Noah Cortes’ storied high school career at Broken Arrow is gaining another honor.
Cortes has been selected as the Tulsa World’s state football Player of the Year. He is the first Broken Arrow player to win that award since it was started in 1958.
Last month, Cortes was named the Bill Knight Automotive Offensive Football Player of the Year at the All-World Awards.
Beginning with the 2016-17 school year, the announcement of the World’s state player of the year award was moved to the summer, following the All-World Awards that honor the top athletes in the Tulsa area. The World’s state player of the year for the 2017 season was Midwest City Carl Albert’s Jason Taylor II, who is now at Oklahoma State.
In 2018, Cortes rushed for 1,958 yards and a school-record 35 touchdowns to help the undefeated Class 6AI Tigers post a 13-0 record and win their first state championship. He averaged 7.5 yards on 261 carries and had three TD runs of 80 yards. Cortes scored a TD in all 13 games.
Cortes is Broken Arrow’s career rushing leader with 4,453 yards. In three 2018 playoff games, he had 518 yards rushing and eight TDs. And he also was named homecoming king.
“The numbers that Noah put up, they all speak for themselves,” Broken Arrow coach David Alexander said at the Marriott Southern Hills, while attending the Oklahoma Coaches Association Clinic held in conjunction with the All-State Games. “But what he did in the locker room and in our culture is why Broken Arrow was able to get over the hump last year.
“Noah refused to ever lose in anything, from wind sprints to tiddlywinks. He’s an ultra-competitor and brought the level of play up for the whole football team.”
Cortes will play the upcoming season at Northeastern A&M and his goal is to play major college football.
“I’m super proud of him and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for him,” Alexander said.
Union’s Elliott retires
Brian Elliott has retired as Union’s girls soccer coach. Elliott was a two-time national coach of the year (2016, ’17), led Union to three consecutive state titles from 2015-17 and to state runner-up finishes in 2010 and ’11. His overall record at Union (excluding preseason) was 146-31-2.
“We appreciate coach Elliott’s leadership over the last 11 seasons,” Union athletic director Emily Barkley said Tuesday. “Coach Elliott continued the tradition of excellence within our girls soccer program and provided stability throughout his tenure. The time and energy he devoted to the program played an integral part in the team’s success. His passion for the school, the players and the program will be missed.”
Sulphur’s Toby Todd was elected over Union’s Jeff Brown as the new OCA vice president on Tuesday.
Okeene superintendent Mike Jinkens ended his year as president in Tuesday’s business meeting at the Marriott Southern Hills.
Jinkens turned over the meeting to Sulphur’s Corey Cole, who begins his term as president. Todd will serve as Cole’s vice president for the next 12 months and take over as president at next year’s convention.
Cole said he has been attending the convention for 35 years, since he was a boy.
“I remember running up and down the aisles, trying to get candy and T-shirts. It was like Christmas,” Cole said. “The three nights of the coaching convention were the only nights of the year that we got to eat out. It was our vacation.”
Also in the business meeting, region coaches and athletic directors were recognized and statewide coaches of the year were announced in eight categories.
Pryor’s Gerald Osborne was coach of the year in baseball. He guided the Tigers to the 5A state title, the school’s first in baseball.
“It’s humbling,” Osborne said. “It makes you a lot more reflective about where you’ve been, where you are now and all the people who touched your life along the way.”
Other baseball honorees included Collinsville’s Tony Reeder (Region 7) and Preston’s Ryan Hudson (Region 2).
Other statewide selections were Christa Geary, Del City, track; Andy Newby, Woodward, athletic director; Rebecca Cobb, Tuttle, fast-pitch softball; David Riden, Deer Creek, cross country; Jerry Slawson, Lawton Central, junior high coach; Chris Combs, Kingfisher, assistant coach; and Andy Powell, Dale, slow-pitch softball.
Martin’s busy summer
Jenks boys basketball coach and NFL referee Clay Martin attended the OCA Clinic on Tuesday and was the speaker at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfast at the Crowne Plaza.
“It was an honor to do it,” Martin said. “FCA has been a huge part of my life.”
Martin, who said the Trojans are “having a good summer and working hard in the weight room,” will report to NFL officials training camp next week and work his first preseason game Aug. 9. He is starting his fifth season as an NFL official and second as a referee.