Every school claims it in high school and college football, but the Guthrie fans are among the best in Oklahoma high school football.
Jelsma Stadium is celebrating 75 years this season and after an epic showdown between Guthrie and Carl Albert last Friday evening, it may have seen its largest crowd ever for a sporting event as the BlueJays (7-0) kept their perfect record alive with a game winning field goal coming with just 12 seconds left in the game.
Guthrie administration has estimated anywhere between 6,000 and 6,500 fans attended the game and that included a good following from the Carl Albert fan base. Fans stacked the stands, a few aisles, the south end zone and walk ways to take in the game. Very few left before the clock showed 0:00.
Sure, Tulsa Union and Jenks will draw more people to watch their game, but when you add the atmosphere of Jelsma Stadium, that we saw on Friday night, it’s hard to beat.
Even the tailgate party outside the stadium had a unique buzz to it. Fans save the usual week-to-week chatter for their analysis on the game and what they thought they might see as the GHS band performed and fans were eating those hamburgers as fast as the Big Blue Burger Crew could cook.
How good was public address announcer Dennis Ochs Friday night? I could hear his voice rising as the fans awaited the Guthrie team to run out onto the field in our radio field mic. Then again before kick off and throughout the night. If you ask me, he has been listening real close to Larry Reece, the PA announcer for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, but that is just a good educated guess on my part. Regardless, it worked because it got me excited too.
It was a night to shine for Guthrie with the television cameras and the multiple news outlets, who gathered for the game that they plan every year, but this year’s game was magnified with No. 1 vs No. 3. Several members of the Cox Communications team, who broadcasted the game on television, told me this was one of the most exciting high school games they have ever covered for the company.
Speaking of best game ever. Talking with Guthrie historian’s who have seen a lot Guthrie Football inside Jelsma Stadium, they all agree that Guthrie-Carl Albert 2011 is the best game ever to be played in the 75-year-old stadium.
Guthrie and Carl Albert have had some great build up games like this past week (2007 and 2008), but those games were played in Midwest City.
This time it was Jelsma’s turn to host and boy did it put on a show.