The Buzz- It's about time to fire up 'Ol Hank

Tuesday, August 29th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

By Sean Mossman

Many of you don’t realize this, but there’s a little known secret in the world of the sports media. In order to become a member of our secret society, you have to learn to use mundane cliché’s . The most prevalent of these are “stepped-up” and “game by game”. In order to remain in good standing with the brethren, writers, reporters and anchors must use them daily.

We have recently added another phrase to our required use list. It must be used during the week leading up to any football season at any level. Undoubtedly you’ve heard our proud new catch phrase, “Are you ready for some football?”

I’m sure you’re getting sick of us using it and acting like it’s an original joke, but we’re only following club rules. I’ve resisted the institution of this new phrase to club charter, but it’s been futile. Too many of my contemporaries have seen fit to include the saying in their scripts and articles. We’re now thinking about the addition of “A-game”, so look for that in the near future.

Of course I’m kidding, but it’s a fairly believable story if you’ve watched a national sports show, read a newspaper or thumbed through a magazine in the past week. I’m anxious for the season to start this year for more than just the great competition. I’d love to not have to hear the above phrase from anyone other than Hank Williams for another year.

This leads me to the debut of “The Buzz” weekly Tuesday wrap-up of high school football. Every Tuesday I’ll take a look back at the past week in high school football and delve beneath the box scores for some insight on the great players and games. So, here we go. I have only one question for you.

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? (Sorry, I have a duty to the club.)

All-City Preview

There were a handful of terrific individual performances in last week’s annual classic. The most impressive may have come from a new set of skill players at Booker T. Washington.

Quarterback Rico Watkins, a tall, thin left-hander with excellent running ability, threw for more than 400 yards in six quarters of play. His primary target was 6’5” wideout Robert Meacham. The sophomore speedster had more than 200 yards receiving and three long touchdown receptions. New tailback Shawn Chambers showed off some of that speed that made him the talk of OU summer camp. He carried for more than 100 yards in two quarters against Edison.

The two-time champs of the All-City Preview, East Central, was impressive through it’s three games. Especially on defense where opposing coaches called them, “extremely physical.” David Bowie is back to his darting, dashing best and tailback Randy Jones is poised for a big year.

There was one other offensive star that raised eyebrows. Rogers’ Keith Manning (that’s Manning, not Mannie) made several plays from the defensive backfield and caught a touchdown pass. Manning’s most exciting pre-season moment came at the Catoosa scrimmage two weeks ago. Manning caught a screen pass on the right side against Bristow. Hemmed in along the sideline, Manning reversed field and gave up about twenty yards in order to get to the opposite sideline. Manning eventually covered about 100 yards of total turf in order to take the pass for a fifty yard score down the left sideline. The crowd was on its feet for that one.

Jenks Backfield

Are there enough carries to go around for Jenks talented trio of tailbacks? Yes I said trio, Kerwin Vanfield shows nearly as much ability as ballyhooed runners Kejuan Jones and Bobby Klinck. The three combined for 201 yards in one half against Choctaw.

Jones had 71 yards, but also had 97 more and two touchdowns nullified by penalties. Klinck had 68 yards and three scores, Vanfield carried for 54 yards and one touchdown. It would be trite to say, “Each guy could start for several other teams.” It looks like state title rings are more important than big numbers to this trio.

Union Offense

It looks like there was nary a beat missed by the high scoring Redskins offense. Tyler Gooch and company put 49 points on the board in two quarters each against Norman and Tahlequah Friday night.

Gooch had two TD passes, one to primary target Jerome Janet, and another running. He was 7 of 8 passing for 101 yards against Tahlequah before taking the bench for the second half of the scrimmage.

Power Poll

Here comes the source of some good water-cooler conversation. What are the best teams in the area, regardless of class? It would be too easy to list the best 6A schools because they would probably beat a great 2A school in a head-to-head match-up. Instead, I’ve placed much more weight on how good a team is compared to teams in its class. The opinions of area coaches are the sole basis of the rankings.

I’ve also narrowed my choices down to the KOTV viewing area. After all, I told you folks I wanted to give Green Country fans a source for their teams. That being said, here’s the first football power poll.

1. Jenks- Until beaten, they’ll likely hold the top spot.
2. Union- They have the most interesting opening game, hosting Clovis, CA.
3. Bishop Kelley- Considered the #2 team in state 5A. Hosting Springdale, AR will be a good test.
4. Ada- It’s hard to believe anyone can say Ada is a 5A darkhorse. They’re just lying back, waiting to pounce.
5. Stillwater- There is some unbelievable talent on this team, especially at the skill positions.
6. Broken Arrow- Easy Tiger fans. Mickey Nichols may be hard to replace. You’ll still be there in the end.
7. Glenpool- One of the three or four teams getting serious 4A title hopes talk.
8. Cascia Hall- Despite the drop to 2A it won’t be a cakewalk to the title. However, this team will likely move up the poll as the weeks roll on.
9. Bristow- The Pirates have a new coach in Curtis Shelton. They also have a long tradition and a ton of talent.
10. McAlester- The Buffaloes have great team strength and a slew of guys who can get into the end zone.

On The Fringe: Owasso, Muskogee, Booker T. Washington, Claremore, Collinsville, Nowata, Eufaula, Seminole, Muldrow, Vinita