Classen SAS at NE Comets
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Record: 3-6 | Unranked
|@ Star Spencer||L||34-0|
|vs John Marshall||L||0-48|
|vs Christian Heritage||L||13-43|
|@ Capitol Hill||W||20-52|
|@ US Grant||L||59-0|
|@ Tulsa NOAH||Missing Score|
|vs Capitol Hill||W||48-12|
|vs Putnam Heights Academy||W||15-0|
| Ben Johnson
No introduction needed. Here are the "expert" picks for state tournaments taking place this weekend. (Oh, and listen to the podcast while you're at it!)
Ben Johnson - Edmond Memorial: There are so many players to love in this field -- Putnam City West’s Rondel Walker, Sapulpa’s Camryn Dennis, Putnam City North’s Micah Thomas, Booker T. Washington’s Bryce Thompson and so many more. But Shane Cowherd is bringing a team with talent across the board. There’s a reason the coaches in the state have the Bulldogs as the top-ranked team, so I’ll side with Cowherd and Co. over Booker T. Washington in the finals.
Michael Swisher - Edmond Memorial: The Bulldogs snuck in after losing to Midwest City and squeaking by rival Santa Fe. They’ll play better this week and bring the trophy down south.
Whitt Carter - Booker T Washington: This will be a fantastic tournament filled with teams that can win it. But I’ll take the Hornets, as they have the experience in big games and are hungry for a title. They had to watch Memorial win two in a row in Class 5A and this year their get one of their own. Another side note, BTW’s Seth Hurd is my favorite and the most underappreciated player in the state.
Ben - PC West: Reckless abandon is what the Patrios will play with this weekend, just like they’ve done all year. Not a ton of big-time scorers for PC West, but last year’s runner-up will hoist the gold ball this year.
Michael - Putnam City West: No. 1 in Oklahoma. Nationally-ranked. Haven’t lost to a team from Oklahoma. Won’t this weekend, either.
Whitt - Putnam City West: They were right there last year and had their title taken in the waning seconds by Owasso. All they’ve done this year is go 23-1 with a loss to Skyline, TX and dominate the teams inside the state of Oklahoma. Their relentless style of play and approach will be the difference, as they finish on Saturday this time and cut down the nets.
Ben - Memorial: Boone twins. It’s that simple. The Chargers have been a dynamo in 5A with two straight titles and now going for a third. Northwest Classen is good, but can Davion Warden and Co. make it to the title game and then take down the Chargers? I don’t see it.
Michael - Memorial: Lenny Hatchett has Del City playing so well, but I can’t pick against Memorial. Neither should you.
Whitt - Memorial: Let’s all be honest, this is the easiest pick from any of the classes. Bobby Allison and gang are just on another level. The Boone twins will, once again, wow the crowds at the Mabee Center with their athleticism and impact on both ends of the floor. The Chargers get another one, sending Kalib and Keylan out with a bang.
Ben - Piedmont: Per usual, the 5A girls field is pretty much anyone’s for the taking. Rogers is dangerous, but then so is El Reno with Ashlyn Evans-Thompson leading the charge. Coweta is young but talented, and East Central is always a threat. But for this year, I’ll go with the Wildcats, led by Delanie Crawford (14.8 points a game) and Maci Attalla (13.6).
Michael - Piedmont: El Reno beating Ardmore at area put the bracket in a funk as it appears loaded at the bottom. Coach Carr’s team will emerge from that and then claim gold on Saturday.
Whitt - Ardmore: They suffered a surprising and tough loss to El Reno at the area tournament last week, but I think that may work to the Lady Tigers advantage by waking them up. This team rolled through the first part of the season, losing their first game in late January. Ardmore cuts down the nets and gets its’ third gold ball.
Ben - Kingfisher: Some unbelievable talent in this field -- Broken Bow’s Josh Jones (20.4 points per game), Central’s B.J. Jefferson (16), Elgin’s Conner Slater (16.3), Kingfisher’s Trey Green (17) and Heritage Hall’s Trey Alexander (24.8). And what’s scary is a lot of these teams will return a lot of talent next season. But for now, I’m zeroing in on a Kingfisher-Heritage Hall title game for a second straight year. This time the gold ball goes to Jett Sternberger, Matt Stone, Bijan Cortes and Co.
Michael - Kingfisher: I live in Kingfisher. I have to pay my bills. I have to pick the Yellowjacket. Oh, and they’re really, really good. And hungry. If they get by dangerous Elgin in the quarters, look out.
Whitt - Kingfisher: The class that everyone is excited for will take center stage at the Fairgrounds for all three days. Heritage Hall beat the Yellowjackets in the title game last year and are 26-0 this year. But the star-studded Kingfisher remembers that loss last March and will want revenge. They get it and send out their seniors with a second gold ball.
