The Buzz- Let the 'Real Games' Begin


Thursday, September 21st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


By Sean Mossman

A lot of people took offense to Union and Jenks players saying last week’s game between the two “didn’t count.” In fact, there were two things riding on last week’s game, pride and bragging rights. Neither of those will win you a gold ball.

Yes, it’s very important to have a decent non-district record and a little bit of momentum going into district play. That’s all very nice, but everything that’s been done on the field so far means very little compared to what will take place over the next seven weeks. Most teams make a list of goals for themselves before the season started, and I’d be willing to bet that very few have “be proud of ourselves” on the list. I’d also be willing to bet that every team in the state has “win district” on their list.

That may be a sad statement to some, but it’s reality. Those non-district games and cross-town rivalries mean nothing now. Starting undefeated in the district is the only thing important to teams right now.

There are some things you can take from your team’s non-district play that may signal how they’ll play during district. In fact, I’ve changed my opinions about a few district races after watching three weeks of play. Some teams have looked dramatically better than I thought they would and have made me re-think a few of my district predictions. Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind about everything at anytime. Here’s how some of the bigger district races shake out:

6A-3

Stillwater and Union still look like the class of the district, in no particular order. However, Enid has been a mild surprise at 2-1. The Plainsmen have two quality wins against Edmond Santa Fe and Mustang. I picked them seventh in the district, but I’m not ready to say they’re a playoff team yet. One playoff team I picked form this district has sputtered out of the gate. Edmond Memorial is 0-3 and travels to Stillwater Friday.

6A-4

Everything seems to be shaking out the way everyone thought. I took Jenks, Owasso, Broken Arrow and Muskogee. The word from coaches was that Tahlequah would battle for one of those last two spots and those men look to be prophetic. It will be a scrum between four teams to file in for three spots behind Jenks.

5A-3 and 5A-4

I’ll stick with my calls on both of these districts. Ada and Kelley have had down moments in non-district play but seem to have things lined-up for a good run through district. I had two sleepers I thought would make waves in their respective districts, and I still feel that way. East Central and Booker T. Washington have themselves well-tuned for district play, both are 2-1.

4A-2

Is there any district that’s taken it on their collective chins more than this one? I think not. The eight district-mates are a combined 8-16 through three weeks. Many of those losses were against quality teams from bigger classes. Injuries to key players haven’t helped teams either.

Tecumseh was the most impressive and consistent team in non-district play, there only loss came to 5A’s number one team El Reno. Glenpool was my pick for district champs and they can count themselves fortunate to have the one win they have. Mannford lost starting QB Paul Hix for several weeks in week two.

All that being said, I’ll stick with my top three, Glenpool, Tecumseh and Mannford. I’m beginning to believe that Cushing can battle a few other teams for the final playoff spot. The bottom line for this district is that there are a handful of coaches telling their players that those first three games meant very little.

4A-3

I’ll declare my ignorance about the Jay Bulldogs right now. They are the biggest surprise of the season from this area of the state. They’re 3-0 after wins over Vinita, Mannford and Nowata. That looked like a murderous early schedule and Jay came out looking like a true contender. I still believe that the talent at Collinsville and Miami will show strong in the end, but Jay should be a factor.

4A-4

Sallisaw still looks like the class of the district. Their week three win over Fort Smith Northside was a statement game for Ron Lancaster’s squad. I’ll stick with them going deep into the 4A playoffs.

3A-3

This is another one of those districts that looks out of kilter if you just see the current standings. Inola and Sequoyah Claremore are 3-0, while Bristow, Berryhill and Vinita are all 1-2. This may be another great example of how much things can change when district play actually starts. I’ll stick with those very good 1-2 teams to finish 1-2-3.

3A-4

Muldrow and Seminole are 1-2 going into district play. Does anyone want to pick against them? I’m not. However, Roland has been the class of the district so far. They’re 3-0 and have outscored opponents 85-17

2A-6 and 2A-7

Adair has gotten off to a slow start at 0-3. District 2A-6 coaches voted them as their second place pick. Metro Christian and Colcord can not be accused of being slow at anything. Both are scoring 40+ points per game.

In 2A-7, Victory Christian and Eufaula have been dominant in their 3-0 starts. Victory has outscored their opponents by 105 points, Eufaula by 122. It makes you wonder if the game between the two will be a high-scoring shootout or a defensive battle. Cascia Hall looks very comfortable in their role as district and state title favorites.

Games of the Week

1. Broken Arrow (1-2) at Jenks (3-0)- Will there be any hangover from last week’s miraculous win by Jenks? This is the third of a terrific round-robin of games between Jenks, Union and Broken Arrow. BA lost last week to one of Oklahoma’s best teams, Fort Smith Southside. That’s just a little joke, but Southside did post wins over BA and Owasso in non-district. The winner takes the upper hand in a brutally tough district.

2. Fort Gibson (2-1) at Poteau (2-1)- Fort Gibson was supposed to be way down after losing a huge senior class from last year. Yeah right! Only a one-point loss to Miami has kept the Tigers from the land of the unbeaten. Poteau tailback Erick Warren seems to be heating up at just the right time.

3. Tulsa Hale (3-0) at Bishop Kelley (2-1)- He is the egg-man. He is the egg-man. He is the walrus. Robert (coo-coo-ka) Chew is running over opponents for the Rangers. Kelley is the litmus test for Hale and their playoff hopes. A loss would not be devastating, but a win would be huge.

4. Collinsville (3-0) at Miami (2-1)- If the War Dogs keep this to a one-point game, the odds are with them. Both of their wins have been by a single tally. Collinsville only gives up about five points per game. 5-4 would be an awfully odd score.

5. Cascia Hall (3-0) at Haskell (2-1)- Haskell suffered a disappointing loss to Sperry last week. If you’ve been paying attention you’ll know that I don’t think that means much. A lot of people think Cascia will cruise to a district title. They’ll likely be tested several times along the way, including right here.

6. Skiatook (2-1) at Jay (3-0)- Luke Jolley of Skiatook and Brian Kirby of Jay are well on their way to 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Jay plays a bit more of a balanced offense. The early season district game may be more important for Jay’s growing confidence in the long run.

7. Pawhuska (3-0) at Perkins-Tryon (2-1)- The Huskies look like the real deal so far this season. The Demons have two good wins under their belt. The winner goes a long way towards a district crown.

8. Glenpool (1-2) at Tulsa Webster (2-1)- Kerry and Thomas Jones of Webster have the unofficial lead in total tackles by a brother combo with 75. The Warriors have a superb brother tandem in their backfield in Courtney and Earl Tennial. Why do I feel like this game should be played in Philadelphia?

9. Bixby (1-2) at Booker T. Washington (2-1)- Bixby may be the best team with two losses in all of 5A. They had the unenviable task of facing Jenks in week one and lost a strange one to Glenpool in week two. The Hornets have the best passing game you’ve never heard about. QB Rico Watkins has plenty of fast weapons to throw to.

10. Sequoyah Claremore (3-0) at Inola (3-0)- These are the only two undefeated teams in a district that includes Bristow, Berryhill and Vinita. The winner continues to grow confidence.

Check out previous editions of "The Buzz"

September 14, 2000
September 12, 2000
September 7, 2000
September 5, 2000
August 31st, 2000
August 29, 2000