Kellyville, OK 74039
Record: 1-9 | Unranked
| Ben Johnson
GLENPOOL -- When Glenpool starts the 2020 season, the Warriors will have a new head coach for the first time since the mid 90s.
On Thursday, Steve Edwards told Skordle he’s stepping down as the Warriors’ head coach after a 24-year run.
“Been going up and down the sidelines for 35 years,” he said. “It’s time to take a break.”
After serving as an assistant coach in Hominy, Edwards took over at Glenpool in 1996 and led the Warriors to the most successful years in the program’s history.
Glenpool had won only one district championship before Edwards arrived, and he now departs with eight district titles and two state championships (2002 and 2008).
“Through those 24 years at Glenpool, it’s been a really good run,” Edwards said. “Class 4A was good to us for a while.”
Edwards enjoyed a vast amount of success after his father questioned his profession a long time ago.
“I remember my dad asking why I wanted to be a football coach and having to move everywhere,” Edwards recalled. “But that wasn’t the case for me because I’ve ended up being at Glenpool for a long time.”
During his 24-year run at Glenpool, Edwards went 167-109, including a 2-8 season in 2019 to close the book on his tenure with the Warriors.
“Since 1996, we’ve followed the same coaching mantra, ‘make better players, not better plays,’” Edwards said. “It’s been so much more than developing good football players. We’ve always wanted to make sure the young boys turn into great men.”
As for Edwards, he’ll still be in Glenpool as the Warriors’ assistant athletic director. It will allow him more time to watch his sons, Gus and Michael, play football and wrestle.
“I want to sit back and watch them,” Edwards said. “Both have really promising futures in both football and wrestling, I want to be able to watch them.”
And what about coaching? Edwards wouldn’t totally close the book on a return in the future.
“If I still have a hankering to get back into it,” he said, “hopefully I’ll be able to do that.”
Steve Edwards’ career
Seasons: 24 (all as Glenpool head coach)
District titles: 8
State titles: 2
| Ben Johnson
KIEFER -- Trent Worley is a small-town kid at heart. Plus, he and his wife Ashley have most of their family living in northeast Oklahoma.
That made the head coaching vacancy at Kiefer so intriguing.
And sure enough, Worley was named the Trojans’ head man Monday night, becoming only the program’s second head coach in 12 years.
“It’s a really good spot to be in, both for me and my family,” Worley told Skordle. “But to a lot of people, it’ll look like a crazy move.”
Worley, a Foyil alum, recently wrapped up a two-year tenure at Piedmont, where he went 8-13. The Wildcats went 5-6 in 2018 and earned a playoff berth before being eliminated in the first round by eventual Class 5A runner-up, Ardmore.
In Kiefer, Worley will fill the void left by Josh Calvert, who is stepping away from coaching to take a job in Oregon. From 2008 to last season, Calvert led the Trojans to a 94-37 record.
“This is something I’m looking forward to,” Worley said. “What was impressive to me about Kiefer was how the town places a priority on athletics, and those being bright spots in the community. Plus, there they place a great deal of importance on building relationships in settlings like Kiefer.”
Kiefer is coming off a 3-7 campaign in 2018. The Trojans shared a spot in District 2A-3 with Class 2A’s state champion, Sperry, and runner-up, Beggs. Kiefer entered the final week of the regular season vying for postseason spot, alongside Haskell and Morris.
“I’m a small-town guy,” Worley said. “I’m going into year No. 20 in my career. The older you get the more you realize what’s important, so I’m excited for the move for my family. And I’m excited about the Kiefer program, which as unlimited potential.”
| Ben Johnson
When Sperry and Beggs met the first time this season, it was an extremely emotion affair. News broke the day before the two met that Beggs running back Kayson Tolliver has been gunned down in his bed.
It was as tragic as it gets.
But Beggs opted to play and honor the life that Tolliver had lived. The scene on the field was highly irregular, as Sperry quarterback Beau Teel tells it.
“I can remember being in eighth grade, and Sperry had a player pass away and we had to play Claremore Sequoyah and emotions were so high,” Teel recalled. “That’s how that game was against Beggs.
“Players were crying on the field and everything. Makes you realize that football isn’t the most important thing in the world.”
Now the two teams will meet again -- and emotions will be high again. This time, it’ll be for the Class 2A championship at Owasso Stadium on Thursday.
“It means a lot, but not just to me, but our team and town have been waiting for an opportunity like this for a long time,” Sperry’s Bryce Carter said. “We want to make the most of it.”
Third-ranked Beggs beat Sperry 35-21 on Nov. 2. The Pirates led 14-0 at halftime, but the Golden Demons went on a torrid rally in the second half, including scoring 28 points in the third quarter.
“Our first time playing Beggs made us realize that you have to play your best football for all four quarters,” Teel said. “Beggs is a great second half team that plays with a lot of heart. They know what it takes to win big games. We can not let up any this time around.”
For No. 5 Sperry, it’s the Pirates first appearance in a championship game since 1968. That’s created a considerable amount of buzz around the small town on the western edge of Tulsa County.
“The town is so excited to be in this game,” Teel said. “It’s been over 50 years since this town has been in the championship game, and it’s just really awesome. People we’ve never seen before have started coming out just to watch us play. It’s great.”