Central Sallisaw Tigers
Sallisaw, OK 74955
Record: 10-2 | Unranked
|@ Porter Consolidated||W||28-69|
| 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
All hail Randy Turney and his picking skills. He made it look easy while beating the snot out of Swisher, Whitt and myself. He spent 11 weeks picking games and gradually putting all of us away -- well, most of us. Swisher might have an outside shot of catching him. We'll see how it plays out. Me, on the other hand, I have to face the music and wave the white flag. Picking for pride now!
Week 10 picks - Coach Turney 19-7 | Whitt 19-7 | Swisher 18-8 | Ben 13-13
Overall - Turney 158-52 | Swisher 151-59 | Whitt 148-58 | Ben 140-70
Now I present picks for the first round of the playoffs:
Norman at Owasso
Michael Swisher: Owasso 38, Norman 24
Ben Johnson: Owasso 33, Norman 31
Whitt Carter: Owasso 34, Norman 24
Randy Turney: Owasso 28, Norman 7
Edmond Santa Fe at Union
Michael Swisher: Union 31, Edmond Santa Fe 21
Ben Johnson: Union 31, Edmond Santa Fe 13
Whitt Carter: Union 37, Edmond Santa Fe 13
Randy Turney: Union 32, Edmond Santa Fe 14
Del City at Booker T. Washington
Michael Swisher: Del City 33, Booker T. Washington 20
Ben Johnson: Del City 23, Booker T. Washington 19
Whitt Carter: Del City 27, Booker T. Washington 21
Randy Turney: Booker T. Washington 21, Del City 20
Lawton at Bixby
Michael Swisher: Bixby 28, Lawton 13
Ben Johnson: Bixby 28, Lawton 7
Whitt Carter: Bixby 41, Lawton 21
Randy Turney: Bixby 42, Lawton 20
Sapulpa at Midwest City
Michael Swisher: Midwest City 39, Sapulpa 24
Ben Johnson: Midwest City 36, Sapulpa 20
Whitt Carter: Midwest City 35, Sapulpa 14
Randy Turney: Midwest City 42, Sapulpa 7
Altus at Bishop McGuinness
Michael Swisher: Bishop McGuinness 28, Altus 14
Ben Johnson: Bishop McGuinness 24, Altus 16
Whitt Carter: Bishop McGuinness 37, Altus 24
Randy Turney: Bishop McGuinness 24, Altus 14
Guthrie at Duncan
Michael Swisher: Duncan 14, Guthrie 12
Ben Johnson: Duncan 20, Guthrie 13
Whitt Carter: Duncan 28, Guthrie 27
Randy Turney: Guthrie 21, Duncan 14
Claremore at Edison
Michael Swisher: Edison 24, Claremore 22
Ben Johnson: Claremore 29, Edison 23
Whitt Carter: Edison 34, Claremore 28
Randy Turney: Claremore 23, Edison 21
Coweta at Tahlequah
Michael Swisher: Tahlequah 27, Coweta 23
Ben Johnson: Tahlequah 30, Coweta 27
Whitt Carter: Tahlequah 30, Coweta 21
Randy Turney: Tahlequah 30, Coweta 16
Hilldale at Bristow
Michael Swisher: Bristow 38, Hilldale 30
Ben Johnson: Bristow 29, Hilldale 18
Whitt Carter: Bristow 37, Hilldale 31
Randy Turney: Bristow 42, Hilldale 10
Catoosa at Broken Bow
Michael Swisher: Broken Bow 30, Catoosa 12
Ben Johnson: Broken Bow 20, Catoosa 10
Whitt Carter: Catoosa 27, Broken Bow 24
Randy Turney: Broken Bow 38, Catoosa 20
Blanchard at Cache
Michael Swisher: Blanchard 31, Cache 30
Ben Johnson: Cache 37, Blanchard 32
Whitt Carter: Cache 21, Blanchard 20
Randy Turney: Blanchard 32, Cache 14
Seminole at Berryhill
Michael Swisher: Berryhill 28, Seminole 20
Ben Johnson: Berryhill 36, Seminole 27
Whitt Carter: Seminole 37, Berryhill 35
Randy Turney: Berryhill 28, Seminole 14
Stigler at Locust Grove
Michael Swisher: Locust Grove 19, Stigler 16
Ben Johnson: Locust Grove 23, Stigler 22
Whitt Carter: Stigler 28, Locust Grove 26
