A Blanchard football player carries the ball during a scrimmage in Chickasha last week.

The Blanchard Lions want to get back to the postseason.

After the Lions went 4-6 in 2019 and missed out on the playoffs for the first time since 2011, head coach Jeff Craig and the Lions are seeking "redemption." According to Craig, last season has weighed heavily on those involved with Blanchard football.

"The disappointment of missing the playoffs … has weighed heavily on our minds this offseason, and the players are just ready to get back and prove that they can contend at a high level,” Craig said.

With the high school season beginning this week for several teams across Oklahoma — excluding Blanchard — Craig is ready to get the regular season started and hopes that it brings back some sort of normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Even though we have a lot of changes to (the) way things are being done, it's just good to get back together and go to work toward a common goal,” he said.

The Lions might have to replace standout player Bryce Madron, but Craig said the Lions only lost one starter from last season’s offensive line and have a solid group of wide receivers. Craig said that a major key for the Lions will be getting solid play from the quarterback position.

“We have to replace Bryce Madron at RB and get more consistent play at QB. QB play will be critical to our overall success,” Craig said.

An experienced defense will also be key for the Lions going forward. VYPE recognized Logan McKay at the linebacker position.

With what Blanchard has on its roster this season, Craig believes that the Lions can make a run in Class 4A.

“With the number of returning starters back from last year, expectations are high. We feel we have a team that's capable of contending for the top spot in 4A,” he said.

Blanchard has scheduled its season opener for Sept. 4 at Noble.

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