Lewis, Flanders Win Mr. Football Awards

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The best high school football talent in the State of Oklahoma, from all eight classes that compete in the sport, gathered at the Waterford Marriot in Oklahoma City on Thursday night to find out who would win the first ever State Farm Mr. Football Oklahoma awards.

There were eight quarter-finalists from both the large school classes (6A-3A) and the small school classes (2A-C). The nominees came from every high school football coach in the state and were voted on by the high school coaches, newspaper sports editors in Oklahoma, other media that cover high school football, and online by football fans in the state. When every precinct had spoken Midwest City running back Tim Flanders was named Mr. Football Oklahoma for the large schools and Dewar running back and linebacker Ronnell Lewis was awarded Mr. Football Oklahoma for the small schools.

Flanders led Midwest City to an unbeaten record through the regular season and into the playoffs until a semi-final loss to Tulsa Union. The 5-10, 185 pound Flanders carries 193 times for 2,132-yards and 38 touchdowns. he also made 85 tackles from his safety postion in the secondary. Flanders, who has committed verbally to join his older brother John at the University of Tulsa, also was a lightning rod for the Bombers on special teams with his kickoff and punt returns. He is coached by Steve Huff at Midwest City.

Flanders won out over a talented group of players that included Norman North running back Beau Blankenship, Checotah quarterback Chris Carr, Sand Springs quarterback Johnny Deaton, Guthrie wide receiver Donte Foster, Jenks cornerback Gabe Lynn, Carl Albert running back David Oku, and Mustang quarterback Kyle Webster.

Blankenship, who is bound for Iowa State in college, used his bowling ball stature and great speed to rush for 1,218-yards and 16 touchdowns in an injury plagued senior season after rushing for 2,200-yards and 26 touchdowns as a junior. Carr overcame serious injuries that kept him out of football his junior season to rush for 1,433-yards and 27 touchdowns this fall. Deaton will no doubt be back next season. The only junior among all the quarter-finalists, he passed for 1,617-yards, ran for 1,587-yards, and accounted for 29 touchdowns. Donte Foster is a two-sport athlete that has led Guthrie to state championships in both football and basketball. He hit the game winning shot to win the 5A hoops championship last spring and this fall made spectacular catches and 51 receptions overall for 938-yards and 16 touchdowns. Gabe Lynn, who earlier in the day committed verball to Oklahoma, had 43 tackles and was a lock down corner for 6A runner-up Jenks. David Oku rushed for 1,759-yards and 25 touchdowns at Midwest City Carl Albert and is committed to Tennessee for college. Mustang quarterback Kyle Webster overcame an appendectomy in season to lead the Broncos to a 12-0 mark before losing in the semifinals of Class 6A to Jenks. Webster passed for nearly 2,000-yards and 18 touchdowns while rushing for over 500-yards.

Lewis was an early commitment last spring to the Oklahoma Sooners and then did not disappoint this fall as he rushed for 2,219-yards and a whopping 37 touchdowns. On defense, where he is slated to play in college he had 156 tackles.

Like Flanders, Lewis edged out a spectacular group of players that included a pair of state champions in Class 2A. Turner Peterson was a "do everything" player for head coach Andy Bogert at Heritage Hall. Peterson led the Chargers to the Class 2A crown with 1,010-yards passing and 1,245-yards rushing and a combined 35 touchdowns. He also had 81 tackles playing safety, averaged 40-yards per punt, and returned several punts for touchdowns. Peterson has offers from Tulsa, Rice, Navy, and Air Force. His teammate linebacker Graham King may play harder than any player in the state and finished with 112 tackles to show for it.

Other small school candidates included offensive and defensive lineman Grant Couch of Davis and Chandler quarterback Jack Gray, who had 1,579-yards passing, 859-yards rushing, and 36 touchdowns in leading the Lions to the Class 2A title game against Heritage Hall. Like the large school candidates, the small school list included some players that overcame adversity. Hennessey running back Augie McCulley finsihed the season with a fractured elbow, a broken arm, and two broken ribs. In his last game the coach took his helmet away from him and fans could hear his screams on the sideline, not from pain, but because he wanted his helmet back to go in. McCulley rushed for 2,455-yards and 36 touchdowns on offense and 128 tackles on defense. Ethan Sharp of Eufala passed for 3,749-yards and 43 touchdowns to deservedly make the list and Cory Tallent of Bridge Creek had 135 tackles and 5 touchdowns playing linebacker.

It was a talented group of 16 players that rate as high on the character scale according to their coaches as they do on the rushing, passing, scoring, and tackling charts. This is just the first year for the award but Flanders, Lewis, and players they won their awards over in the voting have set a very high standard for Mr. Football Oklahoma award winners in the future.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories