By Mike Moguin
GTR Sports Writer
Boys’ soccer at Broken Arrow dealt with adversity this past spring when it went through a coaching change with the season in progress. But the Tigers overcame that by winning their first state championship since 2017.
Seniors Andrew Kruse and Greyson Owens each delivered goals to help Broken Arrow to a 2-1 win against Edmond Memorial in the Class 6A final on May 15 at Soldier FIeld on the campus of Rogers State University in Claremore.
“It was crazy,” Kruse said. “It felt like a completion of all the hard work, all the effort we put in, being a senior, it felt just complete, knowing that my four years were done, but that I had gone out on top.”
“It was unreal and breathtaking,” Owens said. “I just dropped to my knees because it’s been a goal of mine since I watched the 2017 team win a state championship and after seeing that clock hit zero, it was kind of like a relief off my shoulders. I’ve been stressing out about this season and this game and how it literally takes one wrong move to completely screw it up and it would be all over. So seeing that score and the clock tick down to zero, it was just like a big relief and I was just so happy. The whole team ran over and it was just one of the happiest moments in my life.”
Broken Arrow finished the year on an eight-game winning streak in route to a 16-2-1 record. That included a 4-3 upset of previously unbeaten Mustang in the semifinals. Another victory over Edmond Memorial on April 25, which gave the Tigers the District 6A-3 title, was also in the streak.
J.J. Jedanski took over the coaching reins from Shane Schwab in April.
“The coaching change was very difficult, especially for me. I knew my coaches all four years,” Owens said. “I knew (Schwab) on a different level than the other players, so it was super difficult for me to see him leave, but I knew it just added to our story. Everything was lining up for us this season. The coaching change just motivated us more.”
Kruse made similar statements in regards to the change.
“It was really tough, but I think it was good,” he said. “I feel like before the coaching change, we knew what we wanted to do, we knew what it would take, but I don’t think we really had it in us. At that point, it (the change) just kind of put a chip on our shoulder. And we wanted to win for us, the old coaches and the new coaches to prove ourselves and we just added that one last element we needed.”
Both players talked about the lead up in scoring their respective goals.
After a scoreless first half, Kruse scored from 25-yards to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead with 32:04 left in the game.
“We knew we needed a goal. We knew we needed to put our foot on the gas,” Kruse said. “I just set one up, not really knowing what’s going to happen, then luckily got a goal out of it.”
Owens made it 2-0 with a goal with 20:42 left. He retrieved the ball after a teammate missed an attempt to score.
“It (the ball) went right to me, so I just kind of tapped it in,” Owens said. “I wasn’t really thinking at the time, it was really instinct. It didn’t even occur to me that I hit the ball until it was in the back of the net. After scoring, it was more of a personal goal I was feeling happy about rather than furthering the lead. It’s been a dream to play in the state final, let alone score in it, so that was pretty much how I was feeling.”
The Bulldogs got their only goal with under 10 minutes to go, cutting the Tigers lead in half. But BA was able to hold on as the score stood through the final second.
Broken Arrow also had a special moment when senior Eric Chavez, who had been battling cancer after being diagnosed in May 2020, entered the game with 32 ticks on the clock.