Woodward, OK 73801
Record: 3-6 | Unranked
|@ Western Heights||W||0-56|
|vs Carl Albert||Missing Score|
|vs Carl Albert||L||13-51|
| Ben Johnson
Whitt and I have reached red-alert status for this season. If we're not careful, we may be stripped of our picking duties. Either that, or our picks will be distributed for pure comedy.
Week 4 picks - Swisher 15-3 | Coach Turney 16-2 | Whitt 15-3 | Ben 13-5
Overall - Swisher 66-25 | Turney 64-27 | Ben 57-34 | Whitt 57-34
My apologies in advance to the teams I pick below:
Midwest City at Stillwater
Michael Swisher: Stillwater 28, Midwest City 17
Ben Johnson: Stillwater 37, Midwest City 32
Whitt Carter: Stillwater 34, Midwest City 27
Randy Turney: Stillwater 34, Midwest City 20
Heritage Hall at John Marshall
Michael Swisher: Heritage Hall 24, John Marshall 22
Ben Johnson: John Marshall 20, Heritage Hall 18
Whitt Carter: Heritage Hall 27, John Marshall 14
Randy Turney: Heritage Hall 24, John Marshall 21
Booker T. Washington at Bixby
Michael Swisher: Booker T. Washington 27, Bixby 20
Ben Johnson: Bixby 21, Booker T. Washington 20
Whitt Carter: Bixby 21, Booker T. Washington 20
Randy Turney: Bixby 28, Booker T. Washington 20
Altus at Ardmore
Michael Swisher: Ardmore 23, Altus 17
Ben Johnson: Ardmore 20, Altus 19
Whitt Carter: Ardmore 35, Altus 21
Randy Turney: Ardmore 21, Altus 20
Tahlequah at Skiatook
Michael Swisher: Skiatook 24, Tahlequah 14
Ben Johnson: Tahlequah 24, Skiatook 20
Whitt Carter: Tahlequah 35, Skiatook 31
Randy Turney: Skiatook 28, Tahlequah 21
Lincoln Christian at Seminole
Michael Swisher: Lincoln Christian 31, Seminole 21
Ben Johnson: Lincoln Christian 27, Seminole 19
Whitt Carter: Lincoln Christian 42, Seminole 28
Randy Turney: Lincoln Christian 22, Seminole 14
Davenport at Dewar
Michael Swisher: Davenport 41, Dewar 33
Ben Johnson: Davenport 37, Dewar 22
Whitt Carter: Davenport 52, Dewar 42
Randy Turney: Davenport 48, Dewar 40
Berryhill at Locust Grove
Michael Swisher: Berryhill 30, Locust Grove 29
Ben Johnson: Berryhill 29, Locust Grove 20
Whitt Carter: Berryhill 28, Locust Grove 21
Randy Turney: Berryhill 34, Locust Grove 21
Yukon at Edmond Santa Fe
Michael Swisher: Edmond Santa Fe 31, Yukon 20
Ben Johnson: Edmond Santa Fe 24, Yukon 17
Whitt Carter: Edmond Santa Fe 27, Yukon 17
Randy Turney: Edmond Santa Fe 21, Yukon 14
Yale at Regent Prep
Michael Swisher: Regent Prep 42, Yale 28
Ben Johnson: Regent Prep 38, Yale 30
Whitt Carter: Regent Prep 38, Yale 32
Randy Turney: Regent Prep 38, Yale 14
Crescent at Crossings Christian
Michael Swisher: Crescent 29, Crossings Christian 24
Ben Johnson: Crossings Christian 27, Crescent 23
Whitt Carter: Crossings Christian 24, Crescent 20
Randy Turney: Crossings Christian 28, Crescent 20
Jones at Meeker
Michael Swisher: Jones 35, Meeker 20
Ben Johnson: Jones 42, Meeker 27
Whitt Carter: Jones 36, Meeker 28
Randy Turney: Jones 34, Meeker 22
Clinton at Weatherford
Michael Swisher: Clinton 18, Weatherford 14
Ben Johnson: Clinton 22, Weatherford 17
Whitt Carter: Weatherford 24, Clinton 18
Randy Turney: Weatherford 22, Clinton 20
Broken Bow at Hilldale
Michael Swisher: Hilldale 21, Broken Bow 20
Ben Johnson: Hilldale 27, Broken Bow 21
Whitt Carter: Hilldale 34, Broken Bow 28
Randy Turney: Hilldale 22, Broken Bow 14
Woodward at Bishop McGuinness
Michael Swisher: Bishop McGuinness 31, Woodward 14
Ben Johnson: Bishop McGuinness 33, Woodward 22
Whitt Carter: Bishop McGuinness 37, Woodward 21
Randy Turney: Bishop McGuinness 38, Woodward 20
Memorial at Collinsville
Michael Swisher: Collinsville 28, Memorial 17
Ben Johnson: Collinsville 23, Memorial 12
Whitt Carter: Collinsville 28, Memorial 13
Randy Turney: Collinsville 22, Memorial 21
Union at Mustang
Michael Swisher: Union 28, Mustang 26
Ben Johnson: Union 37, Mustang 17
Whitt Carter: Union 27, Mustang 16
Randy Turney: Union 38, Mustang 18
| Ben Johnson
District play has arrived in full force, and there are great games all over the state this week.
