CLINTON — Kenny Stringer was just 12 years old in 1967 when the Roy Bell-led Red Tornadoes were dominating opponents.
He idolized the players on that unbeaten and state championship team, a club that also was proclaimed by one national publication as the best high school football team in the country.
“I think everybody in Clinton did,” said Stringer, now the principal at Clinton High School. “They were the best around or you thought they were the best around. They were your heroes.”
Clinton honored that 1967 team at halftime of the Red Tornadoes' football game Friday night against Elk City.
It was Clinton's second state championship team. The Red Tornadoes won their first state title in football in 1965. Clinton now owns 15 state football championships.
“This is a special place and it is a special place because of all the groups that have come before,” current Clinton coach Mike Lee said.
The 1967 Clinton team went 10-0 in the regular season then walked through the playoffs, defeating Guymon, 53-0, then Lindsay, 35-7, and finally beating Broken Bow, 34-6, in the state championship game.
Bell, who went on to play at the University of Oklahoma and in the Canadian Football League, was a senior on that team and a high school All-American.
He rushed for more than 6,000 yards in his career at Clinton and twice led the state in scoring and rushing.
“It was phenomenal the success we had,” said then-Clinton coach Jim Frazier, who now lives in Cushing. “I was in the right place at the right time.”