Gore, OK 74435
Record: 0-0 | Unranked
| Ben Johnson
Brent Marley worked tirelessly to circulate Andrew Crow’s game film. Rejoice Christian’s head coach wanted Crow, his star running back and defensive back, to receive the attention he was due.
It finally paid off Wednesday.
Crow’s accomplishments landed in the lap of Drew Hill, director of player personnel at the University of Oklahoma. From there, it didn’t take much time for OU to extend an invitation Crow’s way.
Now Crow will head to Norman in the fall, tweeting his commitment to the Sooners on Wednesday.
“After countless phone calls from several people, mainly Coach Marley, I was able to get my film, state and accomplishments in front of Coach Hill and the staff at OU,” Crow told Skordle. “(Hill) contacted me after, and we went from there.”
Crow will serve as a walk-on for the Sooners, but it’s the goal Crow had in place all throughout his senior year at the small private school in Owasso.
“Playing at OU has always been a dream of mine,” said Crow, who rushed for 2,620 yards and 48 touchdowns his senior year. “I can’t put into words how blessed I am to be able to play at such an amazing program, and I think I’ll be able to show my skill set and make an impression when the opportunity comes.”
All of it is pretty remarkable, considering a harrowing night Crow endured in November. During the week leading up to Rejoice Christian’s Class A semifinal matchup with Christian Heritage, Crow was in a car accident that left his vehicle totaled.
Crow was able to play, but the soreness was palpable throughout the entire game against the Crusaders.
“The car wreck was very traumatic, and I still can’t believe I walked away from the crash unharmed that night,” Crow said. “I just kept trusting God that if football was meant to be in my future then it would be and he provided.”
Crow will head to OU after helping the Eagles’ basketball team with the 2A state championship. But when asked to quantify where the OU commitment ranks, Crow said it stands in a category by itself.
“It’s hard to compare this one,” he said. “My teammates and coaches were always a huge reason for my high school awards. This is an amazing accomplishment, for sure, so I feel like it’s the cherry on top to finish out my amazing high school career.”
| 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
High school football is back. Check out this week's picks from Michael Swisher, Whitt Carter, Randy Turney and myself.
Union at Broken Arrow
Michael Swisher: Union 27, Broken Arrow 13
Ben Johnson: Union 24, Broken Arrow 17
Whitt Carter: Union 20, Broken Arrow 17
Randy Turney: Union 24, Broken Arrow 17
Booker T. Washington vs. North Little Rock
Michael Swisher: N. Little Rock 24, Booker T. Washington 21
Ben Johnson: Booker T. Washington 32, N. Little Rock 30
Whitt Carter: Booker T. Washington 24, N. Little Rock 26
Randy Turney: Booker T. Washington 28, N. Little Rock 7
Midwest City at Bentonville
Michael Swisher: Bentonville 27, Midwest City 24
Ben Johnson: Midwest City 29, Bentonville 24
Whitt Carter: Midwest City 28, Bentonville 24
Randy Turney: Midwest City 17, Bentonville 7
Wynnewood at Minco
Michael Swisher: Minco 21, Wynnewood 14
Ben Johnson: Minco 20, Wynnewood 17
Whitt Carter: Minco 20, Wynnewood 16
Randy Turney: Wynnewood 20, Minco 18
Bentonville West at Owasso
Michael Swisher: Owasso 22, Bentonville West 14
Ben Johnson: Owasso 30, Bentonville West 21
Whitt Carter: Owasso 34, Bentonville West 21
Randy Turney: Owasso 24, Bentonville West 10
Jenks at Bixby
Michael Swisher: Jenks 30, Bixby 24
Ben Johnson: Jenks 34, Bixby 23
Whitt Carter: Jenks 28, Bixby 17
Randy Turney: Jenks 27, Bixby 10
Choctaw at Shawnee
Michael Swisher: Shawnee 27, Choctaw 23
Ben Johnson: Choctaw 28, Shawnee 20
Whitt Carter: Choctaw 41, Shawnee 37
Randy Turney: Choctaw 14, Shawnee 13
Shattuck at Tipton
Michael Swisher: Shattuck 45, Tipton 35
Ben Johnson: Shattuck 43, Tipton 22
Whitt Carter: Shattuck 41, Tipton 36
Randy Turney: Tipton 36, Shattuck 22
Hominy at Hulbert
Michael Swisher: Hominy 29, Hulbert 27
Ben Johnson: Hominy 20, Hulbert 19
Whitt Carter: Hulbert 28, Hominy 22
Randy Turney: Hominy 28, Hulbert 6
Chisholm at Weatherford
