Sam Raglin’s tennis season ended with a loss this weekend at the OKC Tennis Center. But unlike most other players, the state tournament wasn’t the junior’s main focus.
In fact, the weekend was a welcome distraction from what the Raglin family is facing back in Harrah.
Raglin was competing Monday at the Class 5A regional at Kickingbird — unaware of what was happening back home.
The Panthers finished their regional and Raglin was thrilled to have qualified for state when the team was told it wasn’t going home anytime soon.
"We heard about a tornado that was coming through the Harrah area so we stayed in Edmond,” Raglin said.
Raglin started to realize something was wrong when several of his family members were trying to contact him at once.
His grandma finally got in touch with him to deliver the news that the family’s home was destroyed in the tornado. The family was safe, however, having evacuated before it hit.
When Raglin got back to Harrah, his father confirmed it for Raglin again.
"I just couldn’t believe it. I was in shock, you know,” Raglin said. "But when you see a canoe in the front yard for no reason and a nearby swing set end up in your living room, it kind of hits you.”
His father told Raglin to grab what he could from his room, so Raglin grabbed his Bible and that was it.
The house was more than a home for the Raglin family. Raglin’s father built the house 25 years ago. It was the only home Raglin knew.
"There are so many memories there — so many great memories,” said friend Ryan Mixon, who was at the state tournament to support Raglin.
The rest of week was a blur for Raglin. He stayed at friends’ houses a couple of nights and is now back with his parents at a house they’re renting.
Their home was deemed unsalvageable, and the family plans to build a new house at the same location.