Tahlequah Daily Press

High School Sports

November 12, 2013

Playoff spectators

Area teams shut out of the postseason this season



The Indians nearly knocked off Locust Grove — the eventual 3A-7 champion — in Week 4. They followed with two convincing wins over Keys and Westville. A nondistrict win over Sperry would soon follow, and through seven games Sequoyah was 4-3.

That’s where the good vibes ended for the Indians. Three straight losses derailed any hopes Sequoyah had of making the playoffs.

There’s good news on the horizon, though.

The Indians bring back running back Justin Hooper and quarterback Zach Parish next year.

“We have something to build on. We have a lot of young guys who needed the experience and got it this year,” Sequoyah head coach Shane Richardson said. “We have something we can build on for next year.”

In 2014, Sequoyah remains in 3A-7 along with Locust Grove, Jay, Keys and Westville. Lincoln Christian and Hilldale will vacant the premises and Inola and Claremore-Sequoyah will fill the void.

With the degree of difficulty lowered in district play, look for the Indians to embark on playoff voyage as soon as next season.


Gary Willis was honest with himself before the season started. The Keys head coach knew wins would be few and far between during his 12th season at the helm.

Sure enough, the Cougars were limited to one win, a 28-21 triumph over Westville.

Willis graduated nearly every key player from a team that advanced to the 3A second round in 2012. Guys like Tyler Blankenship, Trevor Eubanks, Cody Cole were all gone. The page had been flipped to guys like Garett Willis and Dakota Matlock.

Willis and Matlock both took their lumps in 2013, but to hear Willis talk about his youngsters on the roster, he’s quite pleased with where the program is headed. Willis will tell anyone who will listen how Matlock may become a dominant force in 3A.

All we can do is wait and see.

While Locust Grove will be tough to top in 3A-7 for the next two years, if Keys can get its roster to improve, the Cougars could be right back in the playoff hunt.

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