WE WERE ON A BREAK!
In case you missed it, the OSSAA has a series of area meetings planned all across the state this month with an eight-item agenda.
Perhaps the most interesting that will be discussed is implementing a "dead period" for summer activities.
The OSSAA board at its October meeting last week discussed which proposal it would take to the meetings, at which the OSSAA staff discusses a number of things with administrators, ADs and coaches (it's a way for the OSSAA staff to get out and communicate with the membership).
The proposal the OSSAA board opted to take to the membership basically shuts down high school athletics from July 1-14 each year.
The plan stipulates no member school facility use and no member school coach contact during that period.
Also up for discussion is lightening off-season restrictions, especially in June. It will also allow for sanctioned camps from July 15-Aug. 1.
I reached out to a number of coaches in multiple sports. Most - surprisingly to me - were for it.
Baseball and fast-pitch coaches didn't seem to like it, but I'm also going from a small sample size.
"A bad idea," said one coach, simply.
A football coach said, "I'm way in. I've been begging for it...as long as they let us practice in June."
Multiple coaches pointed out that Arkansas and Kansas both have similar "dead periods."
"I'm not opposed to it if it doesn't change the month of June for basketball," said a (duh) basketball coach. "And I would love to have a break that everyone has to follow."
Added another basketball coach: "I understand the reasoning behind it. It's a good idea. And it does give coaches a bit of a break."
Personally, I'm for it.
Summer has disappeared. Not just for athletes, but coaches as well.
June is filled with team camps, summer conditioning programs, summer baseball and more.
It's not out of the ordinary for a high school athlete to be at a summer lifting program by 6 a.m. (which includes weights and running), play two to three basketball games at a team camp and then play a baseball double-header that night.
While that seems far-fetched, it happens.
While July does slow down, it's not too far into the month that practice starts for fast-pitch and fall baseball...and, of course, football.
Giving EVERYONE a mandatory break can't be a bad thing. People will obviously skirt the rules (and let's be honest, some of you will flat-out break them), but putting everyone on a level playing field can be beneficial for all.
BREAK UP THE PRIVATES
No, I'm not one of those guys, but I couldn't help but notice the private school domination at the 3A and 4A state volleyball tournaments last week.
In 3A, Crossings Christian knocked off No. 1 Corn Bible Academy in the title tilt. Five of the eight teams that qualified and three of the four semifinalists were private schools.
As for 4A, Christian Heritage won the state title match over Regent Prep.
Private and private.
Again, five of the elite eight and three of the four semifinalists were....non-public schools.
What am I saying with all this? Nothing. Just pointing out facts.
YEAH, BUT CAN HE MOVE LIKE ME?
Second-ranked Shattuck upended No. 1 Arnett 4-1 last Saturday to win the Class B fast-pitch softball championship.
It capped a 37-9 season and avenged a 6-2 loss to Arnett earlier this year.
It also continued a tremendous legacy being left at the school by head coach Troy Bullard.
Amazing fact: Shattuck has won 12 OSSAA state championships (sorry, Indian nation, I'm not counting your 10 jazz band state championships, but that run of six straight from 1975-80 was impressive)...Troy Bullard has taken part in every single one.
He was a player on the 1991 football title team (actually the MVP of the state championship game).
He was the head coach when the Indians won six straight football titles from 2003-08 (oh and set a national record for consecutive wins) and also in 2011. He was an assistant to his brother Tyson Bullard when the Indians won it all in 2015.
In softball, Troy led the Lady Indians to slow-pitch titles in 2014 and 2017 and now their first fast-pitch crown.
Where is this guy's statue?!?!?!?!?!
EXCELLENCE....IT'S IN THE GENES
Anyone notice that Binger-Oney won the Class A fast-pitch crown with a 7-2 victory over Stonewall?
I did. I was there. Cheering. With the common folk.
My little cousin, Layne Smith, was the catcher and leadoff hitter for the Lady Bobcats (went 2-for-3 and scored twice if you were wondering). I was in the stands cheering 20 years ago when her mom (now the Binger girls' basketball coach) was a freshman helping guide the Lady Bobcats to the state finals in basketball. That team fell short to a Canadian squad that beat all its state foes by 30-plus.
Binger didn't fall short this time around.
I'm pointing this out because I can. It's my column. I can brag on whomever I wish.
Besides, her principal saw me at the mall the week before and said, "Aren't you the Skordle guy?"
That really happened.
If your principal recognized me, I might write about you, too.
I SEE YOU
Crescent - The Tigers broke a huge hex last week when they won their first-ever "War on 74" by defeating rival Cashion in convincing fashion, 54-14. On paper, this wasn't an upset, but games are played on the field and Crescent hadn't won in this series since Cashion returned to 11-man in 2008, a run of nine straight for those of you too lazy to do the math. Crescent may well have been the better team some of those years, but Cashion always found a way to win. Cashion was definitely the better team in 2014 when it won 82-0 at Crescent. That year, the Tigers were starting a bunch of freshmen and were on their way to an 0-10 record. Those freshmen are now seniors. They're big. They're strong. They're physical. And they have talent. They out-gained Cashion 660-185. They rushed for 491 yards. They averaged 11.2 a carry. This is a team that can win it all, if you ask me. The Tigers need to clean some things up (fewer penalties, take care of the ball), but they have the kind of game that can win in December. You read it here, first.
Prue - The Rockets gave up 48 points to South Coffeyville last week....and still 45'd the Lions. That's right. Prue gave up 48 points and won by the mercy rule, 94-48 (was this the longest mercy-rule game in the history of ever?). The win improved Prue to 7-0 and the Rockets are climbing into the Class B rankings. Maybe they're doing it on the legs of Dylan Roach. He carried the ball 20 times for 400 yards (again, you lazy math people, that's 20 yards a carry) and five touchdowns. He didn't even have the highest average on the team. Kirk Stengel had two carries for 79 yards (39.5 per). The Rockets average 336 rushing yards a game, but will get their biggest test of the season this week against Depew (anyone going to the Prue-Depew game? Depew-Prue, anyone?). Depew (6-0) has only given up 58 points all year. That's apparently what Prue calls a decent half. We'll see which one emerges as the favorite to win B-7.
Idabel - Can anyone tell me what happened in this game with Stigler? The Warriors entered the game with a 2-3 record. Stigler hadn't beaten anyone of note, but was still 6-0. So, of course, Idabel wins 62-10. Yes, a 52-point loss. That had everyone up here on this side of the world...err....state scratching their heads. Idabel's losses are to Broken Bow (no shame), Nashville, Ark. (no idea) and Trinity Valley out of Ft. Worth (again, no idea but you assume they're decent). Stigler had an offense that could produce yards and points through the air and on the ground, most notably with senior back Garret Brooks. Brooks had run for at least 170 and three touchdowns in each of the Panthers' previous six games (including 374 yards and five scores against Spiro). Idabel, though, bottled him up. He had just 82 yards on 16 carries and was kept out of the end zone (still has 1,549 yards and 23 TDs already this season). Like I said, this one baffled most everyone. While the Tulsa World dropped Stigler from the 3A rankings, the AP, Oklahoman and Skordle still has the Panthers ranked. Idabel...ranked nowhere.