Stratford, OK 74872
Record: 5-5 | Unranked
|@ Community Christian||L||34-6|
|vs Crooked Oak||W||47-14|
|vs Little Axe||W||6-0|
|@ Star Spencer||W||7-20|
| Ben Johnson
Well, what we have here is two hotly-contested showdowns for first and third place. Swisher and Coach Turney are locked in a battle for first place, while Whitt and myself charge hard after the bronze.
Week 6 picks - Coach Turney 14-4 | Whitt 13-5 | Ben 13-5 | Swisher 13-5
Overall - Swisher 91-35 | Turney 91-35 | Ben 84-42 | Whitt 84-42
And per usual, my apologies in advance to the teams I pick below:
Carl Albert at Guthrie
Michael Swisher: Carl Albert 33, Guthrie 17
Ben Johnson: Carl Albert 30, Guthrie 16
Whitt Carter: Carl Albert 28, Guthrie 21
Randy Turney: Carl Albert 31, Guthrie 14
Broken Arrow at Edmond Santa Fe
Michael Swisher: Broken Arrow 38, Edmond Santa Fe 14
Ben Johnson: Broken Arrow 41, Edmond Santa Fe 19
Whitt Carter: Broken Arrow 34, Edmond Santa Fe 14
Randy Turney: Broken Arrow 28, Edmond Santa Fe 7
Stillwater at Lawton
Michael Swisher: Stillwater 35, Lawton 21
Ben Johnson: Stillwater 23, Lawton 22
Whitt Carter: Stillwater 42, Lawton 34
Randy Turney: Stillwater 35, Lawton 20
Cascia Hall at Berryhill
Michael Swisher: Berryhill 24, Cascia Hall 12
Ben Johnson: Berryhill 20, Cascia Hall 19
Whitt Carter: Cascia Hall 32, Berryhill 28
Randy Turney: Berryhill 28, Cascia Hall 20
Victory Christian at Beggs
Michael Swisher: Beggs 28, Victory Christian 10
Ben Johnson: Beggs 33, Victory Christian 24
Whitt Carter: Beggs 35, Victory Christian 27
Randy Turney: Beggs 21, Victory Christian 20
Plainview at Sulphur
Michael Swisher: Plainview 24, Sulphur 22
Ben Johnson: Plainview 29, Sulphur 23
Whitt Carter: Sulphur 28, Plainview 24
Randy Turney: Sulphur 34, Plainview 31
Buffalo at Pond Creek-Hunter
Michael Swisher: PC-Hunter 30, Buffalo 14
Ben Johnson: PC-Hunter 43, Buffalo 22
Whitt Carter: PC-Hunter 31, Buffalo 12
Randy Turney: PC-Hunter 34, Buffalo 22
Booker T. Washington at Sapulpa
Michael Swisher: Booker T. Washington 31, Sapulpa 30
Ben Johnson: Booker T. Washington 27, Sapulpa 24
Whitt Carter: Booker T. Washington 42, Sapulpa 28
Randy Turney: Booker T. Washington 31, Sapulpa 22
Stigler at Seminole
Michael Swisher: Seminole 34, Stigler 17
Ben Johnson: Seminole 23, Stigler 20
Whitt Carter: Seminole 34, Stigler 21
Randy Turney: Seminole 34, Stigler 20
Tonkawa at Morrison
Michael Swisher: Morrison 18, Tonkawa 14
Ben Johnson: Morrison 26, Tonkawa 16
Whitt Carter: Morrison 27, Tonkawa 21
Randy Turney: Morrison 38, Tonkawa 14
Yukon at Westmoore
Michael Swisher: Yukon 17, Westmoore 16
Ben Johnson: Yukon 21, Westmoore 17
Whitt Carter: Westmoore 21, Yukon 20
Randy Turney: Westmoore 24, Yukon 17
El Reno at Duncan
Michael Swisher: Duncan 24, El Reno 21
Ben Johnson: Duncan 32, El Reno 17
Whitt Carter: Duncan 28, El Reno 14
Randy Turney: El Reno 28, Duncan 21
Bethany at Cushing
Michael Swisher: Bethany 31, Cushing 17
Ben Johnson: Bethany 33, Cushing 27
Whitt Carter: Bethany 35, Cushing 13
Randy Turney: Bethany 30, Cushing 24
Catoosa at Cleveland
Michael Swisher: Catoosa 36, Cleveland 25
Ben Johnson: Catoosa 28, Cleveland 18
Whitt Carter: Catoosa 37, Cleveland 21
Randy Turney: Catoosa 20, Cleveland 14
Kingfisher at Perkins-Tryon
Michael Swisher: Kingfisher 31, Perkins-Tryon 28
Ben Johnson: Kingfisher 27, Perkins-Tryon 21
Whitt Carter: Kingfisher 35, Perkins-Tryon 21
Randy Turney: Kingfisher 34, Perkins-Tryon 20
Okemah at Meeker
Michael Swisher: Meeker 33, Okemah 21
Ben Johnson: Meeker 34, Okemah 24
Whitt Carter: Okemah 33, Meeker 24
Randy Turney: Meeker 28, Okemah 12
Stratford at Washington
Michael Swisher: Washington 27, Stratford 23
Ben Johnson: Washington 32, Stratford 19
Whitt Carter: Washington 28, Stratford 20
Randy Turney: Washington 38, Stratford 20
Hooker at Okeene
Michael Swisher: Hooker 31, Okeene 13
Ben Johnson: Hooker 29, Okeene16
Whitt Carter: Hooke 35, Okeene 13
Randy Turney: Hooker 34, Okeene 7
Covington-Douglas at Southwest Covenant
Michael Swisher: SW Covenant 48, Covington-Douglas 30
Ben Johnson: SW Covenant 44, Covington-Douglas 25
Whitt Carter: SW Covenant 45, Covington-Douglas 31
Randy Turney: SW Covenant 42, Covington-Douglas 20
Let us know what you think. Tweet your predictions to us at @Skordle.
| Ben Johnson
Some rock-solid games this week as district races tighten up.
