Does your team have healthy players?
Does your team have success despite a limited roster?
Does your team not start with the name Jenks or Tulsa Union?
Then your team must be the state champion of Class 3A, the class of wide-open state title races, teams with a lot of luck and players, who despite playing two ways, remain free of injury.
Because according to the state's top three Class 3A teams: parity, luck and injury-free players are what it takes to win a state title. And out of those three, luck plays the biggest part.
Seminole's Mike Snyder, Blanchard's Jeff Craig and Kingfisher's Jeff Myers, three of Class 3A's top football coaches, all spell it out the same way: Class 3A is a class of balance, which is what makes the class anyone's to win.
Any of the top 10 teams could make a run for that state trophy, they say. Heritage Hall and Victory Christian are on the rise behind young, gifted quarterbacks. Tuttle is solid as always under coach Phil Koons. Others like Berryhill and Cushing are loaded for a run, too.
Then there's still the chance of a sleeper team outside of the top 10.
Craig knows all too well about that. His team was the sleeper team last year, ranked No. 20 in The Oklahoman's preseason poll before going 13-1 and winning the state title.
“I don't think there's any doubt about that,” Craig said about his team's state title coming as a shock to most. “When we finished out as champions last year, there was not anybody outside of our little group who thought that would happen.”
Then there's the lack of depth on a roster. Most Class 3A teams carry about 60 kids. Compare that to the nearly 120 that big-school programs could carry and it makes Craig's point more clear: “You take one or two players off of a 3A football team and all of a sudden you may become average.”
Myers knows the problem, too. Some years he feels his team has depth in a position and others, “if you get past our No. 1 guy, we're trying to figure out how to cover up that person up a little bit.”
Then there's the third secret to success Snyder pointed out.
No major injuries.
“Most people who win championships will tell you that those key players need to stay healthy,” Snyder said.
Stir all that together into a pot and add in a big heaping of luck. That's the recipe to win a state title in Class 3A.