STILLWATER — Twenty-two months after it looked like he had hung up the pads for good, Littell stood in the doorway of the Stillwater High School football team’s weight room during a team meeting the Monday before Stillwater was scheduled to face Midwest City.
“It was kind of funny and maybe a little bit of an awkward moment,” Barnard said. “I think by the time I told them, everybody pretty much already knew.”
“I was excited but I had to keep it in,” Littell said. “(Barnard) wanted to address the team Monday at weights. They got a pretty good idea when I walked in the next morning for workouts. Obviously, that put a smile on my face knowing that they wanted me back out here. I’m definitely very appreciative of the opportunity.”
Littell may be happy to be back on the football field, but it hasn’t come without some growing pains. He fumbled against Midwest City on a reverse in the red zone and dropped a couple of passes.
“He was rusty,” Barnard said. “He’s been dropping some balls in practices and he dropped a couple balls in the game the other night. That’s probably to be expected. It’s been a while since he’s had to perform these type of skills. ... He’s doing a great job. He’s catching on quickly and he’s going to continue to catch on.”
To make up for lost time, Littell often spends time after practice working on those skills that he might have lost during his hiatus. The end result? Littell led the team with eight catches for 58 yards against Mustang Friday. He also threw a key block that sprang Jordan Brown for an 84-yard touchdown.
“It’s definitely been a process,” Littell said. “I’ve had to stay extra and work hard because I hadn’t played football in 22 months. You definitely have to work extra when your teammates have been working on it. You have to make that extra effort after practice, if that’s what it takes. That’s what I’ve really been working on.”