Report card time: Yukon athletic programs receive final grades for the 2017-2018 school year

 

As the school year winds down and with spring sports now behind us, it’s time to examine how each athletic team performed in 2017-2018.

I am handing out the final grades for each Yukon High School sports team and will give my explanation of why I gave each team the grade it received.

I will start with the fall sports and work my way through the spring sports. There are 20 Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association-sanctioned athletic teams at Yukon High School.

Football

The Yukon football program was in dire need of something good to happen following the zero-win season in 2016 and the two-win season of 2015. New head coach Jeremy Reed came in and began to change the culture of Miller football and led Yukon to four wins in 2017 and had the Millers in the playoff conversation.

Led by senior quarterback Perry Olsen and a power rushing attack, Yukon was able to pull off a stunning upset at Norman North in week 2. The Millers would go on to win three more games and came within a yard of beating Edmond Santa Fe, which would have sent Yukon to the postseason.

Final grade: A

-Softball

For much of the fall, the Yukon softball team looked like the team to beat in Class 6A. The Millerettes didn’t lose a game until early October and swept through their regional tournament with ease.

Once they got to the 6A state tournament, Yukon seemed poised to make a run at a state championship, but Stillwater had other ideas.

The Millerettes fell to the Lady Pioneers in the opening round of the state tournament but that didn’t diminish the season Yukon had in 2017.

They were led by a slew of seniors, including Chyenne Factor, who is taking her talents to Stillwater to play softball for Oklahoma State in August.

Final grade: A

-Volleyball

Yukon volleyball is still a young program and is getting better each year under head coach Rachel Allred. The Millerettes had a good season in 2017 and will return a good portion of the nucleus for this fall.

Yukon won several tournaments and beat Mustang both times they took on the Lady Broncos. The Millerettes made it to the regional championship match where they pushed Edmond North to the brink but couldn’t quite get over the hump.

Final grade: A-

-Boys cross country

Led by head coach Matt Parent, the Millers are always a threat in 6A boys cross country and that was no different this year.

The Millers went back to the state cross country meet in the fall. They didn’t have the results they had hoped for going into the final race but it was still a successful season getting back to state.

Final grade: B+

-Girls cross country

Elora Jones was the story for the Yukon girls cross country team in the fall. The freshman stormed onto the scene and looks poised to have a stellar career for the Millerettes.

Head coach Rodney Zimmerman and his runners had an up-and-down year but competed and showed great effort in each meet.

Final grade: B

-Cheer

It was another strong season for the Yukon cheer squad.

The team had another top-10 finish at the state competition after qualifying with a solid performance in the regional competition.

Final grade: B+

-Pom

Led by seniors Peyton Kuykendall, Kamryn Karn and Caitlyn Hankins, the Yukon pom squad had a stellar season with appearances in the state competition and the national competition in Florida.

Kuykendall and Karn were named All-State and Hankins was named All-Region.

Final grade: A

-Boys basketball

The Yukon boys basketball team had tough year in the wins and loss column. The Millers battled every time they took the court but didn’t have enough deep talent to compete with some of the powerhouses in Class 6A.

Under first year head coach Kevin Ritter, you could see the improvement the team was making throughout the season even though the results weren’t different on the scoreboard.

This group laid the foundation for what is to come for Yukon boys basketball and that is hard work and never give up.

Final grade: B-

-Girls basketball

The Yukon girls basketball team had a similar season to the boys but the Millerettes were able to win a few more games early in the year.

Under first year head coach Roy Wyckoff, Yukon won two tournaments in the first half of the season but struggled down the stretch in league play.

The Millerettes battled injuries and couldn’t get a good offensive rhythm going towards the end of the season but the effort was there every time they took the court.

Final grade: B-

-Wrestling

It wasn’t the best year team wise for the Yukon wrestling program under head coach Joe Schneider but it was a good year because the Millers had a state champion wrestler in Jaxen Gilmore and a runner-up in Studd Morris.

