By Joey Reinart, Chisholm Athletic Director
As January approaches in Northwest Oklahoma, basketball season becomes the central focus of high school sports. Such is the case at Chisholm High School, as they prepare to host the 52nd Annual Wheat Capital Basketball Tournament on January 7, 8, 9. The Wheat Capital has long been known for its exciting atmosphere created by the competitiveness of some of the best teams from around the area. Alva, Blackwell, Chisholm, Garber, Kingfisher, Perry, OKC Knights, Tecumseh, and Woodward fill out the brackets for the 2021 edition of the Wheat Capital Tournament.
The Wheat Capital Tournament is an event that the Chisholm Community takes great pride in hosting each year. In 1969, the tournament began and was hosted at the Chisholm Elementary School gymnasium. It has also been hosted at Phillips University until the current Paul J. Outhier fieldhouse was constructed in the early ’80s. The history of the tournament is one part of the tradition that fuels the atmosphere and energy among the teams participating. Long-standing teams such as Alva, Chisholm, and Kingfisher ensure that the semifinals and finals are well attended every year. The Alva girls are 6 time Wheat Capital Champions. The Kingfisher Boys have been crowned champions 11 times in 51 years. The Chisholm boys and girls have combined for 11 championships.
This year’s edition of the Wheat Capital will be extremely competitive. In the girl’s bracket Kingfisher, Alva, Perry, and Garber are ranked in the top 10 in their respective classes. Chisholm and Woodward both return enough experience to knock off any of the teams in the field. On the boy’s side of the tournament, Kingfisher is loaded for another run at the championship as the top-ranked team in 4A. The rest of the field is well balanced with Perry coming off a berth in the state tournament last year, and Woodward and Chisholm teams both returning a lot of experience on their respective teams.
The Chisholm Lady Longhorns have a senior-laden team. They start four seniors; Regi Pasby, Courtney Petersen, Brinidey Willson, and Gracie Holder. Add in starter Alice Watkins, and valuable bench player Grace Winter, and the Lady Longhorns will have a solid, experienced team that should find themselves gelling together as they approach the Wheat Capital tournament. The Chisholm Longhorns boys team is very similar to their girl counterparts. They are driven by senior starters; Luke Balenti, Parker Warnock, Heston Daniels, Cody Wichert, and Hunter Combs. Key contributors off the bench include senior Bryson Young, sophomore Huston Lane, and junior Tristan Crosswhite.
As with most indoor events, the Wheat Capital Tournament will have some restrictions on attendance this year. Each team will be allotted 40 tickets per team and 40 extra tickets will be open to the public per set of games. Indoor events at Chisholm High School will require spectators to wear a mask and are asked to make sure that spectators do not enter the gym with any symptoms or recent exposures to Covid-19.
Chisholm High School takes great pride in hosting the Wheat Capital Tournament and embracing its history. It allows Chisholm High School to showcase its students, athletes, staff, and community. It takes a lot of great people to pull off such a huge event. Chisholm High School would like to thank the Chisholm Community and everyone in the Enid area that has had even the slightest hand in making the 52nd Annual Wheat Capital Tournament what it is today.