BENSON TURNS TO COACHING
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.
RENTZEL, BROWN SHUT OUT
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.
LIMITATIONS TURN SQUAD YOUNGER
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,
MUSKOGEE TREATS OU WELL
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.
DEAN SETS BAR HIGH
The vast majority of All-State players through the years have been seniors.
Juniors make regular appearances on the list since the team was opened up to them after a stretch of only seniors being considered.
Millwood's Mandrell Dean made history in 1990 as the first sophomore to make the team, though.
Dean made it as a specialist after returning seven kicks for touchdowns and averaging 33.4 yards per offensive touch for the Falcons.
HUGHES, SCHLABACH TEAM UP FOR 1920 BACKFIELD
One of the easiest picks on the 1920 team was Tulsa halfback Seth Hughes.
After that, though, the choice at the position was much more difficult.
“There was a wide difference of opinion over halfbacks after Seth Hughes of Tulsa had been given a place,” the story announcing the team in The Daily Oklahoman said on Nov. 28, 1920.
The pick for the second halfback wound up going to Oklahoma City's Carl Schlabach.
“In spite of the fact that he played the last half of the season in a crippled condition nevertheless that fact remains that he delivered the goods,” the story said.
LIGHT EQUALS MIGHT
The top two honorees in 1970 were also the smallest in their groups.
Lawton running back Edward Gholson was just 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds.
But Gholson ran for 2,111 yards to break Lawton's season record to that point, averaging 162 yards and game. Only once did he fail to rush for at least 100 yards.
The lightest lineman on the team was Clinton center Bob Lorenz, at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds.
“Lorenz has been described as a ‘head hunter' from his linebacker position for the last three years,” The Daily Oklahoman's Lynn Garnand wrote. “Lorenz is as hard a hitter as you can find in high school football and is a prime reason for Clinton's success the last three years.”
RUSHERS DOMINATE 2000
There have been plenty of years where running backs have dominated the All-State team.
On the 2000 team, though, that was particularly true.
Four players on the team ran for more than 2,000 yards, led by El Reno's Marshell Chiles, who ran for 2,706 yards and was named to the team as a kick returner.
The other 2,000-yard rushers were Moore's Chad Tsotigh, Eufaula's Avery Shine and Tecumseh's Patrick Cobbs.
Two more backs on the team — Offensive Player of the Year Kejuan Jones of Jenks and Shawnee's Seymore Shaw — ran for at least 1,700 yards.
CLASSEN'S PHILLIPS DOES EVERYTHING
In 1930, Classen's T. Ray Phillips made the All-State team as a guard, one of three on the team.
That season, though, Phillips played most everywhere.
“Phillips played nearly every position on the Classen eleven and even called signals a game or two,” Bus Haskins wrote in The Daily Oklahoman story announcing the team. “One of his fortes is swinging into the interference. It was his timely work in this department that made many of the long Comet runs possible. He has an excellent spirit and is more seasoned observing and intelligent than the average scholastic player.”
KOLLMORGEN PERFORMING WELL
The jury is still out on how the 2010 All-State players perform in college, but several are off to solid starts — players like Sterling Shepard at OU, Josh Turner at Texas and Kentrell Brothers at Missouri.
Perhaps the most successful so far has been former Jenks quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen.
After redshirting last season, Kollmorgen threw for 2,460 yards and 21 touchdowns this season at Northern Iowa.