The Duncan Banner

Sports

May 8, 2013

Barnes embraces his first girls state title

DUNCAN — When all the pieces fell into place, when it finally became clear that everything Duncan tennis coach Phil Barnes had chased for the last 16 years would come to fruition, he stepped away from the action of Saturday’s Class 5A State Tournament to take it all in.

As Barnes watched the tournament’s final moments unfold, memories of the events leading to this point, all the tears and heartache from years past, rushed into his head. The Lady Demons had come so close to winning a state title five of the last six years, but each time had fallen just short with a runner up finish.

This time around, those tears were replaced with celebration. The wait was over. Barnes had won his first girls state title coaching the Lady Demons since taking over in 1998.

With two state titles in doubles play and two runner up finishes in singles, the Lady Demons gave Barnes what he had sought for so long, a chance to have coached the best team in Oklahoma.

“It’s just a great feeling. There’s been so much heartache, we’ve been second so many times. I wouldn’t call it relief, I was just tired of being second,” Barnes said. “There’s only one team in the state can say ‘we did everything we could, we were the best we can be’ and this year that’s us I couldn’t be more proud of the girls.”

In many ways, Barnes’ first girls state title was historic. Duncan became the first Class 5A public school to win a state title since 1998 and the Lady Demons made it to the finals in all four events at state for the first time in school’s history.

During the days following the championship, Barnes said the accomplishment has sunk in, but he’s been mostly too busy preparing  the boys team for their state tournament, which begins Friday, to think on it extensively.

Making the moment that much sweeter for Barnes was all those near misses throughout the last decade. After the Lady Demons most recent runner-up finish last year, Barnes experienced what he called one of the most difficult times in his career as a coach, believing that team was the best in Oklahoma.

“Last year was hard to take. I don’t want to say it was disappointing but I thought we should have won,” Barnes said. “I still believe we had the best team in the state, but I felt like I got outcoached by Heritage Hall’s coach and was outmaneuvered in deciding some of the tournament’s seedings.”

Looking back on the team’s championship campaign, Barnes said he brought high expectations for Duncan right away, believing they were one of the top three teams in the state at the beginning of the season.

“I thought at the start of the year, we had a chance to win state,” Barnes said. “Obviously it’s hard to say much that early on because you never know what can happen, but expectations were high. But expectations have been that high for at least the past five six years.

Like any team, the Lady Demons had their ups and downs in the journey to state. Barnes pointed to the Ada Tournament as a moment where he knew the team had to get better if they were going to reach the ultimate goal. Those growing pains were derived from a strategy employed by Barnes: creating an extremely difficult regular season, which included regular run ins with Class 6A competition, to prepare the team for state. What resulted was a mental toughness that could not be matched.

“We were not going to be denied. There was just a look that I had not really seen before that said ‘We are going to do everything we can to win a state tournament,” Barnes said.

When state arrived, it was the collective effort of the Lady Demons that clinched the title. With the teams of Samantha Cassidy and Syndey Henricks and Carly Kirkland and Marissa Moore winning No.1 and No.2 doubles state titles, Barnes was fast to point out how Brittany Toone and Alex Bowers, who took second in No.1 and No.2 singles respectively, should not be overlooked.

“Obviously we don’t make it that far without the great success of doubles, but if we didn’t have the singles girls we have there, we probably finish fifth or sixth,” Barnes said. “That cannot be ignored.”

To Barnes, no team comes near a state title without the years of success it takes to build a program. He said reaching this point would have been impossible had it not been for the countless Lady Demons who helped developed the Duncan tennis into what it is today – an annual contender for the state title.

Before this year, Duncan had won four girls state titles, in 1975, 1976, 1992 and 1994. A banner with the 2013 team’s players will be placed right by those added for previous accomplishments on the gates of the south tennis courts at the Duncan High School Tennis Complex.

Though seniors Toone and Cassidy will graduate in two weeks, the future remains bright for Duncan, with four returning players and strong junior varsity and junior high programs.

“We’re not going anywhere,” Barnes said. “We’ll be in the hunt once again next year. We’ve got four kids coming back and plenty of young and talented kids ready to make an impact.”

