Before the Selmon brothers were crushing halfbacks in Eufaula and the Gundy brothers were throwing touchdown passes in Midwest City, the Speegle brothers were dazzling fans at Capitol Hill in the 1930s.
The Speegles were Oklahoma City's most famous athletic family, said Ray Soldan, former Oklahoma sports writer and high school historian.
Sons of a dairy farmer, the Speegle brothers were C.B. II, Clifton, and Wayne, who all played football and basketball in 1930s and 1940s at the southwest Oklahoma City high school.
Their dad, C.B. Speegle, owned a dairy farm in on the edge of town when C.B. II and Clifton were going to Capitol Hill. He later bought an operated a motel on 44th and S. Robinson.
“I am sure my grandfather probably would have been a good athlete, too, but I don't think he had anything to do with sports, as far as I know,” said Mike Speegle, son of C.B. II. “He grew up in that time when everybody had to work.”
Speegle's sons, however, excelled in multiple sports. C.B. II was the oldest, graduating from Capitol Hill in 1933 and going on to play at Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma), where he was all-conference in both football and basketball.
Clifton, the middle son, also starred in both football and basketball for the Redskins. He was named to The Oklahoman's All-State team in both sports in 1935 and also was a member the newspaper's all-decade team for the 1930s.
In observance of the 100th edition of The Oklahoman All-State football team, which will be announced in late December, we're recognizing the previous 99 teams and catching up with some of the most notable All-Staters.
“My Uncle Cliff was probably the best athlete (of the brothers),” said Mike Speegle, 69, who lives in Oklahoma City. “I hate to say that against my dad.”
In Capitol Hill's biggest game of the season in 1935 against its city rivals, the Central Cardinals, The Oklahoman reported that the Redskins had a “sprightly youngster” named Clifton Speegle who “played a whale of a ballgame.”
Clifton Speegle was the biggest reason Capitol Hill defeated Central, 6-0, that night, according to the newspaper.
“I think he was very good on defense,” said Max Speegle, 67, Clifton Speegle's son who lives in Edmond. “He told me one time they called him bird-dog because he could always find the ball.”
On offense, Clifton Speegle played both end and center and often would practice snapping the football through a tire hanging from a tree.
He was an agile lineman who was very valuable in the single wing offenses of the time period.
After high school, Clifton Speegle played collegiately at the University of Oklahoma. He was named an all-Big Six center at OU and played on the Sooners' first Orange Bowl team in 1939.
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100 years of Oklahoman All-State football teams
Over the next four weeks, The Oklahoman will look back on the previous 99 years of Oklahoman All-State football teams, leading up to the unveiling of the 100th All-State team on Dec. 23. Each Sunday and Wednesday until then, we'll take a look back at a team from each decade. The second installment of the series looks at the fives — 1915, 1925, 1935, etc. On Wednesday, we'll look back at the sixes.