Acklin becomes first Bethel football player to be named to All-State Team

Brian Johnson
Sports Editor
Devin Acklin of Bethel

Bethel High School football standout Devin Acklin has made history.

The 5-foot, 10-inch defensive back became the first Wildcat in program history to be named to an All-State football team, it was recently announced by the Oklahoma Coaches Association.

Joining Acklin on the East squad are the Seminole High School offensive tandem of running back Cameron Gunville (6-0, 185) and center Luke Wieck (6-1, 235).

Acklin had an outstanding senior season on both sides of the football for head coach Joey Ginn. As a free safety, Acklin intercepted five passes, defended three more, caused a fumble and recovered a fumble while racking up 84 tackles, including nine for lost yards.

He also had an outstanding campaign on offense, leading 5-5 Bethel with 64 pass receptions for 1,002 yards and 13 touchdowns as a receiver. To boot, Acklin also totaled 16 kickoff returns for 309 yards (19.3 average) with his longest return going for 45 yards.

“He’s been a three-year starter offensively and defensively for us. He’s been our leading receiver the last three years,” said Ginn. “I love the kid. He’s a great kid. We would open the doors (for workouts) and he would be the first one there if not Gunner Smith, our quarterback.

“This whole senior group made up their minds that things were going to be different. Devin took on the role of leadership as far as being a vocal leader and it was a little bit outside of himself.”

In Acklin being named to the East All-State Team, Ginn is doubly excited because he gets to serve as an assistant coach for the squad.

“He is one of the 35 players in 11-man football for half the state,” said Ginn. “I’m real excited to coach in the game, coach all of that talent and coach Devin one more time. It gives us one more Friday night together.”

Acklin has received recruiting attention from Bethany College (Kansas), University of Central Oklahoma and East Central University.

For Seminole head coach Mike Snyder, Gunville had an superb senior season rushing for nearly 1,400 yards and scoring 15 touchdowns, despite battling a back injury.

“We didn’t get the ball to him as much as I would have liked (because of the injury),” said Snyder. “He started as a freshman and was probably at about 5,000 career yards.”

Gunville is being recruited by Emporia State and Oklahoma Baptist University and has received attention as a possible preferred walk-on at Oklahoma State.

Wieck has been a three-year starter for the Chieftains.

“He is probably one of the most dominant lineman I’ve had the opportunity to coach here,” Snyder said. “He’s probably the best center we’ve ever had. Everybody we have played have given him a lot of compliments.

“These have been two very good players and we’re very proud when they join a long list of Chieftains (to make all-state). We’re extremely proud of what they have accomplished.”

The All-State Football Game will be played on Friday, July 31.