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 4-22 marlow baseball photo.jpg Outlaws shut out Indians

    Marlow baseball snapped a three-game losing streak with a 10-0 win at home against Comanche Monday.
    “We needed to get this win and we got it,” said Marlow coach Jeff Brewer.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4-22 duncan golf photo albin.jpg Demon golfers focused on regionals

    The Duncan boys golfers have two more tournaments left before regionals.
    The Demons will head to Ardmore this Monday for a tournament that was postponed from March 3 because of the weather.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-22 tyee percival photo.jpg Tourney named in memory of T-ball player

    The Comanche Youth Council will dedicate its preseason baseball and softball tournament to the memory of a T-ball player who unexpectedly passed away this past weekend.
    Tyee Percival, 5, was in his first year of T-ball and played for the Rangers. The youth council has named its preseason tourney the Tyee Percival Memorial Tournament. The council will hang a commemorative banner over the T-ball field at the Comanche Field of Dreams.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lady Donkeys push towards playoffs

    Fighting its roster limitations, Bray-Doyle slowpitch softball has a rare opportunity in front of it.
    Coach Frank Moser is optimistic about his chances in district versus Mayesville and No. 5 Roff. While Roff has been one of the best teams in Class 2A — it has a winning record despite almost all of its games coming against ranked competitors — Mayesville has been one of the worst. It picked up its first win against Alex on April 8 by just one run.

    April 22, 2014

  • Outlaws have chance to host regionals

    The Marlow baseball team has had to overcome some adversity in recent weeks, but coach Jeff Brewer is confident the team will get back on track.
    The past week started with a road game at Blanchard, ranked seventh in Class 4A, last Tuesday. Then came a tough outing at home against Class 4A Newcastle Thursday and a showdown Friday at Sterling, ranked fourth in Class A.

    April 20, 2014

  • 4-20 duncan girls tennis moore.jpg Tennis teams place second

    The Duncan tennis teams did well for themselves in a tough field at the BancFirst Tournament.
    The girls played Friday and took second as a team, with Marisa Moore taking second at No. 2 singles and Aubrey Mouser and Jordan Clauson the same placing at No. 2 doubles. Taking third were Alex Bowers at No. 1 singles and Sydney Hendricks and Carly Kirkland at No. 1 doubles.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-20 Central High baseball.jpg Bronchos boast top-notch backstops

    Central High coach Jeff Jones has had to tinker with his lineup to get the best Bronchos on the field for most of the year, but one position he hasn’t had to worry about is catcher.
    That consistency came in the form of two very different players.
    First, there’s the unheralded freshman Keeton Sallee. Flirting with a .400 batting average, Sallee is one of the Bronchos’ best offensive weapons. On defense, his quick release and strong arm cause headaches for opponents on the basepath. Just months into his high-school career, he’s performing admirably.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Girls soccer wins big at Eisenhower

    The Duncan girls soccer team dominated its match at Lawton Eisenhower Friday, winning 8-0.
    “We really moved the ball well,” said Lady Demon coach Delydia Gay. “We did a fantastic job. Everyone got a good amount of playing time.”

    April 20, 2014

  • 4-20 marlow pole vaulters photo.JPG ‘Dial’-ing up a vaulting tradition

    Marlow’s pole vaulters have a good chance to continue the legacy of Joe Dial.
    Dial held the world record in the men’s indoor pole vault at one point, clearing 19 feet, 3 3/4 inches in on Feb. 1, 1986. He was a four-time state champion at Marlow from 1978 to 1981, with his best state meet mark coming in 1980 when he cleared 17 feet, 1 inch. He now coaches track at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Demons post good times at tough meet

    A meet at the University of Oklahoma Friday proved tough for the Duncan track athletes, but the coaches saw plenty of good things.
    Duncan’s boys tallied nine top-six placings at a meet that mostly featured Class 6A schools. Kevin Roddy won the shot put (57’1.5”) and discus (178’11”), Mason Bivens won the 3200 (9:53.71) and Walker Clampitt won the 800 (2:00.03).

    April 20, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Poll

Who do you favor for the U.S. Senate seat that Tom Coburn is giving up?

State Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton
U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Edmond
State Sen. Connie Johnson, D-Oklahoma City
Former State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso
     View Results