Oliver Falvey, alongside his sister Emerson, stood and listened as their mother Jill delivered her dying wish.
As she lay on her deathbed, Jill, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer in 2015, wanted her kids to behave for their soon-to-be-single father, Jake.
Jill eventually died in 2020, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, after years of fighting the cancer. She lost her battle just after Oliver’s Edison High School baseball season abruptly ended five games in. And the year prior, Oliver’s freshman season was cut short after a growth-plate injury in his arm required surgery.
Throughout their last days together, Oliver and Jill would always make time to watch their favorite show, “This is Us,” together despite Jill succumbing to her illness while in home hospice during the pandemic.
Oliver took that final message from his mom to heart. He has grown into an admirable son and brother, a great teammate and an inspiration to his community in the years since. Oliver has been selected as the Tulsa World’s 2022 Mike Brown Inspirational Athlete of the Year for his comeback story.
“I think he’ll prosper (in life) because he’s already shown there’s an internal toughness to him like his mom,” said Jake Falvey, Oliver’s dad. “Toughness is quietly facing adversity and challenges and never putting your hands up. Because that’s the one thing his mom asked.”
On the Falveys’ final night as a family of four, they knew the end was close. Oliver wanted to stay at their home in Tulsa, although Emerson was going to stay with the family’s best friends in Ardmore.
When Oliver woke up the next morning, however, he decided it would be best to be with his little sister during the tough time.
“She needed him really bad,” Jake said. “Emerson idolizes him. Oliver had to keep on keeping on because the person in the house watching him the most was Emerson. That’s his number one fan.”
According to Jake, patrons at Edison’s baseball games could hear Emerson, who’s now 14, cheer on Oliver from “a mile away.”
“The No. 1 person he inspires is his sister,” Jake said. “And that inspires me.”
Jake, who’s the Dean of Students at Edison High, has been an educator for long enough to understand how tragic events can be tough for children. Oliver and Emerson were 12 and 8, respectively, when their mom was diagnosed with cancer.
All Jake wanted was for his kids to stay on the right path toward future success. Fortunately, parenting Oliver was easy, Jake said.
When Oliver received the news of Jill’s cancer in 2015, he was speechless at first. But just minutes later, he shifted his focus to the next steps in helping his mom recover.
“I remember sitting there going, ‘Wow. I don’t know how I would’ve taken that at 12,’” Jake said. “But here he is asking what kind of cancer it is instead.”
In 2018, just before Oliver’s freshman year of high school, the Falveys, along with Jill’s parents, moved to Tulsa after spending much of their kids’ lives in Ardmore — Jill’s hometown, and where Jake was the head principal.
The move was for some additional privacy, as most in the community knew about their situation.
“We knew the family of four was going to eventually become a family of three,” Jake said. “High school principal probably wasn’t going to support us knowing I was probably going to become a single dad. … Everybody in the community knew, and people were very good, but everybody knew the whole story.
“That’s why this award is so neat, because his teammates knew, some of the people at his school knew. We moved up here to kind of like, (restart).”
Going into his senior year, Oliver wanted to improve his footwork and his positional versatility.
During Oliver’s quest to build muscle like never before, Jake told him the frequent Whataburger runs at night wouldn’t help his athletic ability.
Oliver responded by changing his regular eating habits and working out, sometimes even hitting the gym twice daily, at both school and the YMCA. The result was a 45-pound weight loss that made him look like a completely different person.
“It was like one of those things where you almost don’t recognize him,” said Ty Gunter, Oliver’s coach at Edison High. “I remember doing a double take and I looked at him like, ‘Holy cow, he’s an absolute machine.’”
It would’ve been easy for Oliver to give up after playing just five games as a sophomore and none during his freshman year. But after a solid junior year, Oliver realized he needed to make some more changes if he wanted to fulfill his dream of playing college baseball despite his missed time.
Oliver batted .437 with 35 RBIs and 11 doubles this past season after intensifying his training, and Gunter saw a night-and-day difference in his middle-of-the-order hitter.
“I think he kind of realized, ‘Hey, I won’t get to have all this forever,’” Gunter said. “Nothing’s guaranteed. He started showing more of a, ‘I want to give this everything I’ve got because I don’t know how long I’m gonna have.”
Oliver’s transition between his junior and senior year helped him land a post-graduate year at The Winchendon School in Massachusetts, where he hopes to catch up on the innings he missed and land a spot on a college roster in the future.
Oliver landing at the preparatory school, which has produced 50 college players since 2019, lays the foundation for the future of Edison’s baseball program, according to Gunter, who’s now at Holland Hall.
“Doing what he did just kind of showed the rest of the Edison baseball boys they can do this and go earn the right to play somewhere,” Gunter said.
Along with his physical maturity, Oliver also developed into a team leader. Oliver struck a balance of keeping things light in the dugout, while also being competitive when he needed to. He would crack jokes at the start of practice before turning serious during training and games.
Oliver’s infectious personality eased the conversations he had with the underclassmen on the team when he had to get onto them as a senior leader.
“Him doing what he does set the standard of what Edison baseball should be,” Gunter said. “With just everything he went through and how he performed.”
Throughout Jill’s struggle with cancer, Oliver was there every step of the way, just as he was with Emerson as an older brother, and with his teammates at Edison.
The Falveys spent nearly every minute together during the quarantine period of the COVID-19 pandemic as Jill’s condition worsened. The few depressing months for many around the world brought a few advantages for the Falveys.
“It was the most difficult time of our life, but probably the most rewarding for us because we were able to spend 24-7 with her,” Jake said.
In the years after, Oliver set himself up for future success and aided his family when needed. With baseball, he found the niche that helped him get through the difficult times. He became exactly what Jill, in her final hours, told her son she wanted him to be.
“They didn’t have a lot of years, but they had an everyday life that was pretty remarkable,” Jake said. “I don’t think they could’ve been any closer.
“He’s a good kid. He’s shown the ability to stand up and go through tough times.”
All-World 2022: Here's a look at every finalist in all sports. Winners to be announced Tuesday at All-World Awards
Football (offense): CJ Brown
Beggs • Senior • HT: 6-0 • WT: 185
The year: Rushed 205 times for 2,143 yards and 29 touchdowns to lead the Golden Demons to the Class 2A semifinals. Also had four catches for 76 yards and a TD. As a defensive back, collected 16 tackles. Had 24 carries for 224 yards and five TDs in a 44-21 second-round win at Vian. Carried 15 times for 155 yards and two TDs in a 44-14 win at Kiefer. His 2-point conversion run with 3:46 left proved to be the difference in a 24-22 win at then-No. 1 Metro Christian. Had 22 rushes for 364 yards and six TDs in a 74-48 win over Rejoice Christian. Produced 5,798 career rushing yards.
