The Owasso (Owasso, Okla.) Rams won their third straight state championship last year, but the 2010 season looked to be a bit of a rebuilding year, considering Owasso was only going to have seven seniors on the roster and was losing one of the state’s best players in Oklahoma-bound pitcher Austin Kirk.
Then Dylan Bundy enrolled in school.
The Gatorade State Player of the Year despite only being a sophomore, Bundy enrolled at Owasso over the summer after leading Sperry to back-to-back state championships. Bundy is a two-time All-Metro selection by The Oklahoman and he struck out 183 batters in 82 innings last year with a 12-1 record and a 0.85 ERA.
The Rams also had three players sign letters of intent to play in college next year, including Ryan Wilson, Garrett Schaede and Kyle Wood.
Owasso opened the season with a 15-5 win over Muskogee (Muskogee, Okla.) on Monday with Phillip Wilson going 3-for-4 with two RBI at the plate while also getting the pitching win with eight strikeouts.
The only team other than Owasso to win a state title the past seven years is Union (Tulsa, Okla.) and the Tulsa team could have a shot at knocking off the Rams. Union returns one of the state’s top players in utilityman Jacob Rice, who batted .480 with five home runs and 51 RBI last year.
Broken Arrow (Broken Arrow, Okla.) will also be in the mix talented pitcher Archie Bradley, a junior who batted .398 with six home runs and 12 doubles, transferring over from Muskogee. Also returning are juniors Dylan Delso (1B), Mason Hope (P) and Tyler McKinzie (P).
Here’s a look at how the rest of the divisions shape up.
Albert (Midwest City, Okla.) won the 5A state championship last year and has won the crown twice in the past three seasons. The squad may also be the second best team in the state behind Owasso, regardless of enrollment level.
Carl Albert returns one of the state’s best athletes in all-state infielder Jt Realmuto. A quarterback in football, Realmuto was also an all-state pick in the fall. Realmuto batted .434 with 39 RBI and nine home runs.
Pryor (Pryor, Okla.) has plenty of talent returning from a team that went 20-14 last year, including juniors Chris Ashley (P), Rowdy Dove (1B) and Shane Holloway (OF), and senior Tatyn Fee (P).
Collinsville (Collinsville, Okla.), with all-metro utility player Jose Olazagasti (.507, 68 RBI), will be another team to watch. Also returning for Collinsville are Nick Goza (P), Peter Rodriguiz (2B) and Randy Rogers (P).
Tuttle (Tuttle, Okla.) has reached the state championship game each of the past four seasons, winning it all in 2006 and 2009. If the Tigers are to do it again, however, they’ll have to do it without coach Shawn Streater, who left the school in June to coach at Byng.
Bishop McGuinness (Oklahoma City, Okla.) had a bit of a down season after winning the state title in 2008, but the Fighting Irish return 12 letterman from last year’s squad.
Sperry (Sperry, Okla.), the winner of three of the last four state championship games, took a big hit over the summer. Besides losing five All-Metro Honorable Mention selections due to graduation, Sperry also lost legendary coach Bill Fisher to retirement and Metro Pitcher of the Year Dylan Bundy to a transfer to Owasso.
That could open the door for a team like Cascia Hall (Tulsa, Okla.), which returns standouts like Stephen Rouse in the outfield, Eric Seagle at first base, Grant Thetford on the mound and Garrett Waller at second base.
Either Silo (Silo, Okla.), Dale (Dale, Okla.) or Latta (Ada, Okla.) has won the 2A state title over the past 12 seasons. Silo has won the last two championships while Dale has won six during that span and Latta has won four.
Silo beat both Dale and Latta in the state playoffs last year to win the title. The Rebels also fielded a roster last year that featured just one senior. Nineteen players are expected to return this year.
Keach Ballard and Logan Oller have both signed to play at Grayson College next year. Ballard scored 65 runs and had seven home runs last year while Oller was 7-1 with a 1.49 ERA and also hit .511 with eight home runs.
Meanwhile Jacob Carter, Kenton Stanley and Kale Palmer have all signed to play at Carl Albert State College. Carter batted .614 and had 66 RBI and 15 home runs. Stanley batted .415 and Palmer hit .411.
Going into last year’s 1A state playoffs, eventual champion Soper (Soper, Okla.) wasn’t even the favorite. In face Soper was rated third in the state behind Fort Cobb-Broxton (Fort Cobb, Okla.) and Hydro-Eakly (Hydro, Okla.). Fort Cobb Broxton could be the favorite as it was a state champion two years ago and was headed to a second straight title before being upended by Dewar.
Roff (Roff, Okla.) has been the team to beat in both the Fall and the Spring in Class B. The Tigers were 19-6 last year in the spring and won the state title. They did it again in the Fall, defeated Red Oak for the championship.
Roff returns all-state pick Brenden McCurry, a pitcher/third baseman who batted .549 with 18 home runs and 60 RBI last season. Dayne Parker is also back at shortstop after batting .505 last season, along with Aaron Cornell, who batted .495.