Entering the season as the defending state runner-up is never an easy task regardless of classification.

Entering the season as the defending state runner-up is never an easy task regardless of classification.

But it’s something the Ardmore Tigers football team is embracing full force, despite the graduation of 19 seniors from a year ago.

Thursday night, fans got their first look at the 2019 Tigers varsity squad, as they scrimmaged against the Class 6A Shawnee Wolves at Noble Stadium.

Senior Creed Cox took snaps under center for the first team squad, as he will look to replicate the success he had during his sophomore season, when he helped lead the Tigers to the playoffs.

Ardmore did manage to find the end zone during the scrimmage, while keeping the Wolves from scoring for the majority of the scrimmage, with a late touchdown being the exception.

Tigers head coach Josh Newby admitted he found plenty of things to be excited about from the initial scrimmage, but was quick to point out that there’s still work to be had for his team.

“I thought our offensive line did a great job, and I thought our backs ran hard out there,” he said. “Creed handled the offense and the huddle very well, so that made me very proud. These kids are still willing to improve and were going to dissect the film so that we can make that happen.”

“Our defense was scrappy and they played with some great technique,” Newby added. “I’m very encouraged by what I saw out there tonight. We just need to clean up some things and become a more disciplined team.”

Ardmore will finish out its scrimmage schedule next Thursday night at Cameron Stadium against the Lawton High Wolverines.

“We want to see a jump in improvement next week in our final scrimmage,” Newby said. “Scrimmaging Lawton High allows us to deal with a zone defense that is among the fastest in the state in my opinion. It’s going to challenge our kids, but at the same time prepare us for what we will have to face during the year.”