Football (offense): Max Brown
Lincoln Christian • Senior • HT: 6-3 • WT: 200
The year: Accounted for 4,098 yards and 61 TDs. Completed 167-of-235 passes for 2,750 yards and 41 touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs to a 13-1 record and the Class 3A title game. Had 173 carries for 1,343 yards and 20 TDs. Trailing 20-19, scored on a 4-yard TD with 12 seconds left for a a 27-20 win over Heritage Hall in the semifinals. Led a field goal drive in the final 42 seconds for a 31-29 win on Sept. 3 at Jones. Six of his 10 passes were TDs in a Week 4 win over Tahlequah Sequoyah. Two of his five punts pinned opponents inside their own 20. Had a 55-yard punt against Beggs.
Related: QB Max Brown signs with Gators, remembers watching Tebow
Football (offense): Oscar Hammond
Collinsville • Senior • HT: 6-4 • WT: 205
The year: Caught 51 passes for 1,165 yards and 18 touchdowns for the undefeated 5A champion Cardinals. Also had 19 carries for 183 yards and three TDs. Completed all four of his passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. Also scored a TD as a punt returner. At safety, had 46 tackles with two interceptions and a sack. Was named 5A-4's defensive back of the year. In the state final, caught seven passes for 120 yards and two TDs plus broke up McAlester's final pass in a 42-35 win. Caught two TDs, rushed for another and completed a 43-yard pass against Oologah in the opener.
Football (offense): Braylin Presley
Bixby • Senior • HT: 5-7 • WT: 170
The year: Was the undefeated Spartans’ leading rusher and receiver for the second consecutive season as he finished his career with four Class 6AII state titles. Produced 1,105 yards on 109 carries and 665 yards on 56 catches. Scored on an 88-yard kickoff return against Putnam North in a playoff opener. Had 25 TDs overall. Accounted for 267 yards and four TDs, including a 76-yard scoring pass, in a 63-14 win over Deer Creek in the state final. Set Bixby career rushing record with 4,978 yards and had 102 TDs. Was the World's 2020 state and All-World offensive player of the year.
Related: Explosive Braylin Presley makes it official, joins brother at Oklahoma State
Football (offense): Ty Pennington
Sand Springs • Senior • HT: 6-3 • WT: 215
The year: Accounted for 3,393 yards and 39 TDs as he led the Sandites to the 6AII semifinals. Connected on 192-of-302 passes for a Sandites-record 2,831 yards and 27 TDs. Rushed for 562 yards and 12 touchdowns. His 2-yard TD run with 2:49 left gave the Sandites a 21-17 win at 6AII-1 district champion Del City in the quarterfinals. Passed for 360 yards and five TDs in a 40-33 win at Arkansas 4A runner-up Shiloh Christian. Accounted for 291 yards and four TDs in a 48-34 victory over Muskogee. Holds Sandites career passing records of 6,455 yards and 54 TDs.
College: Pittsburg State
Related: ‘This is my town’ – Sand Springs’ Ty Pennington represents a great family tradition
Football (defense): Zane Woodham
Holland Hall • Senior • HT: 6-0 • WT: 180
The year: Could have been a finalist on either side of the ball. Had a team-leading 162 tackles with 22 1/2 for losses and five sacks for the 3A champion Dutch. On offense, had 204 carries for 1,831 yards and 23 TDs. Had 12 catches for 143 yards and a TD, plus he completed his only pass for 33 yards. Averaged 16 yards on eight punt returns with a TD, and 23.6 yards on 11 kickoff returns. Had 22 carries for 207 yards and three TDs with 16 tackles in a win at Vinita. Rushed for 193 yards with a TD plus had 15 tackles in the quarterfinals against Perkins-Tryon.
Football (defense): Colemon Thurber
Jenks • Senior • HT: 6-3 • WT: 235
The year: Produced 121 tackles with 17 for losses, four sacks and had 48 quarterback hurries plus five pass breakups to help the Trojans win the 6AI state title. Had a pivotal sack in the quarterfinals against Norman North and two sacks against Broken Arrow in Week 5. Collected six tackles in a shutout over Union in the MidFirst Bank Backyard Bowl. Blocked two punts that led to touchdowns against Westmoore. Career totals of 257 tackles and 11 sacks.
Football (defense): Ethan Roush
Holland Hall • Senior • HT: 6-3 • WT: 180
The year: At safety, had 57 tackles and a team-leading six interceptions. On offense, had 27 receptions for 461 yards and seven TDs before becoming the starting shifted to quarterback in Week 10 due to Kordell Gouldsby's injury. Completed 37-of-58 passes for 604 yards and 10 TDs. Also had 52 carries for 463 yards and four TDs. Accounted for 211 yards and three TDs, plus had 10 tackles and a game-saving interception in a win over Lincoln Christian in the 3A state final. Completed 8-of-11 passes for 123 yards, had 13 rushes for 86 yards and caught a 2-yard TD pass.
Related: Complete-game classic solidifies Ethan Roush as a Holland Hall legend
Football (defense): Jack Puckett
Bixby • Senior • HT: 6-1 • WT: 215
The year: Led the 6AII state champion Spartans' defense with 110 tackles, including 58 solos and 22 for losses with 12 sacks. Had a season-high 12 tackles against Sand Springs, with 11 each against Choctaw and Bartlesville. Also had a fumble recovery against Choctaw. Produced 10 tackles against Deer Creek in the title game as the Spartans won their fourth consecutive gold ball. As a tight end, had three catches for 38 yards during the season. A two-year starter, he had 201 career tackles with 19 sacks. Played in a few games for the '18 and '19 state champions.
Football (defense): Ethan Bilgrien
Jenks • Senior • HT: 6-0 • WT: 190
The year: Selected as the District 6AI-1 player of the year. Had a team-leading 166 tackles with six sacks plus 17 quarterback hurries and three pass breakups for the state champion Trojans. In the state title game, had a team-high 11 tackles against Union. Also was involved in 11 tackles against Mustang in a 17-10 win in the semifinals. Had 14 tackles against Edmond Santa Fe. Career totals of 282 tackles and nine sacks. Returned an interception 34 yards in the 2020 state final against Santa Fe.
Basketball (boys): Ty Frierson
Memorial • Senior
Averaged 17.3 points, 5.9 assists and 2.3 steals to help the Chargers win the Class 5A state title for the first time since 2019 and sixth time in 10 years. Selected as the World's state tournament MVP as he averaged 23 points over three games. Also was the Green Country Conference MVP. Scored at least 19 points in his last 10 games. Had a career-high 29 points in a win over Lawton Eisenhower on Feb. 11. Shot 56% on 2s, 43% on 3s and 89% on free throws.
