The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


December 5, 2012

Sad state of 6A earns OSSAA’s seal of approval

ENID, Okla. — Faced with an opportunity to make a daring play Wednesday to bring a semblance of equality and fairness into Class 6A high school football, the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association (OSSAA) chose instead to punt, essentially pinning Enid, and nearly every other 6A school, deep in its own territory without much hope for advancing.

Following last month’s OSSAA board meeting, there appeared to have finally been a solution put on the table for the longstanding imbalance in 6A that has seen Tulsa Union or Jenks win every 6A football championship for the past 17 years, including this year’s 55-20 destruction of Norman North by Jenks in the title tilt.

The proposal would have split the 32 teams in 6A into two divisions of 16 for playoff purposes, creating a Class 7A for the largest 16 schools, while the remaining 16 schools (which would have included Enid) would retain 6A status. Enid last won a championship in 1983 and lost to Jenks in the 2006 title game.

It was a proposal that would have placed the so-called “Big Four” of Union, Jenks, Owasso and Broken Arrow in 7A along with 12 Oklahoma City area schools.

How big is the disparity in 6A? The largest school, Broken Arrow, has an enrollment of 4,586 students, while the smallest, Tulsa Washington, has 1,287. That’s a chasm of disparity. Enid sits at 1,678, which under the defeated proposal would have made it the third-largest school in a reconstituted 6A behind Lawton and Bartlesville.

Technically, the proposal is not dead, but it is clinging to life support after the board sent it into limbo, first by shutting the door on sending the proposal for a vote of its membership, and then dispatching it back to its originating Constitution and Rules Review Committee for further review and discussion, where it is more likely to languish and die than be revived. OSSAA associate director nearly confirmed as much by stating there was no specific timetable for that committee to reconvene.

Tulsa area schools put on a full-court press lobbying effort to kill the proposal, offering no real substantive reasons to block the proposal other than it would infringe on their monopoly.

“We’re not saying the recommendation isn’t valid,” said Union athletic director Emily Warren, who wrote a letter to the OSSAA board. Warren told the Tulsa World “our fear is that at Wednesday’s board meeting, they’re going to send it out for a vote.” Heaven forbid.

Jenks’ athletic director Tony Dillingham told the Tulsa World he didn’t want the board to jump into a vote ... “because we don’t feel it’s been researched enough.”

Seventeen straight titles should provide all the research needed as well as a clear indicator of the real motivations of Warren and Dillingham.

Just earlier this week, OSSAA Executive Director Ed Sheakley gave reason for optimism for the proposal when he indicated he felt it was “the best plan” going forward.

But in the end, the Tulsa power brokers won out and it appears OSSAA dutifully backed down.

So, the message is clear for future 6A football players in areas like Enid: Go ahead young man, suit up and play your heart out and leave it all on the field every Friday.

And leave those championship aspirations at home.

Ruthenberg is sports editor at the News & Eagle. Contact him at

Text Only
  • Radio-TV for 7-29-14

    July 28, 2014

  • Judge OKs sale of Clippers

    A judge ruled against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling on Monday in his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

    July 28, 2014

  • OU logo color.jpg Probe continues into incident involving Sooner RB Joe Mixon

    Norman Police are still investigating the alleged assault in which Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon is a suspect.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bradford Bradford: Yet another make or break season

    The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s supposedly at a career crossroads.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • celebration picture.jpeg DBAT Gallegos headed to Connie Mack World Series

    DBAT Gallegos, who has been battling adversity all season (lost five players through injuries) took advantage of their opportunities in beating Metroplex rival Dallas Mustangs, 3-0 Sunday in the finals of the Connie South Plains Regional.
    The victory put the DBAT (34-7) into the Connie Mack World Series, which begins Friday at Farmington, N.M.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meadowlake retains Enid Ryder Cup

    Jay Betchan might have a statement a week before he tries to defend his Wheat Capital championship next week.
    Betchan completed a perfect 3-0 record for Meadowlake with a 6-and-4 win over John Petersen as the Municipal Course took the Enid Ryder Cup for the fourth straight year, 131⁄2-101⁄2 overall.
    The two teams split six singles matches Sunday at Oakwood in the final day of the three-day competition.

    July 27, 2014

  • Bruce Campbell mug use me Allie Reynolds belongs in Hall of Fame

    It was with a twinge of sadness watching the Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony on Sunday, knowing Oklahoma’s Allie Reynolds still is not in the Hall of Fame and there’s a good chance he won’t be in.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • DezPhoto.jpeg Bryant showing maurity as leader of Dallas receivers

    Dez Bryant is going into the final season of his rookie contract with the potential of a big pay day looming. And his answers on that topic sound more like a leader than the troubled rookie who didn’t pay his jewelry bills four years ago.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hall of Fame Photo.jeg Hall ceremony emotion for six inductees

    Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy.
    Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats.
    Thomas, pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, and managers Bobby Cox, Torre and La Russa were inducted into the baseball shrine Sunday, and all paid special tribute to their families before an adoring crowd of nearly 50,000.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gordon nails restart to win Brickyard 400

     With a fifth Brickyard 400 victory on the line Sunday, Jeff Gordon looked like the driver he was 20 years ago.
    Gordon nailed the final restart of the race — no given because restarts have been Gordon’s Achilles heel — to pass Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne with 17 laps remaining at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    July 27, 2014

Click here for NASCAR headlines
Sports Photos

Enid News & Eagle sports photos from the month of February 2014. Enjoy all the ENE photos with full access at