Summer Workouts Crucial To Spartan Success
7.24.17 by Ron Holt
Except for a week off early in June, Bixby High's coaches and prospective Spartan football players have been busy preparing for the 2017 season.

Summer workouts are crucial to a Spartan program, which has won three straight Class 6A-II State Championships. During the summer, the Spartans work on conditioning, weight-lifting and are involved in a team camp while also participating in 7-on-7 passing competitions.

In the final days before school ended in May, the Spartans held spring practice, culminating with a spring game on May 25. Bixby then participated in a team camp at Mustang, May 31 through June 2.
"During spring practice, we try to find those guys that we didn't know about before who have grown over the off-season and developed into potential players," Spartan head coach Loren Montgomery said. "Also, this year the approach with the veteran players has been to install everything that we can get in. For the most part our entire offense and a lot of our defense is in with our veterans."

After a week off June 5-10, Bixby's annual Speed, Power and Agility (SPA) began on June 12 with the high school athletes working out from 7 to 9 a.m. Monday through Thursday. BHS also hosted a passing league from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays at Lee Snider Stadium, beginning June 13 and ending July 11.
Bixby's offensive players participated in the Tulsa Air Camp June 22-23 before competing in the Bishop Kelley 7-on-7 Tournament, June 24-25. The second day of the Kelley tourney was held at Stroud with teams from the east meeting west teams. The Spartans emerged as the tourney champion.
The 7-on-7 passing competition ended at the Southwest Elite 7-on-7 Showcase, hosted by Shiloh Christian High School in Springdale, Ark., July 14-15. The Showcase featured 27 teams from six states.
Bixby, which became the first Oklahoma team to win the Showcase in 2016, battled to reach the tourney finals but was upended by Bentonville, Ark., finishing as the runner-up.
Senior quarterback Staton King, who is replacing three-year starter Tanner Griffin, was impressive throughout 7-on-7 play. He played like a seasoned veteran.

"I think he's been in our offense for several years as a back-up quarterback and he has game-time experience as a wide receiver so I think that will help him moving forward," Coach Montgomery said of King. "He's a great athlete and a great competitor.
"I thought he did really well in all the 7-on-7 tournaments and in our passing league. He got a lot of good reps under his belt this summer. The 7-on-7 is what it is but at the end of the day it's throwing, catching and competing."
King connected with several receivers for big plays throughout the two-day tournament. Bixby appears to have depth at the position this season while running back Tucker Pawley figured prominently in the Spartans' 7-on-7 attack.
"We're a little different there because we've had a go-to guy the last two years but we have a couple of guys who are starting to mold into that position we'll see how they develop. We've got some good guys there," Coach Montgomery said.
"We've had some guys step up inside with Barbour (Clayton) and Presley (Brennan) and Cade Cavender came along really well at outside receiver while also being a defensive starter," he added.
Defensively, Bixby had its moments in Springdale, highlighted by an impressive goal-line interception by Barbour in the third overtime to pull out a win over Shiloh Christian.

"Defensively, as far as 7-on-7 goes, we had some guys doing pretty good things but when you talk about trench play we'll see how it goes since we have a lot of new guys in those positions. But, I think we got out of this what we wanted to get out of it."
Bixby, which ends SPA workouts Aug. 2, showcased its summer work during the annual Night of Champions on July 19 at Lee Snider Field. Senior linebacker Coby Tillman highlighted the event by setting a school record with a power clean of 355 pounds.