Ben - Anadarko: Top half of the bracket -- Holland Hall, Muldrow, Elgin and Classen SAS -- is STACKED. Again, STACKED. That’s part of the reason I went with Anadarko. The Warriors still have their work cut out for them, but I’m rolling the dice with Kaylee Borden (12 points a game), Averi Zinn and the rest of the Anadarko team to win its third gold ball.
Michael - Muldrow: Coaches tell me Classen SAS is as talented as they’ve seen in 4A in a while. And they’re young as they start three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior. That said, I’m going with Muldrow. Taylen Collins can match up with Littlepage-Buggs and Hannah Boyett can handle the pressure. And that’s just a semifinal. Don’t overlook Anadarko, either (it appears I am).
Whitt - Anadarko: A fairly wide open class, there are a handful of teams I could see winning it. I’ll go with the tradition-rich Anadarko, who beat one of the favorites, Classen, last Friday in the area finals. When the Lady Warriors get the press up and running, you better handle the pressure or things can unravel quickly.
Ben - Millwood: Kingston’s Jacob Germany is as good as it gets in this field, but I’ll side with the athleticism of the Falcons here. Give me Justin Wilson and Isaiah Williams and the rest of the Falcons.
Michael - Here’s hoping for a Kingston-Millwood final (all apologies to you other six). I’ve got personal ties to Millwood, so the fan in me is pulling for the Falcons all the way. The business side in me says Kingston won’t be denied.
Whitt - Millwood: I’ll take the Falcons to win the gold ball here. Several really good teams that you can pick here, including Kingston or Sequoyah on the other side. Ultimately, I think Millwood gets the winner of that eventual semifinal and beats them. Millwood has not lost inside the class this year and that won’t change this weekend.
Ben - Christian Heritage: Up from 2A, the Crusaders are still loaded. Tahlequah Sequoyah is probably the favorite, but I’ll side with Olivia Curtis and Rylee Langerman.
Michael - Sequoyah-Tahlequah: CHA has won the last two 2A crowns and is a sleeper, but this isn’t 2A and the Lady Crusaders aren’t as deep as they have been. Larry Callison rides into the sunset with another state championship.
Whitt - Christian Heritage: Another class with some big time teams, but I’ll take CHA to win another title as it took the jump up a class this season. They know how to win and ultimately get past Sequoyah in what would be an awesome semifinal. Side note, I am really picking my alma mater, the Sulphur Lady Bulldogs - in Toby Todd we trust.
Ben - Hennessey: Total guess here, so I’m siding with Hennessey, who -- along with Hooker -- has only lost twice this season.
Michael - Hooker: This is the most wide-open bracket in OKC, in my opinion. Any number of teams can win…and also get beat Thursday. Hooker is one of them.
Whitt - Dale: They are coming off a big win over Hooker last week to punch their ticket to the state tourney. They have played well inside the class this year, going 12-2, only losing to Cashion a month ago and Rock Creek back in January.
Ben - Dale: I’m programmed to believe that Dale wins everything when its in any state tournament field. Pirates win again.
Michael - Howe: No Cashion and no CHA this year, which have been Howe’s kryptonite the last three years. Dale is in the way, but Jalei Oglesby caps her stellar career with the gold ball.
Whitt - Latta: I’ll go with what many would consider a sleeper pick here, but give me the Lady Panthers. They are a long team and present a bunch of problems defensively. They will have to get past top-ranked Dale in the semis and it would be the rubbermatch between the two.
| Ben Johnson
Made a big podcast addition this week. Ben & Swisher are joined by the Oklahoman's Jacob Unruh.
Jacob & Swisher recap the highlights and the championship moments from the Class A & Class B state tournaments.
Then the guys break down the state tournaments from 2A through 6A. And of course, PREDICTIONS! (Most sure to go wrong, in Ben's case).
And as always, thanks for listening!
Girls Basketball | | Jacob Unruh | NewsOK
Malcolm Roberts’ tenure at Classen SAS is over. Classen SAS’ girls basketball coach will not return next season. He said he resigned for personal reasons. “I’m finishing up my schooling and that’s really it,” Roberts told The Oklahoman. “It’s nothing bad.”
| Michael Swisher
Less than 24 hours after helping lead his team to another tournament championship, Bijan Cortes announced a big decision about his future.
The Kingfisher High School junior made it public early Sunday evening that he had committed to play basketball for the University of Oklahoma.
[Photo by Russell Stitt/www.stitt.smugmug.com]
“I want to thank my friends and family for always pushing me to be the best person I can be. I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to Kingfisher and all the great people in it for always coming out and supporting me,” Cortes wrote in a statement on social media.
He continued: “Thank you to Coach (Lon) Kruger and the University of Oklahoma staff for believing in my talents. I’m proud to say that I am officially a Sooner! 110% COMMITTED.”
