It was the fall of 1995. All anyone was talking about all week long was the upcoming Friday night Poteau Pirates' football game against the top-ranked and undefeated Ada Cougars, who featured a tight end who would later play in the National Football League â€” Jeremy Shockey. Also, Brandon Daniels was the Ada quarterback.
Both teams were 7-0, and it was dubbed as the No. 1 high school game in the state for that week.
There's something special about opening night. For the Panama Razorbacks, it will be doubly exciting.
First, they will begin the 2012 season at 7:30 p.m. tonight at George Ollie Stadium against the Gore Pirates. Secondly, since the game is tonight, unlike most of the state teams' openers being Friday night, it means that there should be quite a crowd tonight.
â€śEverybody is excited,â€ť said Brandon Ellis, Panama's second-year coach. â€śIt's the first game of the year, and it's on a Thursday night. We're expecting a full house. We're ready to go.â€ť
For Poteau Pirate senior lineman Troy Barnett, Friday night cannot get here fast enough. That's the season-opening game at 7:30 p.m. Friday on the road against the Durant Lions. However, on the other hand, he doesn't want his final Pirate football season to rush by, either.
â€śThere's parts of me that would wish it would slow down a little bit because it's my senior year,â€ť Barnett said. â€śOther than that, I'm having a hard time just getting ready for it because I'm so pumped up for it â€” ready for it to be here.â€ť
The Heavener High School cross country teams will begin their 2012 season today at the Early Tiger Meet in Tahlequah.
The Wolves return five members of last year's inaugural season of cross country â€” Jose Farias, Dakota McGee, Cesar Gonzales, Arturo Ortega and Octavio Sanchez. Farias was the lone Heavener runner who made last fall's Class 3A State Meet, where he placed 30th.
James Cinocca, Michael Bobo and Levi Chuculate round out the boys' roster.
BOKOSHE â€” The Cameron Lady Yellowjackets returned to the win column not once, but twice, as they swept a Green Valley Conference doubleheader from the Bokoshe Lady Tigers by scores of 15-8 and 11-3 Tuesday afternoon.
Talihina 2, Pocola 1; Pocola 3, Sallisaw 2; Sallisaw 9, Talihina 4: In Pocola, all three teams split their games in the three-way.
Wister 2, Spiro 1: In Spiro, the Lady Wildcats rebounded from Monday afternoon's heart-breaking loss to Panama. Wister scored twice in the first inning, and pitcher Bryanna Warren made the lead stand up as she struck out six batters in the win.
LEFLORE â€” The Howe Lions finally got win No. 2 for the fall 2012 season Tuesday night. The Lions rallied from an early deficit to down the Leflore Savages 13-5.
Down 3-0 after an inning, the Lions, thanks to a solo home run by Stephen Helmandollar leading things off, scored eight runs in the second inning to take an 8-3 lead.
Wister 15, Buffalo Valley 0: In Wister, senior pitcher Colby Turnipseed pitched his second perfect game in as many weeks for the Wildcats.
Turnipseed faced the minimum nine batters in the three-inning game, striking out six of them.
The Heavener Wolves will begin two new football eras when they open their 2012 season at 7 p.m. Friday against Union Christian Academy at Ramsey Junior High School in Fort Smith, Ark.
First, the Wolves will be a Class 3A team. Secondly, they will begin the Carl Lee era as he will coach his first regular-season game as the new coach.
With all that, plus the start of the season in general, the Wolves are ready for Friday night's opener.
The good news is the Spiro Bulldogs are ready to get the 2012 season going.
â€śThey're anxious and getting fired up, more so than in the last few weeks,â€ť said Chris Bunch, Spiro's coach.
However, the â€™Dogs will have a tough opener as they will travel to meet Class 2A's top-ranked Vian Wolverines at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
â€śThey're rated No. 1 in their class and are picked to win state in their class,â€ť Bunch said. â€śWe're the underdogs, and our kids are going to have to step up to the challenge.â€ť
The Talihina Golden Tigers football team wants to put an end to a five-game losing streak, which covered Weeks 6 through 10 of last season. They will get that chance at 7:30 p.m. Friday as they travel to meet the Wilburton Diggers.
â€śWe're reloaded and we're ready to go,â€ť said Kelly Gravitt, Talihina's coach. â€śWe've had two pretty good practices, and we're just looking to round things out with a good practice (on Wednesday). The kids have a good feeling, and we're ready to go.â€ť
Donâ€™t forget about Oklahoma's annual Free Hunting Days this weekend, Saturday and Sunday. Resident hunters do not need to possess an annual hunting license or HIP permit while hunting on these days.
The free days fall on the first two days of dove season that runs Sept. 1-Oct. 31, statewide, followed by another nine-day period open from Dec. 22-30, statewide. In addition to dove hunting, squirrel season also is open on these days.