It has been a little more than a week since Yukon’s football season came to an end in the final week of the regular season with a 35-21 loss to Westmoore at home.
Now that he has had a few days to digest the 2017 season and think about his first season at the helm of Yukon football, head coach Jeremy Reed shared his thoughts on the season, the senior class and looking forward to next year.
“It was a very positive first year,” Reed said. “I would like to see a team that improved more than we did from Week One to Week 10. If there was an award given out for most improvement throughout the season, I’m pretty sure we would win.”
Reed said despite what the numbers said on the scoreboard, the turning point in the season for the offense took place against Broken Arrow.
“When you think about what those guys have on the defensive-side of the ball, how we were able to produce yardage wise, was when we really turned the corner offensively,” Reed said. “Defensively, I would say it took place in the Sand Springs game. That running back they have has been tearing people up, he ran for 500 yards on someone a couple weeks ago and we held him well-lower than his season average.”
Reed said in all his years of running the flex bone offensive system, this was the best start he has had with a new program.
“This was by far the best offensive production we have had in year one,” Reed said. “When you consider the level of schedule we had to play, it is remarkable how quickly these young men were able to adjust to a new system.”
Yukon had 3,336 yards rushing this season for an average of 333 yards per game and 6.6 yards per carry. The Millers averaged 25 points per game and had six players with more than 200 yards rushing and eight players with more than 100 yards on the ground.
The Millers scored 257 points in 2017 compared to 182 in 2016, 229 in 2015 and 251 in 2014. Yukon allowed 295 points in 2017 defensively compared to 415 in 2016, 490 in 2015 and 335 in 2014.
When asked what the highlight of the season was, Reed said there are two instances that come to mind.
“Obviously, the win against Norman North,” Reed said. “To see the guys get their first win in two years was a great moment and then when we won in dominating fashion against Norman and Edmond Memorial in back-to-back weeks. Those stand out to me for sure.”
The leader on the field for the Millers in 2017 was quarterback Perry Olsen, who moved into the Yukon Public Schools’ district last spring with his younger brother Owen, was a starting linebacker on the Miller defense.
Reed said his first memory of Perry in a Yukon football work out is a special one.
“I remember we were doing a drill and we had a player not finish through the line,” Reed said. “Perry said ‘Hold on coach.’ And went over and made that player do the drill again and made sure he finished through the line. That sent a message to the rest of the team and it gave our team an edge we were lacking.
“It’s not easy to come in and do what Perry did. He had to earn his teammates respect and he did that from day one. He’s a special kid and we were very fortunate to have him this year.”
Reed said it’s hard to imagine what this year’s senior class has had to go through with the instability in the football program before this year but he is grateful for their acceptance of him and the new system.
“These seniors will always be special to me,” Reed said. “I can’t even imagine what they have had to go through the past several years. They bought in from day one and we couldn’t have made the strides we made this year if they didn’t do that.”
Looking ahead to next year, Reed said he is excited to have more time to get ready for the next season.
“We need to find an edge as a football team,” Reed said. “I believe we will find that edge with our guys competing in other sports. We strongly encourage them to go play other sports, whether it’s in the winter or spring or both. It’ll be great for us as coaches to have more time to prepare for the next season rather than start in January, we will start right away.”
The Yukon football postseason awards banquet is schedule for 3 p.m. Dec. 3 at 10 West Main.