Cortes scored 26 points the previous night in Kingfisher’s 85-42 win over Guthrie in the finals of the Buckle of the Wheatbelt Invitational.
The Jackets have won 38 straight games and are 72-2 since Cortes began starting as a freshman. During that stretch, they’ve been a 4A state runner-up (2018) and state champion (2019).
KHS is 16-0 this season, during which Cortes has averaged 21.0 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.4 steals. He’s shooting 62.1 percent overall, which includes 56.9 percent from 3-point range.
Rivals, a national recruiting service, has him listed as the 150th-ranked player in the country for the Class of 2021 and the 31st-ranked point guard.
Anther service, 247, has him listed at No. 230 and 37, respectively.
Cortes, who is 6-foot-2, received an offer from OU last April. He also hauled in offers from Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Oral Roberts, North Texas and Texas-San Antonio.
“OU just felt like home and the coaches there made me a main priority and they always text me telling me that I can be ‘that guy,’” Cortes told Michael Swisher of Skordle and the Kingfisher Times & Free Press.
Cortes was primarily recruited by OU assistant coach Carlin Hartman, as well as head coach Lon Kruger. Both were in Kingfisher to watch Cortes practice earlier this month.
He said Norman’s proximity did play a role in his decision.
“Why not do it in the home state close to family?” he said. “That made me want to be a Sooner.”
Cortes knows he could have waited to see if other offers came in, but felt the timing was right to commit.
“I wasn’t like ‘I’m ready to get it over with,’” he said. “But I also knew for sure this was my favorite school and staff, so why wait?”
| Ben Johnson
Booker T. Washington’s head-coaching vacancy didn’t last long. The Tulsa World reported that Brad Calip would be vacating his post as Hornets head coach for an assistant coaching job at Owasso on Sunday.
On Monday, Tulsa Public Schools is expected to formally announce Jonathan Brown as the Hornets new head coach at Booker T. Washington, according to multiple sources. Brown will be elevated from his current defensive coordinator role.
Calip leaves after going 32-15 during a four-year run as head coach. During that time, Booker T. Washington won the 2017 Class 6AIi state championship.
Brown is a former Booker T. Washington standout who graduated in 1994. He played college football at Tennessee and spent time during his professional career in both the NFL and Canadian Football League.
| Ben Johnson
Owasso recently knocked off Jenks, 14-6, for the Class 6AI championship in Edmond on Dec. 6. It had been determined several weeks before the playoffs started that all 11-man football title games would be played at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Wantland Stadium.
But now that the season is over, one state senator is sounding off on the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association’s decision to force Jenks and Owasso play in a championship game at the other end of the Turner Turnpike.
Sen. J.J. Dossett (D-Sperry) has proposed a bill that he hopes will generate conversation in next year’s legislative session that would allow school districts to determine their playing destination.
Skordle contacted Dossett this weekend and wanted to ask Dossett a few questions.
What made you want to put together the legislation to present it when the legislative session starts in 2020?
Basically, it was the outcry from my community. There are some people that don’t like the idea, or the ideas that I have brought up. I purposely wanted until after the game had happened. I filed it on Monday after the game, because I didn’t want it be become a distraction. There’s enough of an outcry and a complaint that have a good point on why we played the game where we did and why we didn’t play it where we had the last five, six or seven years. It worked out great for everyone involved when it was played at the University of Tulsa. I had to bring it up; I had to bring up the discontent that my community, Jenks and a lot of the Tulsa area have with the decision that was made by a state-wide group -- that forced this decision on us and did not seek our input.
It was basically left to the football coaches association to make this decision, and most of the people involved weren’t going to face the ramifications of their school’s decision. It was made against the two schools that were playing and were against the decision that was made.
There should be a way for more flexibility with your local school districts that are competing in this situation to be able to not have to go play at a place that was deemed ‘this is the state championship site,’ especially when there were all the problems of playing late on a Saturday night. There were going to be how many teenage drivers on the turnpike late on a Saturday night in December? And, the stadium was nowhere near able to hold our crowd.
All of this put together, in my mind, says we need to do this better and there needs to be a way to do this better. There needs to be a way that we can go play this game somewhere else. I mean, we could have played at Broken Arrow and it would have been able to hold our fans. We could have played in a bunch of different stadiums here in the Tulsa area.
I heard there were 8,000 fans at the game at UCO, and at TU there would have been 20,000, so we stopped people from coming to the game by putting that distance barrier there. Nobody wants that; we want the community to come to the game, if possible.
What would you say to the people that say Senate bill 1111 is a waste of everyone’s time and could be spent discussing something else?
There are thousands of bills filled every year -- some of them get picked up and some don’t. It doesn’t waste any more time in committee or on the floor. It’s the legislator’s job to conduct the people’s business, so if a community has an idea or wants to change something, it’s the job of the legislator to consider it and go forward from that. And I agree, this is not the most pressing issue in the state of Oklahoma -- I 100 percent agree -- but if there’s a problem, it’s the job of the legislator to address an issue that their community is considered about. Senate district 34 up here in north Tulsa County, where we live, we definitely had a concern on this issue. Therefore, it’s my job to bring forth such ideas, if the people of my district are concerned about it.
