Originally Published: Mar 1, 2010 11:12 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Mobile Journalist
OKARCHE, Oklahoma - The small schools' state tournament tip-off Thursday and the only town represented by both the girls and boys basketball teams in Class A is Okarche.
Most people might think of Eischen's Fried Chicken when it comes to Okarche, but for anyone who knows anything about high school sports, high school basketball comes to mind.
"We may not have the prettiest gym in the state but most gyms you walk into don't have all the banners hanging from the rafters from the boys' program and girls' program from state tournament appearances," boys head coach Ray West said.
Success from both programs has come to be expected around the town of Okarche.
"Our community is kind of spoiled," head coach Cherie Myers said. "We expect that. I don't think people understand it's the talk of the town and for a week you're the talk of the town. We have great support here."
"It makes me really proud," girls' team member Macy Kunneman said. "It's kind of a tradition we have always been pretty good at basketball."
"It says a lot about the tradition," boys team member Ryan Raupe said. "Our girls have been 21 times and this is our thirteenth time so we're used to great basketball around here."
Okarche is a familiar name to the state tournament every year, but neither team has won a state title in any of the players' lifetime. The boys' only state title came in 1979. The girls' state titles were won in 1981 and 1982.
"It would be huge for our town," boys team member Paul Inman said. "If we won two gold balls we might have to turn out school on Monday."
The Okarche boys will face Turpin in the state quarterfinals on Thursday at 3:30 at Norman High School. The Okarche girls will face Howe at 8:30 on Thursday at the State Fair Arena.