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August 27, 1996

Have you noticed how sanctimonious TV newsmen have become about smoking ever since cigarette commercials were banned on their airwaves? Listening to them, you'd think television had led the anti-nicotine crusade from the beginning. That's not the way most of us remember it. Check your back issues of Reader's Digest for proof.

Of course, there's almost nothing more self-righteous than a reformed cigarette smoker.

See where the Perry Maroons are consigned to last place in District 3A-1 in the annual pre-season poll conducted by The Daily Oklahoman. I'm not sure how accurate that prediction will prove to be, since the same newspaper still shows Ralph Baker as head coach at PHS. We need to let them know that Mickey Ripley is now the man here once again.

In case you missed the poll, Tuttle is favored to win the district 3A-1 championship, followed in order by Millwood, Chandler, Kingfisher, Jones, Bristow, Deer Creek and Perry. The paper also predicts Tuttle will finish the season in third place in 3A, Millwood will wind up No. 7 and Chandler will be No. 8. Vinita, no longer in our district, is expected to win state in 3A. Our Maroons open the season at home the night of Sept. 6 with Chisholm, a non-district foe.

Sticking with prep football for a few minutes, it also appears that Coach Dennis Casey has proved a point with his Cushing Tigers. Dennis, we all know, fashioned the super-successful program at Morrison. The Wildcats won seven consecutive state championships in eight-man football while running up a national record of 90 games without a loss. Coach Casey has moved on to 4A competition at Cushing, and his Tigers are pre-season favorites for No. 3 in that class, according to the Oklahoma City newspaper. Cushing will visit Perry the night of Sept. 13.

Morrison, now coached by Joe Sindelar, is rated No. 1 in eight man class B, according to a poll of coaches. The 'Cats begin their season at Waukomis the night of Sept. 6. The Billings Bulldogs of Coach Steve Kile are in district C-3. They open Sept. 6 at Shidler. Covington, where Jesse James is the coach, will travel to Cashion for the opener Sept. 6.

Another interesting feature in The Oklahoman's pre-season coverage is a chart listing coaches who have achieved 135 or more victories as an Oklahoma high school head coach. As you would expect, Hump Daniels is in that select group. During his 20 years at PHS (1930-50), Hump compiled an enviable record of 145 wins, 65 losses and 12 ties. Gib Dolezal also is on the list with a record of 137-76-0 while he was coaching. The best record belongs to Joe Tunnell of Rush Springs with a sparkling 281-127-6 on his resume. The aforementioned Dennis Casey, is in that select group with a record of 149-28-0, and climbing.

Ready or not, football season is here. The PHS Maroons have been working hard in preparation for that opening kickoff. Let's fill the stands for each home game and follow the squad when they go out of town. Let the games begin and the leather pop! Good luck to our home team.