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High school baseball: Wright City's Kyle Butler says he's fighting for his players

The coach at the center of the Wright City mess is finishing up his first year at a job that he had long considered a goal — one where he could coach fall and spring baseball. He hasn't denied that his team played too many games, but he's determined to fight for his team.
by Jacob Unruh Published: May 26, 2013

It was always Kyle Butler's goal to coach fall and spring baseball.

Little did he know, his first year doing just that for Wright City would ultimately stagnate in a legal battle at which he stands in the center.

Wright City was forced to forfeit its first-round game of the Class A state baseball tournament on April 30 when it was discovered the team had exceeded the maximum amount of games by two. That sparked a series of events in court that led to the suspension of the tournament three games in and the issue going to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Butler, though, has not denied the error, but is still choosing to fight the ruling from the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association in hope of keeping his team in the tournament.

And the picture of who Kyle Butler is starts to become clear.

“I think what he's doing right now is he's fighting for his kids,” said Clegg McAdams, Butler's high school coach in Hugo and father of two players on another team in limbo, Rattan.

“Of course, it's affecting other schools and everything in the midst of all of this. But I have nothing but the utmost respect for Kyle. He's done a good job. He's a very good baseball coach.”

Butler, 27, played football and baseball growing up in Hugo, eventually landing a baseball scholarship to Murray State College. After two years there, he played two more seasons at East Central University, also serving as a graduate assistant for one year.

It was during those years that Butler discovered his desire to coach and remain around the game.

“Athletics is what kind of motivated me to go to school,” he said. “I really enjoyed it and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it after school. That's why I pursued the career to coach because I obviously didn't make it any further than the college level.”

Butler then coached the Lindsay baseball team and was also an assistant for the football team for three years.

Then the opportunity came to attain his goal when longtime Bill Claborn retired following last spring after 20-plus seasons and more than 1,200 wins at Wright City.

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by Jacob Unruh
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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