Michael Swisher: Weatherford 31, Chisholm 14
Ben Johnson: Weatherford 30, Chisholm 28
Whitt Carter: Weatherford 35, Chisholm 20
Randy Turney: Weatherford 27, Chisholm 14
Jones at Oklahoma Christian School
Michael Swisher: Jones 27, OCS 20
Ben Johnson: OCS 33, Jones 31
Whitt Carter: Jones 34, OCS 24
Randy Turney: Jones 35, OCS 21
Metro Christian at Broken Bow
Michael Swisher: Broken Bow 23, Metro Christian 21
Ben Johnson: Broken Bow 24, Metro Christian 13
Whitt Carter: Broken Bow 32, Metro Christian 28
Randy Turney: Metro Christian 28, Broken Bow 10
Plainview at Elgin
Michael Swisher: Plainview 28, Elgin 17
Ben Johnson: Plainview 34, Elgin 22
Whitt Carter: Plainview 34, Elgin 14
Randy Turney: Elgin 14, Plainview 13
Gore at Haskell
Michael Swisher: Gore 30, Haskell 20
Ben Johnson: Gore 39, Haskell 23
Whitt Carter: Gore 21, Haskell 18
Randy Turney: Haskell 21, Gore 14
Watonga at Okeene
Michael Swisher: Watonga 42, Okeene 12
Ben Johnson: Watonga 26, Okeene 23
Whitt Carter: Okeene 28, Watonga 23
Randy Turney: Watonga 21, Okeene 14
Morrison at Kiefer
Michael Swisher: Morrison 28, Kiefer 14
Ben Johnson:Morrison 27, Kiefer 12
Whitt Carter: Morrison 38, Kiefer 27
Randy Turney: Morrison 28, Kiefer 14
Let us know what you think. Tweet your predictions to us at @Skordle.
| Ben Johnson
The calendar hasn't flipped to September yet, but high schools across Oklahoma are officially footballing this week.
Zero Week is here, and it's offering up some solid matchups to get the season rolling.
Here are this week's top 10 games:
1. 6AI No. 1 Union at 6AI No. 3 Broken Arrow: There
will be talent all over the field on Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
The running back matchup, featuring Broken Arrow's Noah Cortes and
Union's Darius Boone Jr., will be fun to watch. This one could come down
to quarterback play, and Union has the advantage there with Peyton
Thompson. Also helps that Union holds a 39-3 record over the Tigers
2. 6AII No. 1 Booker T. Washington vs. North Little Rock (Ark.) at Bentonville High School: Clash
of two state champions from 2017. The Hornets will deploy Thomas
Grayson, a Nebraska commit, at running back, and they'll also feature
one of the nation's top recruits in Dax Hill, who figures to play on
both sides of the ball. North Little Rock, Class 7A title winner in
Arkansas, will counter with North Texas commit Oscar Adaway and plenty
of other talented players across the field. The game is part of the
Rumble in the Ozarks, played in Northwest Arkansas.
3. 6AII No. 2 Midwest City at Bentonville (Ark.): This
will be the nightcap of the Rumle in the Ozarks on Saturday.
Bentonville lost to North Little Rock in last year's title game, and
Midwest City was dispatched from the Class 6AII playoffs in the
semifinals. Look for Midwest City's Preston Colbert to get off to a
roaring start for the Bombers this season.
4. A No. 6 Wynnewood at A No. 5 Minco: Both
teams shared a district (A-4) in the past four seasons, and Minco ended
up winning three of those four matchups. Now they've gone their
separate ways in Class A, so they'll meet up in Zero Week. Minco
quarterback Daxton Williams graduated, so they Bulldogs will have to
find his replacement. Meanwhile, Wynnewood has Tyler Grove who passed
for nearly 1,000 yards as a sophomore last season.
5. Bentonville West (Ark.) at 6AI No. 2 Owasso: Will
Kuehne and Co. get the 2018 season kicked off against one of the newest
programs in Arkansas. Bentonville West is led by former McAlester head
coach Bryan Pratt, who led the Wolverines to a 9-2 record in 2017. For
Owasso, the Rams will look for Bryce Cabrera's replacement at tailback
and Josh Proctor's replacementin the defensive backfield.
6. 6AI No. 4 Jenks at 6AII No. 4 Bixby: This one-sided rivalry leveled out in 2017 with the Spartans ending a 26-game losing streak to Jenks with a 35-18 victory. Jenks' winning ways over Bixby had dated back to 1977. The Trojans return quarterback Ian Corwin and Mr. Do Everything Noah Hernandez, but they'll have a new look on the sidelines under first-year head coach Keith Riggs. For Bixby, there's a lot of newcomers after Tucker Pawley and Staton King graduated following the Spartans' runner-up finish in Class 6AII.