Here's what's on tap this week:
1. 5A No. 1 Carl Albert (6-0) at 5A No. 7 Guthrie (6-0): Bluejays beat Carl Albert every year from 2010 to 2015, but the Titans have posted back-to-back blowouts over Guthrie, including last year's 55-10 contest. Carl Albert running back Dadrion Taylor is also expected back after suffering a knee injury earlier in the season.
2. 6AI No. 1 Broken Arrow (6-0) at 6AI No. 4 Edmond Santa Fe (6-0): Tigers have been machine-like all season long. The Wolves pulling the upset would be one to send shockwaves throughout 6AI.
3. 6AII No. 1 Stillwater (6-0) at 6AII No. 5 Lawton (4-2): Pioneers are 0-4 against Lawton since the two clubs started playing district contests in 2014. And this one was going to feature a stellar running back showcase, but Stillwater tailback Qwontrel Walker was ejected in the fourth quarter against Choctaw last week, leaving his status for this week up in the air. Meanwhile, the Wolverines will ride the hot hand of Miles Davis at tailback.
4. 3A No. 8 Cascia Hall (5-1) at 3A No. 2 Berryhill (6-0): These two teams have met 10 times since 1999 and Cascia Hall is one nine of those games. The Chiefs' lone victory in the series was in 2004. Winner all but locks up the District 3A-4 crown.
5. 2A No. 9 Victory Christian (6-0) at 2A No. 5 Beggs (5-1): Former district mates are reunited in 2A-3 play this year. From 2010 to 2015, the two teams split the series 3-3. Winner here still has to tangle with Sperry to claim the district title.
6. 3A No. 4 Plainview (5-1) at 3A No. 5 Sulphur (5-1): Sulphur beat Plainview 35-12 last season, but prior to that Plainview had won the last eight clashes between the two teams.
7. C No. 4 Buffalo (6-0) at C No. 1 Pond Creek-Hunter (6-0): Winner all but wraps up the District C-1 championship. And to this point, Pond Creek-Hunter opponents are averaging four points per game.
8. 6AII No. 6 Booker T. Washington (3-3) at 6AII No. 7 Sapulpa (5-1): Chieftains came up with an overtime win over Muskogee last week, and a win over the Hornets would be a massive statement. One advantage Sapulpa does have is at the quarterback position with Eli Williams.
9. Stigler (5-1) at 3A No. 6 Seminole (5-1): All of a sudden everyone in District 3A-3 is chasing after Idabel. And it's looking more and more like a quality team will be left out of the playoff picture in the suddenly-deep 3A-3. The winner here at least feels somewhat more at ease with a postseason spot more obtainable.
10. Tonkawa (6-1) at A No. 3 Morrison (6-0): Tonkawa has a two-game winning streak going against Morrison, but it's the Wildcats who are ranked heading into this one. District A-5 is deep, so a win here moves one of these two closer to the district title.
Yukon at Westmoore: Top three spots in 6AI-1 appear to be spoken for among Broken Arrow, Jenks and Edmond Santa Fe. So for a regular season matchup, it all but serves as a "win and you're in; lose and you're out" tilt. And Westmoore is 6-0 against Yukon since 2006.
El Reno at Duncan: The Demons are unbeaten but now the schedule tightens up. A win for Duncan sets up an epic showdown against Ardmore next week for 5A-1 supremacy. A win for El Reno has the Indians feeling better about securing a postseason spot. El Reno beat Duncan 41-40 last season.
Bethany at Cushing: Despite a minus-nine scoring margin in six games this season, the Tigers are 3-0 in District 4A-2. A win for Cushing could work toward some must-see games against Blanchard and Tuttle to close out the regular season in a few weeks.
Catoosa at Cleveland: District 4A-3 looks like it'll come down to Bristow or Wagoner at the top. So that leaves three -- maybe four (Catoosa, Cleveland, Grove and Oologah) -- competing for the final two playoff spots.
Kingfisher at Perkins-Tryon: We're finding out that a lot of districts have some solid depth, and 3A-1 falls in that category. Heritage Hall and John Marshall are locks for playoffs spots, so it's up to Kingfisher, Perkins, Mannford and Mount Saint Mary to challenge for the final two spots.
Okemah at Meeker: Since 2008, Okemah has won seven of the last eight matchups. Both of these clubs need a win to have a shot at possibly winning or finishing in the top two spots of 2A-2.
Stratford at Washington: Washington pushed Millwood to the limit last week. And despite a 1-2 mark in 2A-7, Stratford has to be taken seriously in the playoff mix.
Hooker at Okeene: Winner here gets a chance to challenge Oklahoma Bible Academy for District A-1 bragging
Covington-Douglas at Southwest Covenant: Winner all but wraps up the C-3 title.
So who wins all the matchups? Check back for our weekly picks on Thursday.
*Photo courtesy of Guthrie Booster Club
| 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 t