As a former coach, I would like to mention this: I absolutely do not care where we’re playing. We don’t care where we play because we were going to win, and that’s the mindset they have. I speak only, and exclusively, from a community standpoint. The community has an opinion on this, and I happen to 100 percent agree with them. If I were still coaching for the Rams, I wouldn’t care one bit.
So you’re advocating to play the games at the University of Tulsa, if that’s a viable option?
You have to ask, ‘is this the best we can get?’ and I don’t think the current option is the best we can get. We’ve seen what good looks like, and it was last year, the year before and the year before, when two Tulsa teams make the championship game and we fill up Chapman Stadium. In my opinion, the OSSAA wins unless something crooked is going on over there. Because if we’re doubling the amount of people going to the game, they make more money -- or that’s how I understand it. I don’t understand at all why you wouldn’t let local school districts make the best decision for them. If Idabel and McAlester were playing for a championship, then they need to go play that at Eastern (Southeastern Oklahoma State) in Durant. No sense in making those schools drive to Edmond. There needs to be a way out for those schools to be play, and play where it makes sense for the fanbase and a public safety standpoint.
What are your thoughts on playing the Class 6A championship games in Tulsa during the week that they currently use as a bye week?
Sure, that would be an option. They’ve done the bye week because of the amount of teams in the playoff. Honestly, the whole 6AII thing has been a disaster. It’s handed Bixby a bunch of trophies, and it’s been really messed up for my community and I was still coaching when all of it went down. I was still coaching at Owasso at the time. It’s ridiculous for us to travel to Moore -- to play Southmoore or Moore -- and a team that can’t even fill up the home stands and play on a Thursday night. Like, why are we doing this? Why aren’t we playing Sand Springs or Bixby or Muskogee during the regular season, and then do something different for the playoffs, if necessary?
The initiative to have all the championship games played at one site was pushed by the Oklahoma Football Coaches Association, but it’s sounding like not all coaches were onboard with that proposal. How do you think that could have been handled differently?
On how the coaches association makes decisions, I do not know. I hear a lot about Texas, and they like it and that’s fine. From my point of view, if two Houston teams make the championship in any given class, for them to go all the way to Dallas is wrong. I don’t buy into the notion of ‘well, Texas does it this way, so we should do it this way.’ It’s the same way with basketball and the big schools playing in Tulsa. If Edmond and Putnam City are playing in the finals, then that’s the wrong decision. I’m not trying to whine; I’m trying to do what’s best for our kids.
What kind of reception do you think this will get when you present it to committee?
Who knows. On these things, you never know. We have these kinds of battles: Tulsa vs. Oklahoma City or urban vs. rural. I will approach other legislators from a straight forward standpoint and say our local school districts are better off when local school districts are making decisions. We don’t need state-wide entities or state agencies making blanket decisions for everyone. I have 100 percent faith that the Owasso administration, athletic director, superintendent and all of the above -- and same at Jenks -- would make the right decision for their kids. But when we had that responsibility over to a group of people that aren’t in our community, then you don’t get as good of an outcome. That’s the way I see this situation playing out here.
There are some that say the Oklahoma legislature should stay out of high school sports. How do you feel about that?
I absolutely agree, if everything is running properly. The legislature cannot determine how the OSSAA operates within, because it’s an agency with it’s own control. There are three things in the statute that says schools will not be part of an association that does this, this or this. What I’ve done is adding a fourth. All my bill does is add language that school districts would have flexibility to pick their own locations for championship games.
| Ben Johnson
Shawnee is searching for a new head football coach for the first time in almost two decades.
Billy Brown is out after 16 season as the Wolves’ head coach, a source with direct knowledge has told Skordle.
Shawnee was 92-84 in Brown’s tenure and reached the playoffs 10 times.
That included a trip to the 5A semifinals in 2004, Brown’s second year. The Wolves reached the quarterfinals five other seasons.
The production dipped the last two seasons as Shawnee went 2-8 both years and missed the playoffs.
After reaching the playoffs three straight seasons from 2012-14, Shawnee has missed the postseason three of the last five years.
| Michael Swisher
I respect the hell out of the Tulsa World.
Any publication that dedicates the resources it does to high school coverage and employs the likes of Barry Lewis and Mike Brown for those purposes gets more than a tip of the cap from me.
Heck, even its managing editor - Mike Strain - is a one-time preps writer for The Oklahoman who once donned football pads and practiced with the Bray-Doyle Donkeys for a story.
It’s good people.
With that said, I’m going to disagree - quite respectfully - with an editorial the newspaper ran Dec. 2 regarding the state high school football championships.