Career totals: 79 games, 1,144 points, 356 assists, 159 rebounds, 154 steals.
Basketball (boys): Caden Fry
Owasso • Senior
Averaged 17 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists to help the Rams share the Frontier Valley title. Was the Tournament of Champions' top scorer with 68 points in three games. Had 26 points and nine rebounds in a win over Jenks on Jan. 18. Rams coach Brian Montonati said Fry, "Constantly faced a double team each night. Physical and dominant post player that played his best games on the biggest stage." Moved to Owasso after his freshman season at Collinsville.
Career totals (Owasso): 73 games, 1,215 points, 574 rebounds, 128 assists, 43 steals.
College: Rogers State (signed)
Basketball (boys): Bradyn Hubbard
Memorial • Senior
Averaged 15.3 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 2.7 steals and 1.6 blocks to help the Chargers win the 5A state title and post a 27-1 record. Scored 25 points with 12 rebounds in the 5A semifinals against OKC Southeast. Had a triple-double with a career-high 29 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists against McAlester in a regional final and followed that with 20 points against Edison in an area final. Shot 64% on 2-pointers, 46% on 3s and 80% on free throws.
Career totals (Memorial): 46 games, 669 points, 479 rebounds, 187 assists, 91 steals, 70 blocks.
Basketball (boys): Aaron Potter
Booker T. Washington • Senior
Averaged 19.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 4.1 steals and to help the Hornets reach the 6A semifinals and share the Frontier Valley Conference title. Had 35 points and nine steals in the 6A quarterfinals against Norman North. Selected as the Frontier Conference and ConocoPhillips/Arvest Invitational MVP. Moved from Owasso after his junior season. Hornets coach Eli K. Brown III said, "He transformed our team and changed our culture. His work ethic is unmatched."
Career totals: 90 games, 1,000 points, 259 rebounds, 192 assists, 189 steals.
Basketball (boys): Joshua Udoumoh
Victory Christian • Senior
Averaged 18.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.8 steals to help the Conquerors reach the 4A state title game. Was the 4A state tournament's leading scorer with 54 points in three games. Had 19 points and nine rebounds against Weatherford in the semifinals. Scored 32 points in a win over Holland Hall on Jan. 7. Selected as the Pinnacle Conference MVP. Also was the Port City Classic's MVP as he had 28 points in a victory over Edison in the title game.
Career totals: 81 games, 1,308 points, 553 rebounds, 232 assists, 138 steals, 47 blocks.
Basketball (girls): Journey Armstead
Sand Springs • Senior
Consistent scorer who was an impact player for four years. Totaled more than 1,500 points in her career including a freshman season at East Central. Was an all-conference selection all four years and made every all-tournament team along the way, earning MVP honors multiple times. Helped the Sandites to a 22-4 record as a senior with an appearance in the Class 6A state tournament. Three-year totals: 68 games, 1,164 points, 325 rebounds, 238 assists, 104 steals
College: Hutchinson Community College (signed)
Basketball (girls): Stailee Heard
Sapulpa • Junior
Unselfish, steady player who took her game to another level this season. Excelled in both Class 5A state tournament games, averaging 26.5 points and 12.1 rebounds. Also was a significant contributor on Sapulpa’s 2021 state championship team. “One of the most talented, competitive players I’ve coached,” coach Darlean Calip said. Division I recruit whose parents starred at Tulsa. Three-year totals: 76 games, 1,165 points, 567 rebounds, 264 assists, 175 steals
Basketball (girls): Taleyah Jones
Broken Arrow • Senior
Prolific scorer who averaged 19.4 points as a senior and 19.3 points for her three-year career. Often would deliver double-digit runs singlehandedly with her stellar play on both ends. “She has tremendous instincts and a very good basketball IQ,” coach Shane Coffey said. Voted the Tulsa World’s Ms. Outside in 2021. Three-year totals: 64 games, 1,232 points, 318 rebounds, 71 assists, 127 steals
College: UT Arlington (signed)
Basketball (girls): TK Pitts
Union • Senior
An incredible defender whose offensive production increased each season, capped with 14.9 points per game as a senior. Helped her team make it to the 6A state tournament all four years, twice advancing to the semifinals. Had multiple 20-point outings and scored 17 against Putnam North in a key performance to earn a state berth. Played her best down the stretch, shooting close to 50% from the field. Career totals: 100 games, 928 points, 530 rebounds, 130 assists, 179 steals
College: SMU (signed)
Basketball (girls): Gracy Wernli
Bixby • Junior
A clutch player who rose to the occasion in crucial moments, propelling the Spartans to runner-up finishes in Class 6A for two years in a row. Scored 24 points in this year’s championship game. Can score at every level and shot 84% from the line. Daughter of former Sapulpa standout Kara Faulk, the Tulsa World’s All-Metro co-player of the year in 1998. Three-year totals: 78 games, 935 points, 267 rebounds, 110 assists, 94 steals
College: Abilene Christian (committed)
Baseball: Dempsey Gillman
Metro Christian • Sr. • Catcher
Gillman was instrumental to Metro Christian’s success in 2022 as he posted a batting average of .455 with an on-base percentage of .605 in 124 plate appearances. Gillman logged 18 singles and then 22 extra-base hits, including 13 doubles, two triples and seven home runs. Gillman drove in 39 runs, and he also drew 32 walks while leading the Patriots to a 21-12 record in Class 3A. He also was an All-World first-team football selection as a defensive lineman. Signed with Wichita State, but will instead go the juco route next year to Murray State College after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Baseball: Jackson Holliday
Stillwater • Sr. • Shortstop
Set the state record for hits in a season with 89 in just 40 games in 2022. Holliday sported a .685 batting average, scored 74 runs and drove in 79 runs. More than half of Holliday’s hits were for extra-base hits with 28 doubles, five triples and 17 home runs. That led a slugging percentage of 1.369 to go along with an on-base percentage of .752. Holliday also used his speed frequently and stole 30 bases and wasn’t thrown out once. He led Stillwater to a 28-12 record during his senior season. Holliday has signed to play at Oklahoma State but is projected to be a top-five pick in the upcoming major league baseball draft.
