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All-State football facts: The 0s

by Ryan Aber Published: December 11, 2012


Craig Benson was the only Sallisaw All-Stater on the 1980 team after the Black Diamonds won the Class 2A title that season.

Benson made the team as a special-teams player after averaging 42.4 yards per punt and hitting a 47-yard field goal.

Benson was also an outstanding quarterback, throwing for more than 2,400 yards in three seasons and rushing for more than 1,200.

Benson's coach was Ron Etheridge, who took coach of the year honors that season.

Etheridge now works for the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association. Benson is now the Black Diamonds coach.


Miami's Pete Moseley was a solid choice for Back of the Year honors in 1960.

Moseley averaged 8.5 yards per carry, was solid on defense and ran a 10.1 100.

Two of his chief competitors for the award that season, though, did not even make it among the 21 backs that were on the North and South teams combined.

Casady's Lance Rentzel and Jenks' Larry Brown were not eligible.

At that time, The Daily Oklahoman's All-State team was the basis for the annual All-State game, so only seniors were eligible.

Now, players from all classifications are eligible for The Oklahoman's team.

Brown scored 26 touchdowns, averaging more than 150 yards per game rushing but was just a junior.

Rentzel wasn't considered despite scoring 21 touchdowns and 144 total points in 10 games. Only players who played for Oklahoma High School Athletic Association (Now OSSAA) member schools were considered.


The makeup of the 1940 team was much younger than the teams that preceded it.

Teams before that year regularly were stocked with players that were 19 and 20 years old.

Five players on the team — Shattuck's James Ward, Mangum's Billy Houck, Shawnee's Don Fauble, Enid's Elmer Simmons and Muskogee's Archie Bradley — were named to the team at 16.

The downturn in age was the result of a rule passed between the 1939 and 1940 seasons that limited high school athletes to eight semesters of competition.

Bradley is the grandfather of the former Broken Arrow two-sport star and current Diamondbacks minor league pitcher of the same name,


The Oklahoma Sooners got a big recruiting haul from the 1950 All-State team.

No less than 10 of the players on that team wound up on OU's roster.

Among those were Ada's Ron Thompson, McAlester's Carl Allison, Sulphur's Gene Don Calame and El Reno's Wray Littlejohn.

Muskogee, though, was where the Sooners went to pick up the two players who wound up having the biggest careers of the group.

Both Max Boydston and Kurt Burris wound up earning consensus All-America honors in 1954 for the Sooners.

Boydston moved from fullback to end at OU and flourished. Burris finished second in Heisman voting in 1954. Both were named Lineman of the Year by different organizations.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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