Okarche sophomore Rae Grellner has known for a month that she'd be playing at State Fair Arena on Saturday. She just didn't know she'd be playing basketball, too.
Grellner was chosen to play the national anthem on her violin before Okarche's Class A state championship game against Frontier.
“We turned in a DVD three months ago for her to maybe get the chance to play at the state finals, not knowing, of course, that we would actually be playing in the game,” Grellner's mother, Amy, said. “So it was even that much more special, to play right before her game.
“She was a little nervous today, but she did a good job.”
Rae Grellner has been playing violin for nine years and plays with the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra. In three weeks, she will be performing with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.
SECOND TITLE FELT DIFFERENT FOR FORGAN
With the majority of last year's players also a part of this season's state championship, experience was a big key for Forgan.
But winning the second one was very different from the first, said senior Ryan Radcliff, who had 29 points and 10 rebounds Saturday.
“The second one was so much better, more of a redemption-type deal for yourself, your town, your coaches, the area you come from,” he said. “It's just a great feeling.”
Forgan also became the first team to win back-to-back championship games by more than 30 points, following last year's 81-47 win over Graham.
“It's unbelievable, what we did last year, then to come back and do it again. It can't get any better than that,” said junior Jake Regier, who had 14 points Saturday. “I love all the guys on this team, especially those seniors.”
Twin brothers Ryan and Rhett Radcliff, along with their cousin, Tanner Jones, were the only seniors on the team.
“This is like our own house, like our home floor,” Ryan Radcliff said. “We didn't lose a game in our gym from fifth grade through high school. We only lost one in this place, our freshman year, so we wanted to go out as winners.”
BURLINGTON WINS THIRD STRAIGHT ACADEMIC TITLE
Burlington's boys were among the winners of the academic state championships Saturday.
Randy Turney's team won the Class B boys honor for the third consecutive season. Of the 14 team members, 10 have 4.0 grade-point averages.
Caney won the Class B girls award, Pond Creek-Hunter in Class A boys and Covington-Douglas in Class A girls.