Deer Creek football coaches and players work with the Optimist League even though it is not directly associated with the school.
“That's how you do it,” Gower said. “That's how your successful programs are.”
And the Deer Creek student population increases every year, meaning there is a larger pool of athletic talent each year for coaches to choose from.
Deer Creek High School had 248 seniors graduate last year, but the school received 330 new freshmen this year, Gower said.
Deer Creek is now the 42nd largest school in the state, No. 10 in Class 5A, and probably will be reassigned to 6A in three years at the current rate.
The Antlers already have been participating in summer team camps and 7-on-7 leagues with 6A schools to get ready for the move.
Deer Creek scheduled a two-game series with Class 6A Edmond Memorial this season, and Gower said some Antler boosters were wondering why?
“In just a few years, that probably will be a district game for us,” he told them.
Perhaps Deer Creek one day will become the state's west side version of Jenks.
“That would be a number of years down the road, but hopefully, that's where it's heading,” Gower said.