Randy Turney: Locust Grove 24, Stigler 16
John Marshall at Plainview
Michael Swisher: John Marshall 22, Plainview 20
Ben Johnson: John Marshall 30, Plainview 26
Whitt Carter: Plainview 35, John Marshall 31
Randy Turney: John Marshall 27, Plainview 20
Victory Christian at Metro Christian
Michael Swisher: Victory Christian 30, Metro Christian 24
Ben Johnson: Metro Christian 42, Victory Christian 27
Whitt Carter: Metro Christian 34, Victory Christian 21
Randy Turney: Metro Christian 30, Victory Christian 24
Kellyville at Perry
Michael Swisher: Perry 24, Kellyville 21
Ben Johnson: Perry 24, Kellyville 17
Whitt Carter: Perry 27, Kellyville 20
Randy Turney: Perry 34, Kellyville 20
Spiro at Eufaula
Michael Swisher: Eufaula 20, Spiro 19
Ben Johnson: Eufaula 32, Spiro 22
Whitt Carter: Spiro 21, Eufaula 18
Randy Turney: Eufaula 24, Spiro 23
Okemah at Oklahoma Christian School
Michael Swisher: OCS 38, Okemah 20
Ben Johnson: OCS 43, Okemah 32
Whitt Carter: OCS 35, Okemah 28
Randy Turney: OCS 34, Okemah 21
Chisholm at Meeker
Michael Swisher: Meeker 30, Chisholm 28
Ben Johnson: Meeker 31, Chisholm 19
Whitt Carter: Chisholm 24, Meeker 20
Randy Turney: Meeker 32, Chisholm 14
Christian Heritage at Ringling
Michael Swisher: Ringlng 30, Christian Heritage 22
Ben Johnson: Ringlng 26, Christian Heritage 21
Whitt Carter: Ringling 31, Christian Heritage 28
Randy Turney: Ringling 28, Christian Heritage 7
Thomas at Frederick
Michael Swisher: Frederick 24, Thomas 14
Ben Johnson: Thomas 26, Frederick 22
Whitt Carter: Thomas 37, Frederick 24
Randy Turney: Thomas 14, Frederick 13
Central Sallisaw at Wayne
Michael Swisher: Central Sallisaw 34, Wayne 32
Ben Johnson: Wayne 33, Central Sallisaw 27
Whitt Carter: Wayne 42, Central Sallisaw 38
Randy Turney: Wayne 28, Central Sallisaw 18
Wynnewood at Gore
Michael Swisher: Gore 31, Wynnewood 28
Ben Johnson: Wynnewood 34, Gore 31
Whitt Carter: Gore 35, Wynnewood 31
Randy Turney: Wynnewood 20, Gore 18
Yale at Foyil
Michael Swisher: Foyil 30, Yale 22
Ben Johnson: Yale 44, Foyil 29
Whitt Carter: Yale 44, Foyil 36
Randy Turney: Yale 42, Foyil 12
Pioneer at Seiling
Michael Swisher: Seiling 24, Pioneer 21
Ben Johnson: Pioneer 45, Seiling 19
Whitt Carter: Seiling 42, Pioneer 40
Randy Turney: Pioneer 27, Seiling 22
Covington-Douglas at Paoli
Michael Swisher: Paoli 38, Covington-Douglas 28
Ben Johnson: Paoli 39, Covington-Douglas 28
Whitt Carter: Paoli 42, Covington-Douglas 32
Randy Turney: Paoli 34, Covington-Douglas 22
Medford at Graham-Dustin
Michael Swisher: Graham-Dustin 50, Medford 33
Ben Johnson: Graham-Dustin 49, Medford 32
Whitt Carter: Graham-Dustin 38, Medford 34
Randy Turney: Medford 34, Graham-Dustin 20
Tyrone at Fox
Michael Swisher: Tyrone 40, Fox 35
Ben Johnson: Tyrone 38, Fox 37
Whitt Carter: Fox 46, Tyrone 38
Randy Turney: Tyrone 38, Fox 20
Midway at Coyle
Michael Swisher: Coyle 39, Midway 30
Ben Johnson: Coyle 55, Midway 22
Whitt Carter: Coyle 36, Midway 30
Randy Turney: Coyle 48, Midway 12
Let us know what you think. Tweet your predictions to us at @Skordle.
| Ben Johnson
The playoffs are here! Well, not quite but for some teams it will feel that way. Some teams are playing to extend their seasons while some are playing to better position themselves for long postseason runs. Week 10 is always a whirlwind, so buckle up and hold on!
