ENID, Okla. —
By Dave Ruthenberg
There were championships, record-setting performances, near misses and new faces that headlined another exciting sports year in 2012 in northwest Oklahoma.
With so many memorable moments, it was difficult to limit the list to only 10 for the Enid News & Eagle’s annual list of top local and area sports stories. Everybody likely has their own favorite sports moment or story and hopefully yours is on our list as well.
So, let’s get to it. Here are the Top 10 local and area sports stories for 2012, as determined by Enid News & Eagle editors and writers.
1. Popeye makes all-state and etches his name in record book: While many stories were debated, our top story was a unanimous choice for No.1.
Enid Plainsmen tailback Seth “Popeye” Handley ran through, around and past defenders with lightning-quick speed, and faster than you can say “4.4 speed” left defenders grasping at air while notching several marks in the Plainsmen record book.
Handley rushed for 1,240 yards and 10 touchdowns this past season on his way to being named All-State by the Oklahoma Coaches Associ-ation. His rushing total for this season was the fifth-highest in school history and he finished fourth all-time with over 2,200 yards rushing in his career. But it was his single-game performances that truly were jaw-dropping ... and record-setting.
Handley owns four of the top 10 spots on Enid’s all-time single-game rushing list. This season he rushed for 336 yards against Stillwater (second all-time); 243 yards (fifth all-time) against Choctaw in the season-opening win and 213 yards (10th all-time) against Guthrie and along the way had several dazzling long-distance touchdown runs. Along with his all-time single-game record of 377 yards set last season against Bixby, Handley has etched his name in the record books above former Enid standouts such as Lydell Carr, Austin Box and Jonathan Burton.
For good measure, Handley also led the team with 31 catches for 427 yards in 2012, cementing his season as one of the most exciting individual campaigns in Plainsmen history.