Bill Bays doesn’t want his team written about. He doesn’t want them talked about. Yet. For Bays, attention should be earned, and after a 2-8 season in his first year as the head coach at Choctaw, the Yellowjackets haven’t done that. "I’m just a believer that to the victor go the spoils,” Bays said. "The successful teams get the bulk of the press, and I accept that.” Not that he won’t take what he can get. "I don’t think it’d be a detriment, but I just think to earn that attention, we need to win some games,” Bays said. "People don’t want to read about teams that are losing games.” Bays doesn’t see the Yellowjackets dethroning Tulsa Union in the near future, but instead, the focus is on improvement, and establishing what Choctaw has never had: tradition. "The mindset needs to change,” Bays said. "Success breeds success, and we haven’t had a lot of that to draw from.”
Experience gainedLast season, Stillwater reached the 6A state quarterfinals with a freshman quarterback. In Jeremy Littell’s sophomore season, Stillwater coach Rusty Atkins is looking forward to having fewer growing pains. "He had his freshman moments,” Atkins said. "It’s always tough with a young quarterback, but he took the reins like a gentleman.”
Ponca City’s Fry not intimidatedPonca City coach Rob Fry knows his team isn’t ready to make a run deep into the playoffs. "We’re going to take a beating for a little while,” he said. Entering his first season coaching Ponca City in the same district as traditional power Tulsa Union, Fry says his team isn’t intimidated. "Our kids are used to it, they’ve been fighting the Unions and Owassos for awhile, and they’ll fight them tooth-to-toenail every week,” Fry said. The thing that separates the top from the bottom in 6A is depth, according to Fry. "Where they’ve got 2-3 kids, we’ve got one,” he said. "It just wears down on us by the end.”
New digs at OwassoOwasso will open a new football facility this fall. The 30,000 square-foot building will provide the football program with new locker rooms, equipment rooms, sports medicine department, offices, and weight rooms. In the new facility, the Rams will have 11,000 square feet of weight room space at their disposal.
District 6A-4 coaches’ poll→1. Tulsa Union (13-1, 7-0, state champions) →2. Owasso (6-5, 6-1) →3. Stillwater (7-5, 5-2) →4. Enid (7-4, 4-3) →5. Choctaw (2-8, 2-5) →6. Yukon (4-6, 2-5) →7. Ponca City (3-7, 2-5) →8. U.S. Grant (1-9, 0-7)