Marlow designated host for two tournaments, only to lose one because of an OSSAA policy

February 08, 2024

*Editor's Note: This week, Athletic Director Daryn Brantley issued a brief email regarding this situation. We responded by asking if he would go on the record and he generously shared this with us regarding the upcoming OSSAA site-hosting for wrestling and basketball.

On Friday, Feb. 16, and Saturday, Feb. 17, Marlow Public Schools will be hosting the OSSAA Class 3A WEST Regional Wrestling Tournament. We were notified of this privilege back in December and we have been working for some time to provide the best tournament experience possible for the wrestlers, coaches, parents, and fans from the 30-plus schools that will be in attendance.

It will require a lot of work by not only MPS employees but from parents and wrestling booster club members as well. But it will be well worth the effort so that our HS Outlaw Wrestling team will not have to travel three or four hours (like they did last year to Cleveland HS) to participate in a regional tournament.

Then, this past Friday afternoon, we were notified by the OSSAA that we would be hosting Ardmore for one of the 4A Basketball District Tournaments on Friday, Feb. 16.

This obviously created a logistical problem in that we could not host two events, in the Outlaw Gymnasium, at the same time.

So, on Friday night, we offered to host the basketball games on Thursday, Feb. 15. But the OSSAA informed us that the dates of the tournament games could not be moved. We then responded on Saturday with another option (albeit not a best-case scenario) of hosting the basketball games in the Dome Gym.

Even though this would require us to host two events at the same time, we were confident that Marlow Public Schools could make it happen and still offer a great experience to the players, coaches and fans of both wrestling and basketball.

After waiting more than 24 hours, the OSSAA finally informed us late on Sunday that the basketball games would be moved to Ardmore.

In a final attempt to persuade them to allow us to host both events, Superintendent Corey Holland called the OSSAA Executive Director, Mr. David Jackson, on Monday morning to try to get them to change their decision.

However, Mr. Jackson said that they have a long-standing policy of not allowing schools to host more than one event at the same time. He, and Brian Lester (OSSAA Director for Basketball), both apologized for the error in selecting us for both events. They have reaffirmed that there is no possibility of the games being moved back to Marlow.

We are obviously disappointed in their decision. They asked, last fall, for schools to volunteer to host the regional wrestling tournaments. So, we stepped up and offered our facility, and our time, to provide a location for them.

Unfortunately, the privilege that was awarded to one of our sports ended up costing the girls and boys teams of another sport the opportunity to play at home in the state playoffs, as well.

Our basketball teams have worked very hard and they both have posted season records worthy of getting to play at home during the postseason. So, we feel bad for our players, along with their parents, our coaches and all of our fans for not being able to experience the "home-court advantage" that they deserve. But we know that they will rise to the challenge and show the true Marlow spirit that we are known for.

They will be ready to play - at Ardmore or wherever - and will always give their best effort! Marlow Public Schools, along with Marlow Outlaw Athletics, would like to thank everyone for their patience, understanding and support with this situation. We hope to see as many of you as possible packing the gym in Ardmore on the 16th! Let's turn their gym into a "home court" for Marlow!

District Basketball game time, Friday, Feb. 16 at Ardmore: 6 p.m. Girls; and 7:30 p.m. Boys

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