The Caddo Bruins will be making one of the biggest transitions any football team can make: They are going from champions of Class B 8-man football, to a new district in their first year as a full 11-man squad.
This makes the 2011 undefeated 14-0 season a distant memory for the Bruins. They graduated a number of seniors from the state title team, and will have a new coach in Jeremy Proctor.
We get our first glimpse of their 2012 schedule as part of District 5 in Class A football. This district includes the 2011 Class A state champions (Wayne) and three total playoff teams from last year.
Caddo opens the season with a pair of non-district road games before hosting Durant’s junior varsity squad for a final non-district tilt. The final six games are all district foes, and Caddo balances the schedule by going home-road for the final six. They only have nine games on the schedule, thanks partially to a seven-team district this year. This leaves the Nov. 2 date open, with playoffs to begin on Nov. 9.
* Aug. 17 - Antlers at Caddo (6:30 p.m. scrimmage). The 2A BearKats were 0-10 last year, but this will still be Caddo’s first taste of 11-man style ball. And it’s less than six weeks away.
* Aug. 24 - Caddo at Konawa (6:30 p.m. scrimmage). This 83-mile road trip will take the Bruins to one of last year’s weaker teams in class 2A. A pair of practice sessions against some of the state’s under-achieving 2A teams should be good tune-ups for the Caddo transition to 11-man football.
* Aug. 31 - Caddo at Canadian (7:30 p.m.). This non-district season opener counts in the standings (but not toward playoff seedings). The Bruins will travel 95 miles up Highway 75 to take on the Class A Cougars.
* Sept. 7 - Caddo at Wilson (7:30 p.m.). The Bruins’ third straight road game will take them 70 miles west on US 70 to battle the Eagles. Wilson was not a playoff contender in 2011.
* Sept. 14 - Durant JV at Caddo (7:30 p.m.). A new Bryan County football rivalry comes alive when the Lions’ JV squad comes to Bruin country. This will be Caddo’s final non-district game of 2012.
* Sept. 21 - Stratford at Caddo (7:30 p.m.). The Bruins start their playoff chase by hosting the Bulldogs, one of the lesser-feared teams from District 5. A win here would turn some heads, especially in the powerful “Triple W” teams which are expected to dominate the district playoff picture.
* Sept. 28 - Caddo at Wayne (7:30 p.m.). The longest trip of the regular season may be worth all 110 miles. Although the line-ups will be drastically different, this is still a match-up between two 2011 state champions. Wayne defeated Woodland 35-28 last December for the Class A title.
* Oct. 5 - Wewoka at Caddo (7:30 p.m.). The second of four Bruin home games will have Coach Tommy Bare’s Tigers visiting Bryan County. Wewoka is a 2011 playoff team, having lost to district rival Wynnewood in the first round last November.
* Oct. 12 - Caddo at Wynnewood (7:30 p.m.). The ever-powerful Savages made it to the second round of last year’s playoffs, and could be a tough road test for the Bruins. Caddo will travel 85 miles for this match-up.
* Oct. 18 - Maysville at Caddo (7:30 p.m.). After three straight district games against 2011 playoff contenders, the Bruins will get a bit of a break by hosting the Warriors for the annual Thursday night game. * Oct. 26 - Caddo at Elmore City-Pernell (7:30 p.m.). The Badgers finished 6-4 in 2011, so this could be a tough make-or-break season finale for the Bruins. Playoff implications could be on the line for this 100 mile trip to the other side of the Arbuckles.