“You don’t go out there and play for yourself. You’re playing for your buddy right next you.”
Peckio spent the rest of the 2011-12 school year regaining strength in his knee, working with Buffs coach Austin Maddux and participating in McAlester’s winter powerlifting program.
Peckio continued powerlifting for the 2012-13 year, qualifying for the state competition in the 242-pound weight class.
“He’s one of those guys that does everything we ask him to do,” Buffs coach Bryan Pratt said.
“He’s a good kid, works hard for us, made some plays for us and really helped out.”
Though Peckio had made varsity as a freshman, he saw little playing time, then lost his sophomore year to injury. He said he really started to feel like a Buffalo during McAlester’s 2012 season-opener at Stillwater.
“I go to find Coach (Kevin) Harmon, but all I notice is all the people behind him in the stands,” Peckio said of that game.
Peckio didn’t start as a junior, but he got enough minutes coming off the sideline that when he returned as a senior, Coach Pratt said it was almost like getting back a starter. Peckio took some snaps on the offensive line earlier this season, but he’s since returned to play exclusively on the defensive line.
It’s taken McAlester’s defense a few games to gel this season, but it took a huge step forward Friday against Noble.
“They ran sweep away from me in the fourth quarter, and I get the block-down from the backside guard and go flat down the hill,” Peckio said of a play against Noble, breaking into a big smile. “Robby (Stephens) is going in to make the tackle, the guy tries to side-step him and I take his helmet off of his head.”