The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

January 5, 2011

Annual Wheat Capital basketball tournament tips off today

Now in its 42nd  year, the annual Wheat Capital basketball tournament will tip off today at Chisholm High School in Enid.

Build on rich traditions and exciting competition, Wheat Capital has become one of the oldest marquee January tournaments in Oklahoma.

Started in 1985, the tournament has become home to several teams over the years, including Fairview, Alva, Perry and Blackwell. This year, Kingfisher, Chisholm and Pioneer join newcomer Guymon to  round out the field.

The 2011 field includes three teams ranked by okrankings.com: Kingfisher boys (No. 14 in 3A), Pioneer boys (No. 8 in 2A) and the Fairview girls (No. 3 in 2A).

Kingfisher is the top seed on the boys side followed by  Pioneer, Chisholm, Perry, Fairview, Alva, Guymon and Blackwell comprising seeds 2-8. On the girls side, Fairview is first followed, in order, by Kingfisher, Alva, Chisholm, Perry, Guymon, Blackwell and Pioneer.

“It has been a real solid tournament for years,” Tournament Director John Boeckman said. “The work starts as soon as it ends for the next year. We have to jump on it to fill the field without adding JV teams.

“We have hosted this tournament for a long time. The school, the community and the administration are really behind us. We hope to please everyone and hope the community comes out and supports us.”

As the tournament has developed over the years, so has the fan base.

“We always have had decent crowds,” Boeckman said. “This is a great time of the year to have a tournament since no one has really played since Christmas. It has always been exciting.”

Known for a playoff atmosphere created during the action, the gym at Chisholm adds to the experience with close, fan-friendly seating that puts the fans on top of the players and makes for a great experience for the competitors.

“Players like to play in this tournament and coaches love to coach in it,” Boeckman stated. “The kids get to experience the atmosphere that is almost like a state tournament.”

In planning for nearly a year, Boeckman said this tournament would not be possible without the efforts of a lot of people.

“A lot of our parents do a lot of work as do our teachers and administration,” explained Boeckman, also the Chisholm boys coach and athletic director at the school. “Everybody puts in the effort to make things presentable for a great basketball atmosphere.”

The Wheat Capital tips off at 10:30 a.m. today when the Fairview Lady Yellowjackets hook horns with the Pioneer Lady Mustangs.

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