By MIKE MOGUIN
GTR Sports Writer
READY FOR ACTION: B.A. Senior Demeco Roland looks forward to playing rivals Union, Jenks and Owasso.
MIKE MOGUIN for GTR Newspapers
As football season draws close, Demeco Roland can focus on making the best of his senior season at Broken Arrow.
The Tigers’ defensive lineman (6-3, 290) got his college decision out of the way on July 6 when he announced his verbal commitment to North Texas.
“I got a lot of family there,” Roland said. “It is just a family-based community. I know they’re going to push me and I’m going to push myself to make myself get better.
“I really like the school and I think I’ll fit well there,” he added.
Roland chose North Texas over TU, Stephen F. Austin and Missouri State.
The school is located in Denton, a town located on 1-35, 30 miles south of the Red River, which separates Oklahoma and Texas.
“It’s close, my mom doesn’t have to go too far. She can always come in for games,” Roland said.
Roland has played offensive line throughout most of his football career, but he was switched over to defense two seasons ago.
“I really like it,” he said.
During his junior season last year, Roland forced 40 solo tackles and four sacks. That included a season-high eight tackles in a win against Edmond Santa Fe.
This will be Roland’s second year starting.
“When playing defense, you don’t worry about anything except getting to the person with the ball, really,” the North Texas commit said. “I’d rather hit somebody than block.”
“I’m glad (Coach David Alexander) gave me a chance to play d-line. I’m grateful for it,” Roland added.
The Class 6AI semifinal playoff game against Union was the point where Roland believes he played his best football. Unfortunately, the Tigers lost that game 21-0.
He has been building off that game through the offseason.
“I feel like I’m definitely faster and stronger than last year,” Roland said. “So, I feel like I’m being more explosive off the ball and it’s going to be hard to get the hands on me.
“I definitely have progressed over the last year. I’m way stronger than I was. Now, I’m ready to go out there and play ball this season,” Roland said.
Roland doesn’t look back on past plays he considers memorable.
“I don’t have any favorites,” he said. “I just like to make plays when I get too.”
Broken Arrow will open its season Aug. 24 at home against the Redskins.
“I’m excited to play them (Union),” Roland said. “When we play them, I’m ready to go. It’s going to be a good game. Everybody is fightin.’ It’s going to be a good game.”
The Tigers will host Mansfield (Texas) the following week (Aug. 31), then it’s a road trip to defending state champion Owasso (Sept. 7). After a week off, Jenks comes to town (Sept. 21), followed by a road trip to Norman (Sept. 28).
“They’re always the toughest,” Roland said of Union, Owasso and Jenks. “But I feel like they think we’re the toughest too this year. I feel like we’re going to give them a run for their money this year,” Roland said.
Roland sees Westmoore to be the toughest foe from the west side of the state. The Jaguars come to B.A. on Oct. 5. Western Oklahoma teams occupy the rest of the Tigers’ schedule.
“We’re coming strong and hard this season. Nothing weak. It will be all on the field,” Roland said. “I feel like this year is our year and nobody is getting in the way of that.”