Broken Arrow Tigers
Broken Arrow, OK 74012
Record: 12-0 | Rank: 1
OSSAA State Championship at University of Tulsa
OSSAA Semifinals at University of Tulsa
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|@ Edmond Santa Fe||W||7-35|
| Ben Johnson
SHAWNEE -- It all came down to Mitchell Lance or Josh Taylor. Fortunately for Skiatook, it had a state champion ready to roll with a Class 5A dual state championship on the line.
Taylor, last year’s 5A champion at 120 pounds as a freshman, scored in early takedown against Lance, and he cruised the rest of the way to an 8-0 major decision, sending Skiatook to a 29-25 victory and its first dual state title.
“I wouldn’t want to put it in anyone else’s hands,” Taylor said not long after his team was handed some dual state hardware inside FireLake Arena. “I knew I could pull through.”
With all eyes inside the venue on the 5A mat, Taylor’s confidence was on full display. While resetting in the middle of the mat in the second period, he winked at someone in the direction of the scorer’s table.
He knew the Bulldogs were a few minutes away from a celebration.
“Once I got that first period takedown,” Taylor said, “it set the tone for the whole match.”
Starting at 132 pounds, Piedmont -- in its first dual state finals appearance -- worked its way up to a 16-9 advantage and then a 22-18 lead after Oklahoma signee Josh Heindselman recorded a pin at heavyweight. Eventually, Piedmont’s Alan Flores would tie the dual at 25 with a 8-4 win at 120 pounds, but Taylor took the mat and sealed the deal for Skiatook, last year’s runner-up at 5A dual state.
“To have Josh Taylor go last -- especially in a tied up dual -- you couldn’t ask for a better one to go take care of business,” said Skiatook coach Jake Parker, who had a message for his team before the season started.
“We started a saying and wanting to know, ‘is it worth it?’ It is worth it to go get that extra takedown or fight off your back. That’s kind of our new saying; it has to be worth it you to be able to go compete for what you’re doing.”
In the end, Skiatook won eight of the 14 matches and prevailed as 5A’s new dual state champion.
**See results from the 5A dual finals below
6A: Broken Arrow back on top with big win over Choctaw
Class 6A No. 1 Broken Arrow made easy work of Choctaw in a 50-10 victory in the dual state finals on Saturday night. But it was getting to the championship that proved to be the day’s biggest hurdle for the Tigers.
In a dual marred by unsportsmanlike conduct point deductions both ways, Broken Arrow managed to hold off Mustang, 29-24, to reach the 6A finals.
Mustang jumped out to a 12-0 lead, and Broken Arrow was forced to fire Oklahoma State signee Reece Witcraft out there, even with an injured left ankle. On practically one leg, Witcraft scored a 6-5 win over Mustang’s Joseph Sylvester at 145 pounds (up a weight class from where Witcraft normally wrestles), and the Tigers used that momentum to win six of seven matches between 145 pounds and 220.
But Mustang’s Christiain Rowland scored a win by fall over Broken Arrow’s Noah Cortes at heavyweight, and the Broncos were within 24-22 with three weights remaining. And ultimately, Broken Arrow’s Jared Hill cruised past Mutang’s Jaston Jackson with a 11-1 major decision to punch the Tigers’ way into the finals.
Against Choctaw, Broken Arrow lost only three matches, and it was Chris Moores fighting off multiple pin attempts by Choctaw’s Gabe Johnson that proved to be a spark for the Tigers. Moores suffered a 19-8 major decision loss, but he kept the Tigers from giving away major bonus points to Choctaw, who only scored wins by Johnson, Zane Coleman (170) and Colt Newton (132).
Witcraft, wrestling at 138, made quick work of Choctaw’s Jace Dean with a pin at 23 seconds, Noah Cortes (220), Zach Marcheselli (heavyweight) and Jared Hill (120) all won by fall to pad Broken Arrow’s lead.
It was the Tigers’ first dual state championship since 2014.
| Ben Johnson
Postseason wrestling is here. The dual state tournament kicks things off this weekend in Shawnee at Firelake Arena. Here’s everything you need to know before the first dual begins.
