The Wilburton High School Academic Team topped off a busy two weeks by winning the Area Championship and advancing to the State Tournament. The Area Tournament was held at Wilburton High School. The team went into the tournament seated first based on their Regional Championship. They defeated Howe, Okatha, and Warner to win the Area Tournament. They finished the day with an average score of over 250 points per game. Freshman James McCabe and senior captain Roy Phipps were the team’s high scorers. The team is coached by Gordon Bockus and Lisa Baker.
On Saturday January 7, the varsity and junior varsity teams competed at the Stigler Brain Bowl. The varsity team finished the morning session of games with 4 wins and 1 loss. The JV team finished the morning with a record of 3 wins and 2 losses. Both teams qualified to play in the afternoon tournament. James McCabe earned first place on the all-tournament team.
On Thursday, January 5, the team made their second appearance on the RSU television show “I Want Answers!” Their opponent was longtime rival Stigler High School. The game went in Wilburton’s favor until an extremely difficult lightning round over governors gave Stigler the advantage and eventually the win. The episode can now be viewed on YouTube. The team looks forward to competing on the television show again next year.
The State Tournament will be held in El Reno, Oklahoma at Redlands Community College on Saturday, February 4. This will be the team’s fourth trip to the State Tournament in six years under the coaching of Gordon Bockus and Lisa Baker. Captain Roy Phipps was also captain last year when the team qualified for the tournament. Other team members returning to the State Tournament for a second year include seniors Gloria Evans, Cody Johnston, Colt Petty and junior Gilles Goddard.
The academic team has had a stellar year. It has been bittersweet success because it is Coach Gordon Bockus’ final year with the team. He will retire at the end of this school year. The team has been pleased to win both the Regional and Area Championships in his honor. They plan to finish out his coaching career with a State Championship in February. In the past, Wilburton has twice been runner-up at the State Tournament. They intend to win it all this year and make Mr. Bockus (an Mrs. Baker) proud.