From Athletic Director, Rob McKinzie

My wife grew up in Eastern Oklahoma and loves it when the leaves start to change. She will refer at least once a week to how much she loves this one particular tree in a neighbor’s yard across the street when it starts to show bright red and orange against the green of the trees around it. I love the Fall for many reasons: gone are the 105 degree days until 10pm, the seasonal return of Pumpkin Spice milkshakes and Autumn Squash soup at McAlister’s. But most of all I love Fall for the beginning of basketball practice. I love the practice planning, the organization of the season, and seeing how our girls and boys have grown and improved from the previous season. We have over 60 D&R 7th-12th graders playing on 5 different teams this year, including a developing Rhetoric Girls team that will officially launch as a stand-alone high school program in 2021. We also have had great feedback for our new 3X3 Basketball League for 3rd-6th graders. We have over 100 students registered to compete this winter!

Fall is also exciting because it means playoffs and state competitions for our Fall Sports of Cross-Country and Volleyball. We were blessed to be able to compete this Fall. It was a challenge for our coaches to schedule as schools would jump back and forth between models causing a flux in their athletic competitions, but our community has been very committed to maintaining our safety standards and precautions in our return to school and Return to Play to allow our student-athletes to continue competing. Our Volleyball numbers exploded this year and our coaches met the challenge of developing competitive teams at all levels. They will be competing the two weekends after Fall Break in the HCAA State Tournament. Our Dialectic team will most likely be one of the top seeds going into the tournament after a 14-1 regular season record. Last year our Dialectic team (this year’s Freshmen) made it to the State Semifinals, so expectations will be high as we watch this program grow the next 2-3 years.

And our Cross-Country teams are nearing a tipping point of growth. There were over 150 Grammar runners in September that competed in our South XC Mile Races. They will be a great addition to our D&R programs. Last weekend our teams cleaned up by bringing home 20 medals at the CCS Race in Norman. Every D&R female runner medaled! And for the first time in school history we won a team award as both the Dialectic Boys and Girls teams finished as the overall meet Runners Up! The teams will also be training for 3 more weeks as they prepare for the HCAA State Race at John Brown University on Friday, October 30th.

Our athletes and coaches have navigated an unprecedented time in this sports era. It is hard to train and prepare not knowing if your next game, or the entire season may be cancelled the next day. But our programs have modeled for us how to stay Griffin Strong throughout this season. And I am proud to be leading this exceptional group into our exciting future. Go Griffins Go!