*All championship duals will be at 6:30 p.m. Saturday
Friday - Quarterfinals at noon
Choctaw vs. Owasso
Sand Springs vs. Edmond North
Broken Arrow vs. Deer Creek
Mustang vs. Jenks
Saturday - Semifinals at noon
Choctaw-Owasso winner vs. Sand Springs-Edmond North winner
Broken Arrow-Deer Creek winner vs. Mustang-Jenks
Championship dual on Mat 1
The favorite: Broken Arrow
There’s a reason the Tigers are ranked 14th in the nation, according to Intermat.com. It’s because Broken Arrow has a lot of senior-laden firepower, including nationally-ranked wrestlers, Reece Witcraft (132), Gavin Potter (195) and Zach Marcheselli (220). Then there’s Emmanuel Skillings (182), Blake Gonzalez (138) Bryce Mattioda (170) for added depth. Last weekend, Witcraft finished sixth at the Glenpool tournament, but that’s only because he injury defaulted in his final three matches. With postseason wrestling around the corner last weekend, there wasn’t any reason to push a stalwart at his weight; the Broken Arrow coaches know his importance this weekend, at regionals and the state tournament.
Watch out for… Choctaw
The Yellowjackets are the real deal, and they proved that again last season with a dual state championship. A lot of key pieces are back from last season -- Colt Newton (126/132), Gabe Johnson (145) and Zane Coleman (170) -- but there are a lot of young pieces around them. Choctaw has had some impressive dual performances this season, including a 63-18 win over Edmond North last week. The Yellowjackets also beat Deer Creek 37-28 to open the season.
Keep an eye on… Mustang
Likely a two-horse race in the 6A field, but the Broncos have a few stars of their own -- Keegan Luton (132), Cameron Picklo (138) and Tate Picklo (160). The question will be, where will the rest of Mustang’s points come from? Mustang is 19-2 in duals this season with the only losses against Tuttle (54-13) and Allen, Texas (43-28). And having wins against other teams -- Deer Creek, Owasso and Edmond North -- in the 6A dual state field will inspire confidence, but Broken Arrow will be quite the obstacle for the Bronco, if the two collide in the semifinals.
Storyline to know: There hasn’t been a repeat champion in 6A since Ponca City in 2004-2005
Seven different teams have claimed the 6A dual state crown since 2010, including Broken Arrow and Choctaw doing it twice. Choctaw
Prediction: Broken Arrow 33, Choctaw 21
These two were supposed to meet in January, but the dual was called off because of poor weather conditions outside. But here’s where the big showdown happens. The Tigers, minus a dual state title since 2011, have quality pieces nearly top to bottom, and then their standouts who are likely to secure bonus points. However, if Witcraft is hobbled for the Tigers, that could throw everything out the window and make for a free-for-all in the 6A field.
Friday - Quarterfinals at 4 p.m.
Piedmont vs. Coweta
Collinsville vs. Lawton MacArthur
Skiatook vs. Altus
Duncan vs. Durant
Saturday - Semifinals at 2 p.m.
Piedmont-Coweta winner vs. Collinsville-Lawton MacArthur winner
Skiatook-Altus winner vs. Duncan-Durant winner
Championship dual on Mat 2
The favorite: Skiatook
The Bulldogs were oh so close last year, finishing as the 5A dual state runner up in 35-18 loss to Lawton MacArthur. But this could be the beginning of something special for Skiatook. Only Trey Bowman (113), Cash Calfy (182) and Korbin McLaughlin (220) are seniors, so Skiatook is poised to begin some prolonged success. Skiatook will lean on Josh Taylor (126), Cougar Anderson (152) and Owasso transfer Richie Lee (160). Skiatook has also been a tremendously tough dual team, too. The Bulldogs have knocked off Vinita, Owasso, Wagoner, Sperry and Collinsville this season.
Watch out for… Collinsville
This will come as no surprise but the Cardinals are stacked again at the lower weights. Cameron Steed (106), Jordan Williams (113), Rocky Stephens (120), Garrett Strickland (120), Eli Benham (126), Caleb Tanner (132) and Connor Henson (138) is a formidable group that can rack up points in a hurry for the Cardinals. But Collinsville’s fate will rest in the hands of the wrestlers at the heavier weights, and if they can steal points then the Cardinals could be in store for their first dual state crown since 2015.
Keep an eye on… Piedmont and Duncan
Piedmont doesn’t have a ton of firepower, but it has Braden Culp (170) and Josh Heindselman (285), so it has some key pieces to come up with some big points. Same goes for Duncan, who has Hunter Jump at 160.
Storyline to know: Only three schools have won dual state titles since 2011. Lawton MacArthur is the reigning champion with titles in 2017 and 2018, and Coweta won a championship in 2016. But before that, it was Collinsville winning gold from 2011 to 2015.