Baseball: Brennan Phillips
Owasso • Sr. • Pitcher/outfielder
Phillips locked up a quarterfinal victory over Edmond Memorial in the Class 6A quarterfinals, and the Rams would motor through the semifinals and the championship for the state title. Phillips, a lefty, finished the season with an 8-1 record on the mound with a 1.04 earned run average in 67 innings. He recorded 120 strikeouts and only issued 12 walks. At the plate, Phillips posted a .336 batting average with 33 runs scored, 44 runs batted in and 19 extra-base hits, including seven home runs. Phillips has signed to play at Oklahoma State.
Wrestling (girls): Peighton Mullins
Fort Gibson • 152 • Sophomore
Rolled to her second straight East Regional and state championship, this year at 152 pounds, in dominant fashion, going undefeated this season with an 18-0 record, amazingly pinning her opponent in every single match. In six matches at the Regional and state tournaments, the only one that lasted into the second period was her state final pin of Bixby’s Grace Thompson in 2:42. Improved her career record to an impressive 30-1 with 24 falls overall. “Peighton is a hard worker,” said Fort Gibson coach Sammy Johnson. “She is a special wrestler who has grown up competing against boys. There is no limit to what she can accomplish.”
Wrestling (girls): Sam Markwardt
Rogers • 132 • Senior
After not qualifying for the state tournament last year as a first-time wrestler, dedicated herself to wrestling and training all last summer and took a major step forward this season. Won the East Regional at 132 pounds and went on to claim the individual state championship. In the state semifinals, trailed by two points entering the third period, but rallied to pin Southmoore’s Ciana Grate to advance. Then in the state final, was down 8-2 in the third period to Aubrianna Smith of Westmoore, but again rallied to pin Smith and claim the state title. “She just has a mentality like none other,” said Rogers coach Derrick Gates. “She just wants to win. She knows it’s going to be hard work and she’s more than willing to put in that work.” Will wrestle next year at Carl Albert State in Poteau.
Wrestling (girls): Kali Hayden
Union • 185 • Sophomore
Progressed significantly this season after not qualifying for the 2021 state tournament, and delivered an outstanding performance, going 20-0 and recording pins in all three of her state tournament matches, including a 53-second victory in the 185-pound state final to take the championship. Her individual success helped propel the Redhawks to the team state championship, Union’s first. “I have been working with Kali for over two years and she is one of the hardest-working athletes that I have coached in the past 19 years,” said former Union assistant and new head coach Gerald Harris. “She is extremely dedicated, a leader in the room and the sky is the limit for her potential.”
Wrestling (boys): Garrett Wells
Glenpool • 182 • Senior
After winning the Class 5A state title at 170 pounds last year, he returned this season to claim another championship, taking both the East Regional and state titles again, this time at 182 pounds. His 5-0 decision over former state champion B.K. Seago of Collinsville in the state final capped off a 39-0 unbeaten season, during which he surrendered just one takedown all year and marking the first time a Glenpool wrestler ever finished a season undefeated. Also was the second-ever Warrior to place at state all four years. Believes that his hard work and dedication during the off-season helped him take another step this year. “I’d say probably just wrestling in the summer and training every day,” Wells said, “Just consistency and going on a lot of runs.” His college destination is undecided.
Wrestling (boys): Jersey Robb
Bixby • 195 • Junior
Enjoyed another strong season, claiming his second straight East Regional and Class 6A state championship at 195 pounds, completing a 30-0 unbeaten season with a tough 7-6 decision over Edmond Memorial’s Eli Cordy in the state final, helping the Spartans place third as a team, as well as finish as dual state runners-up. “Jersey loves wrestling and his success is no accident,” said Bixby coach Ray Blake. “His passion for the sport fuels him to do all the little things right, whether it be working on technique, drilling, lifting, eating, sleeping, getting extra workouts and more. The scary thing is that as dominant as he was on the mats this past season, he’s only going to keep getting better.” Has verbally committed to Oklahoma State.
Wrestling (boys): Cael Hughes
Stillwater • 126 • Junior
Rolled to his third consecutive individual state championship, with a chance to become a rare four-timer next season. At the 6A state tournament, won his first two matches by pinning his opponent in the first period, then delivered an 11-1 major decision in the 126-pound final over Bixby’s Clay Giddens-Buttram, who was a state champion last year. That completed an undefeated 27-0 season, helping the Pioneers claim their second consecutive team state title and the dual state championship as well. “What do you say about that kid?” Stillwater coach Ethan Kyle said. “He’s taken himself to a new level. It’s nice to see that hard work pay off.”
Wrestling (boys): Angelo Ferrari
Stillwater • 160 • Sophomore
Produced one of the most memorable performances of the Class 6A state wrestling tournament when, after defeating two-time state champion John Wiley of Mustang in a 3-2 semifinal decision, went on to outlast previously-undefeated Jordan Williams of Owasso in the state final in a 2-1 overtime thriller, denying Williams his fourth title in four years. Was named the 6A tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler, and his triumph helped the Pioneers claim the state championship, as well as the dual state title. Recorded a 38-1 record on the year, with the only loss being a forfeit to Williams in the East Regional final due to a medical issue. “It’s just a testament to his composure, his shape, the hard work that he does,” said Stillwater coach Ethan Kyle, regarding Ferrari’s epic triumph over Williams for the state title. “He earned it.”
Wrestling (boys): Zach Blankenship
Bixby • 132 • Senior
Cruised to his third individual state championship in four years as a senior, compiling a 34-1 record along the way. Recorded pins in three of his four matches at the East Regional and had a technical fall and a pin on the way to the Class 6A state final at 132 pounds, before claiming a tight 4-3 decision over Stillwater’s J.J. McComas to take the title. Has been a key leader for the Spartans, helping them place third at state and advance to the dual state finals for the second year in a row. “Zach is a program-changer,” said Bixby coach Ray Blake. “He went from being Bixby’s lone state qualifier as a freshman to having 15 teammates competing alongside him at the state tournament this year. He is a tireless worker and fierce competitor. He’s created a legacy at Bixby that’ll endure forever.” Signed to wrestle at Oklahoma State.
Soccer (girls): Cora Hair
Broken Arrow • Jr.
As the center back anchoring the BA defense, helped the Tigers allow just four goals over their final 11 games, with nine shutouts. Also provided significant offensive contributions, scoring a team-high 11 goals, including a hat trick in a 5-0 victory over Sand Springs in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs, and added five assists, helping team go 13-2 and advance to the state semifinals. Also a team captain. “Possesses phenomenal leadership abilities,” said Broken Arrow coach Kassie Embrey. “One of the few players in the state that can completely control the flow of a game.” Treated it as her senior season as she has already committed to Arkansas and plans to enroll early.
Soccer (girls): Makenzie Malham
Union • Sr.
