After being suspended for more than a month, the Class A state baseball tournament resumed Thursday in Shawnee. And the game included Wright City.
It took a while to get to this point. Wright City was originally made to forfeit its first round state tournament contest after it was learned that the Lumberjax had scrimmaged twice in between the district and regional rounds of the playoffs.
A mistake that coach Kyle Butler and the school admitted, but did not think was worthy of the team’s dismissal from the playoffs. They felt the punishment should have been directed toward the coach, not the boys on the field.
And so ensued injunctions and appeals as the courts were brought in to settle the issue, which ultimately was sent back to the OSSAA, who made the original decision.
But in the appeal, the organization altered its decision, allowing the Lumberjax to rejoin the playoffs and suspending Butler for the remainder of the season and through the first semester of next year.
A win-win? Maybe. But on the field Thursday, a Wright City loss.
So the end result is the same as it would have been before this series of events. The Lumberjax are eliminated and Sterling moves on.
Except that Wright City was actually on the field.
The boys from McCurtain County have the experience of playing in the state tournament. They aren’t just state qualifiers, they are state tournament participants. And there is a difference.
So the Class A Tournament will continue and conclude Saturday and Wright City will not be this season’s champion. But the Lumberjax were in the hunt, not in the bleachers.