Thursday, May 3, 2012

Heavener, Poteau meet in a big one

Heavener vs. Poteau, two old LeFlore County rivals will meet again Friday.

Just the mention of those two teams squaring off brings back memories of pep rallies, snake dances, bloated bleachers, lots of noise and a big game.

Heavener and Poteau have paired off in so many big games over the year in football, basketball, baseball and soccer. Just last month, they met in the finals of the slowpitch softball LeFlore County Tournament.

They haven’t met in football since 1985, at least the American variety. Now the biggest meeting of the year between the two schools comes Friday in…soccer.

Heavener didn’t even have a soccer team until a few years ago. Poteau has been playing for much longer.

While the stands at Harvey Stadium might not be as full as they once were back in the old days for an American football contest, this one is huge.

State quarterfinals. Winner advances one step closer to a possible state championship. Serious. Aside from the Poteau boys’ golf team qualifying for the state tournament, this is the deepest a boys team from either school has advanced into the playoffs.

Soccer fever hasn’t exactly swept LeFlore County, but this could help.

With apologizes, I must admit that I am not a big soccer fan.

We didn’t play it when we were kids or participate at any age group. I don’t understand much about soccer, other than the goal is to put a soccer ball into…the goal.

But for the players, parents and fans, this game is just as big, or bigger, than any they have competed in. And if it is anything like the first meeting, the fans will certainly get plenty of excitement.

In a conference game last month, the two teams could not figure out a winner in regulation. The first overtime didn’t help. Heavener finally won in the second overtime, 3-2, and eventually won the conference.

Poteau has won twice on the road in the playoffs, defeating Catoosa, 7-1, before edging Oologah 2-1 on Tuesday. Heavener had its first soccer playoff game Tuesday, winning 3-0 over Riverfield at home.

The two teams are the best in southeastern Oklahoma, and among the best in their class. Maybe the best overall. That will be decided next week.

Next up for the winner is a game against the Southeast-Mt. Saint Mary’s game on Tuesday in the semifinals.


  1. I am so happy for LeFlore county to have two quality soccer program. As a coach and a parent of two soccer girls who played in OKC, I know how excited the players and parents of both teams feel. I would have loved to be able to play soccer at Heavener when I was going to school there.
    We did play soccer in P.E. in junior high, but it was a goof off sport, just something the teacher could have us play and keep us occupy. And we were never taught the rules of the game. Of course, the teachers probably didn't know the rule either.
    Good luck to the Wolves. And remember all you Heavener Wolves out there, "I rather be dead than red."

  2. Go Wolves. Rip'em up on the Pitch (soccer field). Mike Sabala HHS Grad 75.

  3. It is quite a thrill to have 2 great soccer teams in LeFlore County. I love the game and think it's the best, but I didn't get to play until I was past my prime.