ENID, Okla. —
It’s been a while, but Chisholm football, sitting third in 2A-1 and a win away from clinching its first playoff berth since 2002, has been here before.
The problem’s been staying.
Only three times in the team’s history have the Longhorns strung together consecutive winning seasons, topping out at six straight from 1987-92 and five in a row from 1971-75. Otherwise, each time Chisholm finished over even, they were never more than a season away from falling back to .500 or below, the darkest of ages being the one the Longhorns are on the tail end of right now: One 6-5 season (2002) surrounded by 14 of non-winning years, 40-105 altogether, and an average of 2.9 wins a season.
So is this season the vanguard of a gridiron renaissance at Chisholm, or just another blip?
Next season also should be another at least competitive one for the Longhorns, who will lose impact seniors Bryce Stewart, Turner Reed and Matt Wilson, and others, but are slated to retain at least 18 players with starting or rotation experience, among them junior QB Taggart Brown, receiver Austin Swann and tight end Karsten Brady.
After that, the Longhorns’ composition is much murkier, though far from hopeless.
Chisholm’s junior high season finished at 5-2, and the team’s summer weightlifting sessions drew a bumper crop -- even a share of non-mandated sixth graders joined the iron-pumping craze.
The trick to remaining competitive, coach Joey Reinart said, is to shore up what had historically been a dearth of athleticism entering the program by creating athletes early.
“A lot of the freshman here, they’ve been to the weightroom every summer,” said junior receiver Bryson Rolfe. “They’re just trying to get better. They want to be up there.”
“Those things have really started to pay off for the guys who bought into that,” Reinart said. “You’re seeing those older guys that did that now having a lot of success. And the younger guys, they bought in two years ago when they were in junior high. They’re in.”