DEFENSIVE SPECIALIST: Owasso’s Connor Haff battles an offensive lineman against Union on Sept. 30.
Courtesy Owasso High School Athletic Department
Connor Haff loves the outdoors. He hopes to do some of that when he goes down to Stephen F. Austin University next fall.
The senior Owasso defensive lineman recently committed to the Texas school, located in the east central part of the state, to play his college football career. Haff (6-3, 240) is verbally committed to that program at this point. Verbal commitments are non-binding. He went to SFA’s spring game and was drawn to the coaching staff.
“I liked the coaches a lot, and they made it feel like home,” Haff says. “And there is a lot of bass-fishing and hunting down there. I’m really into that. But the main part is the coaches down there are really cool.”
He chose SFA over Pittsburg State, Southwestern Oklahoma State and Northeastern State.
In the meantime, Haff is focused on helping the Rams overcome their early-season struggles.
“It’s been a journey,” he says.
“We’re finally starting to find that rhythm as a team.”
Haff wrestled in the past, but he stopped after his sophomore year when he realized a bright future on the gridiron.
As a wrestler, Haff competed as a heavyweight. In his last season, he made it to a national event in Columbia, Missouri, here he earned runner-up.
But like many, his grappling experience has been a plus for him in football.
Haff can put both his hands on the ground and crash the middle of the line, or he can slide outside and finesse you into giving up a sack.
Size, strength and quickness is what Haff considers his best attributes.
The Rams snapped a three-game losing streak on Oct. 6 when they defeated Putnam City North 43-0.
“It was a good confidence boost,” Haff says.
“We really haven’t played up to our capability,” he says. “After our losses to Jenks and Union, we got down on ourselves, and we haven’t been playing to the best of our ability.”
As of Oct. 14, the Rams were 2-4 overall and 1-2 in District 6AI-2. They opened the season in zero week with a 41-23 loss to Jenks before responding with a 59-14 rout of Bartlesville. A heartbreaking four-point loss (14-10) to Broken Arrow followed, then came defeats to Mustang (40-21) and Union (59-3).
“We started off the game with Jenks playing good defense and offense, but the offense was getting three-and-out shutouts and our defense wasn’t getting any rest. That was tough in our defense, and I think we all just got tired and with it being the first game of the year. I don’t think we were in the best of shape.”
Owasso scored first on a pass play before Jenks moved out to a 21-7 lead. The Rams kicked a field goal and scored another TD, having missed the 2-point try, to draw within 21-16. Then Jenks blew the game open.
Against Broken Arrow, the Rams owned leads of 7-0 and 10-7 before coming up short.
Injuries incurred in that game hindered Owasso and, after an open date in week three, hurt them in the Mustang and Union games.
“They capitalized on that,” Haff said in regards to the losses.
Quarterbacks Troy Hudson and Josh Proctor, first and second string, respectively, were hurt in those games.
Unfortunately, Owasso had another setback after the Putnam City North win, as it fell at home to Southmoore, 34-12. A home game against 6AI-2 leader Norman North was next on the schedule as of submission of this story. Road games against Moore and Edmond North follow.
Haff primarily plays defensive end for Owasso. He is also used some on the offensive line in their “Jumbo Package,” a strategy the Rams use for red-zone situations.
He recalls some personal highlights against Mustang, but there are not any plays that stand out to him.
Haff enjoys the defensive mentality of the game.
“I like playing offense too, but I love playing defense and being able to hit guys. I like playing offensive line because if my team needs me, I like helping my team out in any way possible.”
Lady Rams Drop First-Round Game
Owasso appeared to be a front-runner for the Class 6A championship in fast-pitch softball after going through the season with a 35-3 record.
However, the Lady Rams could not get past the first round against Moore in the state tournament on Oct. 13. Owasso lost the game 5-3.