Stillwater News Press

July 13, 2013

Morrison football: A class by themselves

By Andrew Glover
aglover@stwnewspress.com

STILLWATER, Okla. — Most high school athletes would consider themselves extremely blessed if they only won one state championship during their career. The Morrison 2008 football seniors were beyond blessed as they won four straight state championships.

“Around Morrison they talk about the 90s teams,” former offensive and defensive lineman Clint Sloan said. “We are the only class recently with four rings.”

The Wildcats won seven straight championships under coach Dennis Casey from 1988-1994. The 2008 senior class finished their careers at 54-3. Former quarterback Shawn Walls said Casey was someone that players looked up to.

“He was really successful and the stadium is named after him,” Walls said. “He kind of (coached) everything. If we had a question, we didn’t hesitate to call Casey.”

Casey, who was superintendent during the Wildcats’ second championship run under coach Cory Bales, said his experience helped him be a mentor to the kids on the championship teams.

“When I came to Morrison from college, I was pretty intense,” said Casey, who is now finishing his second term as District 35 Representative in the Oklahoma legislature. “I learned to use different techniques that worked with the kids. When I  came back as superintendent, I had more experience under my belt.”

Walls said they had great players during those seasons, especially with the younger athletes.

“I would put money on our scout team,” Walls said. “That’s how much depth we had and quality players. All those guys were craving knowledge.”

Bales said it was an amazing accomplishment for those players.

“Those kids were very dedicated in everything that they did,” Bales said. “I had some solid athletes during that time.”

The Wildcats’ run started with a coaching change and ended with jumping classes and changing their style of football.

“We were all comfortable with (Bales),” Sloan said. “He had been at Morrison for a while. He just built around our strengths. When we switched to Class A, it was more motivation. There were some good teams and we knew it was going to be a dogfight all year.”

Walls and Sloan said their dynasty tends to get overlooked by ones of bigger schools like Union and Jenks.

“There would be people that would see my ring and ask who I played for,” Sloan said. “I would tell them Morrison and they would say, ‘awe that’s 8-man football.’”

“It goes back to us being a smaller school,” Walls said. “Anyone with football intelligence would be able to discover what we accomplished was special.”

The Wildcats are still looking for their second Class A state title and 15th overall. Except for 2009, Morrison has made the playoffs every season — including a state semifinal berth in 2010.

“Bales is always going to have a good team,” Sloan said. “The summer pride program is where we have had our success. There is one thing to expect at Morrison and that’s winning a championship.”

Walls went on to play football for Bacone College and Northeastern Oklahoma in Miami. Walls’ career was cut short after he broke some ribs. He is now going to graduate school at Oklahoma State University and studying business administration.

Sloan is looking to graduate from Bacone College with a physical education degree and plans on being a coach. Bales enters his ninth season as coach this fall.