Punter/kicker: Holland Hall senior Alex Felkins (copy)

Columbia signee Alex Felkins will handle the kicking and punting duties for the East in the All-State football game Friday in Bixby. Tulsa World file

Holland Hall’s Alex Felkins will have the rare distinction of playing in both the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State Game and the All-American Bowl.

Most D-1 football signees are prohibited by their colleges or choose not to risk injury by playing in the All-State Game.

Felkins, a Columbia signee, will handle the kicking and punting duties for the East in the 82nd annual All-State Game at 7 p.m. Friday at Bixby’s Spartan Stadium.

“He’s special,” said East coach Joe Turner of Okemah. “He’s a weapon.”

In January, Felkins kicked six extra points in the West’s 48-14 victory in the nationally televised All-American Bowl in San Antonio’s Alamodome.

“It was a lot of fun, playing with the best players in the country in a big stadium like that. I sampled Division I life there,” Felkins said. “I enjoyed it.”

Felkins will continue his football career in the Ivy League. Academics were a big factor in that decision for Felkins, who is leaning toward studying economics with a goal of working in finance. But Columbia appealed to him for other reasons.

“I’ve always been into culture,” Felkins said. “My family has a lot of cultural diversity, and New York is probably the most culturally diverse city in the world. I like big cities in general, so it’s a cool opportunity for me.”

Felkins will report to Columbia on Aug. 21. He likely will handle kickoffs and long field goal attempts. Oren Milstein, a senior, is a proven placekicker who has been very accurate, but his career long is only 44 yards.

At Holland Hall, Felkins led the state with 15 field goals in 18 attempts in 2018. Forty-two of his 70 kickoffs went for touchbacks. He was 3-of-3 on field goals, including the 36-yard winner as time expired in a 15-14 victory over Vian. He had 25 career field goals.

During the summer, Felkins had a chance to help instruct at one of kicking guru Chris Sailer’s camps.

Although Felkins has come a long way in a short time after starting as a kicker in eighth grade, he also realized there is still a lot of room for growth after he kicked side by side with 11-year NFL veteran Nick Folk.

“I kicked some good balls, but you could tell a big difference between a high school kicker and NFL kicker,” Felkins said.

Felkins is enjoying All-State week.

“It’s really the first time I’ve interacted with players in the state from outside the Tulsa area, other than kickers, and it’s been a lot of fun,” Felkins said.

All-State notes

Felkins’ holder will be Union quarterback Peyton Thompson, who was a teammate of Baylor kicker signee Noah Rauschenberg. Thompson, who will be a preferred walk-on at Oklahoma State, last was a holder as a sophomore for Broken Arrow’s Chandler Saied in 2016. Saied was the Tulsa World’s All-State kicker that year...

Hulbert’s Jacob Bruce, the state’s all-time rushing leader and an All-World offensive player of the year finalist, was added to the East team as a defensive back....

For the first time this year, each team has a player listed as an “athlete.” That means he can play on both offense and defense. All of the other players can play on only one side of the ball, The athletes are Kingfisher’s Jett Sternberger for the West and Broken Bow’s Quintin Owens for the East. This will be Sternberger’s last football game as he is a Rogers State basketball signee...

The West leads the current series 23-13-2 and has won eight of the last 11. The most points (69) in an All-State Game came in 1964 when the South defeated the North 43-26

Bierman honored

Dylan Bierman, who pitched Metro Christian to the 3A state baseball title in 2017, was selected for the 2018-19 Google Cloud Academic All-American College Division Men’s At-Large Teams compiled by the College Sports Information Directors of American.

Bierman, a business accounting major, had a 4.0 grade point average for Johnson County Community College. On the mound this season, he was 6-3 with a 3.33 ERA. Bierman will continue his college baseball career as a junior at Lipscomb University in Nashville.

Football forms needed

All football coaches who have not received a Tulsa World preseason football questionnaire are encouraged to email Barry Lewis at barry.lewis@tulsaworld.com, and those who have not filled out and returned a questionnaire are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.

Looking ahead

The Tulsa World will name its 2019 state basketball players of the year in Saturday’s editions.

Mike Brown, Tulsa World, contributed to this column.

Sports Writer

Barry covers pro baseball, including the Tulsa Drillers, coordinates the World's high school sports coverage, and writes on high school football and basketball. Phone: 918-581-8393