The last, and only, time a member of Edmond Public Schools won a high school football state championship, there was only one high school.
Edmond Santa Fe has a chance to repeat Edmond Memorial’s 1989 achievement when the Wolves face Jenks in the 6A-I championship at Central Oklahoma’s Wantland Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma Christian School continues its bid for an undefeated season. The Saints will play at Eufaula in a 2A quarterfinal game Friday night.
Santa Fe (10-2) lost its first two games against Owasso and Stillwater, but the Wolves have won 10-straight to reach their second title game.
Jenks (10-1) defeated Santa Fe in the Wolves’ 2003 title game appearance, but Santa Fe now gets another shot at the Trojans.
Except for the seniors and older juniors, many of the Wolves’ players were not yet born the last time Santa Fe played in this game, highlighting how historic this Santa Fe team is. Coach Kyle White says the players must approach this like any other game and not get caught up in the moment.
“There’s nothing that’s going to happen between 1 (o’clock) and 4 that doesn’t happen every time we play a football game, whether it’s Friday night or Saturday or Monday or whatever the day is,” White said. “I think you have to approach it that way. I think they’ll put enough pressure on themselves, so as a coaching staff, we gotta be loose. We gotta have fun with them and don’t make the moment any bigger than it is.”
This Jenks team has the rare distinction of winning every district game it played but not winning the district. The scheduled regular season game between Jenks and Santa Fe was canceled due to COVID-19, allowing both to finish undefeated. Santa Fe finished with one more win and thus won the district.
Now, the two will get their matchup to determine both district and state supremacy.
White said Santa Fe is excited to face the Trojans.
“I love playing Jenks,” White said. “I think, in my opinion, we have a healthy rivalry. They may not look at it as a rivalry, but in my opinion, it’s a rivalry. Just because I think we respect each other and they’re typically good games and they’re physical football games. They’re coached well, (and) they do things right.”
Elsewhere, OCS (10-0) will hit the road for the first time in the playoffs after two home wins.
Eufaula (9-2) began the year with losses to Vian and 3A Stigler but rebounded to win nine-straight and claim the 2A-6 district title.
OCS coach Brooks Stephenson said Eufaula is a similar team to Community Christian, the team OCS beat last Friday. The Ironheads like to run the ball with a spread offense.
This will be the first road game OCS has played since Oct. 23 at Perry. Stephenson said the Saints have played well on the road, though, and have had several long trips this year like this one.
“I think the thing that’s good for us this week is, with us having Chisholm and Alva and Blackwell in our district, we had the opportunity to travel quite a bit early on in the season,” Stephenson said. “While some teams might look at a two-hour drive out to Eufaula and some of the hurdles that you have to drive through there, it’s just an opportunity for us and something that I think our boys do a really good job of handling from a mental standpoint.”
If OCS wins, the Saints will reach the semifinals for the first time since 2014.