Winter is coming

No offseason for defending Class 6A State Champions

Fall sports may just be getting underway, but in Choctaw many are excited to see what winter will bring.
Choctaw High School‘s defending Class 6A State Champion girls basketball squad recently concluded a successful summer campaign rolling to a record of 20-5 through summer leagues.
The handful of losses came from Owasso, Sand Springs, Tulsa Washington, Midwest City and Amarillo Texas.
Yellowjacket fans have a lot to be excited about, and those few stumbles aren’t indicative of how things will go come winter, explained head coach Ryan Maloney
“We went to Mustang, Edmond and Owasso summer leagues, and Oklahoma State Team Camp,” said Maloney. “Summer leagues are different, because we really use the entire depth of the roster. We’re in good shape.”
While satisfied with the work through the summer, Maloney knows his squad will have a lot of work to put in after organized practice begins, Oct. 1.
“We just need a good preseason, and we’ll be ready to open up with Del City Nov. 29 at their place,” said Maloney. “Until then they’re lifting and running. Avery Clark is playing softball, and Kaylee Hubkey and Eliya Jennings are playing volleyball in addition to a slew of freshmen that play both. It’s good to share athletes here in Choctaw. We believe to be successful you need your athletes to play multiple sports.”
Ana Llanusa, the top female player in the state, is off to the University of Oklahoma, but CHS still has plenty of top-tier players returning for the 2017-18 season including one more Llanusa.
Maloney says the upcoming season will feature a talent-rich roster built around several seniors, and incorporating Lady Jackets of all ages with some freshmen putting in varsity minutes.
“Aliyah Llanusa, Bailey Golden and Jordan Saxton are stepping into the spotlight. We’re building the pieces around them, and seeing our youngsters coming up,” said Maloney. “We’ll have a good senior group, and I think we’ll have more depth this year. It’s just seeing who fits where, and figuring out what we need to do to get the best out of our talent. There’s a lot of talent coming up in Choctaw.”

With Ana Llanusa off to the University of Oklahoma, Choctaw will be looking to Bailey Golden, Jordan Saxton and Aliyah Llanusa for the leadership needed to capture another ring. (Photos by Ryan Horton)

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