By Buck Ringgold
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking a position-by-position look at some of the top players in Oklahoma high school football. This list focuses on the quarterbacks.
There are hundreds of standout football players in Oklahoma and these lists are not intended to be comprehensive. Use the comments section to discuss the other signal-callers worthy of fans’ attention in 2021.
Gavin Frakes, 6-4, 217, Sr., Norman North
In his first season starting, Frakes made an immediate impact in the Timberwolves’ opening game, when he threw for 302 yards and five touchdowns in a win against crosstown rival Norman. Frakes, who has committed to Princeton, has gone on to throw for 1,581 yards, completing 68 percent of his passes, along with 18 touchdowns.
Scott Pfieffer, 6-4, 185, Sr., Edmond Santa Fe
Pfieffer threw for nearly 2,400 yards and 29 TDs last season in helping the Wolves reach the 6AI championship game. This season, he has passed for more than 1,600 yards, completing 122-of-186 of his throws, while recording 17 TDs.
Max Brown, 6-3, 200, Sr., Lincoln Christian
Through eight games, Brown has nearly equaled his yardage total from a season ago, when he helped lead the Bulldogs to the 3A title game. Brown, a Central Michigan commit, has passed for 1,668 yards, one yard fewer than his total as a junior, while completing 73 percent of his passes (96-of-131) and 26 TDs while throwing just three interceptions in helping LC get out to an 8-0 start.
Will Paque, 6-3, 185, Sr., Heritage Hall
A returning starter, Paque has passed for 1,347 yards on 79-of-118 passing and 14 TDs for the Chargers, who have won their first seven ballgames and is a legitimate Class 3A title contender.
Ty Pennington, 6-3, 220, Sr., Sand Springs
Last season, Pennington accounted for approximately 3,000 yards of total offense with 28 total TDs. This season, he is 109-of-175 passing for 1,543 yards and 17 TDs while rushing for more than 300 yards and six TDs in helping the Sandites win their first five ballgames. Pennington has also thrown for more than 5,100 yards, setting the school record.
Carson May, 6-5, 215, Sr., Jones
Entering his senior season, May has thrown for nearly 5,500 yards and 50 touchdowns in his career as a Longhorn. Over the summer, May committed to play at Iowa. In a recent win against Kellyville, May completed 20-of-22 passes for 302 yards and three TDs while adding a rushing TD. He also threw for 232 yards and four TDs in a win against Chandler and had a 281-yard four-TD performance in a win against Star Spencer.
Gage Hamm, 6-3, 190, Sr., Coweta
Hamm has thrown for nearly 1,100 yards and 15 TDs along with rushing for four TDs in helping the Tigers win their first six games. He has also thrown for nearly 5,500 yards and 58 TDs in his career at Coweta.
Steele Wasel, 6-4, 218, Jr., Choctaw
In his first season to start during his sophomore year, Wasel threw for 3,300 yards and 33 touchdowns as the Yellowjackets reached the 6AII title game. Wasel, who has received attention from several DI schools, threw for five TDs in an early-season game against Springdale (Ark.), and is a reason why the Yellowjackets have another good chance to play for a 6AII championship.
Kane Donovan, 6-3, 170, Sr., Oklahoma City John Marshall
A returning starter, Donovan has thrown for nearly 1,400 yards and 13 TDs while completing 115-of-207 passes for the Bears.
Nate Ratcliff, 6-0, 180, Sr., Adair
Ratcliff threw for more than 2,000 yards and 34 TDs while only being intercepted twice in helping the Warriors to a 10-win season in 2020. As a senior, Ratcliff has thrown for 1,433 yards, completing 104-of-172 passes, and 20 TDs.
Gavynn Parker, 6-5, 215, Sr., Hooker
Parker threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 35 TDs a season ago for the Bulldogs, who reached the third round of the Class A playoffs. He’s completed 112-of-183 passes for 1,538 yards and 21 TDs this season for Hooker, which won each of its first seven games.
Jaxon Woods, 5-8, 150, So., Hominy
As a freshman, Woods accounted for nearly 1,150 yards of total offense. He’s more than eclipsed that as a sophomore, as Woods has already thrown for approximately 1,970 yards and 16 TDs on 115-of-187 passing.
Todd Drummond, 6-4, 190, Jr., Pawhuska
Drummond follows in the footsteps of his older brother Bryce, who is now at North Texas. The younger Drummond has carried on the family legacy at Pawhuska, having completed 135-of-199 passes for 1,832 yards and 30 touchdowns. In a recent win against Quapaw, Drummond threw for 320 yards and accounted for eight total TDs.