Here's what's on tap:
1. 6AII No. 1 Stillwater (9-0) at 6AII No. 4 Del City (7-2): It has been a day or two since Stillwater last laid claim to a district championship. Since 1995 to be exact. Pioneers can clinch the District 6AII-1 title with a win. A Del City victory (plus a Midwest City win over PC West) creates a three-way tie at the top of the district with district points deciding the champion. Stillwater is 2-0 against Del City, but they haven't played since 2007.
2. 5A No. 1 Carl Albert at 5A No. 4 Bishop McGuinness (8-1): If these two are squaring off, there's always something significant on the line. Last season it was the Class 5A championship. This time, it's for 5A-2 supremacy. The winner claims the district crown. For Carl Albert, it would two years in a row. For the Irish, it would be the third district title in four years.
3. A No. 2 Cashion (9-0) at A No. 3 Minco (8-1): Take the Stillwater-Del City playoff scenario and apply it here. Cashion wins the District A-3 title with a win. A victory for Minco creates a logjam atop the district with Crossings Christian off for the way and cemented at 7-1 in the district. A Cashion win also moves Minco to third.
4. 2A No. 2 Sperry (9-0) at 2A No. 4 Beggs (8-1): It's been 77 years -- SEVENTY. SEVEN. -- since Sperry was 9-0. The Pirates have won a district title more recently than that (1992), but it's still been a long time for that, too. Beggs, on the other hand, is coming off a runner-up finish in Class 3A, so this is familiar territory for the Demons. The winner here claims the District 2A-3 title, and the loser finishes second. The quarterback matchup -- Sperry's Beau Tell against Beggs' Dalton Spring -- should be a good one, too.
5. 3A No. 3 John Marshall (8-1) at 3A No. 7 Kingfisher (6-3): Winner finishes second in 3A-1 and gets a home playoff game. Loser finishes third and hits the road -- likely to Plainview -- in the first round of the playoffs.
6. 4A No. 8 Hilldale (8-1) at 4A No. 1 Poteau (9-0): Poteau will have to reverse a recent trend if it wants to win District 4A-4. The Pirates can win the district with a win, but a Hilldale victory likely creates a three-team tie atop the standings with Broken Bow also involved. The streak Poteau has to end is its losing ways to Hilldale, who has beaten the Pirates four times in a row, dating bcak to 2010. Poteau's last win over Hilldale was 2009.
7. 6AI No. 7 Owasso (5-4) at 6AI No. 5 Putnam City North (8-1): Neither one can catch Union in 6AI-2, but the Panthers can lock up second place with a win over Owasso, the reigning 6AI champion. An Owasso win likely means the Rams, PC North finish in a tie for second and resort to district points. A win for PC North would be its first ever against Owasso. The Rams are 4-0 all-time against PC North.
8. 5A No. 7 Tahlequah (8-1) at 5A No. 9 Claremore (6-3): This one is simple enough -- winner gets second place in 5A-4, the loser finishes third. The running back battle between Tahlequah's Dae Dae Leathers and Claremore's Jace Hightower should be fun to watch.
9. 6AII No. 2 Bixby (8-1) at 6AII No. 7 Muskogee (6-3): Regardless of records, it seems as though Bixby always struggles with Muskogee. The Spartans have secured the 6AII-2 title and can look toward a home playoff game next week, while Muskogee needs a win to finish third in 6AII-2.
10. 5A No. 5 Altus (8-1) at 5A No. 10 Duncan (8-1): Same at the Tahlequah-Claremore game -- winner gets second place, loser finishes third.
Edmond Santa Fe at Norman: The Wolves are in the playoffs, but a win would assure a third-place finish. A Norman victory gives the Tigers a chance to make the playoffs with Westmoore headed to Jenks.
Ada at Edison: Winner finishes second in 5A-3, loser gets third since both Edison and Ada are vastly ahead of McAlester in district points.
Clinton at Cache: The Red Tornadoes are no strangers to district titles with 38, according to Iwasatthegame.com. Yet, Clinton hasn't won one since 2011. Cache hasn't won one since 1983. It's a winner-take-all game in 4A-1.
Oologah at Catoosa: A Catoosa win likely means third place and would leave Bristow and Wagoner to settle the district title. An Oologah victory likely means Bristow, Wagoner and Oologah finish tied for the district title, and would likely go to Bristow based on district points.
