Gold Ball Contenders for 2010
Thursday, July 28th 2011, 5:44 pm
News On 6
Originally Published: Sep 3, 2010 4:24 PM CDTBobby Lewis
Oklahoma Sports Mobile Journalist
TULSA, Oklahoma – With one night of high school football down, and over a dozen more to go, now is the time to ask ourselves the important questions. Eight teams have a shot at repeating as state champions this fall on the high school football field. Will any of them make it back-to-back?
In a recent web poll on Oklahoma Sports, 33 percent of the 1,100 voters picked Union as the most likely team to repeat as champs. Cascia Hall came in second place with nearly 20 percent of the vote and Carl Albert received 15 percent.
Why waste any time? Oklahoma Sports breaks down the least and most likely candidates to win it all again in 2010:
2009 Champ: Union Redskins
They’re loaded again but have to deal with a couple of new 6A wrinkles. For one, they’re putting the keys to the offense in the hands of an unproven quarterback. Kale Pearson has made a smooth transition from wide receiver to quarterback and should play well for Union.
Jenks is still there and is more powerful than ever. Broken Arrow will be a tough out in the playoffs. Southmoore has arguably the state’s best quarterback on its side.
It won’t be easy, but if anyone can figure out a way to get it done, it’s head coach Kirk Fridrich.
Chances of Repeating: 33%
2009 Champ: Carl Albert Titans
They lost their best player from the gold ball club a year ago, but reload with talent at every position. Even though they lose 12-10, the Titans played well against a Booker T. Washington team on the rise in its opener.
The road to another title is bumpy. Carl Albert goes on the road for three in a row starting in Week 2. If they can make it out of that stretch in good shape, they should be poised to march on to the postseason with a high playoff seed.
Their shot at a title is better than Union’s, but it still won’t be a walk in the park.
Chances of Repeating: 40%
2009 Champ: Star Spencer Bobcats
The Bobcats’ new head coach is at Booker T. Washington and their three best players from a year ago have graduated. That spells disaster for Star Spencer.
They still have talent, but the team looks totally different. In our recent poll, fans gave the Bobcats a less-than 10 percent chance to hoist the gold ball again. If they were in 4A again this season, their chances of repeating would be slim.
However, they are not in 4A. Star Spencer drops to 3A this season, making it a bit easier to rise to the top. They will still have to deal with established powerhouses like Cascia Hall and Tuttle, but being the big fish in a smaller pond doesn’t automatically guarantee success on the football field.
Look for a good regular season record from the Bobcats. All bets are off in the playoffs.
Chances of Repeating: 20%
2009 Champ: Cascia Hall Commandos
Cascia Hall has won the last two 3A gold balls and is the team many consider to be the head-and-shoulders favorite to win it again in 2010. Challengers include Star Spencer, Tuttle, Berryhill and Metro Christian.
The Commandos won 41 straight games before losing to Holland Hall in its opener this season. Despite the loss, their track record shows why Cascia Hall is favored again to win the gold ball in 2010.
The dominance should continue.
Chances of Repeating: 65%
2009 Champ: Lincoln Christian Bulldogs
They have a new quarterback and some new skill players this season, but have the same championship fire that led them to their first OSSAA title a year ago. Darren Melton’s squad returns a winning mentality and attention to detail.
That being said, so is Davis, the team that nearly toppled the Bulldogs in 2A a year ago. Pawhuska, Morris and Lindsay will be fierce, too. Lincoln Christian dominated down the stretch a year ago. Odds are it will be tougher this time around.
A dark horse in the class could be Tonkawa, who moves up to 2A after going undefeated and winning the Class A title in 2009. Millwood will also be strong.
Chances of Repeating: 30%
2009 Champ: Tonkawa Buccaneers
They won’t win it in Class A this year, that’s for sure. The Bucs moved up to 2A this season and have more competition to deal with. Don’t expect them to go undefeated again, like a year ago. Their schedule is just too daunting.
They aren’t favored to win their district with Oklahoma Christian, Hennessey and Watonga all poised for good seasons. Making the playoffs could be a tough task for the Buccaneers this season, and another title may be asking too much.
Don’t blame Jake Love. The dynamic runner made our Oklahoma Sports Top 30 list for a reason.
Chances of Repeating: 5%
2009 Champ: Garber Wolverines
They, like Union and Cascia Hall, have won multiple titles in a row. Garber has a strangle hold on Class B. Garber downed the Canton Tigers to win the title in 2009, but winning the district may not even be a safe bet in 2010.
Laverne and Pond Creek have strong teams. The Cherokee Chiefs should make the playoffs, too. Once Garber gets in the playoffs, Davenport, Caddo and Summit Christian will all be waiting.
It’s hard to play with a bullseye on your back. Garber will find that out this season.
Chances of Repeating: 10%
2009 Champ: Timberlake Tigers
Somebody besides the Shattuck Indians won the gold ball in Class C a year ago for the first time since 2002. Timberlake played well in the playoffs and earned their gold ball.
Doing it again will be a stretch. The Tigers need to replace a lot of starters. Ten of their 16 starters from 2009’s team are gone. The teams in their district are improving as well.
Watch out for Deer Creek-Lamont, Maud and Temple in 2010. They have just as good of a shot at winning as Timberlake. And don’t think Shattuck will take being unseated too lightly.
Chances of Repeating: 10%
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