by Ryan Aber Published: November 27, 2012
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Five break color barrier

For the first time in 1956, five black players were selected for the All-State team.

Holdenville's Bill Brown, Lawton Douglass' Tommie Johnson, Douglass' Russell Perry, Wewoka's Chester Pittman and Cushing's Willie Boyd were picked for the team that season.

Douglass' Prentice Gautt was the first black player to participate in the All-State game, having played in the 1956 game — the game for the 1955 team.

Gautt, who went on to become the first black football player at the University of Oklahoma, was picked as an alternate but was not an initial selection because Douglass was not a member of the Oklahoma Highschool Athletic Association at the time of the picks.

Frnka posthumously honored

Tulsa Rogers fullback Henry Frnka Jr. died Oct. 6, 1946, two days after suffering an injury in a 14-7 win over Tulsa Central.

Frnka Jr., whose father coached the University of Tulsa from 1941-45 and Tulane from 1946-51, was named to the North team in 1946.

“He was that good — a powerful runner, a great blocker, a splendid linebacker, a team leader and everything that an American boy should be on and off the gridiron,” Wally Wallis wrote. “He will be a twelfth starter next summer when the all-state classic is played.”

Frnka Jr., 17, was injured in the final two minutes of the game.

He had surgery the next morning to remove a blood clot from his brain but never regained consciousness.

Deep RB class dominates 1986

The group of running backs the state produced in 1986 was as deep as any year.

The Back of the Year was Muskogee's Glenn Bell, who ran for 2,210 yards as a senior in helping the Roughers win the state title.

He was joined in the backfield by Carl Albert's Mike Gaddis (1,898 yards and 25 touchdowns) and Lawton MacArthur's Rod Fisher (2,212 yards, 33 touchdowns).

Fox's Pinky Hurley (5,127 career yards and 82 touchdowns) made the team at defensive back, while Tulsa Washington's Tony Brooks, who went on to star at Notre Dame, was a second-team pick.

Older brothers dot 2006 team

Right now, former Carl Albert standout David Oku is doing big things at Arkansas State while Owasso product Jacques Washington is playing a big part in Iowa State's secondary.

But before Oku and Washington moved on to Division I football, their brothers cleared the path for them in high school.

Titans safety DeVon Oku made the 2006 All-State team with 75 tackles and three interceptions, while Owasso running back KingJack Washington made it with 2,133 yards and 21 touchdowns rushing.

Littrell keeps moving up ranks

Muskogee's Seth Littrell was a linebacker on the 1996 team after recording 51 tackles, an interception, a sack and a pair of fumble recoveries.

Littrell also starred on the offensive side, rushing for 1,385 yards as a senior in the Roughers' wing-T offense.


by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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