Five break color barrier
For the first time in 1956, five black players were selected for the All-State team.
Holdenville's Bill Brown, Lawton Douglass' Tommie Johnson, Douglass' Russell Perry, Wewoka's Chester Pittman and Cushing's Willie Boyd were picked for the team that season.
Douglass' Prentice Gautt was the first black player to participate in the All-State game, having played in the 1956 game — the game for the 1955 team.
Gautt, who went on to become the first black football player at the University of Oklahoma, was picked as an alternate but was not an initial selection because Douglass was not a member of the Oklahoma Highschool Athletic Association at the time of the picks.
Frnka posthumously honored
Tulsa Rogers fullback Henry Frnka Jr. died Oct. 6, 1946, two days after suffering an injury in a 14-7 win over Tulsa Central.
Frnka Jr., whose father coached the University of Tulsa from 1941-45 and Tulane from 1946-51, was named to the North team in 1946.
“He was that good — a powerful runner, a great blocker, a splendid linebacker, a team leader and everything that an American boy should be on and off the gridiron,” Wally Wallis wrote. “He will be a twelfth starter next summer when the all-state classic is played.”
Frnka Jr., 17, was injured in the final two minutes of the game.
He had surgery the next morning to remove a blood clot from his brain but never regained consciousness.
Deep RB class dominates 1986
The group of running backs the state produced in 1986 was as deep as any year.
The Back of the Year was Muskogee's Glenn Bell, who ran for 2,210 yards as a senior in helping the Roughers win the state title.
He was joined in the backfield by Carl Albert's Mike Gaddis (1,898 yards and 25 touchdowns) and Lawton MacArthur's Rod Fisher (2,212 yards, 33 touchdowns).
Fox's Pinky Hurley (5,127 career yards and 82 touchdowns) made the team at defensive back, while Tulsa Washington's Tony Brooks, who went on to star at Notre Dame, was a second-team pick.
Older brothers dot 2006 team
Right now, former Carl Albert standout David Oku is doing big things at Arkansas State while Owasso product Jacques Washington is playing a big part in Iowa State's secondary.
But before Oku and Washington moved on to Division I football, their brothers cleared the path for them in high school.
Titans safety DeVon Oku made the 2006 All-State team with 75 tackles and three interceptions, while Owasso running back KingJack Washington made it with 2,133 yards and 21 touchdowns rushing.
Littrell keeps moving up ranks
Muskogee's Seth Littrell was a linebacker on the 1996 team after recording 51 tackles, an interception, a sack and a pair of fumble recoveries.
Littrell also starred on the offensive side, rushing for 1,385 yards as a senior in the Roughers' wing-T offense.
Littrell went on to star at OU as a fullback.
Since graduating from OU, Littrell has steadily worked his way up in coaching, starting as a graduate assistant at Kansas.
After stints at Texas Tech and Arizona, Littrell is now the offensive coordinator under Kevin Wilson at Indiana.
West side dominates in 1976
The East side of the state may have dominated Class 6A for the last 17 years, but at one time, things were reversed.
In 1976, the West had all four of the semifinalists in the state's largest class, 4A, with Del City, Edmond, Moore and Putnam City West.
Each of the four semifinalists in 4A had two representatives on the 4A team — Steve Hammond and Ken Oleson of Del City, Richard Turner and Mark Olbert of Edmond, Mark Powers and Jeff McKinney of Putnam West and Jay Kimerson and Bruce Compton of Norman.
Four Class C players picked in '66
The 1966 All-State team was, not surprisingly, dominated by the largest of the five classes.
Class 3A had 22 of the team's representatives.
The smallest class, though, had a solid showing.
Four Class C players made the squads, with Thomas' Woody Roof, Garber's Gene Barnes, Perkins' Gene Niles and Rush Springs' Joe Coyle earning spots.
Roof went on to win five state titles at three schools as a coach. His first came at Watonga in 1978 and his last at Elk City in 1998. He also won a pair of titles at Weatherford.
Coyle went on to play at Oklahoma State.
He died in August due to complications from multiple sclerosis.
Banquet tradition started in 1926
The 1926 team was the first to be brought together in Oklahoma City.
Beginning in 1938, the squad was split into two sides and a game was played.
In 1926, though, this was a new development.
“Those selected on the first team will be guests of The Oklahoma Publishing company at a banquet at Oklahoma club next Friday evening,” Oklahoman Sports Editor Charles J. Brill wrote in the Dec. 5, 1926, Daily Oklahoman. “The Oklahoman will provide transportation for each man to and from Oklahoma City. This is expected to become an annual event.”
Now, the team members are invited to the Jim Thorpe Association's award banquet each season.
Munsey skips festivities for hunt
Norman's J.S. Munsey was picked as one of four backs on the 1936 team and one of two Norman players on the squad.
Munsey, though, was the lone all-stater who wasn't at the All-State Field Day the day before the team was announced in the paper on Dec. 13.
Munsey missed the workout at Oklahoma City University to go deer hunting.
In his place, another Norman back, Torrey Smith, who made the 1935 team, performed at the workout.
Norman center Novel Wood was also on the team.
Backfield strong in 1916
The selectors didn't seem to have any problem picking Norman's Wallace Abbott, Pawhuska's John Comstock, Blackwell's Everett Hafer and Tulsa's Kiefer (first name unavailable) as the running backs and quarterback in 1916.
“Naming the backfield is a cinch,” the story said before listing the players and saying they “would make a backfield that any college in the state would have been strengthened for having.”
Not many stats were listed, but Hafer scored 14 touchdowns in addition to kicking field goals.