LAWTON, Okla (KSWO) - Eisenhower has not had a winning season since 2010. The Eagles are making the move to Class 5A this year. They're hoping that move down in class and a new head coach, Mike Burris, will help them reestablish their winning tradition.
Burris has been a part of the Eisenhower football program for over 20 years. But now, he's in charge. Burris was named Ike's new head coach back in February. He replaces Danny Edelman who was unable to turn around the Eagle program, leading them to just five wins in his two seasons.
"You know we were all just excited. Coach Burris brings a lot of tradition with how long he's been here," said junior quarterback R.J. Fisher. "I think he's going to turn the program around and we're going to have a good season."
"It's been kind of hard. I mean I've also taken on the AD's job. So I've got my hands full. But it's been fun. It's been exciting," Burris said. "I've been a head coach before so I kind of knew what I had to do. Just wearing a different hat and now you're responsible for a lot more things. You know organizing practices, meetings and all that."
Burris a longtime defensive coordinator and defensive line coach, will make a few changes, most notably, switching back to a four-man front.
Offensively, the Eagles return their starting quarterback, R.J. Fisher, who showed a lot of promise as a sophomore. That's one reason that Burris has chosen not to overhaul things on that side of the ball.
"Offensively we're doing basically about the same thing because R.J. was comfortable with that and he did a good job with it," said Burris. "You know his dad's the offensive coordinator and they work well together. He's a tremendous athlete and you know he's got some good kids with him. When they were freshmen, they were undefeated. So just having that junior class with that winning attitude is going to help."
"I just feel like I've matured a lot. Just being able to read defenses better, I feel like the game is going to be a lot more slowed down than it was last year," Fisher said.
Fisher will have to find a new favorite target to throw to. Rico Bussey, who made big play after big play for Ike the last two years, is now playing college ball. Softening that blow a bit will be the return of Mookie Douglas. Douglas starred at running back and quarterback in 2014 before missing the entire 2015 season with an injury.
"Well we're getting Mookie back. You know he didn't play last year because of the broken leg. He's come out and he's really looked good this summer," said Burris. "He's the one we really have to run out of the weight room. He calls me up on the weekends wanting to come up and lift weights. So he's going to be the man that hopefully fills his (Bussey's) shoes."
"Mookie brings everything. We can put him in the backfield, in the slot, outside, Mookie can just do everything. He brings a lot of leadership," said Fisher. "We're out here at practice and Mookie's the last one to leave. I think he's going to help us a lot."
Ike will open up the season against a cross town rival. But it won't be Lawton High. Instead, the Eagles will face MacArthur on September 2nd.