A 2021 All-World Player of the Year finalist and Gatorade Oklahoma Player of the Year, she enjoyed another outstanding season, scoring 14 goals and adding six assists, including the game-winner in Union’s first-round playoff victory over Booker T. Washington. An Arkansas signee, she helped lead the Redhawks to the Class 6A state semifinals for the second straight season. Also scored a goal in the 6A All-State game, helping the East win 2-0. “Teams would change their formation, double- and/or triple-team her, to try to shut her down,” said Union coach Jami Rozell. Also the starting point guard on Union’s basketball squad that reached the 6A state semifinals.
Soccer (girls): Andra Mohler
Bixby • Sr.
A member of the All-World First Team last season, was excellent again this year, topping her team with 18 goals and 17 assists, including a goal and assist in the Spartans’ 2-1 victory at Edmond North in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs. “Every team double- and triple-teamed her, she still beat players and scored goals,” said Bixby coach Brittany Scrapper. “She is the fastest player in the state with the ball at her feet. Her film this year looks like highlights from the NWSL. She will also outwork every player on the field.” Going to play next year at Kansas State.
Soccer (girls): Harper Siemens
Holland Hall • Sr.
An All-World First Team selection last season, stepped up as a senior captain and helped lead the Dutch to the Class 4A state championship. Scored 19 goals and added a team-best 27 assists this season, including an assist in regulation and the game-winning goal in overtime of the state final to clinch the school’s first OSSAA state soccer title, 2-1 over Metro Christian. “Harper is an extremely hard-working, dedicated soccer player who is a true leader,” said Dutch coach Troy Tokarchik. “She leads on the field through her effort and passion for the game.” Despite finishing her high school career as Holland Hall’s all-time leader in both goals (41) and assists (42), won’t be playing soccer in college, instead going to Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, to play field hockey.
Soccer (boys): Forrest Sipes
Cascia Hall • Sr.
The center back solidified the Commandos’ defensive unit that allowed just two goals over their final seven games (including their 1-0 loss to Holland Hall in the Class 4A state quarterfinals), but then came forward to contribute five goals and five assists, coming through with late, clutch game-winning goals against Fort Gibson and in overtime versus Pryor. “He’s a tall, blond-haired kid that just moves like a gazelle,” said Cascia coach Robby Huerta. “He’s our senior leader, he’s one of the best out there. He’ll lift you out of your seat. That kid’s just unreal.” Will attend Villanova, but won’t play soccer.
Soccer (boys): Martin Martinez-Leyva
Bixby • Sr.
Following a lost sophomore year in 2020 due to COVID and an early season-ending injury that cost him most of his junior year, returned to lead the Spartans with 16 goals and added eight assists, helping Bixby go from a 6-8 team that missed the playoffs to a 15-3 record that advanced to the Class 6A state semifinals. “He is a special player,” said coach John Timmons. “Martin made a tremendous impact on our team this season.” Signed with Northeastern State.
Soccer (boys): Ethan Gordon
Booker T. Washington • Sr.
While anchoring the back line as the center back, helped the Hornets post 10 shutouts and reach the Class 6A state playoffs after not qualifying in 2021. Also very dangerous offensively, leading the team in scoring with 12 goals, and adding seven assists, earning team Most Valuable Player. “Ethan is an amazing leader on the field,” said BTW coach Kevin Kwarteng. “He is the hardest-working, most passionate player and commands control of the game. He is always scheming and tactically placing himself in the action, creating opportunities for himself and his teammates.” Signed with DePaul University.
Soccer (boys): Will Applegate
Bishop Kelley • Jr.
Last year’s All-World Player of the Year and 2022 Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year, enjoyed another outstanding season, scoring 21 goals and adding 25 assists, despite missing four games. Included in those totals was an amazing five-goal, four-assist performance in a 9-1 win over Sapulpa. “He plays with energy, passion and always wants the ball,” said Comets coach Phil Barkley. “He’s always a threat around the goal and finishes when we need him to. One of BK’s all-time best.” Committed to the University of Tulsa.
Track (girls): Gwyn Meyers
Bishop Kelley • Freshman • Distance runner
Meyers wasted little time racking up victories as a freshman in 2022, starting in March with a first-place finish in the 1,600-meter run at the Glenpool meet. She also aided the Comets in first-place finishes in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter relay races. And Bishop Kelley made a habit of finishing first in those events at meets in Jenks, Bishop Kelley, Collinsville, Class 5A regionals and 5A state. Individually, Meyers nabbed first in the 3,200-meter run at the Bishop Kelley meet, regionals and state. Meanwhile, in the 1,600-meter run she claimed gold in Tahlequah and regionals, and then at state her time of 5:08 set a new state record by six seconds.
Track (girls): Ellie Hoemann
Regent Prep • Junior • Middle/distance runner
During the early stages of the season, Hoemann made her presence known and reminded everyone of Regent Prep’s running prowess. At the Pinnacle Conference meet, Hoemann was sixth in the 1,600-meter run, second in the 400-meter dash and first in the 800-meter run. She continued her solid run with a second-place finish in the 400 at the Bishop Kelley meet. Then in postseason competition, Hoemann ramped it up with a fourth-place finish in the 1,600 and a pair of gold medal performances in the 400 and 800. At state, Hoemann helped guide the Rams to a second-place finish in the 3,200-meter relay. Then she claimed gold in the 400 and 800.
Track (girls): Payton Hinkle
Broken Arrow • Senior • distance runner
Re-wrote Oklahoma record books as a senior. It started at the Pittsburg State meet in Kansas, where she finished first in the 3,000-meter run and set a new meet record. She also set new marks for the University of Oklahoma indoor meet with meet bests in the 800- and 1,600-meter runs. Her outdoor regular season began with first-place showings in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, and she followed that with a first-place performance at the Union meet. From there, her season was full of much more gold. At Oklahoma Baptist University and Southmoore, she claimed gold in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, and she snagged first at the Broken Arrow meet in the two-mile event. At the Frontier Valley Conference meet, Hinkle was first in the 1,600-meter run, and she finished first in the 800- and 1,600-meter runs at regionals. At the state meet in Ardmore, Hinkle helped guide Broken Arrow to a second-place finish in the 3,200-meter relay, and on her own she finished atop the podium in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs — all while setting new state meet records in both the 1- and 2-mile events. Selected as Gatorade's 2022 state track player of the year. Signed to run at Oklahoma State.
