High school football: Taking a look at the incumbents and the challengers
From now until early December, more than 300 teams will go on a quest for eight championships. Unlike politics, though, these campaigns will be won or lost only on their merits.
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Challengers: Lawton MacArthur and Tulsa East Central
Both have explosive players — MacArthur running back Darius Graham and Tulsa East Central defensive back Stanvon Taylor.
They just need to break through.
Lawton Mac has been a regular late in the playoffs but has yet to win a title. East Central hasn't won one since 2005 and has a first-year coach in former Jenks star Bobby Klinck.
Gone is Kevin Peterson, but the Bulldogs still have plenty left in the tank after breaking through for their first title last year.
But look for Class 4A to be one of the most competitive classes as the top teams figure to be very close to each other.
Challengers: Clinton and Douglass
Douglass pulled off the “July surprise” when Lawton defensive end D.J. Ward moved in to play with the Trojans late in the summer.
Will it be enough though?
Defensive end wasn't exactly a weak point for Douglass, though Ward could also play a strong role in the offense.
Clinton, as always, will have a shot at a title as it returns a strong core, and Cascia Hall could challenge as well as it moves up from 3A.
Challengers: Kingfisher, Tuttle and Berryhill
Last year's winner (Anadarko) and runner-up (Cascia Hall) both bump up to 4A, while Heritage Hall replaces virtually all of its offensive starters and most of its starters on defense.
That leaves this trio — each of which won a title in the class from 2003-05 — as the most likely to finish ahead of the pack on the second Saturday in December.
For more from Ryan Aber, visit http://blog.newsok.com/highschoolsports
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