Many of the schools that comprise the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association have to be smiling this weekend. As the football finals and semifinals got under way, only one private school (Oklahoma Christian, in Class 2A) remained standing.
The OSSAA member schools voted a few years ago to punish private schools by requiring their teams to move up one class if they reach the final eight in any sport three out of five years. This stemmed largely from schools such as Heritage Hall and Bishop McGuinness in Oklahoma City winning state titles in football.
Proponents of the rule change said something needed to be done to counter the advantages private schools have by being able to control their enrollment. Those advantages never seemed to be an issue when those schools weren’t as successful.
Certainly Carl Albert’s football team didn’t seem to have any issue with those private school advantages last weekend when the Titans walloped McGuinness in the Class 5A semifinals. If they beat Tulsa East Central on Saturday night, the Titans will win their 11th state championship. Clinton is playing for its 16th state title on Saturday afternoon in Class 4A.
Outrage? There is none. Nor should there be. Carl Albert and Clinton have built tremendous programs. Success — of all kinds — should be applauded, not demonized. And so we say, congratulations and good luck!