Prediction: Skiatook 39, Piedmont 19
This is the year. This is when Skiatook finally captures that elusive dual state title. The Bulldogs take what they learned from last year’s finals and get over the hump. All that said, the competition for the team title at the state tournament in a few weeks will be fascinating to watch.
Friday - Quarterfinals at 6 p.m.
Tuttle vs. Grove
Vinita vs. Cache
Wagoner vs. Clinton
Cushing vs. Mannford
Saturday - Semifinals at 2 p.m.
Tuttle-Grove winner vs. Vinita-Cache winner
Wagoner-Clinton winner vs. Cushing-Mannford winner
Championship on Mat 3
The favorite: ?????
Just kidding. It’s Tuttle. Duh! The Tigers aren’t ranked 10th in the country for nothing. Tuttle is loaded top to bottom. Try to find a weakness in the Tigers’ lineup. It’s not possible. Dustin Plott (170) might be the best wrestler in the state, regardless of class. He’s ranked third in the country and has lost only once in two seasons. He’s on track to start winning college championships in a few years. Then there’s Luke Surber (152) and Carson Berryhill (195) who are both nationally ranked. Just one heavy hitter after another for Tuttle.
Watch out for… Vinita
Alex Prince (120), Lane Enyart (145), Zach Wattenbarger (170) and Brodi Miller (195) are all solid, but the problem for the Hornets is their placement in the bracket. A quarterfinal victory over Cache would mean a meeting with Tuttle on Saturday, and good luck with that.
Keep an eye on… Cushing
The biggest drama in the 4A field will be who wins the bottom half of the bracket to advance to the finals against Tuttle. The Tigers are balanced from top to botto and could get there, but beating a team like Wagoner in the semifinals would be a challenge.
Storyline to know: There used to be a time when Cushing and Bristow owned the 3A class at dual state. (Class 4A now is what 3A used to be up until 2009). Now 4A belongs to Tuttle, who hasn’t let any other team touch the dual state trophy since 2009.
Prediction: Tuttle 59, Cushing 9
What would be great is if all the dual state champions wrestled in a round robin-style event afterward. It would be great to see Tuttle matched up against the 5A and 6A champions. But we can only dream until that day.
Friday - Quarterfinals at 2 p.m.
Perry vs. Vian
Jay vs. Pawnee
Comanche vs. Mangum
Marlow vs. Sperry
Saturday - Semifinals at noon
Perry-Vian winner vs. Jay-Pawnee winner
Comanche-Mangum winner vs. Marlow-Sperry winner
Championship on Mat 4
The favorite: Perry
The Maroons have had far more dominating teams in the past, but Perry is once again putting forth a balanced attack. Ryan Smith (113), Dylan Avery (132), Hadyn Redus (152) and Teaguen Wilson (285) are all rock solid. Once again it’ll be difficult for other teams to cripple Perry’s chances at claiming another dual state championship.
Watch out for… Comanche
Konner Doucet (220) -- ranked sixth in the country -- drives Comanche’s success. Beyond him, there are plenty of quality depth to score points, and even some bonus points.
Keep an eye on… Sperry
The Pirates are a longshot to win a football championship and then a dual state title, but the Pirates have some stout wrestlers. Bryce Carter (170) leads the way with a 28-2 record, despite mostly 5A-6A wrestlers this season.
Storyline to know: His stay in the dual state tournament might not last long since Vian will be a sizeable underdog, but watch Vian’s River Simon at 182 pounds. Recently signed with Army to wrestle and play football, and he’ll likely be matched up with Perry’s Kohl Owen.
Prediction: Perry 26, Comanche 24
I might be crazy but I think Comanche has a solid chance at upending Perry. The Indians knocked off 6A No. 2 Choctaw on Jan. 22, but not long before that Perry beat Comanche by 20. But when the dust settles, it’ll be Perry hoarding its 11th straight dual state title.
| Ben Johnson
Tuttle went west and struck gold over the weekend. Not far from gold rush areas in northern California, the Tigers won the 2019 MidCals Tournament in Gilroy on Saturday.
Luke Surber (152), Dustin Plott (170) and Carson Berryhill (195) each won their weight class, and Tuttle recorded 305 points to win the tournament after finishing second in 2018.
“I was proud of our guys,” Tuttle coach Matt Surber said. “They had the right attitude heading the tournament, knowing they were prepared and ready to go. They also knew it was going to take each and every one of them wrestling tough for us to be in position to win the team title.
“It was a full team effort, placing 12 in the top eight.”
Plott wrestled six times during the tournament, and he recorded five wins by fall and one by technical fall. In the finals, he pinned Bakersfield’s Jarad Priest at 1:16 to repeat as a MidCals champion for the second straight season. In Plott’s five wins by fall, only one made it to the second period -- and it ended at 3:09.
