By BEN JOHNSON
Jared Bush had his doubts. Once Tahlequah’s soccer season wrapped up with a 3-1 loss to Class 5A No. 1 East Central in the first round of the playoffs, Bush wasn’t sure if that was the last time he’d represent the Tigers on the pitch.
Bush was named to the 5A All-State East team, which played Friday night at Newcastle High School. The West prevailed 3-1, thanks to two goals from Northwest Classen’s Sergio Flores and the third goal courtesy of Western Heights’ Robert Owusu.
None of that concerned Bush. He was just happy to slip on that soccer jersey on last time.
“I was honored to be chosen for All-State,” Bush said. “I wasn’t sure that I would be selected, so I was pleasantly surprised.”
Getting the chance to showcase his soccer skills one last time at the All-State game is something he won’t soon forget, Bush said.
“It was very special,” he said, “because no matter where I go in life, I will always have this experience and the memories to look back on and know that I was one of the select few chosen.”
Bush started out his career as a sweeper for the Tigers. But Tahlequah coach Gary McClure said Bush’s style of play forced him to make a change.
“(Bush’s) aggressive nature all but forced me to push him up to become an offensive player late in the year last year,” McClure said. “That allowed him to get more involved in the game, and that was very beneficial.”
Bush notched eight goals during his senior campaign and helped lead the Tigers back to the playoffs with a fourth-place finish in District 5A-3. Tahlequah finished the campaign with a 7-7 mark.
Now Bush will turn his focus toward his college education.
“I am attending NSU on their honors program and scholarship,” Bush said. “I want to go into the computer science field, but anything in science and technology will do.”