OBA taking different approach to spring football practice | Football

ENID, Okla. — For a coach with an old-school mentality, Oklahoma Bible Academy’s Chris Cayot is taking a new-school view of spring football practice.

The Trojans, coming off of a 13-1 season and a trip to the state semifinals, did not wear pads for spring drills, which ended Tuesday, opting to go with shorts and helmets.

Cayot was not disappointed when rain forced the Trojans indoors to the weight room Tuesday.

“We need to be in the weight room as much as we need to be on the field,” Cayot said. “We didn’t do a lot of contact. It is what it is.”

With around 20 players out, Cayot said staying healthy is the No. 1 priority. Spring is a time for learning and lining up correctly. The Trojans watched videos and lifted weights Tuesday.

“It comes down to blocking and tackling and we were able to work on those things without having any pads on,” he said. “We did get after it and made sure they were breathing hard, we just didn’t knock the snot out of each other.”

For the first time in Cayot’s tenure, the Trojans will have a full week of preseason practice before starting school in August.

“We’ll have plenty of opportunities to get things done,” Cayot said.

Cayot is still weighing his options on replacing quarterback Bodie Boydstun, voted the News & Eagle 8-man Northwest Oklahoma Player of the Year by area coaches. OBA was 22-2 the last two years with him under center.

Boydstun was one of four starters who graduated along with defensive end/tight end Jakob Colby, wide receiver/defensive back Harry Nunez and guard/linebacker Holden Caldwell.

Cayot credits the team’s leadership for the Trojans making a successful transition from 11-man to 8-man, including a year as an independent.

“They were great kids,” he said. “Quarterback is a tough spot to fill especially when you had somebody as good as Bodie the last two years.”

Boydstun and Colby will play at Southwestern Oklahoma State this fall.

Star running back Jud Cheatham and sophomore Liam Berry are the top two candidates to replace Boydstun.

“It will depend what we decide to do offensively and what we’re going to hang our hat on,” Cayot said. “We don’t know what we’re going to do.”

Cheatham has shown big play capability. He has the mentality and work ethic of a coach’s son (defensive coordinator James Cheatham is his father). Cayot said they have to tone down some of his aggressiveness to keep him healthy.

“He is deceptively fast and deceptively strong,” Cayot said. “He has more power than people think he has. If you move him, he would have to learn a new position and the person taking his spot would have to learn a new position.”

Other starters back are seniors center/linebacker Harrison Crow, guard/nose guard Nick Boeckman, end Jackson Crow, fullback/linebacker Ian Eastin and Corban Burrell, a pass rushing specialist who had his share of quarterback sacks.

“Those guys really shine,” Cayot said.

The Crows are expected to try to fill the shoes of Boydstun and Colby at defensive end.

The 13-1 season built the team’s confidence — one reason why Cayot said OBA is ahead of where it was last season.

“We have more confidence and more belief in what we’re doing,” Cayot said.

The Trojans, if anything, will have to fight overconfidence.

“Just because you won a couple of games, it doesn’t mean you’re the greatest,” he said.

OBA will need to keep a chip on its shoulder and continue the hard work which it rode to a district title. Cayot said the Trojans worked hard in the weight room in the off-season.

“That’s encouraging,” he said.

OBA will go to a five-on-five passing camp at Covington-Douglas on June 22, 26 and 29 with 11 other teams.

Cayot takes a different view of that than other coaches, looking at things more defensively than offensively.

“When you’re in those situations, you’re going to be able to draw up something that you’re going to score on,” Cayot said “There’s no pass rush. I’m more worried about getting to the right spots on defense, getting lined up correctly, dropping back right and communicating with each other. You don’t try to win a scrimmage or passing league. We will be breaking in a new quarterback, so that will be important for us.”

Assistant coach Easton Maxwell has left the program for another school. Volunteer coaches Cam Cayot and Jason Warnock have new jobs which might limit the time they can put in.

Jay Mendenhall and James Cheatham, though, are back giving OBA one of the most stable staffs in the area.

Cayot is looking for an area scrimmage opponent for the pre-season.