2008 saw another year of excellence on the sporting fields and arenas of Delaware County area schools. Below is a quick re-cap of some of the highlights:

- GHS Wrestling team captures 3A State Championship

The Grove Ridgerunner wrestling team had a season for the ages in 2008. The list of honors reads like something out of mythology but the results were hard earned and real: 20-1 dual record, Conference Dual Champions, Dual State Runners Up, Team Conference Champions, Team Regional Champions, and the biggest achievement, 3A State Champions.

The Ridgerunners sent eight grapplers to the mats at Oklahoma City for the state tournament last season and left the State Fairgrounds arena in possession of the biggest hardware available.

Freshman Damien Hopper won the State Championship in the 103 lbs class while older brother Darius Hopper, a senior, was a podium finisher in the 171 lbs class.

Brotherhood was a theme for the unit as Zach Housley, a sophomore at 112 lbs, and J.C. Housley, a senior at 145 lbs, both finished the State Tournament on the medal podium.

Juniors Connor Sarwinski, at 140 lbs, and Dusty Gehrke, at 160 lbs, joined their teammates with podium finishes at the state event.

Senior heavyweight R.J. Bartley capped his varsity-wrestling career with a podium finish at the state tournament. Fellow seniors Daniel Kelly, at 125 lbs, and Blake Armstrong, at 130 lbs, were both State Tournament qualifiers.

In between the entire end of season prizes the squad managed to capture a number of tournament championships, including an undefeated run at the Jay Dual Tournament.

Head Coach John Henry Ward, himself a decorated former wrestler at the University of Oklahoma, along with assistants Dan Davies and Dusty Crowder, managed a group of student-athletes who reached the very top of their sport.

- GHS Football team advances to 4A semi-finals

The Grove Ridgerunner gridiron troops put together one of the most memorable seasons ever in 2008. The team ended the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record and laid claim to the program’s first District Championship since 1991. A strong run in the playoffs saw the team rip through 4A opponents Muldrow and Star Spencer as they advanced to the semi-finals for a showdown at Bixby HS with defending state champions Bishop McGuinness.

Senior leadership was a key component of the Ridgerunners’ ’08 success. Linemen Corey Swartz, Laramie Raymond, Jake Nelson, and Kyle Tidwell anchored an offensive unit headlined by quarterback Corey Davenport and receivers Dusty Gehrke and Michael Hudgens.

Many of those same senior players contributed to the stout Ridgerunner defense. Seniors David Scott, Ryan Miller, and Connor Sarwinski were all big-hitters at the defensive end spot and fellow upperclassman Tyler Spychalski was a threatening defensive backfield presence.

Senior place-kicker T.J. Griffith was a reliable source of points for the team and had a perfect 100% conversion rate for field goals on the season.

Gehrke was named the MVP for both the 4A-3 District and the Verdigris Valley Conference. Davenport was selected as the Verdigris Valley Offensive MVP and the 4A-3 All District quarterback. Griffith was All Conference and All District selection as were teammates Swartz, Raymond, Nelson, Hudgens, and Sarwinski.

Head Coach Dennis Millican was named as the Coach of the Year for the 4A-3 district.

- Jay Lady Bulldogs basketball team advances to 4A area tourney

Jay Lady Bulldog Basketball Head Coach Terry Sweeney made his debut season with the squad a memorable one last year as the group advanced to the second round of the 4A Area basketball tournament.

Led by seniors Colby Morrow, Taylor Raney, and Kelsie Crouch the Lady Bulldogs raced through the Regional tournament at downing Inola, Dewey, and Tulsa Webster en route to claiming the Regional Consolation Championship at Vinita.

The Jay squad then traveled to Stillwater for the Area tournament where they up-ended a strong Glenpool unit before a final face-off with Claremore-Sequoyah.

The state tournament run meant that the Lady Bulldogs ended their season as one of only 16 teams still alive in the 4A competition.

Awards abounded at season’s end and both Raney and Morrow were selected as first team All Conference players.

- Ridgerunner track and field team claim Regional Championship

The GHS boys’ track and field team put together a strong season in ’08 that culminated with the group claiming the Regional Championship at Vinita.

The 4X400 relay team put together a record setting run, 3:25.22, at the regional meet. Seniors Colton Gehrke, George Maymi, and junior Joseph Craven were joined by freshman Tyler Leffel to post the time.

Dusty Gehrke repeated as State Champion in the pole vault competition.

Besides the end of year awards Head Coach Warren Brumley’s charges also took first place at the 5A Bishop Kelly track meet.

-Ridgerunner soccer makes the playoffs

The GHS Ridgerunner soccer team accomplished a first in ’08 for the short tenure of the program by qualifying for the playoffs.

Head Coach Sean Botts helped direct the boys’ team to a 6-4 regular season mark, a program high mark, and the team hosted Verdigris in the first round of the state playoffs.

Seniors Jeremy Hicks, Evan Robinson, Britton Bechtol, Kyle Gillard, Derek Dickson, and Takaya Iwasaki provided the upperclassman leadership for the squad.

-Kansas Lady Comets make Final Four

The Kansas Lady Comets basketball squad continued their successful program in 2008 with a run all the way to the 3A Final Four State Tournament.

Led by senior Jessica Lankston, the Lady Comets posted a 24-4 record and claimed the Super Seven Conference title, as well as the Coca-Cola Classic trophy at Afton.