All-State has local flair
The fall sports season is close, but before the returning players get their seasons underway, last year's seniors get one more week in the spotlight.
It's Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State Week and it's getting started tonight with the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame Banquet at 6:30 p.m. at the Southern Hills Marriott hotel in Tulsa.
And, this year the festivities will have an area flair with the first two head football coaches to direct the MacArthur High School program, Ron Hartline and Ernie Manning, both being inducted into the elite group on the same night.
Hartline came to the school when it opened its doors in 1968 and immediately built a powerhouse program, first in the lower classes like 2A and 3A, then eventually into Class 5A where the school still resides. His teams finished as state runners-up on several occasions and left a mark as a dominating program.
When Hartline retired, Manning landed the job, moving from Pampa, Texas, back closer to his hometown of Tipton. He spent 12 years at the helm, taking the Highlanders to a host of big playoff games, including a couple of state runner-up finishes.
The other inductee with area ties is Cecil Devine, the coach who built Apache's football program from the ground up back in the late 1950s. Devine also coached girls basketball at Apache and took one of his first teams to the state title game in 1960. Devine later moved away from Apache to coach at Southwestern Oklahoma State, then eventually landed as one of the staffers at the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association (OSSAA) where he was in charge of officials and the assignments for playoffs.