The eight-plus year run of the Oklahoma High School Sports Express appears to be coming to an end, leaving a noticeable void in the high school sports scene.
The show’s founder and host, Van Shea Iven, was named director of media relations by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board of directors on Wednesday, though he plans to bring some of the highly successful show’s elements to the OSSAA.
Iven will finish the school year on the show, but he has no plans to hand control over to someone on the outside.
“I’m not going to have time to do it and if the Oklahoma High School Sports Express is going to carry on, I want it to be done right,” he said. “I want kids to get covered in every sport from all corners of the state and get a chance to be on TV.”
After spending 17 years with KFOR, Iven started the Sports Express in January 2006. During the show’s run, he has named on average nearly 200 student athletes per episode. He said the show will end at 320 episodes, bringing the total to nearly 60,000 names.
Things have recently changed for Iven with the birth of his son Turner in October. Moving to the OSSAA will allow him to spend more time with his family.
“I’ve loved every minute of it, but this gives me a little more freedom to be with my wife and my son.”
It will also allow Iven to expand the OSSAA’s presence as he will oversee media relations, the organization’s webpage and publications.
“We’re just excited about what he brings to the organization and what he can do to promote our kids and our playoffs,” OSSAA executive director Ed Sheakley said. “Our website is pretty much an information site where you want to go and get rules, get playoff information, get brackets. Well, we want to change that. We want to put video clips of our championships, we want to put sound bites of our championships, we want to look at social media and it continues our mission that we’re all about kids.”
STATE BASEBALL SITES DETERMINED
OSSAA assistant director Mike Whaley called it a perfect storm.
Whaley announced the final plan for the spring baseball state tournament sites, with all classes being played in the Oklahoma City area and receiving a 12-0 vote for approval from the board.
The biggest news is that the University of Oklahoma will be the host for the entire Class 6A tournament and the Class 5A semifinals and championship, while Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark will host the championships for Classes 4A-2A. The tournaments will be held May 15-17.