Tahlequah Daily Press

High School Sports

October 28, 2012

Indians band together and capture 3A-7 crown

Brent Scott has always stressed the aptitude of his assistant coaches.

“I’m smart enough to surround myself with great coaches,” he once told me. I figured he was being honest in his assessment – if only due to the commitment to the program shown by previous administrators like Gina Stanley.

Never did I consider the possibility that all of that impromptu praise could be put to such an unimaginable test as the one the Indians found themselves faced with during what should have been a banner week for the school.

It was that, for all of the wrong reasons. Sequoyah was “bannering” as early as Tuesday, with news that the OSSAA was in the process of ruling Scott and eight of his players ineligible, due to a violation of a policy governing summer camps and clinics.

By Wednesday, the number of potentially ineligible players – and coaches – had grown substantially, creating doubt as to whether or not there would even be a game played on Friday night. Then, late Thursday afternoon, a special district judge cast a little reason upon the situation – a rarity in these developments – temporarily overruling the haphazard lockout, and allowing Sequoyah to compete for the District 3A-7 title at full strength. A Friday morning hearing with a small army of attorneys and an ill-prepared OSSAA dotted the I’s.

A Sequoyah assistant, who will remain nameless for obvious reasons, said prior to kickoff that the coaches were never fully apprised of what players they would or would not have, regardless of the judge’s ruling.

Whether all of this is a result of tribal politics or ineptitude on the part of the activities association, is still up for debate – though it won’t be for long. The most likely reality is that it is simply a combination of both, a group of adults, witch-hunting and sabotaging a season.

The Cherokee Nation, in its best impression of the Chinese government, has placed a gag order on all of those associated with the situation. Though, if the Baker administration honestly thinks it can bunker down with censorship, it is, in fact, even more deluded than we might have all imagined.

In any event, fact finding as it relates to the OSSAA’s injunction is for another today. For now, the Sequoyah Indians are champions of District 3A-7, and deservedly so.

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