Narrowing down the list to the top 10 games wasn't easy, but here it is:
1. 6AII No. 2 Midwest City (3-1) at 6AII No. 1 Stillwater (4-0): In a loaded Class 6AII District 1, the winner here has to feel good about having the inside edge to a district title. The Bombers, having beaten Stillwater four of the last six matchups since 2012, topped the Pioneers in a 35-21 clash last season. In that game, Midwest City quarterback Preston Colbert accounted for 234 yards through the air, including three touchdowns. For good measure, he also rushed for two scores. Last week, Lawton's Miles Davis torched Midwest City for 181 yards and two touchdowns, and now Stillwater will deploy Qwontrel Walker, who rushed for 300-plus yards against Deer Creek last week.
2. 3A No. 1 Heritage Hall (3-1) at 3A No. 2 John Marshall (4-0): Heritage Hall's Billy Ross is closing in on 2,000 career rushing yards. John Marshall quarterback Jerod Leviston is closing in on 1,000 yards through the air this season. And while the offenses may have superb star power, it's the defense stealing the spotlights here. Heritage Hall has only given up 51 points -- most coming in a 30-20 loss to Millwood. John Marshall has yielded only 28 points -- most recently only giving up 10 in a 76-10 win over Bridge Creek last week. These two -- both reigning state champions: Heritage Hall (4A) and John Marshall (3A) -- have met in non-district play the last two seasons with the Chargers winning both. Now they get to square off with district supremacy on the line.
3. 6AII No. 4 Booker T. Washington (2-2) at 6AII No. 3 Bixby (3-1): Rematch of last year's 6AII title game -- one that saw Booker T. Washington come from behind to win. Both teams showcase stellar defensive units. Bixby is led by Ryan Kerr, Brody Sartin, Ethan Hall, Noah West and others, while Booker T. Washington's defense is led by Dax Hill, one of the nation's top recruits who just committed to Michigan. The key for both teams will be finding offensive success. Bixby will lean on quarterback Mason Williams, tailback Braden Roller and wideout Brennan Presley. Booker T. Washington was without its top tailback, Thomas Grayson, against Bartleville last week, and primary quarterback Dwight Hamilton also suffered an arm injury against the Bruins. If Hamilton is unable to go, the Hornets are likely to turn to Tai Dobbins. These two clubs have met every year since 2014, and the Hornets have won three of the five games.
4. 5A No. 3 Altus (4-0) at 5A No. 2 Ardmore (4-0): This might end being the quickest game of the week. Lots and lots of running and by a multitude of players. The Bulldogs have had at least seven players carry the ball at least 16 times and for more than 130 yards to this point in the season. And six of those seven have found the end zone. Ardmore has five -- Cameron Petties, Tero Roberts, Jadrien Monor, Jermaine Scallion and Eean Ross -- primary ball carries, all of which have shared the ball for more than 1,100 yards. Since 2010, Altus and Ardmore have shared district space, and Ardmore has gone 5-2 in those contests.
5. 5A No. 7 Tahlequah (4-0) at 5A No. 4 Skiatook (4-0): Two of the most unheralded players in the state -- Tahlequah's Dae Dae Leathers and Skiatook's Jayden Garner -- will battle it out this week. Leathers and the Tigers rushing attack has been nearly impossible to stop, and Skiatook has been extremely balanced on offense with Garner and Cody Evans at quarterback. One area where Skiatook could have the advantage is defense; the Bulldogs have given up only 19 points through four games. Twice opponents have scored 20 or more points against the Tigers.
6. 3A No. 4 Lincoln Christian (4-0) at 3A No. 7 Seminole (4-0): Much like Heritage Hall and John Marshall, Lincoln Christian and Seminole spent the last two seasons playing as non-district foes (with Lincoln Christian winning both). Seminole will undoubtedly turn to Cameron Gunville (761 yards on 70 carries) in the ground game, while Lincoln Christian will spread it around, thanks to quarterback Chase Ricke (875 yards, 10 TDs on 41 of 69 attempts), tailback Brendyn Harris (402 yards on 66 carries) and Sam Brueggemann (436 yards on 14 catches).
7. B No. 2 Davenport (4-0) at B No. 4 Dewar (4-0): Jacob Acord and Stevie Orr have been nothing short of stellar on the offensive side of the ball for Davenport. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs' defense remains tough to crack. These two teams put on a show last year in a 44-42 win for Davenport.
