HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Seminole embracing preseason talk about District 2-4A DII title chances

Seminole head coach Greg Poynor was excited to talk about his squad following the first day of practice and said he is hopeful about its prospects this season.

He has good reason with 29 returning lettermen and 11 returning starters.

Last year, the Indians were 5-6 overall and 3-1 in district. They lost in the first round of the playoffs to Snyder but with the returning experience, Seminole is a preseason pick to win District 2-4A Division II, with Perryton and Borger also in the mix for the district title.

“We put more pressure on ourselves for that and we have to walk the talk and we are the talk of the district,” Poynor said.

Poynor was quick to point out that at this point it is just talk “until we make it happen and that is a goal of ours and we spend time talking about it … we want to be district favorite year in and year out.”

Poynor is in his second year at the helm of the Indians and praised the culture of the town in terms of support for athletics and education and said it is second to none.

Seminole High School assistant football coach Joel Baker holds a huddle with his players during practice Wednesday morning at Wigwam Stadium in Seminole.

Speaking by phone following the first practice, Poynor said it was a great first day and he expects a great season.

“We were a really young football team last year and got better and better,” he said. “You can see such a difference in the first day of practice last year compared to this year … you can see a difference in our offense and defense and that the boys know how we practice.”

He said his squad is in good shape coming off summer workouts and that they had great attendance: “It was the best attended summer in all my years of coaching; our varsity players knew and they showed up.”

Poynor said that he has six returning starters on offense and five on defense, adding that the returning experience on both sides of the ball could be the key to a successful season.

“It makes a big difference having those guys,” he said of his returning starters. “They get so much more confident and are better leaders and play faster.

“I feel fortunate to have a lot of guys who are seniors and have that experience.”

There are a number of returners who were not starters but who had playing time on both sides of the ball so depth is something Poynor feels he has this season.

Poynor is also excited that a number of his top players will likely have the opportunity to play college ball – some at the D1 level.

His returning quarterback, Blake Flowers, passed for more than 3,200 yards and was a key reason the Indians made the playoffs in 2021. He led the team that Poynor transitioned from a run-based offense to a passing attack.

“He is getting some offers of course and we are super proud,” Poynor said of Flowers, a senior “He is a tremendous athlete and a great kid. He walked through the door this morning and I thought ‘I’m glad that boy is on our team.’”

He said he believes Flowers is a D1 prospect and that defensive lineman Ritker Connally is as well.

Seminole High School quarterback Blake Flowers throws a pass during practice Wednesday morning at Wigwam Stadium in Seminole.

“He dominates the line of scrimmage and has verbally committed to SMU and he will get some other offers; he has a ton of offers,” Poynor said. “Some want him as an O lineman but he played D line for us. His stock will do nothing but go up and we are proud of him. He took to the weight room and is much bigger and stronger than last year and he will have a break out year. He is the biggest kid I have ever coached.”

Poynor also praised wide-receiver Cuyler Cramer and called him a top target for Flowers and said the he has the ability to stretch the field and added he led the team in receptions last year. “He is faster and stronger and playing with a new level of confidence this year.”

Kalvin Petty is a returner that Poynor called “a playmaker with the ball in his hands” along with defensive back Creed Carlisle who is “one of the anchors on defense.”

He said Carlisle was a strong safety as a sophomore and moved to inside linebacker last year. “He is fast and aggressive and a smart football player and he will make us really great.”

There is pressure on the team, Poynor acknowledged with being a district favorite.

Poynor said the season opens Aug. 25 with an away game at Lovington, N.M., the defending New Mexico Class 4A state champs. Poynor said they had a chance to see them during 7-on-7 and that the game will be a good early test for his Indians. The first home game will be against Shallowater.

>> DISTRICT OUTLOOK: We’ve got a district with card with West Plains as a brand new school and didn’t play last year,” Poyner said. “Perryton will be much improved and are getting better all the time. Borger will be much better than last year and a very, very young team. Levelland had a first-year coach last year that got in there late. He is a good guy and a good coach. I don’t think a team in our district won’t be better than they were last year.”

>> BIGGEST PLUS: “A couple of things … .one thing is confidence level and I’ve seen it grow and grow,” Poyner said. “People don’t realize how valuable that is and knowing you are bigger and stronger and you play faster and better.

“I also feel like good leadership especially from our seniors and they are already stepping up even on first day I could see it and in spring and we have some seniors who know how important that is and we have some great character guys.”

>> STEPPING UP: “We had a guy that last year he was a big part of the team and he played offense and then moved to defense. Rylan McCormick, I’m proud of him in off season and summer. We also have a junior, Kevin Guffey, and he is taking control of the defensive front and we have been real happy with him and he has surprised me by stepping into that role.



>> Head coach: Greg Poyner.

>> Coach’s overall record: 77-77.

>> Coach’s record at school: 5-6.

>> Assistant coaches, duties: Brian Poyner, co-offensive coordinator; Steve Flowers, co-offensive coordinator; John Richmond, defensive coordinator; Del Smith; Joe Carter; Will McCallister; Bo Dickinson; Braiden Galla; Vince Lavallee; Derek Faught; Jeremy Holt; Pual Hise; Cody Reeves.


>> 2021 overall record: 5-6.

>> 2021 district record: 3-1 (Second).

>> Last district title: 2018.

>> Last playoff appearance: 2021.

>> Stadium name: Wigwam Stadium (5,100).

>> Base offense: Air Raid.

>> Base defense: 4-2-5.


>> Returning lettermen: 29.

>> Returning starters: 11 (6 offense, 5 defense).

>> Key returners: Blake Flowers, 6-3, 175, Sr., QB; Riktar Connally, 6-6, 270, Sr., DL; Knight Davis, Sr., RB; Cuyler Cramer, Sr., WR; Nick Youngblood, Sr., OL; Creed Carlisle, Jr., LB; Abran Flores, 5-10, 165, Sr., OL; Hector Contreras, 6-0, 175, Sr., WR.

>> Key newcomers: Keaton Gray, Jr., OL; Luis Pena, Jr., DB; Jose Rosalez, Jr., OL; Dillon Gretch, Jr., LB; Oscar Velasquez, Jr., DB/WR; Landry Reames, Jr., WR; Kalvin Petty, Soph., QB/TE; Danny Tran, Soph., DB/WR.