By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
The Class A & B Oklahoma State Tournaments at the State Fair Arena are quite a spectacle to witness. Fans from small schools come from every corner of the state, each bringing along a student section dressed in face paint and crazy costumes.
I’ve had the pleasure of covering panhandle teams at the tournament the last three seasons, including three trips by the Forgan boys and a trip by the Balko girls.
I wish I had been able to make it in previous seasons when the Beaver boys and girls, Turpin boys, and Forgan boys and girls had made it as well.
The panhandle is a different place compared to the rest of the field that makes their way to the state tournament. Because of our unique location to the rest of the state, when a team goes to the state tournament, they represent not only their town, but the entire area.
I’ve heard it year after year from coaches and players that they feel that—that they are representing more than just their school but an area that feels often times forgotten by the rest of the state.
Press row is an interesting place to sit with one of the two teams fans bases sitting right behind you. And from those experiences I have learned you can add one more thing to the old quote, “the only things in life that are certain are death and taxes.” You can bet a fan from the losing team will yell “better give a gold ball to the refs too!”
Forgan’s incredible run
First, The Daily Oklahoman named Jace Kerr the MVP of the state tournament, and Chandler Bryer was also named to the five-member squad.
It was mentioned in yesterday’s edition that the senior class at Forgan finished their career with a four year record of 111-7. That is an incredible winning percentage of .941.
But the Bulldogs run goes even longer than that. Their six year record is 160-14; a winning percentage of .920.
A home winning streak now stands at 50 games and dates back to 2008. Their district title run now covers 20 straight seasons.
I am very thankful to Brent Lansden of the Beaver Herald-Democrat and Roger and Vicki Pasque of Panhandle Illustrated for being willing to share their photos with us. Not only do they take much better pictures than I do, but it is a lot easier to cover a game and not have to shoot pictures at the same time.