Another exciting Rogers County sports season has come to a close.
Below is a breakdown of 2019’s most-read local stories on claremoreprogress.com.
Progress sports editor Kevin Green went back and studied how all nine area programs have done on the gridiron since 2000.
After calculating wins, losses, winning percentages and playoff appearances, he came up with a poll ranking the top Rogers County football programs of the 21st century.
Oologah claimed the top spot with eight seasons of 10 or more wins, three state championship appearances and nine quarterfinal and semifinal showings.
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board of directors met in early December and approved the average daily membership numbers that will classify football schools for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Every local school was affected, including Sequoyah and Chelsea, which were both moved down a class.
Claremore baseball star Tristin Hampton helped his neighbor rescue a man from a stranded vehicle stuck in high floodwaters on May 20.
Most of Rogers County was under a tornado warning at the time, but that didn’t concern the teenager too much. Saving a stranded pedestrian was his main objective.
After the rescue, Hampton helped set up ‘Road Closed’ signs around the neighborhood.
On Hole 8 of the Heritage Hills Golf Course, 88-year-old Gene Anthony missed the fairway on his tee ball, sending it into the nearby trees.
When Anthony and his playing partner, Gary Easley, searched for the errant ball, they found it lying next to a bobcat.
The cat didn’t leave until Anthony went to retrieve the ball.
Gannon Sherl, a freshman at Claremore High, suffered a severe concussion during a football game against Collinsville on Thursday, Oct. 3, and had to be rushed to the hospital.
Since the incident, Sherl has struggled with short-term memory problems, but he is well on the way to recovery thanks to a supporting family and community.
He returned to sports in mid-November.
Jacob Cowherd pounced on a fumble with 1:42 remaining to seal Claremore’s 21-14 upset of previously unbeaten No. 3 Tahlequah on Nov. 8.
In all, the Zebras forced four turnovers while holding the normally potent Tigers offense to only 220 total yards and 126 yards rushing.
Meanwhile, quarterback Charlie Murdock completed 10 of 21 passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns, and running back DeShawn Kinnard rushed for 127 yards on 27 carries.
The Verdigris Activity Center is expected to be completed by Jan. 28, just in time for basketball homecoming.
The new building, which cost $11.2 million, will have more than 2,000 seats and a mezzanine with plenty of standing room.
Claremore senior Quentin Skinner had a promising year ahead of him, but it was cut short when an ACL tear on Sept. 27 against Collinsville ended his season early.
He closed his career as a Zebra with 759 yards receiving and nine touchdowns while also tallying 56 tackles and 11 interceptions.
Despite the injury, Skinner signed with Division I Big 12 school Kansas, where he will continue his football career.
No person has influenced the career of Eli Runyan more than his parents, Bryan and Leslie.
That inspiration stemmed from the solid foundation his parents built for him through their successful careers in the workforce, and despite having demanding jobs, they never let them interfere with their family life.
Both sacrificed days off to help Ruyan improve his football intangibles while also keeping his spirits up during injuries.
A childhood dream shared between Maddox Thomas and her older sister Mackenzie became reality when the Oklahoma State softball team defeated Florida State to advance to the Women’s College World Series in May.
The two had attended the WCWS together every year for the past decade or so, but Thomas got to enjoy watching her sister play in it this time around.
It was one of the best moments of her life, and she wasn’t even on the field.