It makes sense in some odd sort of way I suppose that while American Legion baseball as a whole is struggling in Oklahoma, a state team wins the American Legion World Series for the first time.

Enid beat Twin Cities Wash. 7-6 late Tuesday night in Rapid City, S. D. to become Oklahoma’s first American Legion national champion.

Congratulations to out to the Enid coaching staff that includes Butch Lingenfelter, a former coach of the Woodward Boomers. Lingenfelter, in fact, took Woodward to a state tournament in 1979.

Pitching was the catalyst for Enid, and the team actually won the series because of pitching mishaps – three consecutive balks – by its opponent.

Weird finish to a great year.

Maybe Enid’s victory will help a struggling legion program in the state. There were only 20 or so majors teams this year.

A core group of supporters are trying to rebuild the statewide program and could get momentum from this.

Enid, by the way, wasn’t the only state team to win a world series this summer.

Elk City earlier won the Elite Baseball World Series in Austin, another major accomplishment.

Elk City of course is coached by Mark Ward, played and coached for the old Woodward Travelers organization before splitting off to form the Elk City franchise after the 2001 season.

*****

The Division I folks don’t play for real until next week, but there is some football in Oklahoma tonight at the smaller college levels.

Four of Oklahoma’s NCAA Division II schools open their seasons.

Southwestern hosts Panhandle State for a 7 p.m. start while Central Oklahoma goes to Missouri Western and Arkansas Tech is at Northeastern.

Southwestern, ironically, is coached by Ryan Held, who was at Panhandle State a year ago. Panhandle beat the Bulldogs 21-7 last season.

Central Oklahoma starts the year ranked in the top 20 of most Division II polls.

Several other Division II and NAIA games are set Saturday with Bacone at East Central, Southern Nazarene against Graceland, Iowa and junior college power NEO taking on the Central Oklahoma JV.

Northwestern doesn’t play Saturday but will host a fan-media day starting at 6 p.m. The event was rained out a week ago.

*****

The start of the college soccer season has some local interest.

Northwestern opens its season Saturday with a home match against Northwood, Texas.

Woodward’s Delydia Gay will be in goal for the fourth consecutive year for the Rangers and Savannah Smith is a freshman midfielder for coach Steve Barrows.

Northern-Tonkawa College begins its season Saturday in Eldorado, Kan., against Butler County Community College.

Woodward is represented by freshman forward Laci Ruppel and defender Amy Harrington.

*****

Some area high school softball scores from Tuesday:

Mooreland 8, Waynoka 0; Waynoka 11, Mooreland JV 7; Sharon-Mutual 7-7, Shattuck 5-2.

*****

Don’t forget to check out football scrimmages the next couple of nights. A couple are close by.

Woodward hosts Enid tonight and Sharon-Mutual will be home on Friday with three other teams.



Johnny McMahan is managing editor of the Woodward News.

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