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High schools: Coach Gary Rose calls it Carl Albert's 'most special season'

The Titans were once 1-5 — then won the final eight games to bring home the football power's 11th state championship trophy
by Scott Wright Published: December 2, 2012
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photo - Carl Albert's Kyler Weaver (55) and Bryan Williams (55) celebrate with the trophy during the Class 5A Oklahoma state championship football game between Carl Albert High School and Tulsa East Central High School at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Stillwater, Okla.   Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Carl Albert's Kyler Weaver (55) and Bryan Williams (55) celebrate with the trophy during the Class 5A Oklahoma state championship football game between Carl Albert High School and Tulsa East Central High School at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Stillwater, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

STILLWATER — Carl Albert coach Gary Rose has had 10 teams play for state championships. Won nine of them. The Titans have 184 victories under Rose, with just 48 losses.

But standing at midfield at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday night, his back soaked from the celebratory water jug shower, he didn't hold back as he described just how incredible his team's 2012 football season had been.

The Titans started 1-5, then turned it around to win the final eight games, culminating with Saturday's 24-8 win over No. 1-ranked Tulsa East Central in the Class 5A state championship game. And they did it while watching their defensive coordinator, Mike Corley, grow weak as he fought cancer, then grow stronger as he defeated it.

“This is the most special win and the most special season in all my years of coaching, and that's nine state championships and a runner-up,” Rose said. “We've had some great groups of kids, some great coaches on my staff. But this is the most unbelievable thing, to see this happen in the last four weeks to our kids and our coaches.

“I'm stunned, I'm amazed. I'm thankful to God, for what he has done for our kids and our coaches, and especially for Mike, because he's healthy. He's healthy, and we've got a gold ball. That's the most unbelievable thing I can imagine.”

Only two other teams in the state's history have achieved anything similar to what Carl Albert accomplished in coming back from a 1-5 start to win a title.

In 1986, Tulsa Central started 0-5, then won nine straight games to take the 4A crown. And in 1988, Wynnewood was 1-6 before winning the last eight to claim the 2A championship.

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by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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