Today marks the 48th consecutive year, the Ada Evening News sports department brings you its All-Area Basketball special edition.

And we hope you enjoy it.

It seems like every year we agonize over a number of our selections, and this year was no different. The boys picks were as hard to sort out as they’ve been in a good while. There were just so many talented boys players in the area during the 2009-10 season that it made it really tough to first, narrow a list down to the Top 18 (first team, second team and third team) and then decided where each player fell on that list.

It’s a dirty job, but thanks to that poor soul that was sitting in my spot 48 years ago, we are forced to do it.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again. But we (and when I say we, I mean myself, Bob Forrest and that new cat that everyone has been raving about, David Seeley) at the Ada Evening News are fortunate to get to cover an area that is so rich in talented players and top, quality coaches.

Thanks to all the coaches who sent us statistics in a timely fashion and even to those who didn’t. Better late than never.

As hard as the All-Area teams were to pick, the top two freshmen in the area made it easy to hand out those awards.

While I get plenty of help from Forrest and Seeley when mapping out the All-Area squads, I have taken it upon myself to pick the top freshmen in the region. So, without further adieu, the 2010 Boys Freshman of the Year is none other than Konawa guard Alex Yellowfish.

He averaged 11.8 points per game and that number should steadily increase over the next three years. But that kid already distributes the ball well and was one of the top defenders in the area (how about an area-best 85 steals?).

The 2010 Girls Freshman of the Year was Byng stud Raetchel Gray. She averaged 5.7 points per game on a very deep Byng team and earned more and more playing time for head coach Matt Fike as the season wore on. She also averaged 5.7 rebounds per outing.

“That’s not bad for a freshman GUARD,” Fike pointed out.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Yellowfish and Gray bring to the table in the years ahead. But when watching those two, don’t forget your shades. Their future is bright.

Now that that’s out of the way, we can move on to spring sports playoffs ...


The spring sports story of the year comes out of Roff, America but it has nothing to do with its juggernaut baseball team that plans on being the first group to pull off the rare state title trifecta — a fall  baseball state championship, a basketball state championship and a spring baseball state championship.

The Roff High School slowpitch softball team hosted a Class 2A District Tournament on Thursday and planned on getting that four-team event started at 11 a.m. to avoid wet weather and get home early.

Things didn’t go exactly according to plan.

Roff was scheduled to battle Macomb, a Seminole County school some 45 minute away, in the first game of the day. AEN Photographer Richard R. Barron was on hand to shoot the contest and called me about 11:15 a.m. Macomb hadn’t shown yet and Barron had other newspaper duties to attend and couldn’t stick around.

A group of Macomb supporters were already in the stands ready for the action to begin and told Roff officials the bus had left around 30 minutes before they did. Coach Tamara Mason and her team should have been there in plenty of time.

 Finally, word got back to Roff that the Macomb bus and its passengers had gotten lost on the way to Roff and had gone to Madill before figuring out they had better turn around and head the other way.

“They had a group of parents here, and they were all on their cell phones and finally one of them came over and said ‘Sorry guys. The bus went all the way to Madill and had to turn around and it’s just now leaving Tishomingo,’” Roff head coach Kathy Gregson explained.

Say what? All the way to Madill? How is that even possible when you are trying to find Roff? Especially coming the short distance Macomb had to travel. Are you kidding me? How?

“I have no idea,” Gregson said. “I never asked the coach about it after they got here. We were trying to figure out how they could have done that. We talked about it all day long.”

It’s not like this was a regular- season contest. It’s the playoffs. How do you not know where you are going before you leave? Buy that poor bus driver a GPS.

I will freely admit, I get lost once or twice every time I go to Tulsa. As many things as I have covered up there, I still get confused when a sporting event takes place up there. But Roff?

“That just shows we haven’t done enough I guess,” athletic director Mike Stewart said.

The Lady Tigers, who are NOT void of tradition by any means, will just have to win a few state titles (might as well start this spring). Maybe that will put the Roff softball team ‘on the map.’