McALESTER — And so it ends. Sure, there are a few events left — a couple of awards banquets, an all-star game or two, etc. — but the high school sports year officially ended with the state boys’ tennis tournament and Class 5A-6A track meet Saturday.
For the schools in this area, what a year it was.
McAlester’s football, basketball and golf teams all went one round deeper into their respective postseasons. The football team got its first chance to play for a state championship since 1996.
McAlester’s track teams qualified 10 to State, an increase over 2013, and McAlester’s cheerleading squad returned to State and placed much higher.
McAlester’s wrestling team saw senior Donald Cannon win his second consecutive individual championship. McAlester’s girls’ tennis team saw Jennifer Amy and teammate Rayne Key place two spots higher at State this year than Amy did with then-senior Loretta Medina last year.
Buffs boys’ tennis returned to State. Lady Buffs’ pom returned to Nationals.
And while McAlester’s baseball and softball teams couldn’t get out of Regionals, both teams avoided the two-game sweeps that ended their postseasons during the 2012-13 school year.
Local success didn’t end in McAlester. Stuart set two school records during the 2013-14 year, with both Stuart’s fastpitch softball and baseball teams making their respective state tournaments in the fall, and both its fastpitch and slowpitch teams making State in the same year.
That Lady Hornets fastpitch team made the state semifinals.
In football, Hartshorne made the Class 2A state semifinals, Savanna made the Class A second round and Quinton made the playoffs. All three teams improved over the year before.
In basketball, the Kiowa Cowboys set school records for most wins and first appearances in both the state semifinals and state championship game. The Haileyville Warriors won their first Pitt 8 Tournament in decades.