The 29th edition of the Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic tipped off Wednesday at 3 p.m. inside East Central University’s Kerr Activities Center.

One huge fan of the tradition-rich girls holiday tournament from Atoka plans to be there from start to finish.

As I was winding down Tuesday’s sports page, the fan from Atoka gave me a call. The conversation went something like this”

“Is this the sports editor?”

“Yes sir. How can I help you?”

“Oh good. Can you give the schedule for the Mid-America Tournament?”

“Sure. Hold on please (grabbing my Mid-America bracket). OK, the first game is Frontier vs. Elgin at 3 p.m. Then, Perkins-Tryon takes on Elk City at 4:30 p.m. The night session will feature Mustang versus Marietta at 6:30 p.m. and Dover versus Byng at 8 p.m.”

“Boy, there’s going to be some good teams there.”

“Yes sir. We try to get eight of the best teams in the state down here every year.”

“Oh, I know. My buddies usually pick out some of the best games to watch but I always come down and get a hotel room and watch every game.”

“Wow. That’s impressive.”

“Well thanks for the help.”

No, thank you sir. And the many fans just like you.

Mid-America Board president Allen Butler got a call from Fort Worth, Texas wanting to know the schedule. From Atoka to Texas, the Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Tournament has always been the place to be in late December.

Not only does the tournament draw some of the top teams in the state to Ada but some of the top players in Oklahoma are also showcased during the three-day girls basketball extravaganza.

If you like high school sports, you will be sorry if you don’t take this opportunity to check out Frontier’s Jenna Plumley, Mustang sisters Lucy and Lacy Ramon and Krista Bullis of Dover, just to name a few.

Game times are the same all three days. Come out and catch all the thrills of victory and the agony of defeat. You’ll be glad you did.

Just ask that nice guy from Atoka sitting beside you.

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Just how good is this year’s field? Following are the teams and their rankings according to the Dec. 26 CoachesAid polls: Mustang (5-0 and No. 2 in Class 6A); Elgin (8-0 and No. 3 in Class 4A); Elk City (5-3, No. 18 in Class 4A); Perkins (8-0, No. 7 in Class 3A); Marietta (7-2, No. 10 in Class 3A); Frontier (7-2, No. 1 in Class A); Dover (15-0, No. 1 in Class B).

Byng (5-4) is the only unranked team but started the season No. 18 in Class 4A.

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Following is a list of past Mid-America champions and their head coaches:

1976: Byng (Burl Plunkett); 1977: McLIsh (Eldon Flinn); 1978: Colbert (Wayne Merryman); 1979: McLish (Eldon Flinn); 1980: Ada (Bill Johnson); 1981: Jay (Diwayne Collins); 1982: Tuttle (Billy Green); 1983: Colbert (Wayne Merryman); 1984: Star Spencer (Willie Fathree); 1985: Ada (Jack Wright); 1986: Indianola (Joe Kitchens); 1987: Prague (Benny Burnett); 1988: Kingfisher (Cherie Myers); 1989: Deer Creek (Mike Tucker); 1990: Locust Grove (Wayne Backward); 1991: Bethel (Jerry Johnson); 1992: Seiling (Rick Wilson); 1993: Seiling (Rick Wilson); 1994: Indianola (Vernon Johnson); 1995: Norman (Sherri Coale); 1996: Ada (Jeff Maloy); 1997: Ada (Jeff Maloy); 1998: Carl Albert (Rick Wilson); 1999: Carl Albert (Rick Wilson); 2000: (No Tournament Held); 2001: Hydro-Eakly (Rick Wilson); 2002: Sapulpa (Leah Beer); 2003: Sapulpa (Leah Beer); 2004: Woodward (Kim Kramer).

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