High school football: Clinton honors 1967 team that was proclaimed high school national champions

Clinton honored the 1967 team, which was proclaimed by one publication as the best high school football team in the country. Thirteen players on that team played college football somewhere, including Roy Bell and Randy Kiesau, who died in the Wichita State plane crash.
by Ed Godfrey Published: October 19, 2012
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photo - Former University of Oklahoma great Roy Bell, center, and the rest of the 1967 state championship high school football team from Clinton is recognized Friday night at halftime of the Clinton-Elk City football game at the Tornado Bowl. Photo by Ed Godfrey, The Oklahoman
Former University of Oklahoma great Roy Bell, center, and the rest of the 1967 state championship high school football team from Clinton is recognized Friday night at halftime of the Clinton-Elk City football game at the Tornado Bowl. Photo by Ed Godfrey, The Oklahoman

CLINTON — Kenny Stringer was just 12 years old in 1967 when the Roy Bell-led Red Tornadoes were dominating opponents.

He idolized the players on that unbeaten and state championship team, a club that also was proclaimed by one national publication as the best high school football team in the country.

“I think everybody in Clinton did,” said Stringer, now the principal at Clinton High School. “They were the best around or you thought they were the best around. They were your heroes.”

Clinton honored that 1967 team at halftime of the Red Tornadoes' football game Friday night against Elk City.

It was Clinton's second state championship team. The Red Tornadoes won their first state title in football in 1965. Clinton now owns 15 state football championships.

“This is a special place and it is a special place because of all the groups that have come before,” current Clinton coach Mike Lee said.

The 1967 Clinton team went 10-0 in the regular season then walked through the playoffs, defeating Guymon, 53-0, then Lindsay, 35-7, and finally beating Broken Bow, 34-6, in the state championship game.

Bell, who went on to play at the University of Oklahoma and in the Canadian Football League, was a senior on that team and a high school All-American.

He rushed for more than 6,000 yards in his career at Clinton and twice led the state in scoring and rushing.

“It was phenomenal the success we had,” said then-Clinton coach Jim Frazier, who now lives in Cushing. “I was in the right place at the right time.”


by Ed Godfrey
Reporter Sr.
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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