Three notable players from Oklahoma City Public Schools talk about their experiences and offer their opinions about high school football in the district:
GERALD McCOY"That’s the school I went to growing up, and I didn’t just want to change schools so I could win a game. That was my school, so I’m going to stick with my school. I have a lot of pride in any school I go to. "I don’t think Oklahoma City Public Schools get as much support as we should. I’m talking about the funding. We’re not as well funded as say an Ardmore would be or a Union. I don’t know why we’re not. "Southeast got rebuilt back in ’95, but compared to how they re-did Douglass and all these other schools, John Marshall ... maybe the funding thing is starting to change, but as far as my school goes, we haven’t rebuilt. "(The weight room renovation at Southeast) was Wes Welker coming in and doing something. It wasn’t the state or Oklahoma City doing that. Wes Welker came back and did that. That’s what I’m saying.” Gerald McCoy was USA Today’s national defensive player of the year as a senior at Southeast. Now, the Oklahoma junior is one of the best defensive tackles in college football.
ANTONIO SMITH"The thing that I remember most was the team, the guys you grew up playing ball with. Back then, the thing to do was play football. What I noticed over the years is that kids are not playing as much any more and they don’t want to make the sacrifice anymore to play. "There were a lot of barriers. I made a decision early in my mind that I was going to put it all into football. "I think what’s going to have to happen is for kids to open their eyes and look long term.” Antonio Smith was a first-team Big All-City honoree at John Marshall who became a standout defensive end at Oklahoma State. Last winter, he played in the Super Bowl with Arizona, and last spring, he signed a five-year, $35 million contract with Houston.