CLINTON — Clinton senior Devon Mitchell has re-watched the moment over and over.
Every time, it's still as stressful as it was on the field in the closing seconds of last year's Class 4A state championship game, when the potential game-winning touchdown goes off the hands of an Anadarko receiver in the end zone of Boone Pickens Stadium.
“I've watched it about 30 times. I put my head in my hands and just hope he still drops it,” the defensive back said. “It was the most stressful thing I've ever been through.”
If the Red Tornadoes are going to win it again, Mitchell and his teammates are likely in for some more stressful situations. While Clinton looks like the obvious favorite on paper, there's a host of challengers each waiting for their shot — and they all know how to win.
Anadarko is strong again, after last year's runner-up finish and a 3A title the year before. Wagoner and Douglass have each won 4A in the last three years. Ada saw an immediate resurgence when it moved down from Class 5A last season.
And that doesn't even take into account other traditionally strong programs like Cascia Hall, Broken Bow, Weatherford and Glenpool that are not far behind, ready for a shot at the title.
“This is a really good class,” Clinton coach Mike Lee said. “It was good before, but when you brought Ada down from 5A, and Cascia Hall and Anadarko up from 3A last year, I think it made our class, from top to bottom, as tough as there was.