“Good teams don’t rebuild, they just reload” is a common mantra heard in locker rooms across the country in every sport and at every level.
The saying definitely holds true for Jenks Trojan football. The Tulsa-area powerhouse has won 14 state titles since 1993, including four straight from 2012 to 2015.
The Trojans welcome back only two defensive starters in 2019, but several new faces and underclassmen have already stepped up this season.
Jenks flexed its defensive muscle in its season opener, shutting out Mansfield (Tex.) Legacy, 38-0. It was the perfect gift for new defensive coordinator Adam Gaylor.
The kids were amazing,” said Gaylor, who spent the previous three seasons as defensive coordinator at Mustang and has also made stops at Westmoore and Broken Arrow. “Between our scrimmage and our game with Mansfield Legacy, the kids really stepped up their game. Just our effort and how physical and how hard we played was just tremendous.”
Jenks Head Coach Keith Riggs was the defensive coordinator for the Trojans under Allan Trimble for several seasons before taking over the program in 2018. Bringing in a new coordinator with a similar style and philosophy has made the transition an easy one.
“Coach Gaylor has done a really good job coming in and kind of blending what we’ve done for several years now,” said Riggs. “Really a lot of his schemes were very similar. It was really easy to merge the two schemes and get the best out of both.”
The young Trojan defense will be put to the test often early in the season thanks to a tough schedule that includes showdowns with Bixby, Union and Broken Arrow in consecutive weeks.
“We don’t have a lot of stars,” said Gaylor. “We’ve got a bunch of just tough, physical, intelligent football players. They’re fun to coach.”
Jenks visits cross-town rival Union this week in the annual Midfirst Bank Backyard Bowl. This Ford Game of the Week will be broadcast live on Yurview Cox Channel 3 on Friday, September 13th, at 7:00 p.m. CT, and streamed online at yurview.com.
“You try to tell yourself it’s just another game, but it’s not,” said Gaylor, who will be coaching in his first Backyard Bowl. “It’s one of the premiere football games in America.”
“You just never know what’s going to happen in that game,” added Riggs. “It’s an exciting game. Our kids really look forward to it and the fans on both sides do too. You can’t ask for anything more than that.”