A year ago the Elk City Elks won District 4A-1 for the first time since the State Championship season of 1998. Clinton finished second. Weatherford found themselves in third. Chickasha nabbed the 4th and final playoff spot. Most of the preseason prognostications put the three I-40 rivals in the top three slots in a variety of different orders. What if anything has changed through the Non-District schedule? I’ll try to sift through the early season results to predict how the District title race will shake out.
Let’s start with the preseason assumption that there are two tiers within 4A-1. Clinton, Weatherford, and Elk City appeared to be the cream of the crop in this district. Cache, Chickasha, Woodward, and John Marshall were all battling to join those three in the upper echelon of 4A-1 while battling each other for the 4th and final playoff slot. I don’t think anything happened in Non-District play that changed that assumption.
That leaves two questions left to be answered in this district. The first is who’s the best of the rest. John Marshall and Woodward haven’t shown any signs they will be serious contenders in the race for 4th. The only district win last season for either of the two was the Bears defeating the Boomers. Expect the same thing to happen this season.
6. John Marshall
The next group of teams I expect to battle for the 4th spot and maybe be in position to pull an upset and move up the standings. Chickasha rolled into Elk City a year ago 3-0 in 4A-1 in a battle for the top spot in the district. The Chicks then lost two in a row but salvaged a playoff spot by knocking off Cache 34-28 in Week 10. Cache earned two district wins and came up a TD short of a playoff berth. We could very well see de ja vu with these two this season. They play Week 10 in Chickasha.
The Cream of the Crop in 4A-1 are the three I-40 rivals. Elk City was able to beat both Clinton and Weatherford a year ago, but it wasn’t easy in either game. This year’s versions of these teams all seem to be searching to find the best versions of themselves. They all challenged themselves immensely in the Non-District, and their respective records show they weren’t quite up to the task. None of the three get both the others at home (Elk City’s @ Clinton; Clinton’s @ Weatherford; Weatherford’s @ Elk City). I think Weatherford’s the most talented. Clinton’s got the tradition of winning on their side. Elk City’s the defending champion. If you gave me all three names in a hat and let me blind draw one of them to win the District, I’d be happy with any of the three. Unfortunately that’s not what anyone wants to read.
District Champ: Elk City
PS: This might very well be a homer pick, but I haven’t seen enough from anyone else in the district to warrant a pick to dethrone the Elks.