Logan Ross had a number of experiences cut short from her this year due to COVID-19. Along with her proper high school graduation, she also was not able to take part in the National Horseshoes Pitching Association's national tournament, an event that she participates in regularly.
While she may have not been able to participate in the event this year, she is grateful for the many places she's been able to travel in the past thanks to the event.
"I've gotten to go to Niagara Falls. I've gotten to see the Grand Canyon and I've gotten to see beautiful waterfalls in Texas," said Ross. "We all vote where the tournament will take place two years in advance. This year's should have taken place in Louisiana but could not due to COVID-19."
There are a few restrictions to attend these tournaments, and individuals will be ranked based on their records, but participation is available to most people.
"Really anyone can go, but you have to be registered into the NHPA and you have to have a certain amount of local tournaments under your belt," said Ross. "It doesn't matter if your win or lose, you just have to have the experience. How many you win and your pitching average is what ranks you nationally."
Ross thanks, in large part, her grandfather for her horseshoe pitching abilities. While it began as a way for her to get closer with her aging grandfather, it soon began getting very competitive for her and her family.
"It all started with my grandpa. He's been pitching for a long time and, in his 50s, he started going to tournaments," said Ross. "When my cousins and I got older, we started doing it as a way to get closer to him. It eventually turned into a family sporting activity."
Ross and two of her cousins, Cale and Lane Matlock, were each crowned state champions in their respective divisions at the OHPA State Tournament in 2016.
Outside of horseshoes, Ross also enjoys basketball and soccer. She even hopes to play basketball collegiately. She said that her grandfather showed her ways to not only improve in both sports, but to use her knowledge in one to help the other.
"My grandpa coached me through everything I did. He turned basketball into a way to help me with horseshoes and horseshoes a way to help me with basketball, both mentally and physically," she said.
Ross was selected for the Oklahoma Indian Student Honor Society in 2020, and was recognized for athletic and academic achievements throughout her time at THS.
Post graduation from Tahlequah High School, Ross still plans on attending tournaments when they open back up. She also plans on attending college in Tahlequah and eventually opening up her own dental practice.