Ada — When former Ada Schools superintendent Zane Bowman decided in 1998 it was time to initiate a high school soccer program at Ada High, he likely did so with fingers crossed.
Ada would, in 2001, become only the second high school in the state’s southeast region to field boys’ and girls’ varsity soccer. The other school was Durant, which had had high school soccer since the early 1990s.
Bowman may have had second thoughts when he began construction of the Ada High soccer facility.
The stadium, located directly east of Ada High School, is a beautiful facility. Schools love to visit Ada because of the exceptional field and lighting. However, getting that stadium completed was no easy task.
When preparing the field and running utilities, workers encountered boulders the size of large trucks. But the job went ahead as scheduled, and Ada High opened the 2001 soccer season in its beautiful new spot.
This year — Ada’s 14th soccer season — the Cougars and Lady Cougars opened up at home March 4 versus Atoka. On March 25, the teams travel to McAlester for away matches. Both Atoka and McAlester are just now starting up their high school soccer programs.
The sport has been popular in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas for decades, and most metro high schools have had soccer programs for many years. However, in the rural areas, soccer has taken hold more slowly.
But now, the momentum has built to the point that most Oklahoma high schools in Class 2A and up either have the sport or are seeking to start up programs.
Both Ada squads are strong, competitive and have good shots at the playoffs for the 2014 season. An important decision by a visionary superintendent paved the way for soccer success in Ada.