BEST OF THE BEST: Verdigris duo Roller, Gray named to OCA All-State team
Jan. 27—Two months after Verdigris reached the Class 3A semifinals for a second-consecutive year, two of its finest senior players earned one of the highest honors in Oklahoma high school football.
The Oklahoma Coaches Association released its 2023 All-State football rosters Wednesday, and Reese Roller and Yale Gray were among the 37 athletes from the East and 74 overall to make the cut. The duo was instrumental in helping the 2022 Cardinals to the semifinals for a third time in four years and tie the school record for wins with 11, which was set a year earlier in 2021.
The All-State game is scheduled for 7 p.m. July 28 at a to-be-decided stadium, and Roller and Gray will be coached by Ed Green of Hominy and an assistant staff including Jay's Eddie Barnwell, Duce Lee of Broken Bow and Tulsa Union's Nathan Foster.
Roller — who will play on the defensive line — earned his spot after logging 85 tackles through 13 games, including 17 sacks, four pass deflections and three forced fumbles. He was an integral part of a defense that allowed only 14.5 points per game, notched 49 sacks and forced 22 turnovers.
Gray — an offensive lineman selection — gained recognition after helping pave the way for an offense that accumulated 408.1 yards per game alongside 38.8 points per game. Verdigris managed 1,977 yards passing (152.1 ypg) and 3,328 yards rushing (256 ypg) behind Gray's 6-foot-2, 250-pound frame.
Elsewhere for the Cardinals, Caden Parnell was named a 3A All-Star-By-Class running back.
Parnell rushed for 813 yards and 15 touchdowns on 133 carries (6.1 ypc) while also throwing for 604 yards and seven scores on 23-of-46 passing.
The following Rogers County players were also selected to their respective All-Star-By-Class rosters:
Dawson Coppinger, OL, Claremore (5A)
Seth Bell, DL, Claremore (5A)
Tate Hepler, DB, Claremore (5A)
Logan Hattaway, RB, Sequoyah (2A)
Karson Bickel, WR, Sequoyah (2A)
Mikey Ferrara, DL, Chelsea (A)
Chase Smith, DB, Chelsea (A)
Here is a look at the full All-State rosters:
QB: Gage Gundy, Stillwater; Chance Wilson, Rejoice Christian; Blaze Berlowitz, Cushing
RB: Emmanuel Crawford, Grove; Cameron Jackson, Tonkawa
TE: Luke Hasz, Bixby; Waylen Conley, Skiatook
WR: Ty Walls, Jenks; Andrew Hughes, Ada; Brody Rutledge, Sand Springs; Hagen Hacker, Grove
OL: CJ Compton, Bethel; JaKobe Sanders, Stillwater; Jamison Mejia, Broken Arrow; Kaden Stanton, Beggs; Garrett Douthit, Gore; Jedidiah Hampton, Jay; Yale Gray, Verdigris
ATH: Camden Crooks, Cushing
DL: Tyler Rich, Owasso; Garrett Shumway, McAlester; Roman Garcia, Wagoner; Gabe Dozier, Gore; Wyatt Branscum, Hilldale; Reese Roller, Verdigris
LB: Christian Brumley, Broken Bow; Xavier Perdue, Hominy; Braylen Irvin-Fisher, Tulsa Union; Tyler Johnson, Lincoln Christian; Cooper Crissup, Jenks; Ashton Hawkins, Dewar
DB: Cale Fugate, Bixby; Chaz Bradley, McAlester; Cooper Lai, Cascia Hall; Tagg Campbell, Metro Christian; DeSean Mays, Vian; Braxton Street, Maud
QB: Kamden Sixkiller, Norman North; DeAngelo Irvin, Midwest City; Karson Daniel, Ringling
RB: Rickey Hunt Jr., Millwood; M'alek Murphy, Chickasha; River Faulkner, Heritage Hall
WR: Brandon Harper, Noble; Merric Judd, Timberlake; Jacobe Johnson, Mustang; Kanijal Thomas, Del City; Avrey Payne, Marlow
OL: Caleb Bruce, Washington; Logan Trevino, Elk City; Harrison Wright, Bishop McGuinness; Caden Tahbonemah, Lawton MacArthur; Jonathan Ashford, Edmond Santa Fe; Wrigley Kennedy, Kingfisher; Logan Biggs, Frederick
DL: Vincent Shivers, Bishop McGuinness; Hayden Milner, Washington; Richard Jackson, Choctaw; Taje McCoy, Putnam City; Hunter Mulanax, Minco; Dawson Pickens, Lone Grove
LB: Chris Fitzpatrick, Edmond Santa Fe; Landen Hirzel, Guthrie; Prince Dweh, Tipton; Lawson Lynch, Hooker; Austin Houk, Fairview; Jake Tucker, Tuttle
DB: Ta'Shawn James, Carl Albert; Dale Miller, Deer Creek; Toby Parker, Elgin; Teddy Amorosi, Deer Creek; Taylor Heim, Bethany; Reed DeQuasie, Carl Albert
ATH: Justin Humphrey, Pauls Valley