By Scott Hansen
For some, hearing Oklahoma means football, as in the University of Oklahoma football team in Norman. For others, you immediately think of the musical written by Rogers and Hammerstein.
In 2007, you could not write a better script to the high school football season. Fittingly, traditional powers that have dominated Sooner State football won state championships, including Jenks (6A) and Clinton (3A). Guthrie embarked on a memorable run of its own in 5A, setting a state record for points in a season in Oklahoma’s centennial year.
Jenks and Tulsa Union were at it again in the MidFirst Backyard Bowl, going to overtime in dramatic fashion with Union winning, 43-42. Jenks returned the favor to win in the 6A state final over its rivals.
Bishop McGuinness made it 28 straight wins and a second straight 4A title, leaving a tornadic path of dominance in its wake. Try 16 shutouts over the past two seasons for the Fighting Irish.
Muskogee went to its bags of tricks to rip the heart out of Norman North in the 6A quarterfinals. The Roughers snapped it to the up back to convert a two-point conversion to win with just over a minute remaining, 19-18.
Bethany’s Nick Chafey had ice in his veins in the Class 2A playoffs in a win over Alva. Chafey drilled a field goal as time expired for a 19-18 victory.
The batteries are recharged. Some of the top players from last season have moved on to college, but others are prepared to translate all the hard work in the weight room and extra sprints to success of their own.
The calendar officially flips over to 2008. The season is almost here. Enjoy the preview.
Oklahoma 2008 Football Preview Schedule
Monday, August 4: Oklahoma 2008 Football by the Numbers, Notebook
Tuesday, August 5: Oklahoma 2008 Preseason All-State Offense
Wednesday, August 6: Oklahoma 2008 Preseason All-State Defense
Thursday, August 7: Oklahoma Class 6A Preseason Ratings
Friday, August 8: Oklahoma Class 5A Preseason Ratings
Monday, August 11: Oklahoma Class 4A/3A Preseason Ratings
Tuesday, August 12: Oklahoma Class 2A/A/B/C Preseason Rundown
Oklahoma 2008 High School Football by the Numbers
1 – Commemorating Southmoore’s inaugural season in high school football as the doors will open in August at this new school. The SaberCats will be in Class 6A and have sophomore Kendall Thompson at quarterback, son of former Oklahoma quarterback Charles Thompson.
11 – The amount of players on each side of the football for Morrison this season. Morrison won the Class B title in eight-man last season and makes the jump to Class A. The Wildcats won 13 eight-man titles dating back to 1984, including seven straight from 1988-1994.
12 – Jenks’ state championship titles, dating back to 1979.
14.3 – The yards per carry average for Dewar’s Ronnell Lewis last season. Lewis rushed for 2,258 yards and 38 touchdowns in 2007.
15 – State championship won by Clinton, dating back to 1965.
19 – Ada’s number of state championships, dating back to 1951.
23 – Jersey number worn by Carl Albert running back David Oku, Oklahoma’s most exciting player. Oku rushed for 1,628 yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior in 2007.
28 – Bishop McGuinness’ winning streak entering the 2008 season. 16 of the victories were shutouts, including nine in 2007.
41 – Number of schools in Oklahoma that have football programs with the nickname Tigers, including one Golden Tiger in Talihina.
52 - The number of touchdowns amassed by Prague quarterback Dakota Harris in 2007. Harris rushed for 34 TDs and added 18 through the air for the Class 2A semifinalists.
69 – Winning-streak held by Shattuck entering 2008 season, which includes five straight Class C (eight-man) titles.
90 – State-record for consecutive wins by Morrison from 1998-1995.
727 – Wins in Ada’s history, the most in Oklahoma. Clinton is clicking at Ada’s heels with 713 victories through 2007. Class 6A Lawton has 709 victories in its history.
764 – Guthrie’s state-record scoring output in 2007, an average of 54.6 points per outing.
2,200 – Amount of 2007 rushing yards by Norman North’s human pinball Beau Blankenship as a junior.
OSSAA Moves Title Games to FSN-SW
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association has signed a three-year deal to televise its state championship games in football and basketball on Fox Sports Net-Southwest.
KSBI-TV in Oklahoma City had held the rights for the past three seasons. KSBI-TV will still show 14 high school football games this season, with the headliner being on Sept. 5 when Bishop McGuinness travels to Guthrie.
Cox-TV will also show 20 games during the regular season and two scrimmages starting on Aug. 28. On Friday, Sept. 12, Cox will show the MidFirst Backyard Bowl from Union-Tuttle Stadium as Tulsa Union entertains backyard rival Jenks, a game normally played at the University of Tulsa stadium.
Jenks' junior quarterback Beau Marslan can say he’s been around the block a few times.
Marslan started out at Locust Grove before moving to Muskogee for a short time. As a sophomore, Marslan popped up at Blackwell and threw for 1,722 yards and 20 touchdowns last season. Marslan hopes to fill the shoes of two-time All-State quarterback Mark Ginther for the Trojans this season.
Cody Hughes moves to Norman North to bolster its offensive line. Hughes transferred from Moore and is considered a Division I prospect.
Terrell Williams went from Tulsa Union to Tulsa Edison, and then back to Union for his senior season. Head coach Kirk Fridrich will find a way to get the 6-3, 215-pound athlete the football. Williams is considered a blue-chip prospect entering his final year of high school football.
Major Coaching Changes
Eight of Class 6A's 32 programs underwent coaching changes since last season.
- Bill Bays went from Moore to Choctaw
- Scott Meyers took Bays' old job at Moore.
- Enid tabbed Tommy Parker as its new head man.
- Lawton Eisenhower brought in Boone Copeland.
- Claremore went with Rob Gilbreath.
- Greg Nation took over from legend Butch Peters at Norman.
- Trandy Birch is in charge at Sapulpa.
- Tony Daniels is at Tulsa Memorial.
- Chris Jensen is the first head coach in Southmoore's history.
Two other major changes of note are with rivals Ada and Ardmore. Ada brought in Matt Weber from Marlow in an attempt to restore its winning tradition. Ada has won 19 state titles in its illustrious history and is the all-time leader in victories.
Ardmore brought in Larry McBroom as its new head coach. Ironically, McBroom was vastly successful at Ada during his outstanding career. McBroom coached the Cougars on two occasions, winning 199 games and winning seven state championships from 1980-1995 and 2000-2003.
It should add some spice to this rivalry when the two lock heads to open the 2008 season in Ardmore.
Give your players and program a chance to be recognized nationally. To request a password to include your roster and statistics for the upcoming season, visit the website below. Have a great 2008 season!