8. 3A No. 3 Berryhill (4-0) at 3A No. 9 Locust Grove (4-0): Here's a solid matchup of two quarterbacks that don't get the credit they deserved. Berryhill's Cody Ross has tossed for 750 yards and six touchdowns while completing 46 of 80 attempts. For Locust Grove, Caden Bendabout is completing 71 percent (54 of 76) of his passes for 865 yards and seven touchdowns. These two teams have met every year since 2013, and Locust Grove has won three of the five, although Berryhill has won the last two (a 46-14 win last year).
9. 6AI No. 6 Yukon (4-0) at 6AI No. 4 Edmond Santa Fe (4-0): The winner here might announce itself as a potential threat to Broken Arrow, Jenks or Union at the top of 6AI. The Wolves have won the past seven games dating back to 2011, and they'll test Yukon's defense with Kanan Hansen at quarterback.
10. B No. 7 Yale (4-0) at B No. 3 Regent Prep (3-0): Yale hasn't gotten the credit it deserves this season, but that'll end if it's able to knock off Regent Prep. The Rams' Braden Gilbert has thrown for 957 yards and 14 touchdowns while completing 37 of 57 passes this season. The two teams have only met once, and Yale won 38-14 in 2011.
Crescent at Crossings Christian: Another week, another big showdown in District A-3. These two haven't met since 2015 with the series tied 2-2.
Jones at Meeker: Meeker's unbeaten start will be tested with these two clubs facing off for the first time since 2009.
Clinton at Weatherford: These two Interstate-40 rivals have met every year since 1957, including several some memorable playoffs showdown. Weatherford won last year's meeting 30-7.
Broken Bow at Hilldale: Hornets have beaten Broken Bow two years in a row, including last year's 21-6 decision.
Woodward at Bishop McGuinness: Woodward hasn't beaten Bishop McGuinness since 1996. The Irish have won the last seven matchups between the two clubs.
Memorial at Collinsville: Jamoni Jones rushed for 300-plus yards against East Central last week, but now he'll face a test in the Cardinals' stout defense. Collinsville's defense has been a lockdown unit since allowing 250-plus yards to Bartlesville's DeAndre Young in week two.
Union at Mustang: Union has won all six games against Mustang in the series between the two. Three times it has finished as a one-possession game, but Union won last year 48-28.
So who wins all the matchups? Check back for our weekly picks on Thursday.
*Photo by Jimmy Gillespie/Stillwater NewsPress
| Michael Swisher
There’s not many places that can lure Will Jones away from Garber.
Dale just happened to be one of them.
Jones was approved earlier this month to take over superintendent duties for Dale Public Schools.
He’ll take over the role July 1 when the retirement of current Superintendent Ky Wilkins becomes official.
It will end a seven-year run at Garber, the last six as the school district’s superintendent.
“My most fulfilling years in public education have been at Garber,” Jones said. “It was a very difficult decision to leave.”
However, the pull from Dale was too much to resist.
“There aren’t too many places that would even allow me to consider leaving a great school like Garber,” Jones said. “But Dale is one of those places.”
“It’s a place that expects excellence in academics as well as extra-curricular activities,” he said.
Dale owns 40 state titles in athletics.
The baseball and softball teams have nearly annual reservations at their respective state tournaments. Baseball accounts for 21 state championships and softball another 11.
Girls basketball owns seven gold balls and has reached the state tournament every year of Eric Smith’s tenure.
The boys basketball program didn’t own a state championship…until about two weeks ago.
The Pirates, with nary a senior starter, claimed the 2A title.
That’s the kind of programs Jones will be inheriting.
He feels he’ll be turning over Garber’s reins in solid shape as well.
Among his proudest achievements was helping pass one transportation and one building bond issue in 2018. Both got 84 percent voter approval.
The district now has two devices for every student…one for school and one for home.
“We’ve made some tremendous gains in technology,” he said.
Jones also did what many small-school superintendents have had to do: Fill several roles.
“I leave here proud knowing that I was willing to do whatever I needed to help the district,” he said.
That included dusting off his coach’s whistle and taking over the boys basketball program prior to the 2017-18 season.
“I really thought my coaching career was over after 2009,” Jones said. “There was someone above pulling the strings on that.”
Under Jones, the Garber boys basketball team reached state three times in four seasons.
It peaked with a Class A state title in 2020 and a runner-up finish in 2021.
He stepped down after that season and hired Fletcher Reed away from Snyder to take his place.
Reed coached Garber to another runner-up finish in 2022.
The Garber girls basketball team, under longtime coach Jamie Davis, qualified for state for a third consecutive season.
The football team has reached the playoffs each of the last three years and all but once during Jones’ tenure there.
Jones’ oldest daughter, Karsen, graduated from Garber last year and is now a freshman at OSU.
His youngest daughter, Khloe, will be an eighth grader next year.
“For her, both academically and in extra-curricular activities, this is also a great fit,” he said of Dale. He also said the location is ideal in a number of other ways, notably the proximity to his mother, who lives in Edmond.
“A lot of things just came together,” Jones said, “to let us know this was the right move to make.”