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Class A baseball tournament: Delay means Rattan outfielder will miss tournament to report to Army

On Sunday, just-graduated Rattan senior Brandon Jones will report to begin his enlistment in the Army. But he'll have to leave with some unfinished business — the Class A state baseball tournament, which has been on hold because of the issue with Wright City.
by Ryan Aber Published: June 1, 2013

photo - Brandon Jones in right field for Rattan. PHOTO PROVIDED
Brandon Jones in right field for Rattan. PHOTO PROVIDED

There was never a question in Brandon Jones' mind about what he wanted to do out of high school.

“My dad did it, his dad did it,” Jones said. “I just kind of carried on the tradition of joining the Army I guess.

“I've kind of told everybody my whole life that I was going to do what my dad did.”

Sunday, the just-graduated Rattan senior will travel to Oklahoma City to report before heading to Fort Jackson, S.C., for basic training.

When he officially enlisted in December, Jones didn't have any idea that he'd have to leave unfinished business behind.

But the Rams' right fielder and No. 5 hitter will be leaving before the Class A state baseball tournament concludes. The tournament has been suspended since May 3 after the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association halted the tournament and announced it would appeal Wright City's injunction to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Wright City was forced to forfeit its first-round state tournament game before being granted a temporary restraining order in McCurtain County District Court.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Friday, leading to a scheduled Tuesday appeal in front of the OSSAA's board of directors.

None of that will come quickly enough for Jones.

“I don't think it's right,” Rattan coach Ryan Cordell said of Jones missing the tournament. “Especially when he's leaving to go serve our country.

“He's a mature kid and he's kind of accepted that this is not the most important thing in the world. He's tried not to show any emotion on it because he's a tough kid but I know it's hurt him.”

Brandon might not show much emotion, speaking of the disappointment without falter, but it's harder to contain for Jones' father, Andy.

“We figured this would all be done in early May,” Andy said, choking up. “With him missing out, he didn't get a chance to finish what he started. I'm proud of him for going into the Army.”

Brandon doesn't blame Wright City's players.

“It's just kind of the situation I guess,” Jones said. “It does say in the rule book that you can only play so many games. But I can't really be mad at anybody because I understand that the kids at Wright City didn't have anything to do with it.”

There was a brief glimmer of hope Friday morning after the decision came down that Jones might be able to play if the tournament could be scheduled for Saturday.

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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