Ask the Editor: Who is Your Big Surprise Team in 2023?

By Categories: Statewide
Last Updated: October 5, 20233 min read

Q – What football team has been a big surprise to you this season and why? I think everyone should start talking about Blanchard. They are 2-0 in district! Thanks Tommy J. – Blanchard Ok. 


The success of the Pirates is worthy of recognition. 

Probably not to the Pirate Nation, but due to Gore graduating 21 seniors and the transfer of its only returning starter as well as a coaching change from last year’s Class A state finalists, the success of the Gore Pirates has to be a surprise and worthy of a job well done accolade. Brandon Ellis returned to his alma mater as head coach and immediately began to tie up the loose ends and the winning culture of the football program empowering the 2023 Gore Pirates to maintain their winning ways. – Bill Huddleston


I have been impressed with the Idabel Warriors. They are 4-0 on the season. With standouts like WR Matrail Lopez, MLB Beau Ritchie and Senior QB Waylon Phillips, I think they have a chance to make a deep run in the playoffs. – Payton Moody


Where do I start? Tommy brings up Blanchard, and I would agree, but for me I see several teams who are raising eyebrows and turning heads, starting with McLain. What coach Willie Ponder is doing with these boys is special. They were 6-5 last season and are off to a 4-1 start and 2-0 in district. The Titans defense is tough and relentless. So, I say…remember the Titans! – Brad Heath


The 2020 and 2021 seasons were the last for the Elgin Owls in Class 4A District 1. Elgin went 0-8 in ’20 and 4-6 in ’21 missing the playoffs both seasons with a bump up to Class 5A on the horizon for the 2022 season. What seemed like an impossible challenge has turned into a program rejuvenation. The Owls made the playoffs a year ago en route to an 8-3 record. So far this year Elgin has been dominant to the tune of 5-0 and outscoring their 5 opponents by a combined total of 269-41 (54-8). I think some thought Elgin to be a playoff team in 2023, but I don’t know how many considered them to be a true contender for the 5A Title. Through the first 5 games, it certainly appears Elgin is just that. – Aaron Kauk


I believe the Claremore Zebras have been one of the biggest surprises this season. With a current record of 5-0, they’ve almost matched last seasons win total of 6. Going on a streak of three years without a winning season, I don’t think anyone expected them to be as good as they are. – Chance Burk


MacArthur Highlanders are 5-0 and ahead of schedule. They should go to 6-0 this week and then travel to Midwest City. Every game they have scored 20 plus points and was a field goal away from saying they have scored 30 or more points in a game. If they get past Midwest City and Elgin (who is another team to potentially be a surprise team unless you watched them last year) than they should win the district title for 2023. – Andy Morphew


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