Track (boys): Chance Wilson
Rejoice Christian • Jr. • Sprints/middle distance
Wilson’s dominance didn’t stop on the football field or basketball court this season. Wilson made his name well-known on the track circuit, too. At the Pinnacle Conference meet, Wilson claimed gold in the 400-meter dash, edging out teammate Josh Hendricks. Wilson also was second in the 200 and helped the Eagles finish fourth in the 1,600-meter relay. It was much the same at the Bishop Kelley meet, where he was first in the 200 and 400, while the Eagles were fourth in the 1,600-meter relay. At the Inola meet, he claimed two more golds in the 200 and 400. He repeated the feat at 2A regionals in Stroud, where he topped the podium in the 200 and 400. Then he capped his season with first-place performances in the 200 and 400 at the state meet, and he was the final leg in both the 800- and 1,600-meter relays, where the Eagles claimed gold.
Track (boys): Kyron Downing
Vinita • Sr. • Sprints/middle distance
It didn’t take Downing long to make an impact on the track circuit for his senior season. Right out of the gate, Downing claimed the 200-meter dash crown at the Chelsea meet, along with helping the Hornets finish first in the 800- and 1,600-meter relays. He later finished first in the 200 at the Miami meet, the Pryor meet (where he was also first in the 100) and the Verdigris Valley Conference meet in Wagoner. Then in postseason races, he was first in the 200 at Class 3A regionals in Chisholm — he was an integral part of the 1,600-meter relay team that picked up gold. Then at the 3A state meet, Downing cruised to the 200 title and helped the Hornets claim gold in the 800 relay. Downing has signed to play football at Southeast Missouri State.
Track (boys): NuNu Campbell
Holland Hall • Sr. • Sprints
At the Pinnacle Conference meet, Campbell helped the Dutch finish second in the 400-meter relay and first in the 800-meter relay. He followed that with a fourth-place finish in the 100-meter dash and a silver in the 200 at the Inola meet. In 4A regional competition, Campbell kicked it into high gear, finishing first in the 100. He then repeated the feat at the 4A state meet, finishing first in the 100 — where he beat Bridge Creek’s Reagan Palmer by two-hundredths of a second. And with Campbell as the final leg, the Dutch finished second in the 400-meter relay, finishing behind Bethany by five-tenths of a second. Campbell has signed to play football at the University of Tulsa.
Tennis (girls): Abby Wise
Holland Hall • Jr.
After winning an individual Class 4A state championship last year at No. 1 Doubles with partner Kennedy Cox, switched to No. 1 Singles this season and excelled, going 15-4 and claiming victories at the regional and state tournaments, while helping the Dutch win their second consecutive team state championship. Lost just four games through the first three matches at state before pulling out a hard-fought 7-5, 6-1 win in the final over Reece Compton of Christian Heritage. “Abby possesses some of those intangibles as an athlete that you can’t coach,” said Holland Hall coach Brock Morton. “She really worked hard over the off-season and took her game to the next level.”
Tennis (girls): Ivy Wilson
Metro Christian • Sr.
Also an All-World first-team selection last season after placing third at the Class 5A state tournament at No. 1 Singles, she delivered an even better performance this year, going 21-3 with multiple tournament titles, including the regional, before reaching the 5A state final and falling 6-1, 7-5 to Sofia Acuna of OKC Classen SAS. Well-respected among local tennis watchers, as several opposing coaches advocated for her inclusion on this list. “Ivy is a very hard-working, deserving player,” said Metro coach Emily Cass.
Tennis (girls): Maddie Shelley
Bartlesville • Sr.
After placing third in No. 1 Singles in the Class 6A state tournament as a freshman in 2019, Shelley had her sophomore year wiped out by COVID-19 and missed most of her junior season due to elbow surgery. But she worked her way back to enjoy an outstanding year in 2022, winning every tournament at No. 1 Singles, including the regional, until finally falling in three sets in the state final to Edmond North’s Alice Hsu, finishing with a 22-1 record. Was 54-8 overall through her high school career. “Maddie is a great player and better kid,” said Bruins coach Bryan Reese. “She is an incredibly hard worker and has dedicated most of her life to tennis and school.” Headed next year to Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas.
Tennis (boys): Cooper Knutsen
Holland Hall • Sr.
An All-World first-team selection last year after placing fourth at the Class 4A state tournament in No. 1 Singles, came back and enjoyed an even better season in 2022, going undefeated (13-0) on the year at No. 1 Singles, claiming individual championships at the regional and state tournaments and helping the Dutch cruise to a dominant team state title. Swept through state as the No. 2 seed, dropping just six games through four matches in the tournament, including a 6-1, 6-1 victory in the final over top-seeded Evan Senger of Elk City. Will play next year at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Tennis (boys): Brett Keeling
Jenks • Jr.
Enjoyed another outstanding season at No. 1 Singles after being named last year’s All-World Athlete of the Year. Keeling fashioned another undefeated season with a 27-0 record, including dominant performances to win individual championships at the regional and the Class 6A state tournament, where he swept through the field, losing just one game in four matches, including a 6-1, 6-0 final-round triumph over Edmond North’s Reid Rainwater. He won his second straight Class 6A state title, while helping the Trojans claim their second team championship in a row. Still unbeaten (62-0) over the course of his high school career.
Tennis (boys): James Benien
Cascia Hall • Jr.
After COVID-19 wiped out his freshman season and he then spent his sophomore year in home schooling, Benien made a huge impact in his first real high school tennis season, taking over at No. 1 Singles and going 23-5, winning the regional and placing second at the Class 5A state tournament, as the Commandos came agonizingly close to a second straight state team title, finishing one point behind OKC Heritage Hall. “He has elevated his game significantly over the years,” said Cascia coach Kristin Liles. “He is so effortless on the court and he is such a good player that he makes it look easy.”
Golf (girls): Layne Ailshie
Fort Gibson • So.
Ailshie put on quite a show week in and week out this spring. Only once did she not finish in the top two of a tournament and that was in Miami early in the season. Beyond that, it was all gold and silver. She started the season with first-place finishes in Owasso and in Tahlequah, and then she tied for first place in a tournament in Eufaula. She also turned in second-place showings at Cushing and Pryor for regionals. Ailshie collected medalist honors at Mohawk Golf Course and again in Pryor leading up to postseason play. At the Class 4A state tournament, Ailshie went out to a first-day lead with an 80 and finished the second and final round with a 73 to win a state championship by two strokes. Was a 2021 All-World finalist.
Golf (girls): Jenni Roller
Regent Prep • Sr.
