The 19N96 Ada High football campaign took on a different cachet than the three state title teams before it.
It was framed by the departure of coach Larry McBroom and O-Line coach Don Byrd, be-monocled with Roughriders hats, on horseback and ready to ride up the San Juan hill of Tejas, Weatherford, Texas.
Jim and son Jeff Waters were the only holdovers for Coach Gary McBroom and Coach Craig McBroom to build around.
So coach Gary went out and brought in four gunslingers — two Ada High alum move-backs, one move-up and a stranger from way up north.
The alum callbacks were Steve Dean from Perry; Jay Johnson from the hotel industry; T.D. Teel, a teammate of Johnson’s in 1984, moved up from AJH; and the northerner, John Higbee, a Dewey grad with stops at Noble and Haltom City, Texas.
Their only assigned mission? Win state. And, oh yes, extend the 40-game winning streak, preferably by 14 games.
Ranked No. 1, even with a move up to Class 5A, Ada quickly dispatched two highly touted teams — Ardmore and Midwest City Carl Albert.
Next up, a trip to Durant and another win in the series that now stands 56-11-2, far into Ada’s dominance.
It would turn out to be one of the darker days in Ada football history ... and maybe one of the brighter in retrospect. Durant 14, Ada 9.
An unconfirmed rumor has it than Durant’s cable TV broadcast the game for a week, maybe two.
Red Carpet treatment
Gary Patrick, the extremely popular bus driver of the day, was rumbling along into Durant.
Everyone was in good spirits, except the coaches, of course, who alone knew that a tremendous upset was possible. It had been a bad week of practice. The kids were going through the motions, walking instead of running though the plays. Almost strutting through the plays, some say.