Te’Zohn Taft knows he might play every snap this season for the Sapulpa Chieftains.
The 5-9 senior is the team’s top returning offensive weapon, and he’s also the starting cornerback on defense and returns kicks on special teams.
“I’m ready for those moments to put the team on my back,” said Taft. “That’s nothing to me.”
Taft proved two years ago he’s more than capable of handling such a big workload when he racked up more than 1,600 all-purpose yards as a sophomore.
Big things were expected from Taft last season, and he showed flashes of brilliance, like his six-touchdown performance in a win against Bartlesville. A hamstring injury halted a good portion of his junior season, but it motivated him even more to have a special senior year.
“It just motivated me even more to get ready for this season,” admitted Taft. “That really hurt me that I had to sit out. That was going to be a big year for me.”
“When he was out, he was still cheering on his teammates and being positive and doing the right things,” said Chieftain head coach Robert Borgstadt. “Te’Zohn is an unselfish kid. He wants to see others do well. That’s just the way he is.”
Despite injuries to Taft and quarterback and TCU signee Eli Williams, the Chieftains finished a respectable 6-5 last season. With their top playmaker back, the sky is the limit for this year’s team.
“Te’Zohn is one of the best athletes in the state for his class,” claimed Borgstadt, who’s entering his fifth season in charge of the Chieftains. “We’re going to use him all over the field. We want to get him the ball in open space. He’s going to make a lot of big plays for us, which makes it easier for us on offense because we don’t have to execute every single time. There’s going to be times where Te’Zohn takes it 80 yards for a score.”
Watch the Sapulpa Chieftains take on the Sand Spring Sandites on the Ford Game of the Week – Fri, Aug. 28th at 7pm CT. Free on YurView OK (Cox Ch. 3 or 93 depending on viewing area) or the Cox Contour App. A live stream is available for only $7.50.
Although he welcomes the challenge, Taft won’t have to do it alone this season. Junior quarterback Zac Mason has several playmakers on offense to choose from, including receivers Kenyon Kahmeyer, D’Angelo Mitchell and Wyatt Hall. Newcomer Dante Boykin has also been turning heads in fall camp and is another potent weapon for the Chieftains.
Sapulpa drops down to Class 5A this season and the Chieftains are looking forward to facing some new teams. First up for them, however, is a showdown with longtime rival Sand Springs. This Ford Game of the Week will be broadcast live on YurView Cox channel 3 on Friday, August 28th at 7pm, and streamed online at yurview.com.
“That’s a big game,” said Taft, who’s also one of the top basketball players in the Tulsa metro area. “That’s a big rivalry for us. I’ve been watching this game since I was little.”
“This is what they live for,” added Borgstadt. “They live for this week. I like to joke around and say we can go 1-9, and as long as we beat them, everything is good. They get up for this week more than any other week and they’re definitely excited about it.”
Sapulpa knocked off Sand Springs 31-19 last season, and kicking off the 2020 season with a win over its heated rival is the perfect way to begin a march to the playoffs.
“That’s always a goal for us, making the playoffs,” said Taft. “This year we want to take a bigger step to go to state since we’ve moved down to 5A. We’re really working on making it to state this year.”