After going 14-0 and winning the first football state championship in school history, the Collinsville Cardinals and head coach Kevin Jones returned for another shot at the gold ball. Coming into the season there were several changes being made to the lineup. One notable change is the overall age of the team as coach Jones pointed out, “we are going to be a very young football team in 2022.”
One player everyone is excited to see return is starting linebacker Blake Gilkey. An old-school thumper, Gilkey is the type of throwback player every defensive coach loves to have on their team. Coach Jones said of Gilkey, “Blake is tough as nails and very active and productive.”
Last season his production was off the charts. Gilkey recorded 92 tackles and five sacks for the season. At 5-foot-10 and 190-pounds, Gilkey can take on any running back and usually win that battle. In the 3-4 scheme, Gilkey occupies one of the inside linebacker spots where is ability to plug gaps and pressure teams between the tackles comes into play.
On the offensive side of the ball, Gilkey will be the primary running back for the Cardinal offense. Coach Jones will run a spread offense and look to get Gilkey into one-on-one matchups in the open field. Gilkey is tough enough to slam the ball up the middle as well.
With a big win over Oologah in week one, the Cardinals are off to a great start.