Our series on 100 Years of Oklahoman All-State teams came to life last week.
It happened in a very vivid, tangible and unexpected way.
Producing the series was gratifying for us as writers, and generated lots of fun and appreciative feedback from readers, for which we're thankful.
We received a wide variety of interesting stories and photos, like the pictures of the 1964 All-State game program, which Mark House of Mustang purchased at a garage sale a few years back.
The series prompted Forrest Bivens to dig out the scrapbook his mother kept for him during his senior season at Moore in 1972 when his teammate Paul Sturdivant was an All-State selection. Bivens still had the newspaper with the 1972 team listed, along with plenty of fascinating stories about the players on it.
Moments like that happened all over, with each new list of past All-State teams that we published — some of the stories we heard about, while most of them were shared in small-town doughnut shops or through a quick text message reminding someone of that cool thing that happened way back when.
But the 100 Years of All-State package really came to life for us last Monday in our office, when Vian football coach Brandon Tyler pulled a small memento out of his pocket.
It was a 1943 Oklahoman All-State ring. Not a big, shiny one like the Oklahoma Coaches Association gives its All-Staters these days.