Back in the day my Edmond North Huskies could not score a touchdown much less beat Edmond Memorial in football. For someone as competitive as me, this was like being sentenced to the world down under. With the help of an equally competitive staff of teachers, we took it upon ourselves to create a paradigm shift. If not football, possibly academics held the key.
With information from College Board (AP) and US News and World Report we did just that. Almost immediately, we used players recruited via the academic route to beat Memorial again, and again and again. Under my watch, we never lost to the Bulldogs after that.
To this day, I love examining the high school rankings to see how my former high schools are doing. I also love comparing local high schools to their district counterparts. Comparing football powerhouses on the east to those on the west side of the state can be equally satisfying. It is my belief that high schools can and should aspire to be the best in both areas.
I have highlighted some of this information below. For a more in-depth view you can go to usnewsandworldreport/rankings/highschools/Oklahoma
US News and World Report High School rankings…
Edmond North (4)
Edmond Memorial (5)
Edmond Santa fe (7)
Moore High School (27)
Norman North (8)
Norman High (13)
Broken Arrow (41)
Note: As you will see from the master list, the top three Oklahoma high schools on the academic list are magnet or charter schools. Those guys play by a different set of enrollment rules…sort like Tulsa schools in football.
In 2018 OU played Army and ended up beating the Black Knights 28-21 in overtime. That was an ugly win, but a win none the less. I remember thinking when that game was tied at 21-21 that we simply needed to win the game and move on. We won the game and we moved on…
Things can always be worse…remember how we felt after losses to Kansas State over the past few years. Those were ugly losses that we never fully recovered from. A win is always better.
It is also important to put the Tulane game in perspective. Tulane was a well-coached team that hung around just long enough to make things interesting. The game setting resembled a spring game with no band, no student section and only a smattering of fans played in 100-degree heat. This was an upset in the making.
We won the game and as a result, we still have all our goals ahead of us. The good news is that the defense will be better this year. We still have Spencer Rattler who threw for over 300 yards on Saturday. We also have the greatest backup quarterback (Caleb Williams) in America to back up Rattler.
Granted the loss of wide receiver Theo Weese will hurt, but maybe he will be back sooner than expected. Regardless, we still have a bunch of topflight receivers to turn to. We also have a reborn Kennedy Brooks and stud transfer Eric Gray as running backs.
The truth of the matter is that by the end of the season, this ugly loss will be forgotten. The players and the coaches will get wake up calls that will help prepare the team for tough outings down the road. This learning curve will help us immensely as we prepare for games in Manhattan and Dallas in weeks five and six.
Like I said. A win is a win is a win…we’ll take it. Time to move on.