By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
Athletic greatness runs deep in Sand Springs. Earlier this week we posted a story about the Oklahoma Thunder, a Sand Springs-based little league team ranked number one in the nation in age six-and-under. It's now been brought to my attention that Sand Springs is also home to the number one team in age five-and-under.
The Oklahoma Rangers are comprised of Reece Barnett, Johnathan Euell, Asher Giddens, Jaycob Goodman, Corbin Johnson, Drake McCutcheon, Talan Ozark, Jaxxon Peterson, Tabor Reiss, Jordan Satoe, and Brody Wofford.
The Rangers started off the season with a third place finish in the Sand Springs Preseason Tournament playing in the six-and-under division against several older teams. They dominated the Cubs 21-12 and edged out the Braves 24-23. The Cubs found payback in the finals, however, with an 18-7 win.
At the Spring Smackdown in Broken Arrow the Rangers finished in fifth place after going 1-2-1 in the six-and-under division. The rangers tied the Coweta Elite 16-16, defeated the Broken Arrow Lil Monsters 16-8, but fell 18-6 to the Wagoner Bulldogs and 8-3 to the Oklahoma Titans.
The Rangers placed third at the Washington County Youth Baseball & Softball State Qualifier after losing twice to the Broken Arrow Drillers. After falling 27-11 to the Drillers, the Rangers rebounded with a close 19-17 win over the Oklahoma Indians and a 15-14 win over the Oklahoma Titans before falling once more to the Drillers 20-12.
At the Oklahoma State Championship last month, the Rangers competed at their own age-level for the first time this season and got into a back-and-forth battle with the third-ranked Tulsa Sooners for the State Title. In the first round the Rangers prevailed by a single run 17-16 over the Sooners, then beat the Bixby Twins 22-14 to progress to the finals. The Sooners, meanwhile, beat the Twins and the Locust Grove Pirates in the consolation bracket to earn a second shot at the Rangers. Once again it came down to a single run, this time with the Sooners coming on top 28-27. In the tie-breaker round the Rangers came out on top 21-18 to secure the first place finish.
Both the Rangers and the Thunder feature some incredibly talented young athletes who will likely make a big impact in continuing the tradition of Sand Springs excellence.