DRUMMOND, Okla. — Jared Swart knew the ceiling was high for Drummond baseball when he accepted the job as head coach in 2013.
“You go to a program and your goal should be to win a state championship,” Swart said.
Over the past six years, Swart brought that viewpoint into fruition leading the Bulldogs to a combined five State Tournaments between the fall and spring seasons.
Most recently, Drummond advanced to the 2019 Class B State Championship Game after a late-inning rally in the semifinals.
Although the Bulldogs fell short of the program’s first-ever state title — losing to No. 1 Roff, 11-7 — it was their third straight appearance in the championship game after making it to the final in the Fall 2018 and Spring 2018.
For Drummond’s consistent success, Swart was voted the Enid News & Eagle All-Northwest Oklahoma Baseball Coach of the Year by area peers.
“It’s a tremendous honor to receive this one,” Swart said. “With whatever group you have, you try to do the best you can with what you’re given. This award is just a product of having really good players.”
This is the third time Swart received the award. He was voted Coach of the Year in 2018 and 2016. In 2003, he was named Player of the Year when he was a student at Cimarron.
In addition to being voted Coach of the Year this season, Swart was named the 2019 Skeltur Conference Coach of the Year and 2019 Northwest Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association’s Small School Manager of the Year.
Drummond put together a 35-7 record this spring, bringing Swart’s overall record at Drummond to 272-146 (.651). Since the Spring 2018 season, the Bulldogs are 100-13 (.885).
Swart believes a lot of teams start each season with aspirations of winning the state title, or at least making it to the State Tournament. The fact Drummond has advanced to the championship game three consecutive times is a humbling accomplishment for Swart.
“For us to be in that final game again, just really proud of what the boys did,” Swart said. “Surely we wanted to win it.”
Regardless of the outcome of the championship contest, Drummond is considered a top threat in Class B along with Roff, Leedey, Red Oak and Lookeba-Sickles.
That alone has been rewarding for Swart.
Like many high school coaches, winning isn’t everything. For Swart, he wants to convince his players to buy into playing as hard as they can. As long as they do that, he can make the necessary adjustments and decisions for the Bulldogs to have success.
“We’ll be a different style of team next year, which will be an exciting challenge,” Swart said. “This group’s talent was very high, but man, they played hard and they bought into team concepts.”
Unfortunately much of Drummond’s production graduated and will not return next year. Seniors from this past season include Seth and Wyatt Gray, Brandon Koontz, Garrett DeHass, Garrett Pool, Ty Schlecht and Bryce Longpine.
Combined, those seven were responsible for at least 80 percent of the Bulldog’s major offensive stats and nearly all of the teams pitching stats.
Swart is looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead.
“Honestly it’ll be fun to start over,” Swart said. “In the next couple years it’ll be a lot like this group was when they were freshmen and sophomores.”