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Oklahoman All-State football facts: The 1s

100 YEARS OF OKLAHOMAN ALL-STATE FOOTBALL TEAMS — The first Oklahoman All-State team was published on Dec. 7, 1913. As we count down until the 100th team, we take a look back at the teams from each year ending in the number 1.
by Scott Wright Published: December 15, 2012

1921: Arbuckle ‘a finished player'

Until he died in 2006 at 102 years old, Dale Arbuckle was the oldest surviving OU football player, and it's a good bet he was the oldest surviving Oklahoman All-Stater at the time, too.

Arbuckle was selected to the 1921 team as a halfback in a competitive year at the position, according to the newspaper, which said he was “a finished player, who has starred against the strongest teams in the state.”

1931: Skelton's second appearance

In 1931, just the 19th year of The Oklahoman's All-State selections, it was incredibly rare for a player to be selected twice, especially considering only 11 players were chosen each year.

But Shawnee's Ed Skelton was among the first “repeaters,” as he was called by sports editor Bus Ham, also referring to him as “the smashing tackle of the Shawnee Wolves.”

Skelton's name hasn't been forgotten in Shawnee. The Wolves still play baseball on Ed Skelton Field.

1941: Not Big Bob

No, that's not a misprint on the 1941 roster, and it's not the person you might be thinking of, either.

Norman's Bob Berry was one of the best backs in the state in 1941, but the more well-known Bob Barry was only 10 years old at the time. He came through Classen a few years later, before going on to his TV and radio career.

Berry was 18 when he was picked for the All-State team, which was in the middle of the pack that year. Among the 44 selected players, ages ranged from 16 to 20.

1951: Litchfield's lost career

Wynnewood tackle and 1951 All-Stater Wayne Litchfield might have had a brilliant career at Oklahoma. In fact, that's where he wanted to play college football.

But he chose SMU when the opportunity to go to OU didn't come.

After Litchfield played in the Oil Bowl following his senior season, OU coach Bud Wilkinson walked onto the field and extended the offer Litchfield had been hoping for.

But being a man of his word, Litchfield turned Wilkinson down, and enrolled at SMU.

Before his freshman season began, he was taking part in a photo shoot with the other players. As was common in those days, Litchfield was asked to lunge at the camera for an action photo.

He landed awkwardly on his shoulder, which he injured severely, and never played another down of football.

Still considered part of the SMU program, Litchfield lived in the Mustang dorms with the likes of Forrest Gregg, Doak Walker and Raymond Berry. He later graduated from the OU law school and raised a family in Oklahoma City. Litchfield lost his battle with multiple sclerosis this summer, when he died at age 78.

1961: Ringer did it all

Pauls Valley's Mike Ringer was named the 1961 Back of the Year, not only for what he did as a quarterback and linebacker.

As Ray Soldan wrote in The Oklahoman, “the 180-pounder possesses great speed, plus everything else demanded of a football player. Ringer scored 12 touchdowns, kicked 14 conversions in 16 tries, passed for four touchdowns, punted for a 37-yard average and was the team's kickoff man. He won the state Class A high hurdles as a sophomore and was second in both hurdles last year.”

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by Scott Wright
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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