Trivial pursuits: Knocking off defending prep champions will be tough

by Scott Wright Published: August 25, 2013
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photo - Clockwise from top: Clinton’s Grant Lee, Oklahoma Christian School’s Cameron James, Jenks’ Trent Taber, Carl Albert’s Robert Lolofie and Blanchard’s Braden Stringer are all chasing another gold ball. 
PHOTOS BY NATE BILLINGS, SARAH PHIPPS, CHRIS LANDSBERGER AND BRYAN TERRY, THE OKLAHOMAN; illustration by Hayley Riggs McGhee
Clockwise from top: Clinton’s Grant Lee, Oklahoma Christian School’s Cameron James, Jenks’ Trent Taber, Carl Albert’s Robert Lolofie and Blanchard’s Braden Stringer are all chasing another gold ball. PHOTOS BY NATE BILLINGS, SARAH PHIPPS, CHRIS LANDSBERGER AND BRYAN TERRY, THE OKLAHOMAN; illustration by Hayley Riggs McGhee

Flipping through the lists of preseason rankings that coaches from across the state have sent to our office, it was overwhelming to see how many of them ranked the defending champion in their class as the preseason favorite once again.

A lot of coaches do that every year, just out of respect for the titleholder. But the numbers relayed a higher level of expectation for last year's champions.

It almost feels as though trying to take down the defending champions in several classes is a trivial pursuit.

Knocking Jenks and Tulsa Union off their pedestal in Class 6A certainly falls into that category, as the powerhouse pair look to extend their streak of consecutive titles to 18.

Carl Albert returns a core group of players who were vital to last year's turnaround to win 5A, led by one of the state's top playmakers, quarterback Stevie Thompson.

In Class 4A, Clinton has most of its stout defense back, along with a 2,000-yard rusher in Marquiz Simpkins. Only a junior, Simpkins' Division I interest is already picking up, with a scholarship offer from Tulsa on the table.

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by Scott Wright
Reporter
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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