By Ronn Rowland
Phoenix Sports Writer
FORT GIBSON – On March 9, the Fort Gibson Lady Tigers finished their season with a 29-1 record and the program’s second Class 4A state championship in three seasons.
Tuesday at Harrison Field House, the Fort Gibson community showed up to honor their state champions as the team cut down one of the nets, symbolic of winning the title.
“This (celebration) was so relieving because we won by 15, by 15 by 15,” said Fort Gibson coach Jerry Walker. “Last time we won by seven points or less. This year, we were in control for the most part, especially late in the games.”
The festivities began with each player being introduced to the crowd. After the introductions, Bill Huddleston of VYPE Magazine had some remarks for the team and presented commemorative pictures to the team, coach Walker and longtime scorekeeper Pat Orman.
Following the presentations, Walker ran through a brief synopsis of the season, from summer training to the championship and expressed his appreciation to the crowd and support staff. The came the net cutting.
“I framed my piece of the net from 2011 so I’m going to frame this one,” said senior Taylor London. “Being part of this team and what ever happened, we’re always together. We always had fun no matter what we were doing.”
Finals MVP Brooke Palmer was aware early in the season — in part during a practice that includes a wardrobe change — that this year’s team could go all the way. Following a sluggish effort at the Old Fort Classic in spite of winning it, Walker had his team wear green and yellow to disassociate itself from its own team and tradition.
“The days on the track (during summer workouts) brought us closer together,” Palmer said. “That one practice when we had to wear green and yellow instead of the traditional red and white. After that practice, we felt pretty good.”
Donations toward championship rings for the girls are welcome by contacting Walker at (918) 478-2452 or Orman at (918) 478-2474.