“Dustin continues to be impressive and totally dominating the weight class,” Surber said of Plott, who’s ranked third nationally at 170, according to Intermat.com. “He’s such a hard worker and never settles with where he’s at in his development.”
Luke Surber’s matchup in the finals was against Poway’s Aaron Gandara, who is ranked 16th in the country at 152. Surber, ranked 15th, beat Gandara by major decision, 8-0, and was ultimately named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler.
“Luke has been so tough on top all year, and that’s been his biggest asset,” said Matt Surber, Luke’s father. “Gandara has been nationally ranked all season, so he knew he’d have a tough finals matchup. Scoring the first takedown early in the match was key since that’s Gandara’s best position, and that allowed (Luke) to control him from the top position. He didn’t give up a single point all tournament, so that shows the kind of dominant weekend he had.”
Berryhill, the No. 2 seed at 195, knocked off Gilroy’s Ryan Reyes, the No. 1 seed, 2-0 in the finals.
Garrett Steidley (113) and Ryder Ramsey (132) both finished in second place, while Brady DeArmond (145) and Reese Davis (120) each won their respective consolation bracket to finish in third.
“It’s not the ideal time of year to travel and compete in a super tough tournament like this one, but I feel with this being our third year (in California), we handled the whole trip well. We made some adjustments with travel times and the upcoming schedule, so that our guys will be rested up and recovered from the trip. We try to wrestle the best competition we can find week in and week out, and this is a great tournament to attend.”
Tuttle, now ranked 10th in the country, also mixed in some fun on the trip. In 2018, the Tigers were able to sightsee around San Francisco, and this year they penciled in some spare time in Monterey.
“We arrived late Wednesday night in Gilroy, and the plan is for Thursday to be a prep day for the tournament,” Surber said. “This year, we got up and drove an hour south to Monterey. It was a great little trip. We spent four hours there just sightseeing, walking around the ocean front and of course everyone got to see some fresh seafood. It’s just another opportunity for our guys to hang out and spend time together.”
Wrestling notes- Dual state tournament teams have been finalized, but brackets won’t be released until Monday. In 6A, Broken Arrow, Choctaw, Mustang, Edmond North, Sand Springs, Deer Creek, Jenks and Owasso will be in the field, and Owasso and Jenks will dual Thursday to determine seeding at dual state.
In what figures to be the most wide-open field, Skiatook, Collinsville, Piedmont, Duncan, Lawton MacArthur, Altus, Durant and Coweta will be in the 5A field.
The 4A teams consist of Tuttle, Cushing, Wagoner, Vinita, Cache, Mannford, Grove and Clinton. Tuttle will be chasing its 10th straight dual state title and 16th overall.
Perry, in search of its 11th consecutive dual state title and 20th overall, will compete against Comanche, Marlow, Jay, Sperry, Vian, Mangum and Pawnee in the 3A field.
- Perry won the 4+4 tournament at home last weekend. The Maroons finished with 223 points, and Choctaw was second at 192.5. Gabe Valencia (106), Ryan Smith (113), Hadyn Redus (152) Kohl Owen (182) and Brandon Speikers (220) each picked up first-place finishes for Perry.
Choctaw had four individual champions: Colt Newton (132), Gabe Johnson (145), Zane Coleman (170) and Marquonn Journy (heavyweight).
- Wagoner won the Maverick Conference Tournament with 258 points. Jay was a distant second with 135 points.
- Cushing won the Hub City Tournament in Clinton with 292.5 points, and Marlow (244.5) and Cache (200) rounded out the top three.
| Ben Johnson
A familiar defensive presence is returning to a traditional Class 6AI power for the 2019 campaign.
Adam Gaylor, most recently the defensive coordinator at Mustang, is joining the Jenks football staff to serve as defensive coordinator under head coach Keith Riggs. Gaylor will begin serving in his new role next week by acclimating himself to the staff and players.
While handling defensive duties under Mustang head coach Jeremy Dombek, Gaylor went 17-15 while with the Broncos. In 2016, Gaylor’s first year as Mustang’s defensive coordinator, the Broncos reached the Class 6AI semifinals.
Before his tenure at Mustang, Gaylor served as the Westmoore head coach in 2014 and 2015, when he went 11-10.
From 2007 to 2013, Gaylor was the defensive coordinator at Broken Arrow under head coaches Ron Lancaster and Steve Spavital. It was the 2011 season when Gaylor’s defense helped guide the Tigers to a runner-up finish in Class 6AI.
