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Oklahoma high school football: Bethany prepares for new era after graduating a talented senior class

BETHANY -- Bethany coach Jon Arthur closely watched as the Broncho football players went through position drills during Wednesday’s practice.  

The 2020 season will begin a new era for Bethany football as it graduated a large senior class who led the Bronchos to an undefeated regular season and an 11-1 record last year. 

“A lot of them played a lot of positions,” Arthur said. “I think we lost eight or nine on both sides of the ball, maybe seven or eight on offense.”

Among the graduates was three-year starting quarterback Sam Brandt, who along with being a star defensive back and The Oklahoman’s 2019 Little All-City Defensive Player of the Year, was Bethany’s all-time leading rusher and passer. 

“He was a dual-threat guy so we [ran] a lot of spread option type stuff last year,” Arthur said. “We’ll probably do some more with multiple backs this year.” 

Arthur assured Bethany won’t be in a complete rebuild. The Bronchos have a couple of offensive and defensive lineman returning along with sophomore starting running backs and twin brothers Jack and Jaden Gilliland who combined to carry the ball 118 times for 935 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Although the Bronchos graduated so many, Arthur says they have a lot of young options to succeed them. Like the Gilliland brothers, the team is loaded with sophomore talent.

“We got a lot of competitions going on for some positions,” Arthur said. “Losing that many guys, you just have to see who steps up and who had a good offseason. It makes things a little bit fun.” 



Related Photos
Bethany coach Jon Arthur teaching tackling drills during practice on Aug. 12, 2020. (JAMES D. JACKSON / THE OKLAHOMAN)

Bethany coach Jon Arthur teaching tackling drills during practice on Aug. 12, 2020. (JAMES D. JACKSON / THE OKLAHOMAN)

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-73cb0b95b74c3970275079c13164b042.jpg" alt="Photo - Bethany coach Jon Arthur teaching tackling drills during practice on Aug. 12, 2020. (JAMES D. JACKSON / THE OKLAHOMAN) " title="Bethany coach Jon Arthur teaching tackling drills during practice on Aug. 12, 2020. (JAMES D. JACKSON / THE OKLAHOMAN) "><figcaption>Bethany coach Jon Arthur teaching tackling drills during practice on Aug. 12, 2020. (JAMES D. JACKSON / THE OKLAHOMAN) </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-cca52f41bba208abfc190f2de39e6106.jpg" alt="Photo - Bethany sophomore running backs and twin brothers Jack and Jaden Gilliland talking between drills at practice on Aug. 12, 2020. (JAMES D. JACKSON / THE OKLAHOMAN)" title="Bethany sophomore running backs and twin brothers Jack and Jaden Gilliland talking between drills at practice on Aug. 12, 2020. (JAMES D. JACKSON / THE OKLAHOMAN)"><figcaption>Bethany sophomore running backs and twin brothers Jack and Jaden Gilliland talking between drills at practice on Aug. 12, 2020. (JAMES D. JACKSON / THE OKLAHOMAN)</figcaption></figure>
James Jackson

James D. Jackson joined The Oklahoman in January 2020 to cover high school sports. He a University of Central Oklahoma graduate. During his time at UCO, James served as a sports reporter and Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper, The Vista.... Read more ›

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