Level playing field
Elgin and Cache both begin the baseball season unranked. There's a lot of unranked teams in Class 4A these days, actually.
Plot twist: There are no rankings.
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activity Association is in its first year testing a district format, which has traditionally been used in Class 6A and 5A. It erases the need for polls.
Teams will be seeded for the postseason according to how well they fared in their district, not on rankings.
"Initially, I like the idea of it," Elgin coach Levi Garrett said. "It takes the political stuff out. There's a few teams in the area, you know, anytime a ranking goes out, regardless of talent on the field, they're going to receive a Top 10 vote.
"It's hard for people who are up-and-coming or outsiders to receive a fair look. Tuttle, Blanchard, regardless of how good they are are in the Top 5. They could lose two or three games in a row and still be in the Top 5. We win nine games in a row then lose one, suddenly we drop five spots."
Elgin isn't a traditional power, so it has struggled more than others maintaining high rankings the past three years despite averaging over 23 wins a season.