Gaylor is married to his wife Kinsey and has a son Cason and daughter Addyson.
**Photo credit: Ron Lane/Lane Images
| Ben Johnson
Drake Vannoy was pressed for time with wrestling season around the corner. Jenks’ football season didn’t end until Nov. 30, and the Trojans were slated to open their wrestling campaign less than a week later.
Good thing Vannoy had a championship pedigree to rely on.
The junior wasted little time reacquainting himself with the mat, starting the 2018-2019 wrestling season with a first place finish at the Chuck West Invitational in Bristow.
“My performances are starting to improve as I’m getting back into wrestling shape after football,” Vannoy said. “I’m starting to like the pace and intensity that I’m going at.”
And it would be hard to find any detractors right now, especially after coasting through the 152-pound field at the Jay Hancock Invitational in Yukon last weekend. Vannoy advanced to the finals with four wins by fall, and he capped the tournament off with a 19-2 technical fall triumph over Edmond North’s Jayden Villalobos.
“Drake has been dominating this year,” Jenks coach Ray Weis said. “He has had some learning matches, but he really imposes his will in most matches.”
And he’s been doing it since bursting onto the scene as a sophomore last season. Vannoy settled for a third place showing at last season’s Class 6A regional tournament, but he avenged his regional loss to Broken Arrow’s Brady Mattioda with a convincing victory between the two in the state tournament. Vannoy would eventually claim a state championship at 152 pounds, and this year he’s out to defend it.
“Drake is learning what it is like to be a defending state champion,” Weis said. “He has learned that everyone is going to wrestle him differently and he has to be intense every match. That has made him a better competitor and wrestler.”
With a fourth place finish at the Las Vegas Classic and a second-place showing at the Larry Wilkey Invitational, Vannoy said his main focus is to constantly put his opponents on the defensive.
“The biggest key to my success is my conditioning and ability to push the pace,” he said.
Jenks has two regular season duals left against Union and Owasso, and the Trojans will wrestle in the Glenpool tournament before venturing into postseason play, which includes dual state, regionals and the state tournament at the end of February.
**The last major tournament week of the basketball season means more than championship trophies and bragging rights.
It’s also the last chance for teams to make a major push before Monday’s rankings are submitted.
Those rankings are the last ones before the OSSAA releases playoff assignments for Classes 2A, 3A and 4A.
So, for a team like Bethany, which currently sits at No. 11 in 4A, could a win against No. 1 Kingfisher in the finals of the Buckle of the Wheatbelt (IF both make it there) be enough to vault the Bronchos into the highly-valued top-eight?
That’s what teams on the edge of the top-eight, whether in or out this week, will be looking to achieve in the biggest tournament week of the year.
**When Oklahoma City Public School Superintendent Sean McDaniel revealed three possible plans as part of its “Pathway to Greatness” initiative to the district school board Tuesday night, there was one glaring fact that would affect the state’s basketball landscape.
Each plan listed a number of potential school closings within the district. A few schools were listed in all three of them. One of them was Oklahoma Centennial Mid-High.
Barely a decade old, Centennial is already considered a basketball power.
It won back-to-back 3A championships in 2011 and 2012 and has contended for a title nearly every year since.
The Bison aren’t necessarily a power player this year. They’re currently 4-9 with two of those wins against home-school program OKC Storm North.
However, much of the rest of their schedule has been a brutally-tough one and the Bison will be a team nobody wants to see come playoff time.
But with the future of the school basically decided, what will become of the program?
Where will the current and future roster be going to school in the future?
What about head coach Kendal Cudjoe, part of one of the most respected basketball families in OKC?
All of that has yet to be decided, but when it happens, there will be a void in 3A and a boost to other programs who benefit from the school’s closing.
**A team to watch? How about the Clinton boys.
Not necessarily known for their basketball prowess, the Red Tornadoes are 12-3.
They staked their claim to be ranked Tuesday by knocking off No. 4 Anadarko, 61-48.
They’re the No. 1 seed in this week’s Tishomingo Invitational. A win there - or at least a strong showing - and the Reds just might be ranked come Monday afternoon.
It likely won’t affect their playoff draw much, but it will be a big boost to a program no doubt overshadowed by football.
**If you tuned into our Publics & Privates OKPreps Podcast this week, you heard me say Class B is as far down as I can remember.
That goes for boys and girls.
Doesn’t mean there aren’t quality teams on either side, but the depth and level of quality just isn’t there like it was three, four, five and more years ago.
