For the 11th consecutive summer, about 400 of the state’s top high school senior athletes from the past year will come together in the Tulsa area to compete in the All-State Games held in conjunction this week with the Oklahoma Coaches Association Clinic at the Marriott Southern Hills and Crowne Plaza Southern Hills.
All-State week began with the OCA Hall of Fame Banquet Saturday night. The inductees were Randy Belicek, Bill Carter, Jim Cherry, Mark Dicus, Wayne Dozier, Kevin Foster, Ed Jones, Martha O’Rourke, Doug Schumpert and Jody Weber. The All-State Games are scheduled Monday through Friday.
There are two notable changes this year. For the first time since 1946, baseball games are not scheduled, as the Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association moved those games to Enid in June. Also, the football game will be played in Bixby for the first time since 2014 due to construction at Union.
For the second year, All-State swimming will be held at the Phillips 66 Aquatic Center in Bartlesville at 6:30 p.m. Monday. It remains there after being moved in 2018 due to renovations at the Jenks Trojan Aquatic Center.
“We would like to keep it closer, but all the swimmers and coaches love it there (in Bartlesville),” OCA executive director Milt Bassett said.
According to Bassett, baseball’s exit will save the OCA about $10,000. The OBCA expanded from two to three all-state games while Bassett is looking to go in the opposite direction and sees a time when when basketball, volleyball and wrestling may not split into large and small schools.
Bassett was concerned that baseball’s departure would adversely affect clinic attendance, but he reports instead that there has been a record of 7,950 coaches who have pre-registered. The clinic’s booths are sold out.
The clinic’s list of speakers includes Fox Sports’ Doug Gottlieb from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesday in a pair of hour-long sessions at the Marriott SH.
Until returning to Tulsa in 2009, the All-State Games and OCA Clinic had usually alternated every two years between Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Bassett is hopeful that an extension to remain in Tulsa at least through 2021 or ’22 can be signed during the upcoming week.
“Ever since the Thunder arrived, Oklahoma City hasn’t wanted us while everyone here in Tulsa has been so gracious and helpful,” Bassett said. “It’s good to be where they want you.”
Competition starts Monday with golf at Cherokee Hills in Catoosa and swimming at Bartlesville. Tuesday includes tennis and volleyball. Wrestling and girls basketball are on Wednesday while boys basketball is scheduled for Thursday. The week ends with football on Friday night. Tickets are $5 for each event.