Progress Sports Writer

Following a so-so season, prospects are looking up around Verdigris.

“We are much closer as a team than last year,” senior tailback Jeremy Tipton says. “Everyone wants big things, and we think we can get it done.”

There is a roster of experience returning for the Cardinals’ ninth season of football.

Tipton typifies the two-way talent that can be found on coach Dan Nickles’ District 2A-7 entry.

Tipton (5-7, 170) is a heavy hitter, delivering blows as a linebacker, punishing defenders as a running back.

Junior Aaron Sunday is a versatile player, and is moving from wide receiver to quarterback this season. He will, however, continue to show up as one of the district’s top defenders.

He’s looking forward to running the offensive show.

“It’s hard changing positions, but I did get to play a little (at quarterback) last year, if we got up by a lot,” he said.

Nickles uses words like “athletic” and “intelligent” to describe the attributes of Sunday (6-2, 200).

While Sunday is a key operative on offense, junior D.J. Sam will be just as vital to the defense.

Sam (6-0, 190) forced six fumbles last year, and recovered seven, while building a strong reputation as a linebacking block of granite.

To say the Cardinals are building a tradition would go along with the building of a new stadium last season.

Everything could be falling into place for the Cardinals.

They have a lot of key pieces. On both sides of the football.

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