In case you weren’t aware, the OSSAA announced last month the University of Central Oklahoma’s Wantland Stadium in Edmond would be the host site for all 11-man football title games this year.
Five of those games will be played this weekend, two on Friday and three Saturday, in what will be a long-awaited buffet of football for Oklahoma fans.
Photo by Russell Stitt/www.stitt.smugmug.com
It will be reminiscent of the years when Boone Pickens Stadium was the host for all the title tilts.
However, Wantland might prove an even better atmosphere as the size of the fan bases won’t be engulfed in an oversized stadium.
It’s the OSSAA’s well-played response to public outcry - from coaches, member schools, fans, etc. - to “do it like Texas.”
In the Lone Star State, AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys, is the host site for all of its title games. The stadium will host three championship games a day for four straight days beginning Wednesday, Dec. 18.
The attendance for last year’s 12 championship games was 228,105, which was an average of just over 19,000 per game.
Now, Oklahoma isn’t going to touch those numbers.
Population differences alone tell us that.
The fact high school football is a different beast in Texas than anywhere else in the world is another reason.
However, that doesn’t mean Oklahoma can’t strive to at least be “like” Texas.
OSSAA Executive Director David Jackson said as much in the press conference announcing the deal with UCO.
“A lot of our members see what goes on in Texas at AT&T (Stadium),” Jackson said. “Where they (the membership) understand we don’t have an AT&T…they still wanted to at least pursue something that might work for us.”
The OSSAA approached UCO, a central location, and the university apparently jumped at the chance to bring in thousands and thousands of fans to its campus over two weekends.
What’s important for this to work is that everyone is on board.
That means no “but if” scenarios.
In some instances when the games were to be played in Stillwater, IF two Tulsa-area teams were matched up against one another, they sometimes met up at Tulsa University’s Chapman Stadium.
That’s not the case this year.
Jackson said the OSSAA’s talks with the Oklahoma Football Coaches Association, one of the strongest groups pushing for this, led them to this path.
“One of the positives that went in pursuing this was working with the OFBCA and those are a part of that,” Jackson said. “So when we hear from the OFBCA that ‘we’re interested in that,’ we take that as everyone is interested in that.”
So when Jenks and Owasso play at 8 p.m. Saturday, they, along with their fan bases, will be making the trek down I-44 to Edmond...not the much shorter drive to the Tulsa campus.
The World feels it’s unnecessary.
“The unified, central location makes sense, except when it doesn’t,” the editorial states.
The World’s piece brings up some good points, which you can read for yourself in the link above.
But I feel it misses the point as a whole.
(Ed. note: Michael Swisher is speaking solely for himself in this column. His views don't necessarily represent those of the entire Skordle staff nor would he dare speak for fellow Skordler Ben Johnson who lives in the Tulsa area and might very well be violently shaking his head while reading through this column.)
To build Oklahoma’s state title games into an event in which even the casual fans want to attend, we’ve got to start somewhere.
This is the start.
If that means two Tulsa-area teams need to travel to Edmond to serve the greater good, then so be it.
This is good for football in the state of Oklahoma.
We’ve clamored for this.
It came to a head last year when title games were spread all across the Sooner State and played virtually at the same time, giving nobody a chance to take in multiple games.
Now we can.
It’s our chance to inch closer to the Texas model.
Heck, it’s our chance to inch closer to our own basketball model.
Small schools don’t care who they’re playing if they make it to the Big House in March.
Large schools aim to get to the Mabee Center, which appears to have cemented itself as the long-term site for 5A and 6A.
There wasn’t an uproar when the El Reno and Piedmont girls - representing schools separated by 20 miles in western Oklahoma - met up in Tulsa to decide last year’s 5A roundball champ.
Heck, Norman and Norman North girls met for the 6A state championship. I think they’re fairly close, yet in Tulsa they played.
Hennessey and Rejoice Christian played for the 2A boys gold ball. Stillwater would have been a great location.
But of course not…because The Big House is an experience.
We’ve made it that way over years of tradition building.
That’s why I support the move by the OSSAA, even if it inconveniences a few of our larger brethren.
This is a step in the right direction for fans, for football, for Oklahoma.
I hope we keep moving in this direction for years to come.
| Ben Johnson
Michael Marin (Barnsdall) - Senior tailback rushed for 284 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries in the Panthers’ 29-26 win over Gore in the second round of the Class A playoffs.
Connor Johnson (Lincoln Christian) - Senior tight end had nine receptions for 220 yards and three TDs, and he had 3 interceptions on defense, including one for a TD in the Bulldogs’ 55-14 win over Kingfisher in the 3A quarterfinals.
Blake Skidgel (Pawnee) - Junior quarterback rushed 22 times for 231 yards and four touchdowns, and he also added three two-point conversions (two throwing, one rushing) in the Black Bears’ 44-21 victory over Wayne in the second round of the Class A playoffs.
