Our community, greater Ada, has been supporting their Ada Cougar football team this season more than usual, since they finished strong and charged into a Cinderella scenario with their eyes on the gold ball in the Class 4A championship game last Friday night against undefeated Heritage Hall at Choctaw High School.
Sadly, despite a deep gut check by all the players and a huge fan presence, Heritage Hall prevailed in an epic defensive battle for a final score of just 14-0.
The season didn’t start great, and it initially felt like a “rebuilding year,” with a new coach and some inexperienced starters, but the Cougars got better and got lucky, winning their district, then winning, usually in the fourth quarter, excellent playoff games against Elgin, Oolagah, and Bethany.
In the end, Heritage Hall was just too big and too talented for our scrappy Cougars. Sports is a fickle mistress.
Seasons like this are rare. Earlier this year, the Ada Lady Cougars had a similarly heartbreaking run at the basketball title, and we were all just as invested emotionally. (The next night, the Latta Panthers won their state basketball championship.)
Ada fans know that the Cougars have claimed 19 state championships, five of which I have covered. The 20th seems repeatedly out of their grasp.
Seasons like these and games like Friday’s are at the heart of what I love about being a photographer, and being a part of a great community.