HS FOOTBALL: McAlester-Ada rivalry continues despite reclassification

Staff file photoMcAlester-Ada series set to continue despite new football districts

POTAC isn’t going away anytime soon.

The annual McAlester-Ada rivalry has been a staple of the fall football season for more than a century as the teams first met in 1915 and have since played 95 times.

Despite the Cougars dropping to Class 4A after the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association approved new districts for the next two years, McAlester athletic director John Homer said that the rivalry series isn’t going away anytime soon.

“Neither one of the administrations ever wanted to not play each other,” Homer said. “Two years ago when we brought it back, we had it worked out that if we weren’t in a district, we were going to play.”

Homer said that both McAlester and Ada have loved the series.

The staffs at each school include people that have been part of the rivalry their entire lives and love seeing the game continue.

“Both schools are excited about it. They know the tradition behind the McAlester-Ada rivalry,” Homer said. “I’ve been a part of it, the superintendent over there is a graduate of Ada and he’s been a part of it. Everything’s good.”

After a hiatus in the football rivalry from 2011 to 2018, the two schools came together and agreed to make the matchup a permanent staple for the Buffs and the Cougars. Fans rejoiced and flooded to the field to support their teams both at home and on the road.

But Homer said that they had to wait on word from the OSSAA ADM report, which is based on enrollment, before they could start putting together the 2020 schedule.

“We were kind of left on hold up until the actual numbers came out,” Homer said. “We had to put everything on hiatus. We couldn’t hire officials, couldn’t set games.”

Now that they have set it in stone, Homer assured that Buffs fans can gather every year for that special Friday in the fall when two teams who have been battling for 110 years will write another chapter of the storied series.

“It’s about the communities. It’s kind of bringing that old tradition back,” Homer said. “For football people, that’s just part of the fall. It’s always the Ada-McAlester game.

“We’re going to continue playing for years to come."

Contact Derek Hatridge at dhatridge@mcalesternews.com

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