It was a magical senior season for Roller, who compiled six first-place finishes in her final year with the Rams. The season started with a second-place finish at the Jenks Invitational before back-to-back medalist finishes at the Owasso Invitational and the Bishop Kelley Invitational. At the Union tournament, she finished fourth, but it was nothing but first place from then on. She claimed first-place finishes at the Regent Prep Invitational and the Pinnacle Conference tournament. She fired a 70 to win a Class 3A regional title at Arrowhead Golf Course, and she cruised to a 3A state championship at Lake Murray Golf Course in Ardmore. At the state tournament, Roller shot an opening-round 62, which is the lowest ever recorded by a boy or girl in the state of Oklahoma. Roller signed with the University of Tulsa. Was the 2021 All-World winner.
Golf (girls): Lily Stanton
Jenks • Jr.
Stanton kept improving every week during her junior season, and wrapped up her campaign playing her best golf. Stanton started the season with an 11th-place finish at a tournament in Granbury, Texas, and she followed it up with ninth-place showing at the Edmond North tournament. From there it was the Bixby tournament (tied for second), the Jenks Invitational (ninth place), the 6A state preview tournament (seventh) and the Union Invitational (seventh). At the Frontier Valley Conference tournament, Stanton was second to earn All-Conference honors. She then capped her season with a third-place finish at 6A regionals and then a tie for second at the 6A state tournament, where the Trojans coasted to a team title. Was an All-World finalist last year.
Golf (boys): Ben Stoller
Owasso • Sr.
Owasso never shies away from competing in the state’s toughest tournaments, and Stoller never finished a tournament outside of the top eight this season. The Kansas State signee compiled eighth-place finishes at the Owasso Invitational and the Edmond North tournament. Every other finish he had was in the top five. He came in fifth at the Union tournament, fourth at the Frontier Valley Conference tournament, and third at the 6A state preview tournament. He had a pair of regular-season victories at the Jenks Invitational and the Ardmore tournament. In the postseason, Stoller won a regional championship at Bailey Ranch Golf Course, and he wrapped up the season with a third-place finish at the 6A state tournament at Jimmie Austin Golf Club in Norman. Was the 2021 All-World boys golfer of the year and 6A state champion.
Golf (boys): Will Sides
Cascia Hall • Sr.
It was another stellar season for Sides, a SMU signee and All-World finalist last year, as he led the Commandos through a rugged schedule in 2022. He finished outside the top 10 in a tournament only once, and every other tournament he was inside the top four. He opened the season with a third-place finish at the Muskogee tournament, and followed that with a fourth-place finish at the Owasso Invitational. He then racked up victories at the Bishop Kelley tournament and the Union tournament. He was third at the Pinnacle Conference tournament, and he then posted back-to-back second-place finishes at the 4A regional in Pryor and the 4A state tournament in Woodward — where he was four strokes off the pace set by Holland Hall’s Drew Mabrey.
Golf (boys): Drew Mabrey
Holland Hall • Sr.
Mabrey made a living inside the top two of almost every tournament he played in this season. His only time appearing outside of the top two was at the Jenks tournament early in the season. Other than that, he collected silver or gold. There were second-place finishes at the Ponca City Invitational, the Bixby tournament at Indian Springs Country Club and the Bishop Kelley tournament at LaFortune Golf Course. Then Mabrey turned it on to close out the season. He collected first-place showings at the Regent Prep tournament at South Lakes — where he also won a Pinnacle Conference crown. Then in the postseason, Mabrey won a regional title and a Class 4A state championship in Woodward.
Swimming (girls): Sylvia Admire
Claremore • Junior
After placing second in the 500-yard freestyle and third in the 50-yard freestyle at last year’s Class 6A state meet, earning All-World second team honors, came back this season determined to claim gold. Switched events this year and ended up winning both the East Regional and state championships in both the 100 free and the 200 free, edging out last year’s winner in the 100 free, Stillwater’s Avery Littlefield, by just 0.15 seconds. “She works really hard, stays on top of her diet and mental health and stays on top of her schoolwork,” said Claremore coach Kimberly Ward. “She’s a great girl and a great swimmer.”
Swimming (girls): Aidan Howze
Bartlesville • Senior
Enjoyed an outstanding season, claiming victory at both the East Regional and the Class 6A state meet in both of her individual events, the 200 IM and the 100 breaststroke, winning each by comfortable margins. Took on a leadership role for the Bruins and helped them place a close third as a team, after finishing sixth last year. “Aidan’s an amazing young lady,” said Bruins coach Chad Englehart. “She’s a 4.0 student, she’s an outstanding leader, in the locker room and in the pool, has a tremendous work ethic and she’s going to be very missed.” Will swim at Kansas next year.
Swimming (girls): Marissa Williams
Jenks • Freshman
Burst onto the high school scene in a big way this season, winning the East Regional and the Class 6A state championship in the 100 butterfly and placing second at both meets in the 100 backstroke, helping the Trojans finish a close second as a team. Represents the wave of the future for Jenks. “I saw some things (during the state meet) from her, the leadership that she brings to the team,” said Jenks coach Diego Henao. “It’s a tremendous asset for the team. With that kind of attitude, I can see the future of the team. She’s young and excited.”
Swimming (boys): Griffin Craig
Bartlesville • Sophomore
After placing fifth in both the 200-yard IM and the 100-yard backstroke at last year’s Class 6A state meet, came back this season and progressed substantially in his development. Won both events this season at the East Regional and then at state, won the 100 backstroke and placed second in the 200 IM. “Griffin is a tremendous worker and a positive leader,” said Bartlesville coach Chad Englehart. “He and his teammates had significant improvements this year, attributed in no small part to Griffin’s leadership. He comes in each day with a deep desire to bring his dreams to life through relentless work.”
Swimming (boys): Jacob Perryman
Adair • Junior
One year after placing second at the Class 5A state meet in both the 100 freestyle and the 100 backstroke, was determined to take the next step forward this season and ended up claiming victory in the East Regional and at state in both the 200 free and the 100 backstroke. “I’ve been dreaming of this and it finally came true, just determination and the amount of want I had to get gold, just helped me get gold,” he said. “Last year, I came up short with two silvers, but I had that in the back of my head during training and we got it done.”
Swimming (boys): Trenton vonHartitzsch
Union • Senior
Also an All-World Swimmer of the Year finalist last year, enjoyed another outstanding season. After winning the 100 breaststroke and placing second in the 100 free at the East Regional, entered the Class 6A state meet final as the second seed in the 100 free and as the fourth seed in the 100 breaststroke, and still ended up winning both races to pull off double gold medals again. “Trenton enjoys training and team building but thrives on competition,” said Union coach Lynne Gorman. “He sets lofty goals and is determined to reach them. He is an excellent teammate and leader, setting examples of excellence both in the classroom and in the pool.” Will swim next year at New York University.
