Jenks Football Benefitting from Experience
By MIKE MOGUIN
GTR Sports Writer
BRADY LATHAM: The Trojan’s offensive line is anchored by the senior left tackle, who has commited to play for the University of Arkansas next year. Brady is the son of Bob Latham, standout center at the University of Oklahoma from 1986-88.
Photo by MIKE MOGUIN for Union Boundary
Jenks is having a different start than it did in 2017, when it went 0-4 for the first time in nearly a half century.
Through their first four games in 2018, Jenks is 3-1.
One reason for the improvement is experience, as the Trojans boast a solid offensive line anchored by senior left tackle Brady Latham, as well as senior skill position players like quarterback Ian Corwin, running backs Noah Hernandez and Dreyson Watters, and wide receiver Julian Clarke.
Latham made a block that paved the way for running back Noah Hernandez to score a game-clinching touchdown in the annual Backyard Bowl against Union back on Sept. 7. The Trojans won that game, 27-10.
“That’s every kid’s dream in Jenks right there,” Latham said after the game. “As a little kid, you dream about growing up and playing in the Backyard Bowl and winning. That’s all you can ask for. I’m pumped.
“Our offense knew we had to get another touchdown, and we felt like we got it done,” Latham said, in regard to the Hernandez TD.
“I think we learned from last year (in reference to the struggling start which included a loss to Union in last year’s Backyard Bowl) that we wanted to come back and win. We played hard, we worked hard and we got it done. Yes sir.
“It’s a lineman’s dream for guys like Corwin, Watters, Hernandez and Clarke to make the end zone,” Latham said.
“You know you’re doing your job when the rest of the offense is having success, that’s what you want,” he added.
As of Sept. 25, the Trojans, ranked second in Class 6AI, have wins against Bixby (28-14), Mansfield (Texas) Legacy (35-14) and Union. After a week off, they lost a highly anticipated matchup with top-ranked Broken Arrow (28-13) on Sept. 20. But, with their experience, they should rebound and return to the Class 6AI playoffs.
Jenks played host to Enid on Sept. 28, visited Yukon on Oct. 5 and was back at home for a two-game homestand against Edmond Memorial (Oct. 12) and Norman (Oct. 19). It closes out the regular season with back-to-back road games against Edmond Santa Fe (Oct. 26) and Westmoore (Nov. 1).
Latham, who stands 6-5 and weighs 285 pounds, is the son of Bob Latham, a standout center at the University of Oklahoma from 1986-88. He intends to follow a similar road as his father when he goes on to play college football at the University of Arkansas next year. He committed to the Razorbacks early last month.
Making connections played into his decision.
“Just everything about it,” Latham said. “It’s close to home. They are great people and great coaches. I really felt like I belonged there.”
Latham chose Arkansas over Utah State, New Mexico and a few smaller D-I schools.
Making contact on every play is what he likes most about playing offensive line.
“I like being in the trenches,” he said. “That’s where the dudes are.”
Run-blocking is a favorite style of Latham’s.
“I like hit-’em-in-the-mouth football,” he said.
Latham’s favorite team is the Dallas Cowboys and he likes Tyron Smith, who plays the same spot on the line he does.
But, when it comes to who he models in play, he needs to look no further than to his father.
“My dad played college football and I really look up to him and I strive to be like him,” Latham said.
“It (having an OU football standout as a father) was really cool, I always looked up to him. He’s taught me so much more off the football field. I love being with my dad. He’s been an amazing role model for me.”