Barry Lewis: Tulsa area limited to one football title this year
BY BARRY LEWIS World Sports Writer
Thursday, December 06, 2012
12/06/12 at 5:17 AM
Go to Barry Lewis' BlogOriginal Print Headline: Tulsa area limited to one football title
IT'S AN unusual state championship week for Tulsa area high school football fans.
The title games in Class 3A through A are scheduled at Oklahoma State's Boone Pickens Stadium, but no school closer than 100 miles to Tulsa is involved.
That's a rarity for the Tulsa area to be shut out of having a team even involved in a weekend of high school championships. The closest team to Tulsa still playing is 2A's Oklahoma Christian School in Edmond.
It caps a disappointing postseason overall for area schools as only Jenks' 6A title kept the East from being shut out in the eight state championship presentations.
The last time there has been a silent weekend like this for area schools was in 2003 when only 2A and A title games were held on the final weekend.
This season has a lot of similarities to 2003 when Jenks also was the only Tulsa-area team to capture a gold ball. Clinton also prevailed in 4A as it did this year. In 2003, Kingfisher won in 3A and it could this year as well. Just as in 2003, Davis is in the 2A final and that year's Class A champion Ringling, is again playing for the title.
Championships have been trending down for the area since 2008 when five schools within 70 miles of Tulsa won a gold ball - Union, Booker T. Washington, Glenpool, Cascia Hall and Morrison. In 2009 and 2010, three schools each year were champions. Union, Cascia Hall and Lincoln Christian were the 2009 champions while Union, Booker T. Washington and Woodland prevailed in 2010.
Last year, there were only two champions - Union and Wagoner.
In 1996 and 2000, Jenks also was the only Tulsa-area champion.
The last year this area was shut out from winning a gold ball was in 1995 - also the last year before Jenks and Union began its current 17-year monopoly on winning the 6A championship.
If there was a common theme among the top three classes this year it was that all those champions were tradition-rich programs that returned to glory after an absence from winner's circle. Jenks' title was its 10th since 1996 but first since 2007. Class 5A champion Midwest City Albert won its ninth since 1997, but first since 2009. Class 4A champion Clinton captured its ninth title since 1997, but first since 2007.
A close call: Top-ranked Vian's 22-0 loss to Davis in last week's 2A semifinals gave Adair coach Mark Lippe some mixed feelings. Adair lost 34-33 to Davis in the quarterfinals.
"It made me feel a little worse because it made me think of what might have been for us and how close we were to winning a state title," Lippe said. "It was a missed opportunity and those are so valuable. But it also showed how good that (Adair quarterback) Brady Bradbury is. He had almost 500 total yards against Davis."
Championship predictions: Class 3A (7:30 p.m. Friday) - Kingfisher 20, Blanchard 14. Elusive running back Landon Nault will be too much for the Lions.
Class 2A (7:30 p.m. Saturday) - Davis 18, Oklahoma Christian 8. The Wolves seem destined to win a title after shutting out offensive juggernaut Vian last week.
Class A (1 p.m. Saturday) - Wynnewood 32, Ringling 28. Running back Trey Knowles carries the Savages to their first state title since 1992.
Notes: Booker T. Washington linebacker Melvin Gilliam has been selected to play in the National Underclassmen All-American Game on Dec. 22 at Myrtle Beach, S.C...
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Stillwater's Noah Gade, the 6A boys cross country champion, will be among the nation's top 40 high school runners who will compete in the Foot Locker Cross Country Championship on Saturday in San Diego. He qualified with an eighth-place finish in the South Regional at Charlotte, N.C. Another state runner, Plainview's Alex Davis, the 3A girls state champion in 2011 and '12, will compete in the women's division.
All-State nominations: Tulsa World All-State forms have been mailed to all high school head football coaches and need to be returned by Monday. Thanks to those coaches who have already sent in their nominations, Coaches who have not received a nomination form should contact Barry Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 918-581-8393.