Lance Spaulding (Washington) - Senior running back totaled 262 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries in the Warriors’ 17-14 victory over Holland Hall in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs.
Dylan Hampton (Piedmont) - Senior quarterback accounted for 212 yards and three touchdowns on eight carries, and he added 129 yards and three touchdowns while completing 3 of 5 passes in the Wildcats’ 62-21 victory over Coweta in the 5A quarterfinals.
Toby Willis (Verdigris) - Senior wide receiver hauled in seven catches for 191 yards and three touchdowns in the Cardinals’ 42-28 victory over Perkins-Tryon in the Class 3A quarterfinals.
Braylin Presley (Bixby) - Sophomore tailback logged 211 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries in the Spartans’ 47-19 win over Del City in the Class 6AII semifinals.
Cole Dugger (Owasso) - Senior quarterback completed 19 of 24 passes for 354 yards and five touchdowns in the Rams’ 42-27 victory over Broken Arrow in the Class 6AI semifinals.
Trey Gause - 16 tackles and a school-record six sacks on defense
Bryce Drummond - 22/33 passing, 351 yards, 2 TDs + 18 rushes, 41 yards, 2 TDs
Kendal Daniels - 9 receptions, 114 yards, 1 TD // 10 tackles on defense
Ben Harris - 18/23 passing, 300 yards, 3 TDs
Nate Anderson - 20 rushes, 216 yards, 5 TDs // 2 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and an INT on defense
Owen Heinecke - 13 rushes, 136 yards // 5 tackles and an INT on defense
Bryce Carter - 13 rushes, 167 yards, 1 TD // 6 tackles and a sack on defense
Nate Ratcliff - 8/15 passing, 240 yards, 2 TDs
Blaze Munoz - 4 receptions, 126 yards, 2 TDs // 6 tackles (1 for loss) on defense
Asher Link - 14/30 passing, 393 yards, 6 TDs + 23 yards rushing
Javyn Wright - 2/3 passing, 64 yards, 1 TD + 8 rushes, 64 yards, 1 TD // 2 INTs on defense
Qwontrel Walker - 31 rushes, 256 yards, 5 TDs
Kobe Holley - 3 INTs on defense
Jadyn Frazier - 200 yards and 3 receiving TDs
Brock Parham - 12 rushes, 108 yards, 1 TD
Dylan White - 16/22 passing, 384 yards, 4 TDs
Justin Murphy - 6 receptions, 172 yards, 1 TD
Gavin Freeman - 4 receptions, 62 yards, 1 TD // 12 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 46-yard fumble recovery and return for TD
Mason Barcheers - 162 yards rushing, 2 TDs
Kagan Stockton - 12 tackles
| 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
| Michael Swisher
For years and years, Burlington basketball players ran up and down the court at the demand of a man named Randy Turney.
From now on, they’ll be running all over that name.
The Burlington Public Schools gym now is home to “Randy Turney Court,” a fact that will be cemented - or floored - during a ceremony Friday night when the Elks basketball teams host Buffalo.
“It’s definitely an honor,” said Turney. “I don’t really know if I deserve this or not.”
Just about everyone else disagrees.
“If there was one person who should have the Burlington court named after them, it’s 1,000 percent him,” said Garrett Butler, one of the dozens of former players who supported the measure to name the court in his honor.
“Nobody has done more for Burlington, especially for athletics and probably for the entire school, than him.”
Nestled just a few miles south of Kansas in northwest Oklahoma, Burlington became the third stop in Turney’s hall of fame coaching career in 1982.
He started out at Drummond in 1977 and won 57 games in three years before claiming 37 victories in two years at Dover.
The next 10 years were spent coaching the Elks as he guided them to a 213-74 record and reached state four times.
The 1990 Burlington Elks finished as the Class B runner-up.
“I’d say that was the highlight of his first tenure at Burlington, but my sister and I were both born during that time, so it was a close second,” said Tasha Turney Diesselhorst, now the women’s coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, when addressing the board of education earlier this fall.
Making much of that career trek with Turney was Joe Feely, a hall of famer in his own right on the girls side of the sport.
Photo by Bonnie Vculek/Enid News & Eagle
“We were together at Drummond and at Dover and at Burlington,” recalled Feely. “In those years, we had a lot of good times. We had a lot of time to talk about our games, what went right, what went wrong.
“And the playoffs were always special. We had a lot of good times together. They sure outweighed the bad.”
Turney eventually left Burlington for a five-year stint in large-school basketball as he coached Enid from 1992-97, won 67 games and even got the Plainsmen to state in 1995.
His coaching career became a true family affair for the next eight years as Turney coached boys and girls at Medford from 1997-2002.
The girls teams averaged more than 22 wins a season with Robyn by his side as his assistant.
