McALESTER — With the start of July, football fans may realize we’re less than two months away from McAlester High School preseason football scrimmages, and just over two months from the first regular-season game.
Coming off an appearance in the 2013 Class 5A state championship game, the Buffaloes and head coach Bryan Pratt will play a 2014 schedule fairly similar to 2013.
The Buffs begin their season Sept. 5 — a relatively late start compared with some previous seasons, but the 2013 season started Sept. 6.
Just like last year (and the year before), McAlester’s first August scrimmage will be against Wagoner, Pryor and Fort Gibson on Aug. 22. That scrimmage last year was at McAlester, but the one this year will be at Wagoner.
For the last few seasons McAlester has played its second week of scrimmaging at the Top of the World Scrimmage in Norman. This year a new event is planned, called the Southeast Oklahoma Classic.
In it, McAlester will host Broken Bow, Durant and Harrah for a four-team scrimmage.
That means Durant will be a two-time visitor to McAlester during the 2014 football season. In addition to the scrimmage, the Lions will come calling when McAlester opens district play at home Sept. 26.
The entire district schedule is made up of the same district foes McAlester played in 2013. Following the Durant game Sept. 26 — which is also McAlester’s Homecoming — the final six weeks of the season see McAlester: at Bishop Kelley on Oct. 3; hosting Skiatook on Oct. 10; at Noble on Oct. 16 (a Thursday game); at Tulsa-Hale on Oct. 24; hosting Shawnee for Senior Night on Oct. 31; and at Tulsa-Memorial for the regular-season finale on Nov. 7.
While McAlester’s district opponents haven’t changed at all from 2013 to 2014, the new Buffs will face three new non-conference opponents for the first three weeks.