Blanchard's Tucker Yarbrough wants a gold ring, just like his father

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS - Tucker Yarbrough's father, Darren, played on the Lions' 1979 state championship football team. Now Tucker has a chance to get a ring of his own when Blanchard faces Kingfisher for the Class 3A title on Friday.
by Scott Wright Published: December 6, 2012
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photo - Darren (father) and Tucker (son) Yarbrough on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 in Blanchard, Okla.  Darren played on the 1979 Blanchard state championship team, and Tucker will play in the finals this week.  Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Darren (father) and Tucker (son) Yarbrough on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 in Blanchard, Okla. Darren played on the 1979 Blanchard state championship team, and Tucker will play in the finals this week. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

STILLWATER — When he was in the third grade, Tucker Yarbrough viewed his father's state championship ring as a cool show-and-tell item.

Now, it's a link between the past and present of Blanchard football's greatest achievements.

Tucker, now a junior at Blanchard, is the starting center for the Lions, who will play Kingfisher for the Class 3A football championship at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Boone Pickens Stadium.

His father, Darren Yarbrough, was a starting lineman on the Lions' 1979 team, which won the school's only football state championship in its only previous title game appearance. Eight years ago, Darren let his son take the championship ring to school to show off, and on Friday, Tucker gets a chance to earn his own.

“Knowing my dad played on that team, there's a significance for me in playing this game,” Tucker said. “This is part of my father's heritage, and I'm going to get to take part in that and have a chance at winning a state title.”

Tucker already has a special place in the Yarbrough family football history. Between Darren, his three sons, Darren's brother and his son, the family has played 33 seasons of Blanchard football, and Tucker was the first in the family to score a touchdown when he returned an opponent's onside kick attempt 52 yards earlier this season.

“That was a big deal,” Darren said with a laugh.

Tucker's duties on the offensive line are much different from his father's were, considering the 1979 team ran the wishbone, and the current Lions average about 22 pass attempts per game in the spread.

“These guys have completed more passes in the last two ballgames than we did all year,” Darren said. “We tease Coach (Jeff) Craig that we wish he'd line up in the wishbone and run the ball more.

“But I guess if they keep having success, I wouldn't care if they ran the Wing-T, I'd be for it.”

Earlier this year, Craig showed his team a documentary-style video that was made about five years ago by some of the 1979 players, reliving their glory days as state champs.


by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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