Checotah at Lincoln Christian: Well, the best way to describe the District 3A-3 standings is jumbled. But don't over-think it. More likely than not, Seminole, Stigler and Idabel should bag victories this week, so this game will decide whether there's a five-way tie for first place or a three-way tie for second place. Either way, it's all about district points at that stage.
Locust Grove at Vinita: After Berryhill at the top of this district, it gets a bit chaotic. Vinita need to win to keep its playoff hopes alive, whereas Locust Grove claims second place with a win.
Lindsay at Kingston: Even if Lindsay wins here, Kingston will have wrapped up its first district championship since 1987. That's how sizeable Kingston's district points lead is.
Panama at Holland Hall: The Dutch win a district title with a win over Panama, whereas a Panama victory likely hands the district title to Vian.
Christian Heritage at Crescent: Someone's season will end here. District A-3 is deep so this game will decide who finishes fourth. Crazy to think Crescent could go from Class A runner-up to out of the playoffs, but that's the scenario headed into this week's slate of games.
Pawhuska at Pawnee: Pawnee has to win to keep its playoff hopes alive. A Pawhuska win would assure the Huskies of third place in District A-5.
Hobart at Frederick: Simple enough on this one. The winner claims the District A-2 title and the loser finishes second.
Ringling at Apache: Did you read the Hobart-Frederick breakdown? Same thing applies here. Would be Ringling's eighth straight district title.
Gore at Central Sallisaw: Gore is looking for its first district championship since 2011. A Central Sallisaw win would give it a chance at a district title for the first time since 2001.
Weleetka at Wetumka: District B-5 will be decide in this one. Winner gets first place, loser gets second place.
Regent Prep at Foyil: These two clubs have played some stout defense this year, giving up only a combined 112 points in 17 games. The better defense here will help its win a district championship. The loser of the game stays home for the playoffs but won't claim a district title.
Paoli at Graham-Dustin: Winner claims the District C-4 championship. Loser finishes second.
*Photo courtesy of Jason Elmquist/Stillwater NewsPress
| Ben Johnson
Look back at 2017
2017 district champs
A-1: Thomas - The Terriers hit the half-century mark in district titles with an unbeaten run against A-1 foes. A 20-0 win over Hooker set the stage for a district crown, and that was part of the Terriers' 10-game winning streak, which continued into December. But Afton derailed Thomas' playoff run in the semifinals.
A-2: Watonga - A September win over Cordell proved to be the deciding factor for the A-2 crown for Watonga. The Eagles went on to avenge a season-opening loss against Okeene with a win to open the playoffs, but then Watonga was dispatched from the postseason in the next round against Oklahoma Christian Academy.
A-3: Ringling - The Blue Devils knocked off Apache to begin district play, and they rolled the rest of the way against A-3 opponents. Ringling's playoff run lasted until the second round when Hooker moved on to the quarterfinals.
A-4: Minco - Led by Cole Burchfield in the backfield, Minco motored to the district title last year. Eleven straight wins, including six in district play, preceded Minco's run to the Class A quarterfinals, where the Bulldogs were beaten by Afton.
A-5: Crescent - Cashion, Pawnee and Morrison were no match for the Tigers during district play. Crescent manhandled every opponent it faced in its first 14 games, including wins over Cashion (54-14), Morrison (51-24) and Pawnee (35-14) during the regular season. The Tigers' unbeaten run, though, came to a halt in the Class A title game, which ended with a 44-12 loss to Afton.
A-6: Kiefer - The Trojans started the season 0-4, but a 34-14 win over Woodland in late September turned Kiefer's season around. Kiefer, Woodland and Hominy all finished atop the district at 5-1, but it was the Trojans who prevailed, thanks to district points. Kiefer, though, was bounced quickly from the playoffs, a 28-0 loss to Morrison in the opening round of the postseason.
A-7: Afton - The Eagles labored through a stout district -- that included Rejoice Christian, Barnsdall and Hulbert -- and emerged unscathed. A 22-20 victory over Rejoice Christian in mid October propelled Afton a district title, and from there the Eagles went into cruise control the rest of the season. In the playoffs, Afton outscored its opponents 214 to 46.
A-8: Talihina - Led by seniors Heath Humphreys and Sooner Box, the Tigers coasted to the A-8 crown. Talihina dismantled Central Sallisaw, 36-0, in a showdown of the district's top two teams. The Tigers finished the regular season 9-1 and beat Barnsdall in the opening round of the playoffs before being upset by Hominy in the second round.
Talking title game: Afton 44, Crescent 12