Edmond Memorial Bulldogs
Edmond, OK 73003
Record: 1-9 | Unranked
|vs Edmond North||L||20-21|
|vs Deer Creek||L||10-14|
|@ Edmond Santa Fe||L||37-21|
|@ Broken Arrow||L||45-8|
| Ben Johnson
Owasso recently knocked off Jenks, 14-6, for the Class 6AI championship in Edmond on Dec. 6. It had been determined several weeks before the playoffs started that all 11-man football title games would be played at the University of Central Oklahomaís Wantland Stadium.
But now that the season is over, one state senator is sounding off on the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Associationís decision to force Jenks and Owasso play in a championship game at the other end of the Turner Turnpike.
Sen. J.J. Dossett (D-Sperry) has proposed a bill that he hopes will generate conversation in next yearís legislative session that would allow school districts to determine their playing destination.
Skordle contacted Dossett this weekend and wanted to ask Dossett a few questions.
What made you want to put together the legislation to present it when the legislative session starts in 2020?
Basically, it was the outcry from my community. There are some people that donít like the idea, or the ideas that I have brought up. I purposely wanted until after the game had happened. I filed it on Monday after the game, because I didnít want it be become a distraction. Thereís enough of an outcry and a complaint that have a good point on why we played the game where we did and why we didnít play it where we had the last five, six or seven years. It worked out great for everyone involved when it was played at the University of Tulsa. I had to bring it up; I had to bring up the discontent that my community, Jenks and a lot of the Tulsa area have with the decision that was made by a state-wide group -- that forced this decision on us and did not seek our input.
It was basically left to the football coaches association to make this decision, and most of the people involved werenít going to face the ramifications of their schoolís decision. It was made against the two schools that were playing and were against the decision that was made.
There should be a way for more flexibility with your local school districts that are competing in this situation to be able to not have to go play at a place that was deemed Ďthis is the state championship site,í especially when there were all the problems of playing late on a Saturday night. There were going to be how many teenage drivers on the turnpike late on a Saturday night in December? And, the stadium was nowhere near able to hold our crowd.
All of this put together, in my mind, says we need to do this better and there needs to be a way to do this better. There needs to be a way that we can go play this game somewhere else. I mean, we could have played at Broken Arrow and it would have been able to hold our fans. We could have played in a bunch of different stadiums here in the Tulsa area.
I heard there were 8,000 fans at the game at UCO, and at TU there would have been 20,000, so we stopped people from coming to the game by putting that distance barrier there. Nobody wants that; we want the community to come to the game, if possible.
What would you say to the people that say Senate bill 1111 is a waste of everyoneís time and could be spent discussing something else?
There are thousands of bills filled every year -- some of them get picked up and some donít. It doesnít waste any more time in committee or on the floor. Itís the legislatorís job to conduct the peopleís business, so if a community has an idea or wants to change something, itís the job of the legislator to consider it and go forward from that. And I agree, this is not the most pressing issue in the state of Oklahoma -- I 100 percent agree -- but if thereís a problem, itís the job of the legislator to address an issue that their community is considered about. Senate district 34 up here in north Tulsa County, where we live, we definitely had a concern on this issue. Therefore, itís my job to bring forth such ideas, if the people of my district are concerned about it.
As a former coach, I would like to mention this: I absolutely do not care where weíre playing. We donít care where we play because we were going to win, and thatís the mindset they have. I speak only, and exclusively, from a community standpoint. The community has an opinion on this, and I happen to 100 percent agree with them. If I were still coaching for the Rams, I wouldnít care one bit.
So youíre advocating to play the games at the University of Tulsa, if thatís a viable option?
You have to ask, Ďis this the best we can get?í and I donít think the current option is the best we can get. Weíve seen what good looks like, and it was last year, the year before and the year before, when two Tulsa teams make the championship game and we fill up Chapman Stadium. In my opinion, the OSSAA wins unless something crooked is going on over there. Because if weíre doubling the amount of people going to the game, they make more money -- or thatís how I understand it. I donít understand at all why you wouldnít let local school districts make the best decision for them. If Idabel and McAlester were playing for a championship, then they need to go play that at Eastern (Southeastern Oklahoma State) in Durant. No sense in making those schools drive to Edmond. There needs to be a way out for those schools to be play, and play where it makes sense for the fanbase and a public safety standpoint.