On the podcast, I was specifically talking about Class B girls.
And - literally - as we were recording that last Friday night, Seiling was hammering home that point.
Class A’s top-ranked Ladycats took Hammon out to the ol’ proverbial woodshed with a 70-32 beating.
Now, there’s no shame in losing to Seiling. It is a team, after all, with two Division I signees in Macy and Karly Gore,
They embarrass lots of foes.
And I don’t think the margin of victory would be quite so much should the teams play again.
But, still, there’s a large gap between the best teams in A and the best teams in B.
That hasn’t always been the case.
*****Michael Swisher contributed to this report
| Ben Johnson
The high school football season can’t come to a close until awards are handed out. Over the next week, Skordle will issue its first All-State football teams for large and small schools.
The large schools consist of teams in Classes 6AI through 4A. Small schools included every team from Class 3A through Class C. There are also Player of the Year, Offensive MVP and Defensive MVP named for each individual class.
The teams were chosen by those who covered high school football for Skordle all year long: Michael Swisher, Whitt Carter and Ben Johnson.
So let’s get to it. Here is your large school All-State team and class superlatives…
Player of the Year: NOAH CORTES (Broken Arrow) - Running behind the Tigers’ massive offensive line, Cortes rushed straight into the Broken Arrow record books during his senior season. The 6-foot, 205-pound tailback compiled 1,958 yards on 261 carries, and he also set a new school record with 35 touchdowns. He finished his career with 4,453 yards and is now Broken Arrow’s all-time leading rusher. Also led the Tigers to their first state championship, thanks to a 120-yard effort on 30 carries in the Class 6AI championship game against Jenks.
Broken Arrow coach David Alexander: “Noah was the heartbeat of our team. He led us in the weight room, locker room and at practice. And his hard work showed up big time on game nights.”
Offensive MVP: IAN CORWIN (Jenks) - The Trojans’ 6-foot, 185-pound quarterback engineered a high-powered offense to 464 points in only 13 games this season. The senior signal caller completed 176 of 290 passes for 2,905 yards and 25 touchdowns. Finishes his Trojans’ career as the program’s top passer with 8,988 yards and 548 completions. He’s also second with 80 passing touchdowns. In a championship game loss to Broken Arrow, Corwin passed for 319 yards and three touchdowns while completing 17 of 28 passes.
Jenks coach Keith Riggs: “Jenks has had a number of great quarterbacks over the years, and yet Ian was able to re-write the Jenks record book for passing statistics. He was a great leader and role model in the offensive huddle, on the practice field and in the film room. As good as he was on the field, he is an even better person; he’s humble, involved in a number of school groups and activities and always willing to help others.”
Defensive MVP: GAVIN POTTER (Broken Arrow) - It was 1A and 1B in middle of Broken Arrow’s defense this season with Potter and Zach Marcheselli. The nod goes to Potter ever so slightly after the Tigers’ defense mauled seemingly every opponent it faced this season. Potter, a 6-1, 200-pound senior linebacker, finished with 102 tackles and 23 tackles for loss this season. He also added 11 quarterback pressures, five pass break-ups and two blocked kicks. Anchored Broken Arrow’s defense in the state championship game with 10 tackles against Jenks.
Broken Arrow coach David Alexander: “Gavin’s explosiveness and his unmatched effort on every play made him a tackling machine in every game we played.”
Player of the Year: QWONTREL WALKER (Stillwater) - In a dynamic offense that also featured quarterback Gunnar Gundy and wide receiver Anthony Bland, Walker stole the spotlight with his running ability this season. The 5-foot-8, 185-pound running back finished with 2,310 yards and 35 touchdowns on 284 carries. Accounted for Stillwater’s only two scores in the 6AII title game, finishing with 150 yards on 31 carries against Bixby. He collected 234 yards and two touchdowns in Stillwater’s semifinal win over Booker T. Washington.
Stillwater coach Tucker Barnard: “Q is an incredible back. His combination of speed, quickness, power, balance and vision is unlike any running back I’ve coached.”
Offensive MVP: PRESTON COLBERT (Midwest City) - Senior quarterback guided the Bombers to the 6AII semifinals, thanks to 2,427 yards through the air on 147 completions. He completed 53.5 percent of his passes and also threw for 31 touchdowns. He also added 432 yards and eight touchdowns on 61 carries.
