High school football: Once-dominant Ada seeing signs of revival
ADA — It's been 16 years since Ada won a state football championship.
If you were talking about any other Oklahoma town, that sentence would bear little impact. It would hardly mean a thing.
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Fans pick Deer Creek's Sander as Player of the Week
With all the drama of Election Day and none of the standing in line to vote, Deer Creek's Caden Sander came out on top of the NewsOK Varsity Oklahoma City-area Football Player of the Week fan poll.
Sander had two crucial interceptions in the final nine minutes to help the Antlers seal a 25-12 win over McGuinness to earn the District 5A-2 championship.
Here are the final results:
Caden Sander, Deer Creek: 804 votes (40.7 pct.)
Jesse Gregory, Tuttle: 739 votes (37.4 pct.)
Holden Baker, Mount St. Mary: 276 votes (14.0 pct.)
John Jacobs, Shawnee: 116 votes (5.9 pct.)
Tre Edwards, Southmoore: 40 votes (2.0 pct.)
Total: 1,975 votes
In Ada, it resembles the longest state title drought in the program's history, dating back to when the OSSAA started recognizing champions in 1944.
That 16-year drought stretches back to the teams that won four straight from 1993-96, though it hasn't been all doom and gloom since then. There was a state finals appearance and an 11-win season along the way. But there have been a couple of five-win seasons as well, and in 2007, the Cougars missed the playoffs -- for the first time since 1982.
This year, however, the once-great program has sparked a renaissance of sorts. With a 26-21 win at Douglass last Friday, the Cougars capped a 10-0 season and won their first district championship since 2005, reviving emotions of Ada's glorious past.
“We know Ada's tradition, and we know it's our job to protect it,” senior Easton Pingleton said. “We're trying to do the best we can to get this program back to the top of the state again.”
The Cougars have been on the right track under coach Matt Weber, reaching the playoffs every year since he took over in 2008, and the return to Class 4A this season provided a boost as well.
Like Ada's legendary McBroom family of coaches, who kept the Ada football fire burning white-hot for decades, Weber comes from a well-respected coaching family.
His father, Joe Weber, guided Davis to a pair of state titles during a long run of success. And his brother is current Davis coach Jody Weber, who picked up where Joe left off, including a 10-0 regular season this year as well.
Matt is winning football games in a different style than Ada's past, with a no-huddle, spread offense that slings the ball all over the field.
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