Sallisaw Black Diamonds
Sallisaw, OK 74955
Record: 0-0 | Unranked
|vs Fort Gibson||10/17|
|@ Broken Bow||11/1|
|@ Central (Tulsa)||11/8|
| Ben Johnson
Fort Coffee is headed for the big stage.
Wait, Fort Coffee? Where is that? Is it in Oklahoma?
It’s a town that might go unrecognized, outside of severe weather coverage in Oklahoma, but Fort Coffee sits in the Arkansas River bend near Skullyville and northeast of Spiro. Just find LeFlore County in far eastern Oklahoma, and it sits at the very northern tip of the county.
It’s where McKinley Whitfield has called home all his life.
Now Whitfield will fly the Fort Coffee flag proudly when he attends New York Giants mini camp.
“It means everything in the world to me to represent Spiro and Fort Coffee,” said Whitfield, a former standout at Spiro High School before playing college football at the University of Tulsa.
“I grew up there my whole life, and I just try my best to be a inspiration to all the younger kids there.”
Whitfield, measuring at 6 feet, 3 inches and 217 pounds, knows professional athletic endeavors don’t come along often for those growing up in Fort Coffee.
“Not many people from the area get changes like these,” he said, “so it’s a blessing.”
Whitfield, a safety by trade, recently watched the NFL Draft intently, hoping for his name to appear in the later rounds. But all seven rounds breezed by, despite a few draft boards mentioning Whitfield as a possible late-round candidate.
“It was very frustrating,” said Whitfield, who logged 264 tackles and 19 pass breakups during his collegiate career. “Everybody was thinking that I was going to get drafted, so I didn’t want to let anybody down. I just tried to keep myself busy during the whole process and be around my family.”
It didn’t take long for Whitefield to draw an invitation to New York’s minicamp, which begins this weekend.
“It feels good getting a chance to go play at the next level,” said Whitfield, who nabbed four interceptions while at Tulsa. “Of course I would rather have gotten drafted or a free agent deal, but it’s just more motivation for me.
Whitfield joins four other TU players as mini camp invitees. Justin Hobbs and Willie Wright will work out for the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns, respectively, and two other in-state talents, Tyler Bowling (Yukon) and Chandler Miller (Bixby), will try to earn a spot with the Atlanta Falcons.
Leading up to the draft, Whitfield never had much interaction with the Giants, chatting with the organization once while at a senior event in Texas. But now he gets a chance to prove Fort Coffee belongs in the NFL.
“I’ve always been a hard worker since I was a kid,” Whitfield said. “That definitely isn’t going to stop now.”
*Photo credit: University of Tulsa
| Ben Johnson
The Oklahoma Coaches Association announced the 2019 All-State wrestling rosters on Tuesday morning.
Here are the rosters and some notes on the honorees:
113: David Boucher (Bartlesville)
120: Laif Jones (Bartlesville)
126: Ty Nohelty (McAlester)
132: Reece Witcraft (Broken Arrow) - Two-time state champion headed to Oklahoma State
138: Spencer Schickram (Ponca City) - Won the Class 6A 138 title this season
145: Gage Hight (Glenpool) - Finished as a three-time runner-up for the Warriors
152: Ja’len Hernandez (Union)
160: Scott Patton (Sand Springs) - Runner-up at 6A 152
170: Isaac Strain (Tahlequah)
182: Talon Borror (Coweta) - Three-time state champion headed to Oklahoma
195: Elijah Tomlin (Union)
220: Korbin McLaughlin (Skiatook) - The 5A 220 champion this season to help Skiatook split the 5A state title with Collinsville
HWT: Caleb Orr (Jenks) - Runner-up in 6A heavyweight this season
113: Dominic Derr (Westmoore)
120: Jayston Cato (Carl Albert) - Runner-up at 5A 120 this season
126: Mitchell Lance (Piedmont) - Third place finish at 5A 126 this season
132: Colt Newton (Choctaw) - Finished third at 6A 132 this season
138: Cameron Picklo (Mustang) - Finished third at 138 this season
145: Kobi Gomez (Altus) - State champion at 5A 138 this season
152: Hunter Jump (Duncan) - State champion at 5A 160 after winning a state title at Lawton Mac as a junior
160: Rene Martinez (Putnam City) - Runner-up at 6A 160 this season
170: Zane Coleman (Choctaw) - Arizona State signee became a four-time state champion this season
182: Christian Maldonado (Lawton Mac) - State champion at 5A 170 this season
195: Carson Savage (Deer Creek) - Runner-up at 6A 195 this season
220: Jake McCoy (Edmond North) - Runner-up at 6A 220 this season
HWT: Josh Heindselman (Piedmont) - Became a two-time state champion by winning the 5A heavyweight crown this season
113: Kaleb Harris (Sallisaw)
120: Luke Montgomery (Bristow) - Finishied third at 4A 120 this season
126: Thaddeus Long (McLain) - Became the Titans’ first state champion since 1976 with a title at 4A 126
132: Wesley Scott (Pawnee) - Runner-up at 3A 132 this season
138: Price Perrier (Pawhuska) - Runner-up at 3A 138 this season
145: Trystian Shireman (Wagoner) - Finished third at 4A 138 this season
152: Hadyn Redus (Perry) - State champion at 3A 152 this season
160: Jacob Ahrberg (Cushing) - State champion at 4A 160 this season
170: Cade Shropshire (Checotah) - Two-time state champion for the Wildcats with the 3A 160 chamionship this season
182: River Simon (Vian) - Became a two-time state champion by winning the 3A 182 title this season
195: Eriq Simpson (Cushing) - Runner-up at 4A 195 this season
220: Drake Barbee (Blackwell) - State champion at 3A 195 this season
HWT: Teaguen Wilson (Perry) - Runner-up at 3A heavyweight this season
113: Remington White (Walters) - Former state champion was the 3A runner-up at 113 this season
120: Jaxon Miller (Comanche)
126: Logan Farrell (Tuttle) - Runner-up at 4A 126 this season
132: Kolton Smith (Bridge Creek) - Became the Bobcats’ first state champion by winning the 3A 126 title this season
138: Kobey Kizarr (Marlow) - State champion at 3A 138 this season
145: Val Park (Heritage Hall) - Became a three-time state champion by winning 4A 138 title this season