The Sequoyah High School Lady Indians’ slow pitch softball team is once again listed in the history books as the 2012 Oklahoma 5A girls slow pitch softball state champions. Students welcomed back their state championship trophy at a school assembly Friday, March 15, in Tahlequah.
The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association (OSSAA) had temporarily stripped the team of its championship due to alleged student residence eligibility violations. The state title was reinstated by OSSAA in December.
“The return of the district championship plaque, the regional runner-up plaque and the state championship trophy is a huge step toward healing and closure,” said Sequoyah Schools athletic director Marcus Crittenden, in a Cherokee Nation press release. “Bringing the championship back home has been an emotional boost for all of us and symbolizes a fresh start and bright future for Sequoyah Schools.”
The school administration decided to wait and announce the title reinstatement until a final OSSAA investigation was closed. Last month the athletic association board found Sequoyah in good standing.
“Getting the championship back means a lot,” said junior Kelsey Leach, who plays shortstop, in the press release. “It was really sad when it got taken away, and now that it is back it means that much more.”
Last spring the Lady Indians knocked off three of the top five teams in class 5A to capture their first slow pitch softball state championship. The team began their title defense Thursday, March 14, with an 8-0 win against the Jay Lady Bulldogs and a close 4-3 loss to the Tahlequah Lady Tigers.
During the assembly, the school administration also honored four students for athletic achievements. Jessica Bluebird was presented a ring for being named all state in fast pitch softball, while 2012 state champion Kayla Davis was presented her all-state jacket for track. Kara Linch was also recognized for achieving fast pitch all state honors. Grant Neugin was recognized for winning the powerlifting state championship for the 145 pound weight class on March 8.