The 80th annual East versus West Oklahoma All-State teams were announced on Monday, and Southern Oklahoma is well represented.

The 80th annual East versus West Oklahoma All-State teams were announced on Monday, and Southern Oklahoma is well represented.

Ardmore football, coming off a state title appearance in class 5A, will have two players representing the school in defensive lineman Sitani Lemeki and offensive lineman Brayden Bryant. Trey Kiser, of Sulphur, will also represent the West team on defense for his efforts this season.

Like the players on the field, the coaching staff was selected by the Oklahoma Coaches Association. Coaching the West team will be Ardmore’s own Mark Linney.

 Linney was overjoyed when he heard he was chosen.

“It is kinda overwhelming,” Linney said. “But it is a great honor and I certainly do appreciate it.”

The Tigers had a historic season in 2018, winning 13-straight games before suffering a heartbreaking loss to the state champion Carl Albert Titans. Having the season the Tigers had, Linney is proud to have players representing the program in the All-State game, especially the ones from his position group.

“Those kids have done a great job, it wasn’t just a one-year thing,” Linney said. “Those kids worked really hard through junior high and high school careers. It is a great honor for them and a great honor for me to coach them one more time.

Linney isn’t the only one from his family to have coached in this game. In 1974 Mark Linney’s father Jerry Linney was the coach of the East squad representing Wilburton High School.

Being nominated as the head coach is an honor Linney will never forget. Getting to coach the best in the state is a privilege Linney is not taking for granted.

“According to the Oklahoma Coaches Association, four kids from from each classification have to make

the team, going from single A all the way to 6A. it is a unique situation,” Linney said. “Coaching kids I have only seen on tape and never seen live is something I’m looking forward too.”

Having two of the four allotted spots from 5A in the game and the head coach shows how great of a season the Tigers had in 2018. To Linney, the representation in the game speaks of how great of a community Ardmore is.

“All the signs around town that said good luck Ardmore united our whole community and our whole school,” Linney said. “It just speaks of the kind of students and kids we have at Ardmore high school.”