Defensive MVP: ETHAN HALL (Bixby) - The Spartans’ defense featured plenty of playmakers, but none more so than Hall in the middle of it all at linebacker. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker racked up 82 tackles with 26 1/2 of those for loss. During a six-game span from Sept. 14 to Oct. 18, Hall notched 17 tackles for loss, including four against Sand Springs. Hall also mixed in 12 sacks, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Player of the Year: SEVION MORRISON (Edison) - A solid sophomore season in 2017 segued to a monster 2018 for Morrison, who turned in one spectacular performance after another. Against McAlester, Morrison logged 429 total yards and scored seven touchdowns, and he polished off the regular season with a 382-yard, 5-touchdown performance against Ada. That’s when the Division I offers started rolling in for the 6-foot, 190-pound junior running back. Morrison finished off his junior campaign with 2,728 yards and 36 touchdowns on 232 carries. He currently holds offers from Arkansas, Iowa State, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska and Nevada heading into this senior season.
Edison coach Tony Daniels: “Sevion is a special player. His vision and how hard he runs the ball down hill, or in open space, is what makes him that way. Track has helped him out a lot this past year, and we cannon wait to see what he can do next season.”
Offensive MVP: DADRION TAYLOR (Carl Albert) - Missing a quarter of Carl Albert’s season didn’t keep “Rabbit” from turning in another monster season. While guiding the Titans to their third straight 5A championship, Taylor rushed for 1,365 yards and 24 touchdowns on 175 carries. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Utah State commit wrapped up his career with 4,611 yards and 65 touchdowns for the Titans.
Defensive MVP: REISE COLLIER (Carl Albert) - Offenses found little success against Carl Albert this season, and in the middle of it all was Collier, a 6-3, 205-pound junior linebacker. Collier collected 175 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions while leading the charge in Carl Albert’s march to a third straight championship.
Player of the Year: SAM BRANDT (Bethany) - Mr. Do It All -- aka Sam Brandt -- is listed first most places as a defender -- a 5-10, 180-pound defensive back. He performed there admirably during his junior season, amassing 76 tackles and seven interceptions while leading Bethany to a runner-up finish in Class 4A. But he also seems to have a handle on his offensive abilities, becoming dual-threat quarterback who put up monster numbers. Brandt completed 175 of 269 passes for 2,615 yards and 27 touchdowns, while also adding 1,262 yards and 25 touchdowns on 191 carries. But please, continue to tout the USA Today’s All-State team, one that couldn’t even bother to include Brandt anywhere on its roster.
Offensive MVP: CARSON BERRYHILL (Tuttle) - His numbers might not have been as electric as Brandt’s, but Berryhill guided the Tigers all the way to the 4A title. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior quarterback completed 132 of 233 passes for 2,271 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also rushed for 440 yards and nine touchdowns on 93 carries.
Tuttle coach Brad Ballard: “Carson did everything that a quarterback could do to lead his team to a championship. He was a threat running and throwing the ball. His attitude and leadership was instrumental in our success.”
Defensive MVP: DYLAN COFFMAN (Tuttle) - Anchoring Tuttle’s stout defense was a 6-foot, 215-pound linebacker this season. Coffman logged 123 tackles, two sacks and one interception while the Tigers’ defense yielded only 150 points over the course of 14 games.
Tuttle coach Brad Ballard: “He was the leader of our defense. He started for us multiple year and was among our leading tacklers in each of those. He set the tone for our team every week. One of the most physical players I have ever coached.”
LARGE SCHOOL ALL-STATE TEAM
Coach of the Year: DAVID ALEXANDER (Broken Arrow) – In his fifth year at Broken Arrow, Alexander improved to 44-16 with a perfect 13-0 campaign in 2018. The Tigers capped a run to their first championship with a 28-20 victory over Jenks in the Class 6AI title game, one that featured a weather delay of more than two hours. The Tigers averaged 44.5 points per game this season while giving up only 7.9 points.
QB: Ian Corwin (Jenks) – Passed for 2,905 yards and 25 touchdowns while leading the Trojans to the 6AI championship game.
RB: Sevion Morrison (Edison) – Junior tailback rushed for 2,728 yards and 36 touchdowns on 232 carries for the Eagles.
RB: Noah Cortes (Broken Arrow) – Amassed 1,958 yards and 35 touchdowns on 261 carries for the Tigers during his senior season.
RB: Qwontrel Walker (Stillwater) – Set a new Stillwater single-season record with 2,130 yards. Added 35 touchdowns on 284 carries as a sophomore.
WR: Jeff Foreman (Del City) – Caught 64 passes for 1,247 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior.
WR: Brennan Presley (Bixby) – Hauled in 67 catches for 1,081 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior.