Austin Havens, 6-4, 185, Jr., Owasso
As a sophomore, Havens threw for more than 2,050 yards and 24 TDs as the Rams went 12-1 and reached the 6AI semifinals. This season, he has thrown for nearly 1,700 yards, completing 101-of-157 attempts. Havens has completed 20 touchdown passes as well.
Chance Wilson, 6-3, 180, Jr., Rejoice Christian
Wilson accounted for more than 3,000 yards and 27 TDs a season ago, and so far in 2021, he has thrown for 1,516 yards and 20 TDs. Wilson has also completed 89 percent of his passes (124-of-139).
Geral Washington, 5-11, 190, Sr., Midway
Washington had nearly 3,200 yards of total offense and 41 total TDs a season ago for the Chargers. In 2021, Washington has thrown for 1,377 yards and 22 TDs while completing 77-of-134 attempts.
Alan McKeefry, 6-4, 180, Sr., Spiro
Prior to this season, McKeefry had been playing in California. In his only high school season with the Bulldogs, McKeefry is making an immediate impact as he has completed 65 percent of his passes and has thrown for 2,231 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Blaze Berlowitz, 6-3, 185, Jr., Cushing
As a sophomore, Berlowitz threw for more than 3,000 yards and 27 touchdowns and he’s followed that up with another stellar season. He has nearly 2,100 yards this season with 25 TDs, completing 132-of-212 passes for a Tiger squad that won six of their first seven ballgames.
Christian Burke, 5-11, 180, Sr., Bixby
While he has plenty of weapons to throw to like Oklahoma State commit Braylin Presley and Oklahoma commit Luke Hasz, Burke has equally made a name for himself for the Spartans, who are closing in on another 6AII championship, not to mention setting a state record consecutive win streak. Burke has thrown for 1,735 yards and 22 TDs on 121-of-173 passing for the Spartans, who won their 43rd straight game on Oct. 14.
Carson Cooksey, 6-1, 175, So., Blanchard
In his first season to start, Cooksey has made an immediate impact for a Lion team that is competing for the 4A-3 district title. Cooksey has thrown for more than 1,675 yards and 15 TDs while completing 65 percent of his passes.
Loren Snead, 6-3, 155, Sr., Mangum
Snead, who primarily played defensive back prior to this season, has stepped in at quarterback and has enjoyed a solid year. He has completed 89-of-160 passes for 1,638 yards and 21 TDs thus far for the Tigers.
Lathan Boone, 6-0, 175, Jr., Tulsa Booker T. Washington
A season ago, Boone threw for more than 1,700 yards and 14 TDs. Already this season, he has amassed 1,560 yards and 18 TDs for the Hornets, who are challenging the likes of Bixby and Choctaw for the 6AII championship. Boone also completed 21-of-29 passes for 253 yards and three TDs at Sand Springs in October, as BTW handed the Sandites their first loss of the season.
Brett Pense, 6-4, 180, Sr., Edmond Deer Creek
Pense has been a big reason the Antlers have rebounded from last season’s 4-6 finish, having won six of their first seven ballgames in 2021. He has completed 96-of-155 attempts for 1,440 yards and 17 TDs while throwing just one interception.
Jaxon Watie, 6-2, 165, Sr., Berryhill
Watie has completed 99-of-162 passes for nearly 1,349 yards and 16 TDs in his final season for the Chiefs. In a key 3A-4 win against Verdigris, Watie passed for 136 yards and two TDs while rushing for another TD.
Kirk Francis, 6-1, 165, Jr., Metro Christian
As a sophomore, Francis threw for more than 2,000 yards and accounted for 29 TDs in helping the Patriots win the 2A state title. He’s thrown for more than 1,000 yards and 10 TDs this season, with four of those TDs coming in a win against Henryetta as well as a four-TD 284-yard performance in a win against Okmulgee.
Virgil Yates, 5-10, 190, Sr., Del City
A dual-threat standout, Yates has been a big reason for the Eagles turning things around, going from a 4-6 season in 2020 to a 6-1 start in 2021. He rushed for three touchdowns, including the game-winner, in an overtime win against Putnam City North, threw a 58-yard TD pass to jump-start the Eagles to a win against rival Midwest City and also rushed for 153 yards and four TDs, including the game-winner in OT in a win against Bishop McGuinness.
Cal Swanson, 6-3, 180, Jr., Ardmore
Swanson is a returning starter behind center for the Tigers, who went from four wins in 2020 to a 7-0 start in 2021. Through his first five ballgames, Swanson threw for 863 yards, rushed for 223 and had 16 TDs while completing 75 percent of his passes. He had four first-half TD passes in a recent win at Capitol Hill.
