Stratford quarterback Chase Chamberlain started the 2010 campaign as one of Oklahoma’s best-kept secrets. He ended it by being recognized as one of the state’s best players.
After leading the Bulldogs to their school’s first-ever berth in the Class A title game, Chamberlain snagged another piece of history last week when he became the first Stratford player — and one of just six from Class A statewide in 2010 — to be named to the Oklahoma Coaches Association’s All-State team.
Chamberlain, who passed for over 1,400 yards and ran for more than 1,000 this season, was named to the West squad and will join Ada defensive back Ronald Lucas — chosen to play for the East — as area representatives for the July 29 All-State Game in Tulsa.
In addition to being recognized as All-State performers, Chamberlain and Lucas were also chosen to the All-Stars by Class for Class A and Class 5A , respectively.
Tommy Lawson, who intercepted 10 passes (including six in the final three rounds of the playoffs) for Stratford this fall, was also named to the Class A All-Star team, and wide receiver Christian Johnson and offensive lineman William Kirkpatrick joined Lucas on the Class 5A All-Star squad. Sulphur’s Caleb Neal was also named to the Class 3A All-Star team.
Chamberlain, who was named to the All-State team as a running back, wrapped up his career as part of an elite fraternity of Oklahoma players who graduated with over 4,000 yards passing and more than 3,000 yards rushing. He posted career highs in yardage and touchdown passes (14) this fall and posted his second career 1,000-yard rushing season.
“He’s got great career numbers,” Stratford coach Michael Blackburn said of Chamberlain. “I thought he had a good shot (at All-State). It helped that the team got as far as it did — a lot of people got to see him in the playoffs.
“Even though they list him as a running back, I’m sure they looked at his career yardage, which is over 7,000,” he added. “Chase has faced a lot of adversity throughout his career and he’s bounced back. He’s been the leader of our team for a long time, and he had a great career.”
Lucas was one of the leaders of an Ada defense that posted three shutouts this season. In addition to intercepting four passes (and returning one interception for a touchdown), he also recorded over 80 tackles from his free safety spot.
“I thought he had a great year,” Ada coach Matt Weber said of Lucas. “A lot of times (making All-State) depends on how far you go in the playoffs.
“At the skill positions is the hardest place to make it, so to go up against players at that position from all parts of the state shows how good his film was.”
Weber said Lucas’s physical style was unusual for his position.
“He’s the guy you like to have in the middle of the defense,” Weber noted. “He’s such a good tackler, they’re not going to go the distance against him.
“A lot of times our defense bent and didn’t break, and he was a big part of that,” he said. “To be such a sweet guy, he’s a headhunter on the football field. He also fielded punts for us, and all year he never bobbled or fumbled one.”
Lawson didn’t play varsity football until his senior season, but he was an impact player for the Bulldogs, who finished third in District A-5, didn’t play a home game in the postseason and were on the road for their final six games. In addition to ranking among the state’s leaders in interceptions, Lawson was also Stratford’s leader in receptions, yardage and touchdowns receptions.
“Tommy just had a knack for making big plays,” Blackburn said. “He’s a ball hawk in the secondary, and he goes and gets balls as a receiver. If he had played all four years, he might have made All-State, too.”
Johnson was Ada’s leading receiver and, like Lawson, was a major contributor on defense this fall.
“Christian is as steady a player both ways as we had this year,” Weber said of Johnson, who had over 600 receiving yards as a senior and totaled more than 1,000 in his final two varsity seasons. “He was our leading receiver on offense and he’s a guy who doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. He’s tall and athletic and runs a lot better than people give him credit for.”
Kirkpatrick, a move-in who played only season with the Cougars, was a major reason for Ada’s success on the ground this fall. In addition to being one of the leaders of the offensive line, he also took snaps at tailback in short yardage situations over the second half of the season.
“Will is probably as explosive and hard-playing a kid as we had,” Weber said. “He got here in the summer and we didn’t know a lot about him, but he showed what kind of athlete he is. He’s a kid who should get to go play college ball.”
Lucas joins Colton Richardson and Corey Javernick (2008) and Qumain Black (2009) as All-State performers for Ada since Weber took over the program, and the Cougar head man said Johnson and Kirkpatrick still have a chance to play in the game.
“They’re both alternates, so there’s a good chance one of them will get picked up,” he predicted.