In a sea of colored jerseys, a mix-match of players ranging from classes C to 5A, Thackerville’s Hunter McCage stood out.

In a sea of colored jerseys, a mix-match of players ranging from classes C to 5A, Thackerville’s Hunter McCage stood out.

And that was just a group photo.

The 6-foot-1, 245-pound quarterback was at the center of it all. McCage knelt front and center Tuesday as the figurehead of the All-Ardmoreite Super Team.

Unlike some of his peers, however, McCage stood out not because of the swagger he carried as

The Ardmoreite’s Offensive Player of the Year. McCage stood out because of his demeanor — an awkward body language that cried out “Forget photos, I’d rather be playing football.”

That was the approach he took all season with the Wildcats. McCage was the engine of the most high-powered offenses in Class C. He led a team that averaged 51.4 points per game to an undefeated regular season and a matchup with eventual six-time Class C champion Shattuck in the state championship. The Wildcats lost that game 68-44, but McCage brought Thackerville from 6-4 in 2007 to 13-1 in 2008 and within 48 minutes of ending one of the nation’s longest winning streaks.

“The game was closer than the score,” McCage said of the final in Mustang. “I’d never played on a field that nice or in front of a crowd that big.

“I was nervous at kickoff, but once we kicked off we got the ball, we did our thing and scored.”

In typical Hunter McCage brevity, the senior summed up Thackerville’s season. In a small town best known for the WinStar World Casino, the Wildcats ended the year as the main attraction and the best team in Thackerville football history. McCage-to-(Tague) Hinkley was the quarterback-receiver connection of the year and the two, along with junior running back Aaron Vondrak, combined to ask defenses the question of the year:

How do you stop the Wildcats from “doing their thing?”

No one came close to stopping the fullback-turned-quarterback. In his first year as a starter, McCage tossed for 2,724 yards, rushed for 450 yards, scored 57 touchdowns (44 passing, 13 rushing) and only threw four interceptions.

You could also put McCage’s stats into perspective by saying that he scored more by himself (336 points) than six District C-2 schools. That’s not counting two-point conversions.

What’s even scarier is that McCage excels in three sports. He plays a mean first base, as was noted by his selection to The Ardmoreite’s All-Area Baseball Team last spring. McCage is also on the Thackerville basketball team and has led the Wildcats to a 3-2 start.

Can he do the impossible and make All-Ardmoreite in three sports before his career at Thackerville is over? If so, he probably wouldn’t even bat an eye. Camera flash bulbs offered more resistance to McCage than opposing defenses this season.

“It’s hard to explain,” a humbled McCage said of being named The Ardmoreite’s Offensive Player of the Year in football.

He’s just doing his thing.
Erik K. Horne
(580) 221-6522