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Wildcats on the prowl with Speer leading the way

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

It’s a new season with new goals for the Madill High School football team, but there will be an unfamiliar face on the sideline in 2020. Chad Speer, a Missouri native, will lead the Wildcats this season after spending the past 10 years coaching in the Durant area.  

“I was at Southeastern Oklahoma (State University) for nine years and then spent last year coaching at Durant High School,” Speer said. “I wanted to be a head coach again and this job came open. I’ve heard nothing but great things. My wife taught here in the past and had great things to say about the people. I couldn’t be more excited and more blessed for this opportunity.” 

And Speer wasted little time helping Madill prepare as it was the lone area school to host a Midnight Madness on Aug. 10, the first day of official practice. However, the Wildcats were familiar with their new coach long before that night. 

“We started with summer workouts, had some camps and kind of introduced some things,” Speer said. “So hopefully everything is not going to be completely new out there. Offensively and defensively, we kind of have a little base of knowledge. Obviously, we’re excited about starting. I think the kids are ready to go.” 

That is most evident at the quarterback position as the battle is down to Nick Northcutt and Kendall Robertson. Tyner Rushing was also in the mix early on, but it’s now down to just two. 

“Hopefully we can get things narrowed and figured out by week zero versus Tishomingo,” Speer said. “The good thing is the other guys can help us at other places. Whoever is the guy will be the guy, but then those other guys are going to be playing elsewhere. So that’s the best thing about it.” 

The Wildcats get an early start to the season when they host Enid at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, but the foundation is already set for success. 

“I really just want us to put on our best foot forward,” Speer said. “We’re going to focus on each day, try to get better, play with extreme effort, have a great attitude and I think the chips will fall where they will. I’ll feel good if we can just play hard, play together and just work and get better every day.” 

Madill is in a good position to accomplish that, as there is a good mix of athletes in all classes. However, there is a large number of freshmen and sophomores. 

“But we still have some good senior leadership and we have some good guys in the junior class,” Speer said. “And then obviously, some freshmen and sophomores from a numbers perspective are really good. I feel good about things.” 

The Wildcats should feel good, too, as they’ll transition to a multiple scheme on offense and defense. It’s been a lot of learning on the fly, but Speer and his staff are focused on molding around the team’s strengths.  

“We’re going to cater things around our personnel,” Speer said. “Whatever fits our kids, that’s what we’re going to do, offensively and defensively.”