It was there that he coached Tasha through her high school career. She was a senior and Tana a freshman when the Lady Cardinals reached the 2002 Class A semifinals.
His boys teams at Medford averaged 21 wins a season.
David Zachary, now the superintendent at Granite, was his boys’ assistant for each of those five seasons.
“For me, a veteran coach of 15 years, it was astounding at what I learned from him in the five years we were together,” Zachary said. “I only wished I would have known what he taught me when I started all those years ago.”
After the 2002 campaign, Tasha went on to a career at Oklahoma Christian while the rest of the Turneys ventured to Cherokee for the next three years.
Finally in 2005, after 27 years and more than 650 career wins, Turney called an end to his career.
Or so he thought.
Feely’s own path had led him back to Burlington as the principal and, in 2007, the boys basketball position was open.
He dialed up his old friend Randy Turney.
“I called to see if he was interested and he was,” Feely said.
Turney un-retired in 2007 to come back to Burlington, the place he called home for a decade.
“There is no doubt in my mind that he wouldn’t have come out of retirement for just any coaching job,” Tasha said in her statement to the board of education.
“Burlington was special.”
Turney said the people of Burlington had the same level of expectations from their own children that he did and that was one of the allures of the job…again.
“It’s just the expectations of the community,” he said “The work ethic. The kids aren’t afraid to put in the extra time whatever they’re doing whether it’s FFA or band or sports.
“That comes from the expectations of the parents and the community.”
Turney spent another six seasons on the sidelines. His Elks won 131 more games and reached state each of the last three seasons.
Butler was on the first two of those.
“There’s no reason we should have been as good as we were,” said Butler, who went on to a playing career at Southern Nazarene University and is now a CPA in Oklahoma City while living in Edmond.
“He got every single ounce of ability out of every single player he had.”
Turney’s demands of his players went beyond the court.
His teams won seven academic state championships throughout his career, including each of the last four years at Burlington.
“He was good for the program, good for discipline,” said Feely. “He made the job as a principal easy because you never had a problem from the basketball boys, which was a majority of the boys in school. He kept a tight rein on them.”
Turney’s daughter said the “old school” mentality was blended with a genuine care for his student-athletes.
“The red face, loud yell and thundering stomp - all trademarks of his - just show one side of Coach Turney,” Tasha said. “The other side is a man that is a teacher of life as well as basketball; a man that loves his kids and would do anything to help them succeed on and off the court.”
For Turney, it was just what he was supposed to do.
“I told my kids that it was my job to make them better than what they ever thought they could be,” he said. “I demanded they put in extra time on the court and in getting good grades.’
Butler is just one of his success stories.
“Just as much as people see him demanding a lot from us on the court, it was a similar demand in our everyday life,” he said. “It was much more important to him that we do the same away from the court.
“Any success his past players have had, I’d say he’s directly had something to do with it.”
Both of Zachary’s children played the better part of their careers for Turney.
“My kids have the utmost respect for Randy and consider him and Robyn as another set of parents that were more interested in them being good people as well as athletes,” Zachary said.
“Randy and Robyn taught much more than basketball, or any other sport; they taught our kids how they should live as a servant to God and their fellow man.”
In all, Turney went 344-118 at Burlington as he won 74.5 percent of his games. He has an overall career mark of 783-290 (.730). That includes 610-245 in 31 years as a boys coach and 173-45 in eight seasons on a girls’ bench.
He’s won numerous coach of the year honors and was inducted into the Oklahoma Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2013.
Turney never coached a team to a state championship, but he was right there when each of his daughters hoisted the gold ball as coaches: Tasha at Pond Creek-Hunter in 2014 and Tana at Kremlin-Hillsdale in 2017.
He follows both of his daughters at their current positions and is always there with the knowledgeable advice that comes from three-plus decades of coaching, whether it’s Tasha at NWOSU or Tana at Chisholm.
All the while, he still has a thumb on Burlington athletics.
Not only does he still teach junior high math there, but he’s also the athletic director.
His family, former players, former and current colleagues and pretty much the entire town of Burlington will be there Friday night to honor him.
“It’s never one of your goals for something like this to happen when you get started,” he said. “It just sort of happens, I guess.”
Hundreds upon hundreds of others will tell you it’s happening to exactly the right person.
“Randy Turney bleeds purple,” Tasha said. “He loves this little town and the people in it.”
| Ben Johnson
Cade Stephenson (Kingfisher) - Junior quarterback completed 20 of 29 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns, and he also ran for 152 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries the Yellowjackets’ 45-42 victory over Marlow in triple overtime. With the win, Kingfisher advances to face Lincoln Christian in the 3A quarterfinals.
Joe Cole (Barnsdall) - Senior quarterback completed 17 of 24 passes for 278 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 165 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries. Cole also had 15 tackles (four for loss) and a forced fumble in the Panthers’ 33-7 road victory over Commerce in the opening round of the Class A playoffs.
