NEWCASTLE — Tulsa Bishop Kelley's girls soccer team felt like it had something to prove this season.
Bishop Kelley beat Edmond North, the two-time defending champion, 4-1 Friday for the Class 6A title, winning its 13th girls soccer championship in the last 14 years.
“They'd won two titles in a row, and so had we, but theirs were in 6A and everybody thinks that means a lot more,” said junior Katie Sprouse, who scored a goal and had two assists Friday. “We definitely had to prove ourselves.”
The Comets' girls soccer program has been among the state's most successful in any sport and was bumped to Class 6A because of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association's public-private schools proposal approved last summer.
The school with an average daily membership of 811 played much larger schools — for example, Edmond North's ADM is just north of 2,200.
Comets players have heard all year that continuing their remarkable run of championships wouldn't be possible in Class 6A. Sprouse even heard it from her club teammates.
“You can't do it,” they'd tell her. “It's not the same.”
The competition might not have been, but the results certainly were.
Bishop Kelley took a 1-0 lead less than seven minutes into the match on sophomore Stephanie Krawczyk's goal.
The score stayed that way until the Comets scored three goals — from juniors Bailey Haydock, Sprouse and Claire Kelley — within an eight-minute stretch in the second half.
“Biggest relief ever,” keeper Kaela Little said of watching the goals tally up from inside the opposite net. “It was a huge weight off my shoulders. I was just so proud of them.”
Bishop Kelley coach Troy Tokarchik said he doesn't worry too much about the public-private debate or the circumstances surrounding his program's bump to 6A.