McALESTER — Back when Tony Kiefer was only in junior high, McAlester football coach Bryan Pratt recognized the impact the youngster would eventually have for the Buffaloes.
“We've been molding Tony for quite some time, because we knew since he was in junior high that he was gonna be a really good quarterback,” Pratt said. “We tried to not put too much on him when he started as a sophomore. We didn't play him much on defense. He grew a lot.”
Twelve thousand total yards later, Kiefer closed an outstanding career by taking the Buffs to the Class 5A semifinals and earning a spot on The Oklahoman's All-State first team.
He was selected to the team as a punter, where he averaged better than 36 yards per punt, but his biggest impact for McAlester came at quarterback, where he threw for 3,523 yards with 37 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He rushed for 1,457 yards and 27 touchdowns, surpassing the 12,000-total yard mark for his career.
Despite the huge numbers, the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Kiefer didn't draw major college attention — and he knows why.
“I know I put up stats, but I'm gonna have to go a different way to get a D-I look because of my size,” he said. “If I was 6-2, I probably would have gotten better looks. But I'm gonna do whatever it takes to get to that level.”