What are your thoughts on playing the Class 6A championship games in Tulsa during the week that they currently use as a bye week?
Sure, that would be an option. Theyíve done the bye week because of the amount of teams in the playoff. Honestly, the whole 6AII thing has been a disaster. Itís handed Bixby a bunch of trophies, and itís been really messed up for my community and I was still coaching when all of it went down. I was still coaching at Owasso at the time. Itís ridiculous for us to travel to Moore -- to play Southmoore or Moore -- and a team that canít even fill up the home stands and play on a Thursday night. Like, why are we doing this? Why arenít we playing Sand Springs or Bixby or Muskogee during the regular season, and then do something different for the playoffs, if necessary?
The initiative to have all the championship games played at one site was pushed by the Oklahoma Football Coaches Association, but itís sounding like not all coaches were onboard with that proposal. How do you think that could have been handled differently?
On how the coaches association makes decisions, I do not know. I hear a lot about Texas, and they like it and thatís fine. From my point of view, if two Houston teams make the championship in any given class, for them to go all the way to Dallas is wrong. I donít buy into the notion of Ďwell, Texas does it this way, so we should do it this way.í Itís the same way with basketball and the big schools playing in Tulsa. If Edmond and Putnam City are playing in the finals, then thatís the wrong decision. Iím not trying to whine; Iím trying to do whatís best for our kids.
What kind of reception do you think this will get when you present it to committee?
Who knows. On these things, you never know. We have these kinds of battles: Tulsa vs. Oklahoma City or urban vs. rural. I will approach other legislators from a straight forward standpoint and say our local school districts are better off when local school districts are making decisions. We donít need state-wide entities or state agencies making blanket decisions for everyone. I have 100 percent faith that the Owasso administration, athletic director, superintendent and all of the above -- and same at Jenks -- would make the right decision for their kids. But when we had that responsibility over to a group of people that arenít in our community, then you donít get as good of an outcome. Thatís the way I see this situation playing out here.
There are some that say the Oklahoma legislature should stay out of high school sports. How do you feel about that?
I absolutely agree, if everything is running properly. The legislature cannot determine how the OSSAA operates within, because itís an agency with itís own control. There are three things in the statute that says schools will not be part of an association that does this, this or this. What Iíve done is adding a fourth. All my bill does is add language that school districts would have flexibility to pick their own locations for championship games.
| Ben Johnson
STATE OF THE PROGRAM
BROKEN ARROW TIGERS
The trophy made the rounds all across Broken Arrow. The Tigers showed up off the Class 6AI championship trophy all over town for the first time in program history, after Broken Arrow took down Jenks for the championship in 2018.
Now itís time to turn the page.
This time the Tigers are the ones everyone is chasing.
ďOur approach is: we arenít defending anything,Ē Broken Arrow coach David Alexander said. ďEvery year they make a new trophy. Last yearís team won last yearís trophy. We are going to attack the season, and try to see how good we can get.Ē
Hereís a look at what to expect from the Tigers in 2019Ö.
Biggest on-field question: How will the front seven on defense look with so many new faces?
Zach Marcheselli and Gavin Potter served as a dynamic duo at linebacker last season, and the two tackling machines both graduated. Same goes for Kaizer Newell, DeMeco Roland and Colton Collier on the defense front. That leaves Jaylen Moss on the defensive line and middle linebacker Campbell Yeager, alongside Zeno Marcheselli, Logan Stovall, Darryan Moss and Jadahian Floyd-Wright at outside linebacker to lead the charge in 2019.
ďThose are some of the guys fighting for playing time at outside linebacker right now,Ē Alexander said. ďAll four of those guys are smart and can run.Ē
Depth chart breakdown
Offense: Maurion Horn (5-feet-11, 180 pounds) takes over in the backfield at running back after Noah Cortes set every rushing record at Broken Arrow. KeJuan Tolbert will be another that gets plenty of carries alongside Horn.
At quarterback, itís anybodyís guess on whoís slinging passes in 2019. Jake Raines figures to have the inside edge with the seasonís first game this wek.
The bulk of those passes will make their way to Isaiah Keller and Tori Dillard.
Paving the way at offensive line will be the nationís most sought-after right tackle, Andrew Raym (6-5, 285), an Oklahoma commit. Also on the line with Raym will be Trevor Burckhartzmeyer at 6-2, 295 pounds.
