TULSA — It was one last shot for Jacob Oaks to tear up a course as an Ardmore Tiger. He didn’t disappoint.
Oaks tied for the low round of the day with playing partner Logan Gray of El Reno, shooting a 10-under 62 for the West at the All-State golf tournament at Cherokee Hills Golf Course.
The East beat the West in both the boys and girls competition, but Oaks put in another sterling performance to close his high school career.
The Class 5A individual state champion is off to Division I Central Arkansas in the fall.
“I played well,” Oaks said. “Pretty much every phase of my game was working today. We both really played well together and I just enjoyed my day.”
The low round was a perfect ending to a tournament filled with accolades for Oaks. Prior to play, he received the Jim Thorpe Gatorade Player of the Year Award, given to the most outstanding golfer in the state each year. Megan Gowens of Purcell was the girls’ recipient.
Coaches selected five nominees each from the East and West squads, and a committee from the Jim Thorpe Association made its selection. Oaks joins Bridger Cox (1999) and Greg Jackson (2000) as Ardmore All-Staters who were also Jim Thorpe recipients.
“I just felt really blessed and honored, “ Oaks said. “It felt really good knowing how many good golfers there are. It just sent everything over the top, winning the Jim Thorpe player of the year and the Kyle Lewis scholarship.
“So many people have helped me along the way, like my mom and dad and coach (Steve) Ross. It feels awesome.”
Oaks, along with Kurstyn Mills of Shawnee, was also honored with the Kyle Lewis Memorial Scholarship, which awards $250 to a boys and girls player each year based on character, school and community activities. The award is named in honor of Lewis, a 2010 Bethel graduate who was killed in a single-car accident following the All-State tournament that same year.
“That was really really nice, I was glad to see that,” Ross said of Oaks receiving the Jim Thorpe award and Kyle Lewis scholarship. “He was definitely deserving of it. You want about a dozen kids like that in program. When you work hard like he has, you get rewarded.”
The format for the All-State games took on a different look this summer, as the tournament was divided into six holes of scramble, six holes of best ball and six holes of alternate shot. Points were awarded to pairs every six holes.
Tishomingo’s Jasmine Vasquez participated for the winning East girls squad. Ardmore’s All-Stater Cash Campbell (West boys) didn’t play due to injury (shoulder).
For the West team, Plainview had representatives on the boys and girls teams in Will Roberts and Ashton Gores.
Roberts said the course at Cherokee Hills was fun, but difficult.
“It was a blast,” Roberts said of his partnership with Rustin Purser of Class 3A state champion Oklahoma Christian School. “We were playing good with them (the East) and they just closed us out.
“The greens were the hilliest I’ve ever played. Elevated greens and really tight.”
Gores combined with longtime 3A counterpart Gowens to sweep their matches against the East.
“It was really fun,” said Gores, an Oklahoma Baptist signee. “Usually it’s just stroke play. They changed the format, and it was awesome.
“And I have to say, getting an All-State ring is a pretty good feeling.”