It’s official now.
The 2020 All-State football game will take place after an agreement was signed Wednesday between the Oklahoma Football Coaches Association and Oklahoma Baptist University.
OBU’s Crain Family Stadium in Shawnee will be the host site when All-State selections from East take on those from the West at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 25.
“This is just a way to provide something for a group of seniors who lost so much this year,” said Norman North head coach Justin Jones, who is also the OFBCA executive director.
“From proms to graduations and even to evaluations in football, they missed out, so we wanted to find a way to have this game.”
Skordle is serving as the title sponsor of the event and will be live streaming the game free of charge.
Skordle, which provides streaming services for schools, on top of providing live scoring updates for high school events across the state, will also be offering other promotional opportunities before, during and after the game.
“Like everyone else, we were devastated when so many events and opportunities for these student-athletes were lost this year,” said Korry Rogers, Skordle founder.
“When we had the opportunity to be a part of helping make this event possible, we didn’t hesitate to jump at the chance to work with a great institution like OBU and organization like the OFBCA.”
The game is annually contested the last week of July at the end of the Oklahoma Coaches Association’s weeklong of other All-State games and clinics.
However, due to COVID-19, the OCA was forced to cancel this year’s events.
“As soon as we found out they were unable to have it, we started looking for a creative and safe way for our seniors to have this opportunity,” Jones said.
“We couldn’t do this without OBU,” Jones said. “When we reached out to them, their football staff and athletic department were quick to try to work with us and do everything to help.”
OBU’s staff, starting with head coach Chris Jensen, is stocked full of former Oklahoma high school coaches.
“A lot of them are even former OFBCA board members,” Jones said. “So they understand the importance of this game.”
Rosters for the game are not finalized, but the base of them will be the OFBCA’s selections that were released in January.
Kingfisher’s Jeff Myers will be the head coach for the West. Assisting on the West will be Hobart’s Travis Sims, Noble’s Greg George and Edmond Santa Fe’s Daniel Maly.
Chris Elerick of Stroud will be the head coach for the East team. His assistants will include Adair’s Mark Lippe, Bethel’s Joey Ginn and Collinsville’s Kevin Jones are the assistants.
Game day specifics and regulations will be announced soon, but Jones assures that player safety will be of the utmost importance in the face of the ongoing pandemic.
Even if that means eventually calling off the game.
“When we first began to discuss this, the foundation principle with everyone in the room was that our No. 1 priority would be to keep athletes safe,” Jones said.
“We are going to follow the state’s direction as we move forward and take every precaution we have to in order to keep them safe while at the same time knowing there’s always the contingency that we may have to cancel it.”
Provided the game is played, officials with OBU, the OFBCA and Skordle said they plan to make it a memorable day.
"Making All-State is something most football players never achieve, so to earn the honor and not get to play the game would be a major disappointment," said Skordle President Adam Diesselhorst.
"Now that the opportunity has presented itself yet again, we are excited and determined to work with OBU and the OFBCA to make this a tremendously memorable event."