By Michael Kinney
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Coach Todd Watters wants his team to have a short memory. When his Moore Lions take the field at 7 p.m. today against rival Westmoore, he can’t have his players thinking about recent history between the two schools.
“We want them to have a short memory when it comes to years past,” Watters said. “I think our kids are so ready for change and worked their tails off to create change. So I think they are going to will it to happen. Hopefully it will start here with game one. I don’t think they are going to allow it to be like years past.”
However, the fact the Jaguars have won 12 straight Moore Wars is not something Moore will easily erase from their minds. If Westmoore coach Billy Langford has his way, it will be 13 after tonight.
“The streak is definitely something we talk about,” Langford said. “That’s a big part of our tradition. We don’t try and dance around it. We acknowledge we’ve won 12 in a row and we’re plan on winning 13.”
“Everybody has to do their part. Nobody wants to be part of the team that breaks the streak. So that’s a big issue.”
If Westmoore is to extend the streak, it will have to do it with a quarterback getting his first start under center. Bryson Lee moved over from the Jaguars’ defensive backfield to earn the QB duties this year.
“He’s a good athlete and has Friday night game experience,” Langford said, “just not at the quarterback spot, which is a different animal. But he has been out their playing defense. I am sure he’s going to be a little nervous, pumped up and excited all at the same time. But he’s a pretty calm guy. He doesn’t get too fired up one way or the other. He actually seems to do better when it’s live than he does in practice.”
Lee will have several weapons at his disposal. They include tailback Kieron Hardrick and wide receivers Lexus Lee and Dahu Green.
Moore also enters the contest with a quarterback getting his first start. Senior Jordan Bernhardy won the job after a long offseason battle.
But Watters likes the attributes Bernhardy brings to the position.
“He has really improved,” Watters said. “Throwing the football has improved. Decision making has improved. His leadership skills have improved. He has really grasped and embraced the things we have asked him to improve on. We feel like he’s going to have a great season.”
With inexperienced signal callers, Moore War could turn into a defensive outing. Both teams like their chances in that type of contest.
However, Langford and Watters agree one of the most important factors in Moore War will be which team doesn’t let themselves be overtaken by the emotions of the moment. At the end of the day, the game comes down to which team can execute its game plan.
“That is a major task, at times, trying to keep your emotions in check,” Watters said. “At least to the point to where it doesn’t affect you in a negative way. Jumping offsides or let your emotions get away from you and you get a personal foul. Those are concerns. It will be difficult to keep the kids down to an even keel. But that’s part of the game. It’s what makes it fun.”
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