The annual Checotah Athletic Banquet was an emotional one as athletes were honored for their participation in sports programs. I couldn’t help but get a little emotional when I saw the faces of some of the seniors, knowing that the end of their high school career has come to a close. It was an honor to recognize wrestling coach Brett Oleson as the McIntosh County Democrat Coach of the Year. Oleson once told me that circumstances do not change the responsibilities of a coach. I thought it was so profound and something that I respected. Oleson led the Checotah Wrestlers to another great season with a two-time, state-winning champion.
JaiCee Lester was named the McIntosh County Democrat Sportswoman of the Year and Carter Stewart was named the McIntosh County Democrat Sportsman of the Year. Lester was a three-sport athlete and received several scholarships and has already graduated from Connors State College.
Stewart was a standout in football and golf. He placed 12th overall in the OSSAA State Golf tournament, made All State, and received a scholarship to play golf at Northeastern State University. He received 10 scholarships in total.
The future looks bright for the Wildcats as they hired three talented new head coaches to take over the basketball, softball and baseball programs. Fans are excited as a new chapter begins for the Wildcats and I’m excited to be able to cover these new coaches whom I covered as high school athletes. The future looks great.