Players, coaches celebrate 25th anniversary of title
Players and coaches on the 1990 state champion Ardmore High School football team will reconnect prior and during tonight’s football game at Noble Stadium between Ardmore and Gainesville, Texas, as part of the celebration of the 25-year anniversary of their historic season.
The festivities commence at 5 p.m., when players and coaches will meet at the west side of the fieldhouse.
Ten minutes later, they will have a meet-and-greet session with the Tigers’ current coaches and players that will be closed to the public.
Fans and family members can mingle with the 1990 state championship team during a tailgate party that will start at 5:30 p.m. between the players’ and reserved parking lots located near the west side of the fieldhouse. Hamburgers and water will be served. The AHS band and cheerleaders are scheduled to perform.
The state champion football team will be recognized at the start of halftime.
About 30 players have confirmed to Cliff Cotton, a player on the state champion Tigers team, they will partake in the festivities, via Travelin’ Tigers committee member Mike Whitson.
For head coach Ronnie Tipps, today will mark the first time that he will reunite with many of his players since they graduated from AHS.
“This group came along really well during the season,” he said. “I think they were on board with what we were doing. They were a great group of kids with great leadership.”
The motto of that year’s team was “Our Time’s Come”.
The Tigers followed through on their words.
Ardmore finished with a 14-1 record en route to winning the school’s first state championship in football since 1982 — its third overall. The Tigers captured their first state title in 1953 and won their fourth, and most recent, in 1992. Ardmore handled Lawton MacArthur 41-0 in the title game at Owen Field on the campus of the University of Oklahoma in Norman. The Tigers converted three Highlanders fumbles into touchdowns.
“Being able to handle our business and win by the margin that we did showed that we were focused and that we played a good football game,” Tipps said. “You have to give a lot of credit to them because Lawton MacArthur was a great football team. It was fun playing at OU, and the kids loved it. It was a beautiful day, too.”
Tipps told The Ardmoreite after Ardmore’s 12-2 triumph of Douglass in the state semifinals that the defense was the reason that got the Tigers that far in the playoffs. Ardmore allowed 15 or less points in all but one game that season.
Ardmore running back Rafael Denson broke Freddie Hurd’s school-record of 1,949 rushing yards, a record that had stood since 1975, running for 2,099 yards with 37 total touchdowns.