendon Evers and offensive guard Bryce Bray. You can bet Montgomery is thrilled.
“I’m so proud of those guys,” he said. “In fact, I got a text from Evers today. He’s done really well. He’s a guy that just loves the weight room. He had an excellent work ethic for us and he has carried that on to the next level and he still enjoys coming back to the high school visiting with the coaches.
“Same way with Bryce Bray,” Montgomery said. “I was able to see him once or twice through that pandemic that we had and it was good visiting with him. It’s good to see him continue to hone his game as a technician, as an offensive lineman. He has trained really hard, it’s just cool to watch a game on Saturday and see some guys that have played for you go out and contribute.”
As for the upcoming prep season, assuming there is no COVID-19 intervention, the Spartans have key players returning. Among them are quarterback Mason Williams, tailback/defensive back Braylin Presley, linemen Cody Pascal and Caleb Townsend, middle linebacker Nick Wedel and strong safety Tanner Doyle.
“We’re managing every day and are just ready to adapt on the fly. That’s for sure,” Montgomery said.
“We got some really good players and we got some underclassmen coming in that I think are going to be good. I think we’ll have a chance to put some guys out there that can play football. We’ll be young and the only way you can get better at football is getting repetitions and work through some mistakes. I think we got a chance to have a solid football team, so hopefully, we have an opportunity to go out and play,” Montgomery added.