EDMOND — Luke Frankfurt still wonders what it really feels like to celebrate at Boone Pickens Stadium and raise a gold ball with his teammates.
The Oklahoma Christian School junior never did that last season, when the Saints won the Class 2A state championship. Instead, he was at Stillwater Medical Center being examined after suffering what was determined to be a stinger early in the fourth quarter while anxiously hoping for good news from the stadium.
The good news later arrived in the form of his teammates invading the hospital with the gold ball, until they were kicked out by the nursing staff.
“We said we're just going to go a couple at a time back there, and I think after we had about 20 people back there (the nurse) finally said, ‘You guys gotta go,' and she threw us out of the hospital,” OCS coach Derek Turner said while laughing.
Frankfurt had rushed for 70 yards that night, 55 of which came in the second half. But when he was hit in the fourth quarter and his right side went numb, things changed.
After a few minutes on the turf, Frankfurt thought he was OK and able to walk off.
Then they cut his jersey off, essentially ending that idea.
“It was just disappointing all the hard work and not getting to be there at the end, but we won and so I was happy for everyone,” he said. “I didn't want to leave the game, but I was forced to. So that was the biggest disappointment.”
Amazingly, Frankfurt was on the basketball court for the Saints less than a week later.
Turner said if they wouldn't have cut the jersey off, Frankfurt is so determined that he would have been back on the field.
“I get nervous for sure,” Frankfurt said about sitting on the sidelines. “It makes me uncomfortable because I've never really sat out much.”
This season — if all goes well — Frankfurt won't have to sit much.
He returns as the Saints' leading rusher and tackler, and perhaps the key cog in the offensive mix.
“You're always going to have kids that are talented and can play, and he's one of those and he's kind of the backbone of what you do,” Turner said.
And if things really go well, Frankfurt might get that chance to raise a gold ball at Boone Pickens Stadium.
“I want a chance just to be on the field getting the gold ball,” he said. “Through this offseason I've been thinking about that a lot. It's just motivation to get there.”