Colin Fisher, 6-2, 190, Jr., Noble
Last season, Fisher threw for more than 1,770 yards and 17 TDs and is putting together another strong campaign for the Bears. He threw for four TDs and rushed for another in the Bears’ season-opening win against Blanchard. In a win against Altus, Fisher threw for 333 yards and accounted for six total touchdowns.
Tyler Joice, 5-11, 198, Sr., Tahlequah
As a junior, Joice threw for nearly 1,400 yards and 14 TDs while setting a school record for completion percentage at 63. This season, he’s amassed 877 yards and 10 touchdowns while completing 58 percent of his attempts, along with rushing for nearly 300 yards and five TDs. Against a ranked Sapulpa team, Joice helped rally the Tigers from a 14-0 deficit with a 21-14 win by completing 15-of-18 passes for 138 yards and a TD, along with a game-winning TD run.
Jaden Hall, 6-3, 210, Sr., Balko-Forgan
Hall threw for more than 1,000 yards and 13 TDs while adding nearly 1,600 yards rushing and 20 TDs as a junior for a Bison team which reached the Class B quarterfinals. He’s hoping to help them reach the title game this season. In a win against Hollis, Hall completed 10-of-11 passes for 215 yards and four TDs while adding 163 rushing yards and three TDs. He also threw for 305 yards and four TDs as well as 105 yards and a TD in a recent win against Shattuck.
Caden Powell, 6-3, 215, Sr., Clinton
Powell, who also plays linebacker and punts for the Red Tornadoes, has thrown for 475 yards and eight TDs without an interception over the team’s first seven games. He has also rushed for nearly 370 yards and nine TDs. Powell is one of the top baseball players in the state as a pitcher/infielder and has committed to Oklahoma.
Triton Chandler, 6-2, 190, Sr., Victory Christian
A season ago, Chandler accounted for more than 3,200 yards of total offense and 25 TDs. This season, he has passed for 10 TDs. In a recent 62-7 win against defending 2A champion Metro Christian, Chandler amassed 312 yards of total offense and had five TDs, three through the air and two on the ground.
Jaxton Rutledge, 6-0, 180, Sr., Pottier
While Rutledge hasn’t put up very many passing yards this season, having thrown for 369 yards, he really hasn’t had to as the Pirates have largely overpowered their foes with their run game. But when Rutledge has had the chance to throw, he has been very effective. He completed all five of his passes for 125 yards in a 4A-4 win against Tulsa McLain and also went 8-of-9 in another district win against Stilwell. Plus, the season before, he threw for nearly 1,500 yards and ran for 700 more at Pocola before transferring to Poteau in the offseason, so Rutledge could be a big key to the Pirates’ chances at winning their second 4A title in a span of three seasons.
Ian Hardwick, 6-0, 175, Sr., Pocola
Hardwick, who transferred to Pocola in the offseason from Fort Smith (Ark.) Northside, can play a number of different positions, from wide receiver to running back while playing in the defensive secondary. He has helped give the Indians a lift at quarterback lately. Hardwick was 9-of-12 passing for 120 yards and two TDs while adding 74 rushing yards and a TD in a win against Panama; then in a win against Roland, Hardwick threw for 120 yards and two TDs.
Boyce McIntosh, 6-1, 206, Sr., Community Christian
A dual threat athlete, McIntosh accounted for more than 3,500 yards of total offense and passed for 25 TDs while rushing for 16 more last season. In a recent win against Christian Heritage, McIntosh went for 399 yards passing and three TDs and added 187 yards rushing and two TDs. He also threw for 278 yards and six TDs in a win against Holdenville and had 239 yards passing and four total TDs in a win against the OKC Patriots.
Cooper Lai, 6-1, 180, Jr., Cascia Hall
Lai, who can both run and pass, has taken over behind center for the Commandos, who are in great shape to make their 35th consecutive postseason appearance. This season, Lai has completed 68-of-103 passes for 873 yards and 14 TDs. In a recent win against Panama, he completed all 10 of his pass attempts for 136 yards and five TDs, which tied a school record.
Griffin Stieber, 6-3, 182, Sr., Broken Arrow
Stieber, who played tight end for the Tigers last season, moved over to quarterback and has helped Broken Arrow stay in the hunt for a 6AI postseason berth. He has completed 100-of-120 passes for 747 yards and 10 TDs. In his first start, a win against Mansfield (Texas) Legacy, Stieber completed all nine pass attempts for 219 yards and four TDs.