Gunnar Gundy Plays Well in His Only Football Game for this Year
SHAWNEE -- The sun beat down on Crain Family Stadium for the entire first half. The temperature was still well over 90 degrees and with the humidity, it felt close to 100. That did not stop an estimated 2,000 fans, and it looked like more than that, and some 90 players from staging an All-State football game.
Thanks to Skordle and the Oklahoma Football Coaches Association, there was an All-State game even after the Oklahoma Coaches Association cancelled their annual convention and All-State week in Tulsa. The grass field looked awesome and while the blocking and tackling was sometimes sloppy, the intent was genuine. Oklahomans love their football!
Many of the players are heading on to schools like Northeastern State, Oklahoma Baptist, Emporia State, Central Oklahoma and NEO A&M Junior College. The high school players headed to Division I schools have reported to their campus and they bugged out of this contest. All except one that we know of. Stillwater's record-setting quarterback Gunnar Gundy and the son of Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy was playing his only organized football for this calendar year.
The starting quarterback for the East squad, that lost to the West 21-13, is going to continue being a part-time student at Oklahoma State this fall. He will have close to 25 hours of college credit after taking part-time hours in the spring of this year by the time he enrolls as a full-time student next January and officially becomes a member of the Cowboys football team. A unique game plan that made this game in Shawnee pretty important.
"Oh yeah, I've been five months without any action and it was great to get out here, meet some new guys, throw the football around," Gundy said as he walked off the field at OBU. "I've been looking forward to it for a really long time."
Gundy's team may have lost, but Gundy showed his talents again. At Stillwater last season, Gundy added to his record setting totals of 6,627-yards with 78 touchdowns and only seven career interceptions, by completing nearly 75 percent of his 300 pass attempts for 3,481-yards with 47 touchdowns and only three passes picked.
In the All-State Game in Shawnee, he completed 13-of-22 passes for 180-yards and both of the East touchdowns. He connected with Dylan Kedzior of Claremore for a first half score on a 22-yard pass and then hit Kedzior for a 34-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
"I think it was average," Gundy said of his passing, which was rushed at times. He also was sacked once and had to fall on two bad snaps. "My deep ball accuracy was pretty good, but the short throwing game was kind of hurried. I'd say overall, pretty good, but could improve a lot of things."
That will be his focus: improving, and it won't be easy as he will not be able to practice with Oklahoma State until he becomes a full-time student and member of the team. He will look for workout partners, probably help some at Stillwater High School and he will find mentors and instructors to work with like Derek Rasmussen and on the West Coast throwing instructor Tom House.
"It's been going hard, honestly so far," Gundy explained honestly. "I've been playing football my entire life, so I'm used to waking up and having to be at workouts and having to be in team meetings. I'm going to have to work on staying focused and making sure I take care of myself and my body so come in January I'll be ready. Until then I have to stay focused, prepare myself, and not be lazy."
It can't get here soon enough, but regardless of what happens this fall, Gunnar Gundy just played in a football game. Hopefully, many other players at the high school, college and professional level will get to do the same. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has stalled so much. Spring football was lost, the summer was different, and even if they play in Division I, the fall likely will be as well. Especially if they don't play, Gundy's decision to hold off his eligibility will look really good in context with the college football reality.
"I really think so," Gundy agreed. "It wasn't mine, but it was my dad's, but I don't think you could have timed it up better, honestly. Hopefully, they can play this season, but either way I'll be prepared next January and looking forward to it."
Be assured though, whether football is played in Boone Pickens Stadium or not this fall, Gunnar Gundy will be dreaming, day dreaming about the time it will and the time he will be out there as a part of it. Until then, last night will have to serve as the drink of water he gets while crossing his personal football desert.
What do they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. I believe it works with sports just as well.