The Oologah Mustangs had five seniors wrap up successful high school careers at the recent baseball state tournament.

Curt Simpson, Blake Kelley, Jeff Bradshaw, Tyler Harold and Justin Payne saw that success come both on and off the diamond.

In four seasons, the Mustangs compiled a record of 131-19, won seven invitational titles, and the Tulsa Seven Conference championship all four seasons.

The Mustangs also made the state tournament every year, winning the title in 2005 and finishing second this season.

The five seniors also were solid in the classroom, combining for a grade point average of 3.85. The team also picked up two academic achievement certificates with a total GPA of 3.25.

Head coach Brent Payne, who is retiring from that position but will stay on as the athletic director, is even more proud of his players as for their off-field accomplishments than he is of their playing abilities.

“These guys are not only good players but they are even better young men,” he said. “They have been a blessing to coach, and they have made me a better person as well as a coach. They will truly be missed.”

Simpson, with a GPA of 4.0, is a four-year starter who finished with a pitching record of 30-4. He hit six homers and drove in 50 runs this season.

He was the Tulsa Seven Conference pitcher of the year in 2005 and the Three Rivers Coaches Association pitcher of the year in 2006. He has accepted a scholarship to play baseball at Cowley County junior college in Kansas. Simpson was also a two-year starter for the basketball team.

Kelley is the class valedictorian with a GPA of 4.232 and will join Simpson at Cowley County. He played at Haskell his first two years before moving to Oologah for his final two seasons.

Kelley put together a 21-2 record on the mound and hit 10 homers with 90-plus runs batted in as a Mustang. He was the Tulsa Seven Conference player of the year as a junior and the co-player of the year in the Three Rivers Coaches Association this season. He started at quarterback and defensive back for the football team.

Bradshaw is a three-year baseball starter who carries a GPA of 3.5. He finished with 13 homers and 90-plus RBIs over the past two seasons. He was voted Team Leader by teammates. He also started at fullback and linebacker in football. Bradshaw is undecided about college plans.

Harold is a two-year starter and carries a 4.0 GPA. His speed resulted in over 90 runs scored and over 40 stolen bases from the leadoff spot the past two seasons. He suffered a sprained ankle in the regionals this year, but continued to play and contributed to the Mustangs’ run to the state finals.

Teammates voted to present Harold the Hustler Award. Harold was 6-0 in his first season of varsity pitching and will attend Rogers State University this fall. He also was a wide receiver, defensive back, and handled the kicking duties for the football team. He was honored by the Claremore Progress as the Most Valuable Player on the 2005 All-Area football team.

Justin Payne, the coach’s son, is a two-year starter with a GPA of 3.8. He was a designated hitter and catcher as a junior and the full-time catcher tis season.

Payne is a quality defensive catcher who hit over .400 as a senior. He drove in more than 50 runs from the lower part of the lineup the past two seasons. Teammates voted Payne the Best Attitude and Best Team Player. He will attend Northeastern State University and plans to pursue a degree in education