By Chuck Reherman
Since their freshman year, Yukon’s group of seniors has had one goal in mind.
That group has reached and that goal and are ready to make the most of it.
Yukon reached the class 6A State Baseball Championships winning the Region II tournament late last week and will take on Owasso in the opening round tonight at 7 p.m.
The senior group knows what is ahead of them. Owasso comes in with a 32-4 record and a long storied run in state tournaments, including a string of championships.
Three of the seniors, Carson Benge, Kobe Flow and Carson Lee all felt the team would have reached the state tournament last year had not Covid-19 shut down the sports season.
“It feels great to have finally made it to state,” Benge said. “We have been working hard since we got here freshman year and the sense of losing last year, we had a really good chance of making it and winning it, just to come back and do it all again, that is really special. We are excited for it.
“After losing last year it shows not to take anything for granted,” Flow added. “We have worked hard and are ready to play in state.”
For Benge, his two older brothers (Garrett and Tyler) played at Yukon and both were on teams that went to the state tournament. But, he is looking to do the one this those two did not, raise the state championship trophy.
“I think it is pretty cool that all three of us made it to state, but I want to be the first one to win it,” Benge said. “To do something they couldn’t.”
Flow also had an older brother (Gabe) that played for the Millers but didn’t play on a team that qualified for state. He, though, went with Benge to watch his brothers and wanted to be the first in his family to play in a state tournament.
“My brother didn’t make it, but I also went with Carson and watch his older brothers play at state,” he said. “I knew I wanted to get there one day and play for a state title.”
The three have played together through high school and did play on teams as teammates before high school. The three attributed that to the chemistry of this team this year.
“Just being around each other on an off the field and played a big part for us this year,” Lee said. “I feel like we are closer, we have known each other a while and it makes it more special to go to the state tournament together. We have played a lot with each other ever since T-ball.
“We got a team together right before we started playing in the Red Dirt League (high school summer league) and we played a lot in tournaments together,” Flow said. “That has helped a lot in the team chemistry. The seniors at least.
“We have made sure that everyone stays hooked up knows the job is not finished yet,” Flow said. “We always keep grounded for the next win.
“We have made sure that everyone plays their role, whether on the bench or in the field,” Lee said. “Everyone has a role and it takes a whole team for us to get this far.”
The Millers take a 31-7-1 record into the game and have played a solid schedule all season long. They are expecting to face one of the best pitchers in the state in Owasso, but also feel they can counter with a pitcher in Benge that is just as good.
“We know we have to go in there and play our game and we will be fine,” Benge said. “We have to make them beat us and not us beat ourselves.
“We haven’t seen a lot about Owasso because we have not played team or been where we could have seen them play,” Flow said. “We know they have a good pitcher with a good curve ball, but I don’t think that will be a problem as long as we come out and hook it up in practice.
“We know we have to do what we have been doing, work hard and play our game,” Lee said. “Carson (Benge) takes more control on the field and make sure that if someone makes a mistake, they don’t let it get in their head and stay moving.”
The three attributed the Miller coaching staff for a lot of success of the team, saying this group has a great group of coaches that know how to approach the players and what to work on.