Softball: Jayelle Austin
OWASSO • CF • FRESHMAN
Burst onto the varsity scene with impressive offensive numbers while leading the Rams to a 32-6 mark and a runner-up finish at the Class 6A state tournament. Austin posted a .532 batting average, .991 slugging percentage and .629 on-base percentage. In 109 at-bats, Austin totaled 58 hits, 51 runs scored, 36 RBIs, 16 doubles, eight triples and six home runs. Also showcased her speed on the basepaths and swiped 24 stolen bases. Finished as the District 6A-4 player of the year.
Softball: McKenna Ingram
BRISTOW • P • JUNIOR
Named District 4A-5 player of the year, Ingram was integral in getting Bristow to a 30-7 record and the Class 4A state tournament in 2021. On offense, Ingram posted a .359 batting average and .446 on-base percentage, while collecting 37 hits and 34 RBIs. And in the pitching circle is where Ingram excelled, with a 0.62 ERA in 192 1/3 innings pitched. Ingram went 19-3 in the pitching circle with 309 strikeouts, compared to just 57 walks. Ingram also racked up four no-hitters.
Softball: Emma Vickrey
JENKS • C • SENIOR
Garnered District 6A-3 player of the year honors after leading Jenks to a 28-11 mark in 2021. As the Trojans’ offensive catalyst, Vickrey scored 16 times, recorded 47 hits in 113 at-bats and posted a .463 on-base percentage and .788 slugging percentage. Vickrey also had 11 doubles, two triples and nine home runs. Vickrey signed with the University of Tulsa.
Cross country (Girls): Cayden Dawson
BIXBY • SENIOR
The Oklahoma State signee spent her senior season collecting first-place medals. It all started at the Early Tiger meet in Tahlequah, and she later finished in first at the Broken Arrow meet. Twice she took on runners from multiple states and finished on top, claiming first place at both the Southern Stampede in Joplin and at the Chile Pepper meet in Fayetteville, Arkansas. From there, Dawson became a Frontier Valley Conference medalist, as well as a first-place finisher at the Class 6A regional meet in Tulsa. She capped her season with a second-place finish at the 6A state meet.
College: Oklahoma State
Cross country (Girls): Payton Hinkle
BROKEN ARROW • SENIOR
The Oklahoma State signee capped off her senior season with a third consecutive state championship, finishing the Class 6A state meet at 17:56. Prior to that, Hinkle collected wins in the Deer Creek meet and the OSU Jamboree. She was also second at the Frontier Valley Conference meet, and then had a fourth-place showing at the 6A regional meet in Bartlesville leading up to the state meet.
College: Oklahoma State
Cross country (Girls): Avery Mazzei
JENKS • SENIOR
The Oral Roberts signee went toe-to-toe with both Broken Arrow’s Payton Hinkle and Bixby’s Cayden Dawson all season long. And much like the other two, Mazzei spent the majority of her senior season in the top three of nearly every meet she ran in. She scored second-place finishes at the meets at Carl Albert, Broken Arrow and the Class 6A regional meet. She was fourth at the OSU Jamboree and in eighth at the Chile Pepper meet in Arkansas. She grabbed bronze at the Frontier Valley Conference, and she capped her season with a third-place showing at the 6A state meet.
College: Oral Roberts
Cross country (Boys): Blake Feron
BROKEN ARROW • SENIOR
Started the season off with a third-place finish at the Deer Creek meet. He followed that with a first-place performance at the Early Tiger Invitational in Tahlequah. Another first-place followed at Feron’s home meet in Broken Arrow, and he later posted a sixth-place showing at the Jamboree meet at Oklahoma State. From there, he claimed a Frontier Valley Conference individual championship before coming in second place at the Class 6A regional meet. To finish the season, Feron finished fourth in the 6A state meet with a closing time of 15:39. Feron has signed with Rogers State.
College: Rogers State
Cross country (Boys): Mason Quinton
SAPULPA • SENIOR
Spent most of the season finishing in the top three of nearly every race he entered. He claimed an individual victory at the Booker T. Washington meet in September, and collected second-place showings at meets in Sapulpa, Edmond (pre-state) and regionals in Tulsa. In a multi-state meet at Missouri Southern in Joplin, Quinton was 34th. At the Oklahoma Baptist meet and Frontier Valley Conference meet he finished in third place, and he then finished in third place at the 5A state meet.
Cross country (Boys): Andrew Smithwick
LINCOLN CHRISTIAN • JUNIOR
Started the season at the Deer Creek meet, among some of the state’s best runners, and Smithwich finished 12th overall. From there, he followed with a second-place finish at the Camp Gruber meet in Braggs. After a 12th-place finish among runners from several states at the OSU Jamboree, Smithwick finished in first place at both the Pinnacle Conference meet and the Class 4A regional meet. The season then culminated at the 4A state meet, where Smithwick finished second overall. Was an All-World finalist last year.
Volleyball: Beth Bayless
REGENT PREP • SENIOR
The 6-foot-1 senior totaled 740 kills, 267 digs, 77 assists, 61 aces and 18 blocks during her final varsity campaign. Also had a .344 hitting percentage on offense. In the 4A state tournament, Bayless had 31 kills and 19 digs. Was named the most valuable player in the Pinnacle Conference in 2021. She holds the school records in kills, kills per set, and hitting percentage. “Her impact on the team goes beyond her ability,” Regent Prep coach Michael Christie said. “She’s a great leader on and off the court and she builds great relationships with her teammates.”
Volleyball: Mackenzie McGuire
BROKEN ARROW • SENIOR
The Kent State signee closed out her high school career leading the Tigers to the 6A state tournament. Along the way in 111 sets played, she accounted for 58 aces and a 90.5 serving percentage. McGuire also amassed 556 kills with a 29.4 hitting percentage. She also had 49 blocks and 262 digs. McGuire, a first team selection in the Frontier Valley Conference, was also named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year.
College: Kent State
Volleyball: Jessica Shildt
BISHOP KELLEY • JUNIOR
Led the Comets with 471 digs in 2021. Shildt also led Bishop Kelley with 569 service receptions, while also logging 79 assists and 31 aces. Throughout her junior season, Shildt was named the most valuable player of the Union tournament, while also landing all-tournament spots at both the Bishop Kelley and Jenks tournaments. Was also named co-MVP for the Comets during the 2021 season. “Jessica does her work quietly and with great focus and determination, establishing herself as one of the top players in the state at Libero,” Bishop Kelley coach Jerri Berna said. “She makes hard plays sometimes look very routine. And this is because she is so focused, coachable, competitive and skilled.”
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