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Pioneers Name Starting QB For Season Opener
Coach Tucker Barnard named a starting quarterback on Thursday, the day before the Pioneers open the 2015 season.

Senior Jaden McCune will start at quarterback when Stillwater heads to Deer Creek on Friday.

McCune played most of the snaps in the Pioneers' final scrimmage, but Barnard said they would still evaluate during the week.

Garrett Leming, a sophomore who was competing with McCune for the quarterback job, will start at safety but quarterback isn't out of the question, yet.

"Garrett will play," Barnard said. "I don't know how much."

McCune backed up Braxton Noble for three years and said that Noble, whose mom is the city's mayor, taught him how to lead a young team. However, after Noble's injury against Mustang last year, McCune wasn't the primary quarterback.

"It kind of gives me an opportunity to go out there in a game situation and show them what I've got," McCune said. "I'm really happy that I finally got the nod for it."

A disappointed Leming took Barnard's decision in stride.

"I'm still going to keep working hard," Leming said. "Hopefully on defense, I can go make plays where plays need to be made."

Barnard said as close as the quarterback battle was, he wanted to put it on the senior and see where it went.

While naming a starting quarterback, Barnard also said that running back would potentially remain a position by committee, but Trey Carter would get a lot of carries, as would Josiah Castlebury. Barnard stopped short of naming a starter but said he expects three to four guys to get carries Friday, not six or seven.

McCune will have to match up with an Antler defense that Barnard said appeared strong in Norman last week at the Top of the World Classic.

At one point, the Cox HS Hub tweeted that Deer Creek looked to be in midseason form at the scrimmage.

Meanwhile, McCune's and his running backs all lack varsity experience.

"Everybody that's here right now hasn't carried a football in a varsity football game," co-offensive coordinator Chad Cawood said.

Barnard and Cawood have both said this year's team is a run-first team. But Barnard also said he doesn't know what to expect in Friday's game, that neither a low-scoring nor high-scoring game wouldn't be surprising.

"As long as we don't get too wrapped up in the emotions of the first varsity game, then we know what to do and how to do it," Barnard said.
9-4-15 by Kurtis Quillin