By Joey McWilliams
BOKCHITO – The off-season is finally over and basketball players and cheerleaders at Rock Creek looked on Monday evening like they enjoyed putting the uniforms back on.
The Mustangs hosted a Media Day corresponding with a photo shoot for upcoming promotional material.
Craig Andrus, who coaches the boys’ team and is the assistant on the girls’ team, said the kids were there to put on a show in front of the camera.
“Tonight is our first annual Media Day. Our basketball teams and cheerleaders are coming together to do this picture celebration,” Andrus said. “The parents and community are here to see us do see us do something different.
“It’s a prequel to our Rock Show. We have something we do like a Midnight Madness on Oct. 22 where we have scrimmages, faculty vs. students, concessions will be open, we’ll have a fun jump outside and the barbecue pit will be open. That’s our real celebration to kick off the opening of our basketball season this year.”
Monday was the first official day for high school practices in Oklahoma and Andrus said the players arrived at the gym at 6 a.m. to get things started.
And he encouraged people to come out to Rock Show to get a first look.
“It’s at 7 p.m. and the public is invited,” Andrus said. “The Rock Show is free to all. Anybody interested in coming to see our boys and girls compete – that’s their opportunity to do it before Nov. 1.”
He also gave his take on the boys basketball team this year and said he and his team are confident coming in to the new season.
“If I wasn’t to say this, my boys would probably kick me in the butt – it’s ‘State or Bust,'” Andrus said. “Our boys are going to come out and put on a show for everybody and we’re going to represent Bryan County this year.
“Last year was my first year coaching and there was a lot of learning. We were trying to build this program and I feel like we built a really good foundation with the seniors we had last year. This year, it’s time to go and make some new friends. Our tagline right now is to ‘Shake State.’ It’s to shake things up. Rock Creek hasn’t been there since 1996 and it’s our time to go.”
The team has eight seniors, and three are returning starters: Darian James, Aaron Taylor and Karson Dry.
And the coach said more help has arrived.
“We were fortunate to get a move-in who already has some state experience in Elijah Factor. He played at Latta and won a championship and was a runner-up last year. His family moved in about a month ago and he will give us experience that we don’t have on this team.”
Andrus added that his thoughts on his team’s work ethic and his views on what that effort can achieve.
“I’m all good with how we finish this year, because I know we’re going to give it all we have. Whatever we get this season is what we’ve worked for.”