By Robert Przybylo
Well, we did it. We’re through another great year of high school sports. A lot of great moments, a lot of special kids, here is just a small sample of some of my favorite memories.
Qualifying statement: I had to see these in person. I know I missed a lot of great moments so these can only be the ones I actually saw.
Here we go.
No. 15 – Bethel repeats as slowpitch softball state champions
This was a wild game against Purcell in the championship. At first, you thought the Wildcats were going to run the Dragons right out of the park. Purcell fought back, but it was still 12-4 entering the seventh inning. Then things got wacky. Purcell had hit after hit after hit only to lose 12-9. Bethel’s Brittany Watson is one of the best softball players I’ve seen in my three years of covering the game.
No. 14 – Edmond North boys swim team ekes out 200 individual medley relay
This is more of a personal one as I was gassed after all the 5A championships. However, this relay woke me up and had me ready to roll for the next hours. Edmond North just barely edged out Union by .06 for the title. Of course, Jenks would sweep both the boys and girls championships as Jacob Pearce had a memorable Saturday.
No. 13 – Buzzer beaters (Western Heights’ D.J. Taylor and Holland Hall’s Kwame Sexton)
There was a span of a couple of weeks where I just happened to be lucky enough to have my video camera with me. Taylor hit a 3-pointer to give the Jets a thrilling win against Deer Creek in the Bruce Gray Classic. Sexton drained a 3 at the buzzer to beat rival Casady after the Cyclones connected on 3 seconds earlier to tie the game.
No. 12 – Edmond Santa Fe goes for 2-point conversion vs. Edmond North and fails
Heck of a way to start your head coaching career, no? Bruce Gowen, in his first game with the Wolves, elects to go for a two-point conversion and the win. The Wolves were down 14-0 but rallied to make it 14-13. Gowen was riding momentum and had total confidence his boys could pull it off. North’s Rickey Lawyer intercepted the conversion attempt.
No. 11 – Edmond North’s Casey Distaso upends Union’s Logon Collins in three-set marathon
You know I’m a tennis aficionado, for better or worse. This was everything everybody thought it would be in the state semifinals. Collins earned the first set and was up 3-0 in the second. But Distaso, who decided to play specifically for this weekend, rallied back to earn the second set, 7-5. He never looked back in winning the third.
No. 10 – Bishop McGuinness boys basketball beat Carl Albert in OT in finals of McGuinness Classic
I love the basketball tournament weeks and this was no exception. The atmosphere was insane for the Irish and Titans and McGuinness’ Kevin Caruthers and CA’s Caleb Price were going back and forth in making one big shot after another. A Jameel Whitney block in OT spurred McGuinness to the victory.
No. 9 – Bishop McGuinness’ Emily Conrad and Whitney Ritichie become four-time champions
I feel like I’ve watched these two grow up the last three years. The Irish girls were dominant in all four years of their careers, never losing a match. Phenomenal stuff every time they went out there. Conrad will play at Abilene Christian while Ritchie will become the latest Irish player to play at OU.
No. 8 – Heritage Hall’s Bob Kraft strikes out 20 against Casady
Sometimes you stumble onto the greatness. Sure felt like it with this moment. Kraft struck out seven in two innings so figured it would be something special. He ended up recording 23 outs as two Ks got by the catcher. His variety of pitches is easily his strength. Heritage won, 8-1.
Moments 7-1 on Sunday.