Editor's note: This story will appear in the 2019 Football Preview coming out Thursday.
The Chickasha Fightin’ Chick football team is entering the season as a program on the rise after showing improvement in 2018.
Chickasha went 4-6 last season following an 0-10 2017 season, remaining in the playoff hunt heading to the final week of the regular season.
The Chicks are set to return plenty of experience from last season’s team, raising the expectations for the football program.
“(We have) a bunch of experience coming back,” head coach Jerry Don Bray said.
Not only is Chickasha returning experience from last season’s team, but the talent level is coming back with it.
“This is probably the best talent level that we’ve had since about probably 2003,” Bray said. “There should be high expectations.”
Chickasha’s talent level showed in the team’s scrimmage against Blanchard. Chickasha is looking for its first playoff appearance since the 2013 season.
Cayss Lowery is set to lead the offense at the quarterback position. Lowery got some playing time at the position last season and has impressed the coaches with his talent.
“He just has a really special arm,” Bray said. “He’s tall. He’s athletic. He’s got a good work ethic … understands the game.
“He just loves football … dreams it.”
Bray told a story about a touchdown pass that Lowery threw to Austin Albright during the spring that really showed off his arm and talent. Bray said that Lowery managed to find Albright on the run from about 50 yards for a score.
It is that type of talent that has the coaching staff excited.
“Not everybody’s got a kid like that,” Bray said.
Lowery will be protected by an offensive line filled with starting experience.
Albright — who has plenty of experience starting at quarterback — will have the chance to show off his versatility in 2019, and that combination of Lowery and Albright could be a lethal one.
Albright is expected to play multiple positions on offense throughout the season. The offense will be looking for different ways to get him the ball, according to Bray.
Bray also mentioned Albright’s competitiveness.
“He’s just such a competitor. He just wants to play football,” he said.
Running back Hasian Burdex had a big junior season for the Chicks. Running back is one of the many strengths for Chickasha, and Bray is excited about the depth at the position.
“We’ve got more running backs than most teams can dream of,” he said.
At wide receiver, Jordan Jackson was a player that stepped up for Chickasha in the scrimmage against Blanchard.
Jackson’s one-handed catch from a Lowery pass was the only touchdown of the 15-minute period.
The Chicks do have experience on defense as well, and that defense kept Blanchard’s offense in check during the scrimmage.
Eddie Wauahdooah and JT Richie are two players who will be called on to step up at linebacker.
Bray also added that Chickasha did have a strong spring and summer and that the work ethic has been there.
“Some of the question marks that we’ve got … have been here every day (and) worked their tails off,” he said.
The Chickasha varsity team is scheduled to open its season Sept. 6 at Marlow.