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After devastating Oklahoma tornadoes, high school golf team competes

Sulphur, Oklahoma tornadoes

BLANCHARD, Okla. — The Class 4A girls golf state tournament provided an escape of sorts for members of the high school team at Sulphur High School in Sulphur, Oklahoma.

Just two days after a devastating tornado swept through their town, the Bulldogs showed up to Winter Creek Golf & Country Club with a chance to put everything to the side and focus on something other than damage and destruction.

“Obviously, I would like to be back home with everybody that I know because they’re going through things,” junior Reagan Watson said, “but I just tried to not think about it and still push through today.”

There were plenty of reasons for Sulphur to not show up for the first round Monday, but the Bulldogs were there and competed, finishing nine in the 12-team field, with junior Paisley Eason earning an individual second place.

Several tornadoes touched down across Oklahoma on Saturday, leaving at least four dead and 100 injured.

Sulphur, which is about 85 miles south of Oklahoma City, was among the most damaged towns and many buildings in its downtown area were left in rubble following the nighttime tornado. There was lots of other damage, including the destruction of the school district’s bus fleet.

Sulphur, Oklahoma tornadoes

Damage from tornadoes that tore through Sulphur, Oklahoma, on April 27, 2024. (Photo: Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman)

Watson’s dad, Luke, owns an automotive and lawn mower repair business in Sulphur. It was destroyed Saturday, but he still made the trip to watch his daughter compete.

“I think coming up here today just got our mind off of things,” he said.

The team stayed in Norman on Monday and will return home after the tournament ends Tuesday.

With the situation being so recent, Luke isn’t sure what he’s going to do moving forward.

“It’s too early right now,” he said. “Just take it day by day.”

That’s the mindset of most people affiliated with the program, including coach Linn Marshall.

“I’m proud of them for putting all that out of their head and coming up and wanting to play anyway,” he said.

Eason, who claimed an individual title at regionals where the Bulldogs won the team crown, was joined by Watson, junior Landry Couch, sophomore Emrie Williams and sophomore BrookeLynn Gaddy at the state tournament.

Eason tried to just play her game and compete as usual, but what’s going on back home remains on her mind and she feels the need to help out.

“Everyone knows everyone, so it sucks not to be able to do that there and help…


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