High school football: Once-dominant Ada seeing signs of revival
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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
“I think we're heading in the right direction,” Matt Weber said. “At Ada, it's not considered back to where it was until you win the gold ball.
“But I'm proud. The reason we're winning is because we have good football players. Coaching is way overrated. You've got to have good players to win 10 games.”
The Cougars will host Woodward Friday night to open the Class 4A playoffs, trying to add to their all-time win total of 760, which is one behind Clinton for the most in state history.
“Football is the heartbeat of our town,” Weber said. “The town is really excited, and the kids are working hard, so we're excited.”
With 19 state titles in all, Ada didn't win its first until 1951, the eighth year of the OSSAA's records. And the Cougars had a pair of five-year droughts — one in the 1970s and another in the '80s — that must've felt like decades at the time.
But there were periods in recent seasons when it seemed like Ada was slipping into a rut of mediocrity. Yet with the celebration of last week's district championship, it's clear that the fires of Ada football past still burn, even if the flames can't always be seen.
“When all these older guys who played in the '80s and in the '70s come up to you and tell you ‘Good job,' and that they're proud of you, it means a lot,” Robson said. “It means a lot to this school and this community.
“We hear from guys like that all the time nowadays. I think they're happy that it's getting back to what it used to be.”
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