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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


April 19, 2003 - Issue 85


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Sequoyah Claim Basketball Championship

by Gerald Wofford - Native American Times

Sequoyah Indian High School Basketball Champions

For the first time in its illustrious history, Sequoyah Indian High School located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma brought home a State Basketball Championship. On March fifteenth at the State Fairgrounds Area in Oklahoma City the Sequoyah Indians defeated Metro Christian of Tulsa, 58 to 47 to claim this year’s Oklahoma class 3A Championship.

“I thought we had a chance to be very good because of experience and the player’s confidence,” said Head Coach and Sequoyah Athletic Director Larry Grigg. “They (team) talked about winning the Gold Ball and believed they could.”

Recently, the environment and atmosphere of a State Tournament have been nothing new to the Indians. It is a place they have grown accustomed to with the Boys team reaching the semi-finals in 98 and the Girls team doing the same in 2001.

Coach Grigg knows how important athletics is to the history of Sequoyah High School, but points to basketball as having a very special place. “Basketball is probably the king of sports at Sequoyah. Most people have played or know of someone that has.”
Although this is the First State Championship in Basketball for the school, it is not the first State Championship. The School boasts Two State Championships in Cross-Country.

From the beginning of the season, the Indians set goals for themselves, achievements they wanted to accomplish. It started with the Vinita Tournament in December, a contest that Sequoyah just didn't want to show up at, but win it all. In fact, that was the philosophy of each contest and tournament. The Indians would lift the first place trophy of the Vinita tournament up high, then it was on to the Connors Tournament where they would finish runner-up. As the season progressed, the Indians found themselves Northeast Lakes Conference Co-Champions. Then a District, Regional, and Area IV Championship awaited them. Missions were being accomplished with Coach Grigg’s team.

Sequoyah would finish with 13 wins and just 1 loss in the conference with an overall record of 27 wins and only 2 losses. The Indians would finish strong by winning 14 in a row.

Coach Grigg also points to the astounding fan support the school receives during each game, one that he has grown accustomed to.“Since I have been at Sequoyah the last 6 years, I know what to expect,” said Grigg. “Our crowds are the largest in class 3A that is why we had to play 4 of our games at nearby Northeastern State University. We have the best fans in the state.”

For his performance in the State Tournament, Solomon Horsechief was selected as the Most Valuable Player (MVP). “All State Champions are special, for this team it was balance,” said Grigg. Grigg points to each and every player on the team as being a significant and contributing factor to the Championship run. Grigg also points to people behind the scenes such as James Keys, the team trainer, and manager Kenneth Yargee, also statistician Chad Stevens and Mac Farris “who did their jobs all year long.”

Grigg admits a thank you list would be too long, but acknowledges special gratitude towards Assistant Coach John Dreyer and his wife Melissa as well as videographer Don Franklin. But the biggest thank you goes to my wife Tommie who has “been my main source of support and strength.”

But Coach Grigg knows that it all really boils down to the players and the educational institution itself, “for the players it is a dream come true. For the school itself it is just an extension of the success the school is having. It should be a positive experience for us.”

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