WYNNEWOOD, Oklahoma (KTEN)- 

You can’t talk about Wynnewood football without mentioning junior running back Caden Knighten. The Vanderbilt commit is ranked as the sixth best player in Oklahoma in his class.

“With the ball in his hands, he’s the most dynamic player I’ve ever seen," Wynnewood head coach Joe Jones said. "His athletic attributes are amazing. It is fun to watch. It is fun to coach. We’re going to rely very heavily on him on offense for our success this year.”

And Knighten wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted," Knighten said. "I’ve dreamed of ever since I was little. I’ve always dreamed of being the player that the high school football team needed. It comes with a lot of pressure, but it's something I want." 

Knighten will lead a program that has shown remarkable growth in recent years. After finishing winless in 2020, the Savages broke through last season with their first playoff victory since 2016.

“What I’ve seen going into my third year is the hunger for the community in the school, and in the kids wanting to be successful," Jones said. "To see that growth and to see that dedication and buy-in is awesome."

That buy-in will be crucial as Wynnewood replaces half of its starters from a year ago.

“Those seniors did a great job for us last year," Jones said. "And we’re having to replace them with some youth and some guys that maybe lack some experience, but they’re working hard, they got great athleticism, and they’re going to be good football players for us."

Despite the new faces, the Savages appear to be on the same page heading into the 2023 season.

“We work way better together," Wynnewood receiver/safety Aaron Lyle said. "We’re not at each other’s throats. We’re a well-oiled machine."

And they’re glad to be representing their hometown on Friday nights.

“The community here is amazing," Knighten said. "I wouldn’t want to play for anybody else. The fans are amazing. Nowhere else.”

Wynnewood will open its season in front of those home fans when it hosts Valliant on September 1.