OL: Andrew Raym (Broken Arrow) – Paved the way for the Tigers’ high-powered offense as the most sought-after offensive lineman on the recruiting circuit. As a junior, Raym rotated all over Broken Arrow’s offensive line to give defenses different looks.
OL: Chester Baah (Edison) – University of Tulsa signee anchored the Eagles’ offensive line that saw Sevion Morrison re-write the Eagles’ record books.
OL: Ricky Stromberg (Union) – Arkansas signee created an array of running opportunities for tailback Darius Boone Jr., and kept the pocket intact for quarterback Peyton Thompson.
OL: Brady Latham (Jenks) – Arkansas signee was the key cog for the Trojans’ offensive line that allowed Jenks to score 464 points in 13 games.
OL: Trenzel Johnson (Ardmore) – Senior lineman graded out as the Tigers’ top offensive lineman for a unit that guided Ardmore to 368.1 rushing yards and 35.8 points per game.
DL: Montrell Cozart (Bishop Kelley) – Junior nose guard had seven sacks and 128 tackles to lead the Comets’ stingy defense.
DL: Trace Ford (Edmond Santa Fe) – Oklahoma State signee finished the season with 41 tackles, nine tackles for loss and three sacks.
DL: Alphonse Joseph (Carl Albert) – Junior lineman collected 98 tackles and 31 tackles for loss. Even had 16 sacks to pace the Titans’ defense en route to their third straight 5A championship.
LB: Ethan Hall (Bixby) – Senior linebacker notched 82 tackles and 12 sacks for the Spartans on their way to another 6AII championship.
LB: Gavin Potter (Broken Arrow) – Senior linebacker led the Tigers with 102 tackles and 23 tackles for loss.
LB: Zach Marcheselli (Broken Arrow) – TCU signee completed his senior season with 101 tackles and 12 tackles for loss.
LB: Dylan Coffman (Tuttle) – Senior linebacker recorded 123 tackles, two sacks and one interception for the 4A champions.
DB: Aaron Stokes (Broken Arrow) – Snagged five interceptions and had 52 tackles for the Tigers during his senior season.
DB: Dax Hill (Booker T. Washington) – Finished with 93 tackles and nine tackles for loss before signing with Michigan.
DB: Cade Cavender (Bixby) – Senior safety had 64 tackles and two interceptions. On offense, rushed for 222 yards and three touchdowns in the Spartans’ 34-13 win over Stillwater in the 6AII championship game.
DB: Sam Brandt (Bethany) – Recorded 76 tackles, seven interceptions and a fumble recovery for the Bronchos. Added 3,877 rushing and passing yards combined on offense with 52 touchdowns.
K: Noah Rauschenberg (Union) – Set a school record with a 54-yard field goal and finished the season 10 of 16 on field goal attempts.
P: Andrew Wisniewski (Bishop McGuinness) – Averaged 42.7 yards per punt on 34 attempts during his senior season.
KR/PR: Jamie Nance (Blanchard) – Nebraska signee had four touchdowns on 15 kickoff returns, and he averaged 45.2 yards per return. On punt returns, he averaged 25.8 yards per return and two touchdowns.
ATH: Dadrion Taylor (Carl Albert) – Senior tailback led the Titans’ offense with 1,365 yards and 24 touchdowns on 175 carries.
Let us know what you think. Leave a comment or send a tweet to Ben Johnson on Twitter. Small school All-State team will be published next week.
* Photo courtesy of Jimmy Gillispie/Stillwater NewsPress
| Ben Johnson
Not to worry, the track is not set to repeat. It only feels like that.
Jenks is going after another Class 6AI gold ball this Friday. This time, it’s not against Union, but instead against a Broken Arrow team that was been on a roll ever since coming out of the chute in August.
It’ll be a traditional power taking on a program that is on the cusp of transforming itself into a traditional power. The Tigers could enter that lofty atmosphere, just one year after Owasso did the same thing.
Meanwhile, in Class 6AII, it’s Bixby against the revolving door. Since the Spartans made a championship game appearance an annual trip since the advent of 6AII, Bixby has taken on varying number of opponents. Twice Bixby has played Lawton, then there was Sand Springs one time and last year it was Booker T. Washington.
In 2018, Bixby will welcome Stillwater into the title fold. The Pioneers, with perhaps the best quarterback-running back duo on Gunnar Gundy and Qwontrel Walker, will chase their first state title in more than 40 years. What a job Tucker Barnard has done in Payne County.
Now, on to the game previews….
*All games scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m.