Coalgate Wildcats prepare for long trip east

Sherry Loudermilk | Sherry Loudermilk PhotographyCoalgate junior Austin Lynch comes down with an interception during last week's 21-0 setback to Frederick. The Wildcats travel to Marlow tonight for a Week 6 matchup.

COALGATE — As we enter the second half of the 2020 season, the Coalgate Wildcats travel to Marlow tonight to face the Outlaws.

Coalgate continues to search for their first win of the season after falling 21-0 to Frederick last week. The Outlaws enter this game with a 4-0 record besting Chickasha (24-21), Anadarko (21-20), Comanche (42-13), and Lindsay (47-0).

Along with last week's opponent, Marlow became a district foe following the realignment. In average daily membership (ADM) numbers Marlow was listed as the third-largest 2A school behind Idabel and Purcell. At the same time, Coalgate sits at the eighth-smallest in the classification, a difference of 133.63, which is just slightly more than the 114-mile distance from Donald Mike Mayer Field and Outlaw Stadium in Marlow.

This will be the first-ever matchup between these two schools. To put it into perspective, outside of the distance between the two towns, the last time these two schools were in the same football classification was 1969 when both competed in Class B. During that season, the Wildcats were crowned district champions and lost a first-round matchup to semifinalist Talihina.

In the following year of 1970, the athletic association granted 8-man football the Class C designation and introduced Class 4A, which served as the largest class. The new classifications and differences in enrollment sizes set the two schools on 50 years journey in separate football classifications.

To provide a picture of Class B during the 1969 season, it included schools such as Fox (C), Laverne (B), Burns Flat (A), Sulphur (3A), Weatherford (4A), Fort Gibson (4A), Noble (5A), Bixby (6A-2), Mustang (6A-1), Tulsa Union (6A-1) and Dunjee (Closed). Of the current district opponents, Marlow, Comanche, Davis, Coalgate, and Tishomingo competed in Class B, while Frederick and Lindsay were Class A, and Marietta was Class C.

In regards to Marlow heading east for district play, this will mark the farthest opponent. The previous eastern boundary was Seminole in 2004-05 (106 miles). So next season, they'll be able to check traveling east of State Highway 48 off their bucket list.

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