Ben Harman (Cashion) - Wildcats’ standout quarterback torched Rush Springs by going 22 of 36 through the air for 376 yards and six touchdowns in Cashion’s 45-0 victory in the opening round of the Class A playoffs.
Bryce Drummond (Pawhuska) - Junior signal caller threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns while completing 14 of 19 passes, and he also ran for 119 yards and four touchdowns on 18 carries in the Huskies’ 52-6 win over Oklahoma Union in the opening round of the Class A playoffs.
Josh Kaste (Lincoln Christian) - Senior tailback rushed for 211 yards and five touchdowns on 10 carries, and he also hauled in two catches for 57 yards and a score in the Bulldogs’ 56-7 victory over Inola in the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs.
Kentrell Bizzell (Carl Albert) - Titans ball carrier recorded 28 rushes for 250 yards and three touchdowns in Carl Albert’s 48-7 victory over Duncan in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.
Toby Willis - 4 receptions, 100 yards, 3 TDs // 2 tackles, 1 INT on defense
Nick Jones - 8 rushes, 116 yards, 3 TDs // 1 INT on defense
Ridge McClary - 16 rushes, 227 yards, 4 TDs
Jaxson Calhoun - 2 INTs - broke school record with 14 career interceptions
Kyle Edwards - 17 rushes, 148 yards, 3 TDs // 8 tackles, 1 INT on defense
Gus Gaytan - 4/9 passing, 60 yards + 12 rushes, 166 yards, 1 TD // 7 tackles on defense
Weston Shanks - 28 rushes, 215 yards, 1 TD + 1 TD passing
Austin Fisher - 257 yards passing, 2 TDs
Bryce Carter - 9 tackles and a blocked punt // 2 rushing TDs and a two-point conversion
Asher Link - 23/26 passing, 373 yards, 6 TDs + 4 rushes, 37 yards, 1 TD
Carson Callaway - 8 receptions, 178 yards, 1 TD
CJ Brown - 10 rushes, 181 yards, 2 TDs
Dusty Pendergrass - 13/20 passing, 252 yards, 3 TDs
Easton Davis - 3 receptions, 121 yards, 1 TD
Dakota Shiflett - 22 rushes, 195 yards, 2 TDs // 8 tackles, 1 INT on defense
Ethan Hamberlin - 9 rushes, 220 yards, 3 TDs
Xavin Lackey - 5 rushes, 108 yards, 1 TD
Caden Wolford - 21 rushes, 141 yards, 2 TDs // 5 sacks, 6 tackles on defense
Caden Hendren - Punt return for a TD // forced fumble, 12 tackles (2 for loss), 1 pass break-up on defense
Nate Ratcliff - 7/11 passing, 155 yards, 2 TDs + 12 rushes, 74 yards, 4 TDs
Jacob Lappe - 24 rushes, 234 yards, 1 TD
Gage Hamm - 10/17 passing, 289 yards, 4 TDs + 1 reception, 21 yards, 1 TD
Trey Gause - 16 tackles (3 for loss)
Chris Hilton - 5/7 passing, 98 yards + 22 rushes, 182 yards, 4 TDs
Sam Brandt - 5/7 passing, 139 yards, 2 TDs + 24 rushes, 183 yards, 1 TD // 9 tackles on defense
Jayden Mankin - 61 yards rushing, 45 yards receiving, 3 TDs // 6 tackles, 1 INT on defense
Mason Barcheers - 17 rushes, 157 yards, 1 TD
Jake Barnes - 6 tackles, 101-yard INT return for TD
Dominic Richardson - 12 rushes, 150 yards, 3 TDs + 4 receptions, 21 yards
Sam Hoffman - 36 rushes, 160 yards, 2 TDs + 2 receptions, 69 yards, 1 TD
Gunnar Gundy - 33/41 passing, 380 yards, 6 TDs
Anthony Bland - 19 receptions, 230 yards, 4 TDs
Stephen Kittleman - 16/25 passing, 271 yards, 5 TDs
Will Cox - 20 rushes, 150 yards, 2 TDs
Sanchez Banks - 30 rushes, 155 yards, 3 TDs
| Ben Johnson
Michael Swisher6A-I - Union over Edmond Santa Fe
The Redskins were my preseason pick and about a month into the season it appeared to be a foolish one. Even now - as they’ve landed on the tougher half of the bracket - it would seem yours truly is just being stubborn. I think Owasso is the best team, but Union is a different squad than it was early in the season. The Redskins are going to upset Broken Arrow and Owasso on the way to a state title. If I would have written that last sentence four years ago, you all would have sent me in for a brain scan.
6A-II - Bixby over Stillwater
Who’s going to beat them?
5A - Carl Albert over Bishop McGuinness
Every single pun