If one thing, or one team, motivates Terry “Fuzzy” Long to play in tonight’s Southern Oklahoma All-Star Classic, it’s Durant.

If one thing, or one team, motivates Terry “Fuzzy” Long to play in tonight’s Southern Oklahoma All-Star Classic, it’s Durant.

The Ardmore two-way lineman gets a chance to pay back — somewhat — the Lions on his home field, Noble Stadium. It was the Lions who prevented Long and the Ardmore Tigers from making their 12th straight state playoff appearance.

“Just to get a little revenge on Durant, that’s the only reason I’m playing,” Long said during a practice at Plainview.

But if two things get Long ready for tonight …

“My parents probably would have made me, anyway,” he said.

Long and seven of his Ardmore teammates will play for the West against an East squad that includes eight Durant graduates, none of whom includes quarterback Max White, an Oklahoma baseball commit. Add to the East roster the Lions’ whole coaching staff, which is organizing the offense.

Kerry Roberts’ Madill staff is coordinating the East defense. This is his and lineman Junior Trevino’s first of two All-Star appearances this year; the two will play in the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State game in late July at Tulsa Union.

Madill hosted the East practices.

Just putting on helmets and pads again — if not the last time — may be enough for others to spend the past three evenings practicing for the Classic. Ringling head coach Tracy Gandy, whose staff coordinates the West defense, hopes some players can earn football scholarships or be invited to walk on somewhere through the game.

“Traditionally, we have some schools watching this game,” Gandy said. “For most of the kids, football is not in their future.”

So tonight is about fun — for most players, anyway.

“It’s going to be fun to play with everybody before everybody leaves,” said Ardmore linebacker Shawn Smith, the All-Ardmoreite Defensive Player of the Year.

It won’t be the last time for Lone Grove quarterback Jonathon Gannon, who’ll walk on at East Central but redshirt.

“We can go out here and have fun with guys we grew up with,” he said.

For some players, it’ll be a lot of guys they grew up with. Ardmore and Durant have the most representatives, but Ringling has seven All-Stars, Plainview has five, and eight-man powers Fox and Thackerville each have four.

And they’re all learning something new.

“These guys want to learn something new, something different,” Healdton head coach Reade Box said, one of four coaches coordinating the West offense. “These guys can pick up anything.”

I.C. Murrell

Southern Oklahoma All-Star Classic
7 p.m. today at Noble Stadium, Ardmore High School