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Titans wrap up spring ball with team camp

Carl Albert quarterback Kash Ferris hands off to Xavier Robinson (21) last week during a team camp at Gary Rose Stadium. PHOTO BY JEFF HARRISON

By Michael Kinney

Contributing Writer


After two weeks of spring football practice, the Carl Albert Titans got a treat late last week. As a reward for battling each other in the sun and rain, coach Mike Dunn rewarded the defending state champions with a two-day team camp.

“It’s just kind of icing on the cake,” Dunn said. “We just call it bonus work for us because we got eight days of spring ball practice in and then we got to finish with these two days. It makes spring ball a lot more fun when the kids know we’re working toward something. I think is the perfect way to do it.”

The camp took place on Thursday and Friday at the Titans Stadium. Along with the Titans, the team camp included Southmoore, Elgin and Norman North. Each of the teams got a chance to go through mini scrimmages and situation settings during the two-day event.

Carl Albert ended the camp by facing off with the SaberCats while the Huskies and Owls went at it on the other half of the field.

“I thought our kids played with really good effort,” Dunn said. “During this time of year, there’s going to be a lot of mistakes. There are going to be things that you got to clean up, but it’s some of those things you don’t want to coach. Like effort and attitude and discipline and playing it the right way. We didn’t have to do a lot of that. I think our guys came out and did what we asked them to do and we wanted them to play physical and I think we did that.”

Dunn and his coaching staff used the team camp primarily to get an idea of what their new or younger players can do.

“This time of year, a lot of times it’s for your young guys,” Dunn said. “We’ve got some guys returning on both sides of the ball and we’ve got some guys where we know we’ve seen them and we’ve got a lot of three-year starters that are returning. And so really this time of year you’re looking for those young guys and see who will step up. And we’ve got some big-time players we got to replace off of last year’s team.”

Dunn said several players have really stood out during the team camp l. They included juniors Trynae Washington and Trystan Hayes.

“I don’t think (Hayes) gave up a single catch in two days of work and made some big plays on offense,” Dunn said.

Dunn also liked what he saw from Noah Darnell, Marcus James, Caden Davis, Kash Ferris and the offensive line as a whole.

“We’ve got a veteran offensive line coming back and I watched them and they’re really physical,” Dunn said. “That’s something we want to hang our hat on at the end of the day. And when you play football in Oklahoma in November and December, you better be able to pound the rock.”

Even though the Titans are the current Class 5A state champions, Dunn doesn’t want his squad to get complacent in that accomplishment. So, during the spring he made sure they knew 2023 would be an entirely new season.

“We talk a lot about that last year’s accomplishments was for last year,” Dunn said. “This is a whole new team. Team 61 and team 6A, what are you going to be? In this time of year, we get to find out those young guys who will go out there and kind of throw it around and be physical and learn. We throw a lot at them in the two weeks that we have out here. It’s a good chance to see who will stay dialed in, who will be physical and who will pick this stuff up.”

With spring ball officially over, the Titans will now turn their attention to off-season workouts. According to Dunn, that is where championship teams are really built.

“What we really want what we’re going to be is how we go in the summer. We start performance course, it’s kind of our summer pride on June 5th,” Dunn said. “We’ll go four weeks in June and then we’ll go three weeks in July. We go seven weeks, Monday through Thursday at 7 a.m. I was just telling our kids most people in the summertime, especially their kids their age, they’re going to be sleeping in and not waking up till about Noon. That’s where these kids sacrifice and that’s why they’re elite. There are 500-600 boys in our school and, there’s only 90 that play football and there’s a reason because they sacrificed in the summer.”

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