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Talented skill players can make new Bridge Creek football coach's transition a much easier one

The Bobcats' new coach is very familiar with the school and the community.

By Nate Aker 

Photo of Larry Spangler courtesy of Bridge Creek Public Schools

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 Bridge Creek Bobcats. 

HEAD COACH

Larry Spangler, first year

2021 AT A GLANCE

Overall record: 2-8

League record: 1-6, 7th in District 3A-1

Playoffs: Did not qualify

PLAYERS TO WATCH

RB Jose Martinez, 5-10, 165, Jr.

Martinez showed to be an efficient producer for the Bobcats last season as a sophomore. At 5-foot-10, 165 pounds, Martinez is a speedster at the tailback position, utilizing his speed and motor to drive himself for more yardage and extensions into the end zone.

Heading into his junior year, Martinez will look to be a primary impactor yet again this upcoming season for the Bobcats in 2022.

LB/RB Ryan Place, 5-10, 180, Jr.

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Place has been referred to as one of the hardest workers around by Spangler, as said in VYPE’s annual preview magazine. Spangler adds that Place is a team leader who is always pushing to do more than the average player.

Place will be behind Martinez in the running back depth chart this season, but will hope to make the most out of his opportunities at tailback. Defensively, Place will lead the linebacking corps, but could bounce around at different positions due to his versatility.

As just a junior, he has a bright two years ahead of him with the Bobcats.

DB Caden Morrow, 6-1, 175, Jr.

Morrow will look to assume a larger leadership role, as well as a bigger role in the secondary this upcoming season for the Bobcats. Spangler has said Morrow has progressed well this offseason.

So, heading into his last two years of high school ball, Morrow will look to hold down the fort in the defensive backfield and provide some stability in pass coverage.

OUTLOOK

First-year head coach Larry Spangler knows this Bobcats' territory very well. After living around the community the past decade and a half, his wife, LeAnn, was a teacher at Bridge Creek for a number of years, while his son, Ryan, was a standout basketball player for the Bobcats who went on to have a successful career at Oklahoma, even reaching the NCAA Final Four in 2016.

As Spangler is very acclimated with the customs and traditions surrounding Bridge Creek, it could certainly help make his transition into his new coaching job a little easier.

Another thing to Spangler's advantage is that he will have some talented skill players to work with.

One of those skilled players will be standout junior running back Jose Martinez, who’ll look to have a huge year in 2022 with his quickness and knack to find open holes. At wideout, junior Parker Vansycle and sophomore Beu James should contribute largely in the receiving game.

James’ name will also be thrown around in the quarterback battle, holding sufficient arm strength while possessing the ability to get downfield quickly.

On the defensive side, junior linebacker Ryan Place will look to anchor the front seven and yield a sense of leadership. In the secondary, juniors Elijah James and Kaden Morrow should compete as a tandem to deflect passes and put pressure on the quarterback to throw.

Spangler and the Bobcats have a promising future ahead, but these next couple seasons will be imperative to building skill, culture and longevity.