ARDMORE — Oklahoma Christian School golf coach Cheryl Hitchcock knows that a good athletic program is built from the bottom up.
So, when she saw the excitement generated by the boys team winning the state championship in 2006, she took the opportunity to propagate it.
By 2008, OCS was regularly fielding a successful junior-varsity team, made up mostly of kids who came up through the middle-school program.
Most Class 3A schools don't have the chance to build up middle-school or junior-varsity teams to the point that it eventually bears fruit at the varsity level. But Hitchcock has seized the opportunity to run her program that way.
“We've been fortunate that we've had a lot of interest in golf,” she said. “We've created a program where a lot of golfers get to participate in junior varsity, which helps you build for the future.”
On Monday and Tuesday, the Saints will be competing for their fourth consecutive state championship in the Class 3A tournament at Dornick Hills in Ardmore.
This is the team's first year at 3A after getting bumped up because of new OSSAA rules governing private-school teams.
That has made for a more challenging season, and Plainview is playing in its own backyard at Dornick. Plainview has to be considered the favorite after defeating OCS by 15 strokes in regionals last week.