It may only be June, but in Claremore ... the Zebras are already counting down to the season opener.
There is exactly 94 days til high school football returns to Rogers County.
On Sept. 5, the Zebras clash with the Pryor Tigers in the ‘Battle of Rogers-Mayes County’.
Normally, the Zebras would kickoff the season with the annual ‘Battle of Rogers County’ against Oologah, but both teams decided to end the rivalry for now.
Claremore’s season opener on Sept. 5 will mark a return to Class 6A as the Zebras move into the newly-formed Division II. The new division places Claremore in a league with Bixby, Sand Springs, Booker T. Washington, Muskogee, Ponca City, Sapulpa and Bartlesville. Also, the Zebras will not have to take on Jenks, Union, Broken Arrow or Owasso in the postseason.
Under seventh-year head coach Rob Gilbreath, who has an overall record of 35-30, the Zebras welcome a senior-laden squad that is led by All-State candidates Dustin Basks, Bear Hope, Derek Reliford and Jared Vincent.
Basks, one of the most decorated Zebras in school history, anchors the secondary alongside two-year starting linebacker (Bear) Hope. The 5-foot-8, 170-pound Basks accumulated 11 pass breakups, four fumble recoveries, three interceptions and three forced fumbles in 2013.
Hope, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound linebacker, tallied 311 tackles in his first two varsity seasons.
Sept. 5 at Pryor
Sept. 12 vs. Rogers (Ark.)
Sept. 19 vs. Siloam Springs (Ark.)
Sept. 26 at Bixby
Oct. 3 vs. Sand Springs (Homecoming)
Oct. 10 at Booker T. Washington
Oct. 16 vs. Muskogee
Oct. 24 at Ponca City
Oct. 31 vs. Sapulpa
Nov. 7 at Bartlesville
All games will kick off at 7 p.m.