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Oklahoma high school football: Three storylines for upcoming season as practice opens

Edmond Santa Fe junior receiver Talyn Shettron (22) is one of the highest-rated recruits nationally in his class. [DOUG HOKE/THE OKLAHOMAN]
Edmond Santa Fe junior receiver Talyn Shettron (22) is one of the highest-rated recruits nationally in his class. [DOUG HOKE/THE OKLAHOMAN]

The 2020 high school football season officially begins Monday as practices open across the state at all levels.

The new season means budding stars will rise, champions will be crowned and records will be broken. All of this among a pandemic that will make this season unlike any other.

Here are three storylines heading into the season:

The impact of coronavirus

Football is going to be different this year.

Some games will have no fans in attendance. Some teams have had to shut down workouts over the summer. There was no spring ball.

The coronavirus pandemic is ongoing, meaning coaches and athletes are taking safety precautions while preparing for games that begin in three weeks.

Social distancing in the weight room. Staying spaced out during practice. Wearing masks in the locker room.

With all fall activities beginning Monday and football practice allowed to begin, schools across the state have precautions in place to keep coaches and athletes safe and that give teams the best chance of completing a full season.

With plenty of uncertainty about the future, questions remain about whether a full season can be played, but everything is full-go as of now.

Young stars continue breaking out

Although there are plenty of stellar seniors, juniors and underclassmen are primed to have big impacts for their teams this season.

Edmond Santa Fe junior wide receiver Talyn Shettron is among the nation’s best overall prospects in the 2022 class. Deer Creek’s Jacob Sexton looks bound to be another top-ranked offensive lineman. Mustang tight end Andre Dollar and Tulsa Booker T. Washington standout Gentry Williams are quickly rising in the national rankings, too.

For sophomores, Millwood’s Rickey Hunt Jr. is primed to be the next Falcons star. Mustang’s Jacobe Johnson quickly gained recruiting attention after a big spring.

Can Carl Albert make it five straight?

The Titans weren’t able to top the state’s longest win streak last season but captured their fourth straight championship.

With the team Carl Albert has coming back, it has a great chance to make it five in a row.

Senior quarterback Ben Harris, who is 41-1 as a starter, returns alongside star running back Javion Hunt as a dynamic backfield duo. Kentrell “Buddy” Bizzell is bound for more action after a breakout year as a sophomore. Cobe Crews, Wisdom Combs and Caleb Zangari will also provide important contributions.

Should the Titans win again, it would be their 16th state championship, which would tie Clinton and Jenks for second-most in state history. Ada leads all schools with 19 state titles.

Cameron Jourdan

Cameron Jourdan joined The Oklahoman in March 2019 to cover high school sports. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in May 2018. He had an internship with The Oklahoman and Stillwater News Press. During his time at OSU, Cameron served in a... Read more ›