1915 team “below standards”
Halfbacks were plentiful but ends and guard were below standards of other seasons, The Oklahoman's headline proclaimed about the 1915 All-State team.
The roster did, however, contain the “best high school center ever turned out in the state” in Leo Wallace of Oklahoma City, The Oklahoman claimed.
Fullback “Skinny” Davis of Norman “stands in a class by himself” while All-State quarterback Thomas Mitcher of Oklahoma City was “not so speedy as some, but he is good at advancing the ball, runs good interference, can kick, is great at tackling and above all he is a good strategist,” the newspaper reported.
Setting it Straight, 87 years later
Headlining the 1925 All-State roster was Jack Carmen of Bristow, an end, and Harvey Sark of Bartlesville, a tackle. The Oklahoman's headline proclaimed that the two players “Rate With Best Highschool Stars Ever Turned Out In Oklahoma.”
Unfortunately, the headline misspelled Sark's name as Lark.
1945 team was big, fast and tall
The Oklahoman reported that the 44 players on the 1945 All-State football team were “bigger and faster and taller” than ever.
The group was led by Muskogee's Joe Crowder, “the fastest pass receiver in District 6A and a defensive demon,” The Oklahoman reported.
Seminole's Richard Simmons was “a 6-8 giant who weighs 269 pounds” while Henryetta's Clifford Van Meter was “the most sought after high school back in the state,” according to the newspaper.
1955 All-State team had a glaring omission
The 1955 All-State team might be remember more for who didn't make the team. The Oklahoman's Ray Soldan reported there was “a brilliant fullback” from Oklahoma City Douglass who deserved to be on the team: Prentice Gautt.
The man who would become the University of Oklahoma's first black player was not eligible for the All-State team because Douglass was not a member of the Oklahoma High School Athletic Association, a requirement of the Oklahoma Coaches Association, co-sponsors of the All-State team.
However, after All-State practices began, several players got hurt and Gautt was asked to play, becoming the first black player in the All-State game. He was named the most valuable player in the game.
1965: Owens didn't have to share the Heisman at least
The 1965 All-State football team had a future Heisman Trophy winner: Steve Owens.
“Owens did everything for Miami and has for three seasons,” The Oklahoman reported.
The All-State roster also had another future Oklahoma star, Ken Mendenhall of Enid, who was a center for the Sooners.
Mendenhall was the lineman of the year in 1965, but the future Heisman Trophy winner had to share “Back of the Year” honors with Rick Baldridge of Lawton.
Both running backs “are equal in the eyes of college talent scouts,” The Oklahoman reported.
Baldridge rushed for 1,424 yards for Lawton that season. Owens rushed for 948 yards for Miami and caught 23 passes for 380 yards.
1975: J.C. over Leroy?
Eufaula football coach Paul Bell called J.C. Watts “the greatest football player at his position that I have been around.”
Bell also called Watts, who headlined the 1975 All-State team and led Oklahoma to two Orange Bowl victories, “one of the greatest high school players I have ever seen.”
Bell, who also coached the Selmon brothers at Eufaula, was asked by The Oklahoman to compare them to Watts.
“If I had to pick one, I'd have to go with J.C. because he can score,” Bell said.
Gundy headlines 1985 All-State team
The 1985 All-State football team had a plethora of quarterbacks, but only one could be named the All-State quarterback.
Mike Gundy of Midwest City was The Oklahoman's choice at quarterback and for “Back of the Year.”
The future Oklahoma State football star and its current head coach passed for 2,392 yards that season in leading the Bombers to the 5A state championship.
Two other quarterbacks were named to the All-State team but as defensive backs: Charles Thompson of Lawton and Quinn Grovey of Duncan.
Thompson would go to Oklahoma to play quarterback while Grovey went to Arkansas.
Ada signal caller was 1995's top QB
Quarterbacking the 1995 All-State football team was Brandon Daniels of Ada, who later starred at the University of Oklahoma.
Daniels, an option quarterback, was only the second quarterback in state history to direct his squad to three state championships in 11-man football.
Despite missing five games that season with an ankle injury, Daniels rushed for 1,057 yards and 18 touchdowns.
College stars on 2005 team
The 2005 All-State first-team contained three players who would have productive careers at the University of Oklahoma: wide receiver Jermaine Gresham of Ardmore, defensive back Dominque Franks of Tulsa Union and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma City Southeast, who was The Oklahoman's “Defensive Player of the Year.”
The Sooners also found a pretty good quarterback on the second team All-State, future Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford of Putnam City North. Matt Edmonds of Mustang was first team quarterback and The Oklahoman's “Player of the Year.”
Other future Sooners from the 2005 second and third All-State teams included Mossis Madu of Norman and Austin Box of Enid.
OSU found a pretty good player, too. Junior Josh Cooper of Mustang was the All-State kick returner.