Football is still king in Oklahoma, make no mistake about it. But high school football in 2011 has something to prove.
It's not too often a classic Tulsa Union-Jenks championship game can be upstaged, but you wouldn't be out of line to say it was last season. And though the Redskins' win was another chapter in an already fantastic rivalry, football took a backseat to some other impressive Oklahoma accomplishments.
National perception might still see Oklahoma as a football market, but other sports are beginning to catch up.
It certainly didn't hurt that Oklahoma was blessed to have some of the most special athletes around.
Need proof? Just take a look at Owasso graduate Dylan Bundy and Edmond Santa Fe graduate Gunnar Nixon.
The two were named the Gatorade players of the year in their respective sport with Bundy in baseball and Nixon in track and field. But it didn't stop there as the two were also earned the National Gatorade honors in both sports.
And Bundy is a more peculiar case because you could make a real argument that Bundy won't end up being the best Oklahoma baseball product of last year's class. Broken Arrow's Archie Bradley stated his case by helping the Tigers to the state championship and a mythical national championship by MaxPreps.com.
Bundy was selected with the fourth overall selection by the Baltimore Orioles in last month's Major League Baseball Draft, while Bradley was chosen seventh by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
As for Nixon, we're going to have to wait a while to see his results. Nixon has stated he won't try to make a run at next year's Summer Olympics. However, the Arkansas signee should become a name to remember in 2016 assuming he can stay healthy.
There was no dominant boys basketball star. No player the caliber of a Xavier Henry or Daniel Orton or Blake Griffin. But what might have been more impressive was the quality of Oklahoma teams.
State champions such as Tulsa Washington, Douglass and Edmond Memorial made their case. The teams combined for just one in-state loss. Memorial lost once to rival Edmond Santa Fe but also beat the Wolves on three other occasions. And the Trojans, in particular, represented Oklahoma well in a variety of national tournaments.
So has football taken a step back, or are the other sports starting to narrow the gap? The quality of football and the funding of football programs are starting to filter through the rest of the athletic programs, helping overall athletic programs across the state.
However, with names like Heritage Hall's Sterling Shepard and Barry J. Sanders and Jenks' Alex Ross, football once again has a good chance to reassert its dominance.