NORMAN — High school players used to go both ways on a regular basis. Coaches liked to keep their best athletes on the field and only substitute for them for a couple of series every game just to give them a breather.
But nowadays most teams, especially in 6A, have gone away from having players do double duty. It started up in Jenks and has spread out to the rest of the state.
Yet, no schools outside of Tulsa have this type of depth and talent pool to choose from. While many area schools like Southmoore, Norman and Westmoore have certain players who have to play on both sides of the ball, Moore’s Colin Webb is the only one counted on to man quarterback and middle linebacker.
“It’s tough,” Webb said. “You have to change your thinking completely from trying to get to see what you can do to get the defense to mess up, to trying to stop the offense.”
Thursday’s loss to Edmond North was the third time this year Webb has had to play both offense and defense the majority of the snaps. He started out the season as the starting linebacker and backup quarterback.
But when Derek Harris was injured, Webb stepped in under center against Westmoore and never relinquished the spot. He was replaced on defense and he became the starting QB.
However, last week at Yukon, his replacement at linebacker, Josh Robeson, broke his ribs and Webb was called back into action. He replaced Robeson and was back in the starting lineup this week.
“I honestly didn’t think I was going to have to go both ways when the season started,” Webb said. “The physical part is tougher. You have to be in almost top physical shape to go both ways.”
The physical toll caught up to Webb against the Huskies when he had to leave the game with a concussion after being hit by an ENH defender.