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With more experience, Bishop Kelley ready to resume posting winning seasons

The Comets play a challenging non-district schedule, but their coach believes they will be ready.

By Patrick Kays 

Over the next few weeks, SBLive Oklahoma will break down high school football teams from the four largest classifications in the state in anticipation of the upcoming 2022 season. Here's our look at the Bishop Kelley Comets.

HEAD COACH

JJ Tappana

2021 AT A GLANCE

Overall record: 5-6

League record: 5-2, 3rd in District 5A-3

Playoffs: Lost first round of Class 5A playoffs to Pryor, 21-6

PLAYERS TO WATCH

RB Austin Munson, 6-0, 195, Sr.

Munson has incredible physicality and strength. He showed that ability all season last year while sharing reps. The ball will be in his hands a lot more this season, and he should have a stellar curtain call for the Comets.

TE Sam Rhoades, 6-4, 240, Jr.

Rhoades is a large pass catcher. His size isn’t really matched by defensive backs in the state. He will be a large target for the Comets, and a challenge to bring down.

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LB Braxton Goodwin, 5-10, 175, Sr.

Goodwin is a physical threat that made a significant impact in 2021. He is a strong leader, which is exactly what you need from a linebacker. He should close in quickly on a big senior season.

FS Gunnar Jackson, 6-0, 175, Sr.

Jackson has a long stride and closes gaps well. He gets in the action quickly and can hit hard and make a play on the ball. He will be a huge piece of the Comets' secondary.

OUTLOOK

The Bishop Kelley Comets had their worst season in terms of winning ballgames since 2014, but still managed a trip to the playoffs.

It was a quick one and done, but the young squad gained some valuable experience and look to bounce back to a winning record in 2022.

Bishop Kelley had won 10 games apiece in both 2018 and 2020. The Comets had won at least eight ballgames each season since 2015 before that streak ended with last season's 5-6 finish.

Outside of the offensive line, Tappana has some depth to play with in his 17th season at Bishop Kelley. Teams will have to game-plan accordingly when they square up with Bishop Kelley this season.

The Comets have a tough contest out of the gate against Poteau, a 4A semifinalist last season, at home on Aug. 26th. Bishop Kelley also has non-district games against Rogers (Ark.) and Bishop McGuinness.

District 5A-4 play for the Comets starts with back-to-back road games, at Tulsa Rogers on Sept. 23, and at defending 5A champion Collinsville on Sept. 30.

Bishop Kelley ends the regular season on Nov. 4 at Grove, which is moving up from 4A. It will be the first game between those two schools since 2005.

COACH SAID

"We had a lot of sophomores on the field last year and that should help us out this year. As usual, our non-conference is pretty difficult, so we need to do well early. We change districts this year, so that will be a challenge for us to adjust to. Overall, I feel great about this group and I am excited to get the season started." - JJ Tappana