ANADARKO, Oklahoma – The Anadarko Warriors will play to win their first ever Gold Ball in the 3A state championship Friday, a goal that has been years in the making.
"We've been talking about this one since eighth grade," record-setting running back Sheldon Wilson said. "We thought we was the best team, we knew we was the best team; it feels good to make it to the state championship."
While just making it to the state title game is a significant accomplishment, the Warriors have no intention on staying content with that.
"We talked about that the very first meeting we had; that we're here to win a state championship" head coach Kent Jackson said. "We're not here to get to Stillwater or to play for a state championship. These guys want to win it."
Standing in Anadarko's way will be Cascia Hall, which has won a total of five state championships. Two of those wins came in back-to-back seasons in 2008 and 2009. The Commandos will be trying to become the first team in 16 years to win three out of four 3A championships.
"Tradition-wise, they know what it's all about" quarterback Tyler Melton said. "They've been to plenty of state championships; in their last 68 games, they're 66-2 and so they know what it's like."
The showdown between Anadarko and Cascia Hall will feature electric offense against stingy defense. The Warriors are averaging 50 points per game and have not been truly challenged all season, while Cascia Hall is coming off a game in which it held the lethal offense of Heritage Hall to just seven points.
"I think all year we believed and we know we're supposed to be where we're at" Wilson said. "We're playing confident right now, and we just want to go out there and get it done."