Tahlequah Daily Press

December 4, 2013

Broken Arrow HC steps down

Local and state briefs

From Staff reports

— Steve Spavital announced on Monday that he will resign as Broken Arrow’s head football coach, citing health concerns as the reason for vacating his post.

“During the last few years, I’ve been battling several health issues that make coaching a challenge,” Spavital said in a release from the school. “I am a competitor, and it’s frustrating to have my coaching performance limited by issues beyond my control. The players deserve a head coach who can give them 100%, and I have reached a point where I just can’t do that for them anymore.”

Spavital was the Tigers’ head coach for seven years. He went 39-12 and guided Broken Arrow to the 2011 Class 6A championship game.

Prior to taking over at Broken Arrow, Spavital coached at Union High School.

In 2013, Spavital and the Tigers made it to the 6A semifinals, where they were eliminated from the playoffs after falling to Union, 30-18. Broken Arrow finished the year 10-3.

Broken Arrow Athletic Director Ken Ellet said the search for Spavital’s replacement will begin immediately.

RiverHawks drop out of top 25

Northeastern State will begin Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play without a top-25 ranking in front of its name. The RiverHawks dropped out of the coaches’ top 25 poll on Tuesday and fell down to the “receiving votes” category and are now tied for 34th in the national poll.

Since starting the season 4-0, the RiverHawks have lost two of their last three contests. The lone win required a Marcus Sheppard buzzer-beating 3-pointer in a 66-64 victory over Harding on Saturday. It was the second time this season that NSU has knocked off Harding.

NSU will begin MIAA play on Thursday at Lincoln, which was picked to finish last in both preseason polls in the MIAA.

In the top 25 poll, only two MIAA clubs remain. Fort Hays State moved up five spots to No. 15, and Washburn entered the top 25 after a 7-0 start to the season.

Metro State, who was atop the top 25 poll, dropped to No. 6 after a 72-69 loss at Western Washington, which went from seventh to No. 5.

West Liberty is Division II’s new No. 1 with 391 points and 12 first-place votes in the poll. Bellarmine is second with 391 points and three first-place votes. Drury and Florida Southern round out the top four.