Defense: Myles Slusher (6-0, 185) is committed to Oregon, and gives the Tigers a veteran presence at cornerback.
Linebacker responsibilities will fall upon middle linebacker Campbell Yeager with Zeno Marcheselli, Logan Stovall, Darryan Moss and Jadahian Floyd-Wright vying for time at outside linebacker.
And itíll be Jaylen Moss (6-4, 235) providing pressure up front on the defensive line.
Special teams: Skyler Segraves was a potent weapon in the kicking game last season, but now itíll be Tyler Crawfordís turn in 2019.
Missed the most: Noah Cortes
Both Quintevin Cherry and Tate Robards graduated from the quarterback spot, but Cortes was the offenseís motor in 2018. The Tigersí new all-time leading rusher will pass the torch on to guys like Maurion Horn and KeJuan Tolbert in 2019.
ďSo excited to get this group of running backs on the field,Ē Alexander said. ďBest way to describe these guys is explosive! None of them are as big as Noah, so we will hand the ball to two or three guys to make up for the number of carries.Ē
Aug. 31 - @ Mansfield (Texas)
Sept. 6 - @ Union
Sept. 13 - Owasso
Sept. 27 - @ Jenks*
Oct. 4 - Norman*
Oct. 10 - @ Westmoore*
Oct. 17 - Edmond Santa Fe*
Oct. 25 - Yukon*
Nov. 1 - Edmond Memorial*
Nov. 8 - @ Enid*
*District 6AI-1 games
No surprise that itís another stout schedule for Broken Arrow. The games against Union and Owasso in non-district play are almost always certainties, and Broken Arrow -- along with several other Oklahoma schools -- are playing a collection of teams from Mansfield, Texas, south of the Red River this season. Beyond that, thereís a good chance the District 6AI-1 title comes down to the Sept. 27 game against Jenks -- just like last season (and also the state championship rematch).
Best guess for 2019
This Broken Arrow team lost a lot of firepower from last season. No shame in saying there are a lot of voids that need to be filled. But Alexander and Co. will see what their club is made of early on, and any problems that need to be addressed will certainly get ironed out in the latter half of district play. The Tigers definitely have enough talent to garner another semifinal appearance, and of course, beyond that is anyoneís guess as to what could happen.
Class 6AI preview
1. Union - Feels like one of those Union years, where the Redskins have a boatload of talent to win it all.
**2. Broken Arrow - If the defenseís front seven can hold its own, thereís enough talent on this team to win back-to-back titles
3. Owasso - Cole Dugger, a transfer from Collinsville, could be the key link to getting the Rams their second title in three seasons.
4. Jenks - Going to be some getting used to with some new names for the Trojans, but of course theyíll be good.
5. PC North - Wildcats lost tight end Will Taylor, but they return a lot of firepower this season, including quarterback Aaron Norment.
6. Norman - Tigers with a solid chance to impress in 2019 with quarterback Cade Horton, an Oklahoma commit for baseball and football, at the controls.
7. Edmond Santa Fe - Linebacker Collin Oliver has more than a handful Division I offers before he even begins his junior season.
8. Moore - Quarterback Daniel Hishaw Jr. enters his senior year after rushing for 776 yards and 1,839 yards and 29 combined touchdowns.
9. Westmoore - Jace Bohrofen has a bright future in baseball, but heíll lead the Jaguars at quarterback for his senior season.
10. Mustang - Lee Blankenship is now in charge, so donít be surprised to see the Broncos climb the rankings as the season progresses.
**2018 state champion
- Myles Slusher: The Oregon commit at cornerback picked off two passes in 2018, including the game-clincher against Jenks in the Class 6AI title game. Also had 68 tackles during his junior year last season.
- Andrew Raym: The stateís top college prospect has committed to Oklahoma after a stellar junior season. Will once again be a key focal point for the Tigers on offense in 2019.
- Bo Estes: The 6-foot-3, 190-pound wide receiver/tight end could become one of the stateís best pass catchers before the year is done.
Edmond Santa Fe
- Collin Oliver: The Wolves lost Trace Ford to graduation, but they filter in another star in the making after Oliver had 56 tackles, six tackles for loss and three sacks as a sophomore in 2018.
- Cade Horton: Rushed for 1,009 yards and 11 touchdowns and passed for 1,919 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior.
- Isaiah Butler: Rushed for 453 yards as a junior and figures to have a key role in the Millersí rushing attack in 2019.