Gilmore won his second state title and was named the 6A Wrestler of the Year after he demolished Mustang in the state championship bout.

The rest of the team went through growing pains but the future is bright for the Miller wrestling program.

Final grade: A+

-Swimming

The Yukon swim program is getting stronger with each year.

Behind star swimmer Isaiah Auld, the Miller and Millerette swimmers had their best season in the program’s existence with a larger presence at the 6A state swim meet than ever before in program history.

Final grade: A

-Baseball

Following the spring break trip to Arizona, the Yukon baseball team looked like they were on their way to having another solid season, but the Millers struggled after they got back from the desert.

For much of the season, Yukon had an overall losing record and a losing record in the district. The Millers made a late-season push and seemed to get hot going into the regional tournament.

Yukon was sent to the Westmoore regional and beat Moore twice but lost to host Westmoore twice to end their season in the regional finals.

Final grade: B-

-Boys soccer

It was a strange season for the Yukon boys soccer team. Early in the year, the Millers looked like world beaters after they pulled off the upset over Norman North.

Yukon won a few more matches and things were looking up but the injury bug caught the Millers and when several Yukon players went down with various injuries, the wind was taken out of their sails.

The Millers still battled every time they took the pitch but they couldn’t get over the hump in key matches down the stretch.

Final grade: B-

-Girls soccer

It was a stellar season for the Yukon girls soccer team. Led by senior midfielder Ashlyn Williams and junior forward Myka Heimbach, the Millerettes looked poised to make a deep playoff run.

Yukon stumbled in the final match of the regular season at home against Westmoore and was forced to go on the road in the opening round of the postseason.

The Millerettes had to take on Mustang and couldn’t cash in on several opportunities early in the match and fell to the Lady Broncos.

Despite the loss, it was still a strong year for Yukon girls soccer with 11 wins.

Final grade: A-

-Boys track

Yukon sent 12 boys to the 6A state track and field meet at Miller Stadium this spring. Led by senior Carvell McKinley in the long jump and junior Tyler Dechant in the high jump and hurdles, Yukon made a splash all year in boys track.

Following a year where Vernon Turner was must-see television, it was impressive to see some of the younger members of the track team step up this season.

Final grade: B

-Girls track

It was the freshmen who stole the show for the Yukon girls track team this spring.

Led by pole vaulter Kyla Davis and distance runners Sydney Brown and Elora Jones, the youngsters had impressive seasons in their first taste of varsity athletics.

Look for the Yukon girls to be a strong team in the next few years under head coach Rodney Zimmerman.

Final grade: B+

-Boys tennis

The Yukon boys tennis team had a strong spring led by senior No. 1 singles player Lukas Elmborg. Elmborg led the charge into the state tournament, where three of four divisions qualified for state for the Millers.

No. 2 singles player and freshman Nate Moore was impressive in the state tournament with a seventh-place finish.

The other division to compete at state as No. 1 doubles with Carson Eskew and Aydan Tahdoo.

Final grade: A-

-Girls tennis

The Yukon girls tennis team qualified all four divisions for the state tournament after their performance at the regional tournament.

No. 1 singles player Kenzie Moon, No. 2 single Taylor Shipes, No. 1 doubles Candace Courter and Sakura Roberts and No. 2 doubles Kaylee Rayburn and Hannah Dillon all made it to the state tournament.

Despite losing No. 1 single Leah Hildebrand to an injury early in the season, the team stuck together and had a strong season.

Final grade: A

-Boys golf

It was a tough year for the Yukon boys golf team. The Millers didn’t get the results they had hoped for but it’s replacing a talented player like Lane Wallace, who is now playing at the University of Oklahoma.

Despite not seeing the results he wanted, head coach David Jewell was positive about his players and believes they will learn from this experience.

Final grade: B-

-Girls golf

It was another strong year for the Yukon girls golf team, with the Millerettes making it back to the 6A state tournament.

Yukon was competitive in nearly every tournament they competed in and looks to stay strong going into the future with the majority of its team coming back next year.

Final grade: A

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