2019 Waurika Baseball Season Hopes to Be Foundation to the Future
With the recently completed successful baseball season, it is time to take a look back at the history of high school baseball at Waurika.
Waurika baseball has struggled over the years much like every football-playing school that has to compete against schools that also play in the fall of the year.
The recently completed 2019 season, however, could serve as a foundation for a good future for the Eagles.
This past season saw the Eagles fashion a 16-7 mark and they played for the district title for the first time since 2012.
The Eagles had the most valuable player in the Oil Field Conference in Aaron Nitka. He also played in the recent Southwest Oklahoma Coaches Association all-star game in Lawton.
The Eagles also dominated the first team selections with five – Gatlin Black, Bowden Forsyth, Hunter Wesberry, Zac Brown and Austin Dyer.
The 16 wins are the most wins in a season since that 2012 club put together 18 wins.
Research has not yielded a lot of information about baseball at the school but it is thought that no teams were fielded from at least 1953 to 1986. Prior to 1953, baseball might have been offered but it is hard to find results.
Only eight seasons in the past 29 years when baseball was brought back to Waurika have the Eagles won more than 16 games. There are four seasons where the final record could not be determined.
Baseball at Waurika returned in 1987 after the school had not fielded a team since as far back as 1952 when Waurika lost to Ryan in the county tournament finals, 13-4.
Even prior to that time it is hard to discern if Waurika fielded many baseball teams which may be attributed to the tremendous success Waurika had in track.
But in 1987, Norman West put together the first Waurika team and they began the season with a doubleheader sweep of Terral. The Eagles finished 8-5 in that inaugural season.
Todd Overstreet, Byron West, Doug Frost and Jay Chapman were some of the ringleaders of that first squad. Frost was named to The Duncan Banner’s all-area team at the conclusion of the season.
The next season Waurika slipped to 1-16 before coming back in 1989 and putting together a 13-9 record.
That would be West’s final season coaching baseball and he finished with a 22-30 mark in the sport.
Don Patchin took over the baseball program for the next two years, but a final record for either year could not be located.
Patchin became the first of four different coaches in four years and the Eagles managed only one winning record in that stretch – an 18-17 record in 1992.
The 1993 squad earned district runner up honors despite a 10-22 final record.
In 1994, Tim Hightower took over the reigns of the Waurika program for the next five years. During his tenure the Eagles claimed their first district title in 1997.
The Eagles earned the district crown as the tourney host and defeated Walters in the best-of-three series for the district title. The Eagles defeated the Blue Devils, 13-1, and 17-7, for the title.
However, the 1997 team found the regional tournament to be too tough. Ringling was the tournament host and the Blue Devils downed the Eagles in the first round. Velma-Alma eliminated the Eagles in the next game.
The 1998 squad – the last coached by Hightower – finished second in the Southern Eight Conference tourney.
The Eagles claimed their second district title in 1999 under the direction of Buddy Husted. Husted coached the Eagle nine for two seasons and finished with a 30-24 record.
The 1999 Class 2A district tournament was also a best-of-three series and the Eagles played host to Empire. Waurika downed the Bulldogs in impressive fashion, 19-5, and 25-4.
Waurika traveled to Healdton for the Class 2A regional tourney and lost to Velma-Alma, 16-0, in the first round and to Washington, 11-0, in an elimination game.
Brad Logan assumed the coaching duties for the baseball program in 2001 and he served six seasons.
During that time the Eagles were district champions in 2002. The Eagles traveled to Turner for a best-of-three series and the Eagles won the first two games, 21-0, and 7-4, to earn the district crown.
Waurika was sent to Dewar for the Class A regional and the Eagles dropped a pair of one-run games. In the first round, Dewar defeated the Eagles, 2-1. In the elimination game, Okay edged the Eagles, 9-8, to end the season.
In 2005, the Eagles hosted the conference tournament and claimed the title with a 12-7 victory over Big Pasture in the championship game.
The next season, Waurika was the conference tournament runner up. This time Big Pasture claimed the conference title with a 9-1 victory over the Eagles at Walters.
Keith Henderson stepped in as the Waurika coach in 2007, but after a 5-10 mark, Everett Hodges coached the Eagles for two seasons.
Under Hodges in those two seasons, the Eagles did not win a district title but put together the first 20-win season at Waurika in 2009. The Eagles did finish as the district runner up in 2009. The 2009 team traveled to Sterling for the district tourney and won a 6-4 contest against Empire before falling twice to the host school Sterling, 18-0 and 11-0.
Larry Vanbeber coached baseball for the 2010 and 2011 seasons and the Eagles were district runner up both seasons.
The 2010 squad had a 24-6 record – the most wins ever for a Waurika baseball team. Velma-Alma eliminated Waurika in the district finals that season.
The 2011 club claimed the conference tournament title. The tournament was played at Empire and the Eagles cruised to victories over Big Pasture, 18-3; Temple, 22-2; and, Walters, 11-2.
Waurika finished the season with a 16-16 record and were eliminated by Chattanooga in the district finals.
Hodges took over the program again in 2012 and coached the baseball team for five seasons. The 2012 team claimed the district title and finished with an 18-7 record – the fourth most wins in school history.
Waurika hosted the district tournament and earned a first-round win over Empire, 11-1. The Eagles then defeated Healdton, 13-3, and came back to shutout Healdton, 9-0, in the championship game.
The Eagles traveled to Caddo for the Class A regional tourney and as in previous regional appearances, the Eagles dropped the first two games. Waurika fell to the host school, 7-1, and then fell to Elmore City-Pernell, 6-4, in an elimination game.
Waurika is 0-8 in all regional tournament games.
The 2012 team had three players on The Duncan Banner all-area baseball squad. Gage Pittman was named as a catcher and pitcher and Taylor Fuller was tabbed for the team as a pitcher and third baseman. Tyler Fuller earned the area’s pitcher-of-the-year honors.
The Eagles fell on hard times during the rest of Hodges’ coaching days and did not win more than eight games in any season.
Hodges finished with a 77-79 mark in his six total seasons coaching baseball, but that did include one district title and one district runner up finish.
The 2013 team did have one all-area selection – Mason Wilkerson as a pitcher.
Glenn Howard took over the team in 2017 and 2018. The first year under Howard the Eagles could only manage a 6-14 mark, but improved to 10-15 in 2018.
Joe Allen was handed the baseball coaching duties when he was named the football coach last year. The first-year mentor hopes a foundation has been laid for future success on the diamond for the Eagles.
Allen will have to find replacements for six seniors – five of which were starters for all or much of the season.
Here are the full names of the 1920 WHS baseball team seen in the picture above.
Ray Powell – Left Field
Herschel Alexander – Right Field
Bill Bradford – 2nd Base
Coach J.J. Corbett
Charles Thompson – Pitcher
Byrd Adams (Mascot)
Maurice Prescott (Captain) – Center Field
Clifford Bone – Pitcher
Leslie Stone – 1st Base
Ernest Dickey – 3rd Base
Leon Boyles – Short Stop
Pierce Carter – Catcher
Roy Scott (Score Keeper)
WHS 8 – Ryan High School 9
WHS 10 – Addington First Team 6
WHS 7 – Ryan High School 13
WHS 11 – Sugden First Team 11
WHS 22 – Hastings High School 6
WHS 13 – Ryan High School 13
WHS 6 – Hastings First Team 17
WHS 13 – Hastings High School 10
WHS 6 – Terral High School 4