- Dayton Wolfe:† Enters his junior season after passing for 1,813 yards and 22 touchdowns.
- Nate Williams: Returns for his senior season after rushing for 408 yards in 2018.
- Jadon Dimarucut: Recorded 85 tackles as a junior last season.
- Duece Mayberry: Senior defensive is committed to Kansas after logging 27 tackles and three interceptions in 2018.
- Isaiah Jacobs: Brother of former McLain star Joshua Jacobs. Heading into his senior year after rushing for 1,024 yards and nine touchdowns last season.
- Kyler Pearson: Kansas commit caught 58 passes for 551 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior in 2018.
- Gabe Cantu: The Tulsa commit stands 6 feet, 4 inches and 300 pounds, and will be Unionís offensive line engineer at center this year.
- Andre Dollar: Son of Mustangís new defensive coordinator, Sam Dollar. Andre Dollar, a sophomore this season, is 6-4, 218 pounds and already holds offers from NC State, Liberty and Southern Miss.
Putnam City North
- Aaron Norment: Panthersí offensive centerpiece is back at quarterback after rushing for 255 yards and four touchdowns, on top of passing for 2,201 yards and 21 touchdowns. And on his Hudl profile it says, ďbroke Sam Bradfordís single game passing record.Ē Not too shabby.
- Daniel Hishaw: Continued to impress as a junior last season with 776 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing, and he passed for 1,839 yards and 16 touchdowns. Has a commitment to Kansas currently.
- Jaedyn Scott: Dual-threat quarterback for the SaberCats ran for 870 yards and 12 touchdowns and threw for 653 yards and six scores in 2018.
- Jake Roberts: 2019 could be the year of the tight end in 6AI. Roberts has committed to North Texas and has a 6-4, 235-pound frame.
- Colby Entwistle: Quarterback for the Huskies is back after throwing for 1,770 yards and eight touchdowns in 2018.
Our best guess(es)
Michael Swisher: Union -- Broken Arrow and Owasso have combined to take some of the luster off Jenks and Union the past couple of years. While Jenks has gone longer without a title, itís Union that will reclaim supremacy for the duo this season.
Whitt Carter: Union -- After being the only person outside of the Broken Arrow locker room to pick the Tigers to win it all last preseason, I will take my bow and wait for the applause.
And they can certainly do it again this season, with many key players back. But I think Union returns to the top in 2019. The Redskins donít have the big names that they normally do, but there is still talent everywhere and I think Coweta move-in JD Geneva is the difference at quarterback. He is in for a huge year and will lead the Redskins to the title in what should be an exciting race in 6A-1.
Ben Johnson: Union -- Yeah, boring, I know. But making it three-for-three as someone picking Union to win it all. J.D. Geneva was taking big strides at Coweta before he transferred, and I think heíll be instrumental on Unionís march to a state championship.
| Ben Johnson
It's that time of year again. Summertime has arrived, and high school sports fans are left waiting for more games in August. But fear not! The Publics and Privates OKpreps Podcast will help get you through the slow months.
This week the guys recap some state tournament baseball, including Edmond Santa Fe and Pryor winning titles for the first time for both programs. The guys also look back on the memorable moments from the 2018-2019 athletic season, including some cross country, football, basketball and much more.
The podcast closes out with Swisher breaking down this week's Skordle Shootout in Cushing. A solid field of small school hoopsters will be at Cushing Middle School, and Swisher gives you all the details you need to stop by and watch some basketball.
| Ben Johnson
The stateís flagship wrestling program will have a new coach when the 2019-2020 season begins.
Perryís Ronnie Delk was hired as an assistant coach at Bentonville High School, after the school board in Arkansas approved the move Monday.
Delk took over at Perry prior to the 2011-2012 season and guided the Maroons to eight straight dual state wrestling titles. He also helped the Maroons garner five team titles during his eight years, giving Perry now a state-best 43 state championships.
The two-time state champion from Collinsville heads to Arkansas after three of his Perry wrestlers won individual titles in 2019. Ryan Smith (113), Dylan Avery (132) and Hadyn Redus (152) were all state champions for the Maroons at State Fair Arena in February.
After having a season-best six individual champions in 2018, Delk departs Perry having coached 16 individuals to state championships, including Smith, Avery, Redus, Cale Betchan and David Thomas all being two-time state champions during that time.