When walking by the entrance to the Owasso High School baseball field, in plain view is a large maroon board with all of Owasso's state championship teams, state runner ups, regional champions, all-state players, all-American players, eventual professional players, coaching awards, and Gatorade state player of the year awards.
It's a large sign -- and it's completely filled. Names on the list include St. Louis Cardinals starting shortstop Pete Kozma and Baltimore Orioles pitching prodigy Dylan Bundy.
Only twice in this century has the Rams' season ended anywhere other than the state finals; the last was in 2012. This year's team is determined to not let that happen again even though head coach Larry Turner acknowledges the individual talent isn't nearly as high as in some of their recent teams.
"We've probably had better individual talent on some of the teams in the past but this team has really played great as a 'team,'" said Turner during Tuesday afternoon's practice.
"They think they're a family."
It sounds nice but that's said frequently with teams in any sport. Then take one look at the team's overall record and it makes sense why MaxPreps has Owasso ranked as one of the top high school teams in the country: 30-0. In baseball.
It's almost inherent to the sport itself how incredibly rare it is to go unbeaten. But with the Rams set to open regionals this week, they're putting their 30-game winning streak on the line.
Between their annual tradition of bleaching their hair, which dates back to the beginning of their dynasty in the late 90's, along with some of their interesting hair cuts, this is definitely a fun-loving group. And then junior pitcher Braden Webb explained the team's nickname: the "Sloth Gang."
"We have a player on our team coach always gets on to for being slow going back to second base," said Webb. "Then we started calling him 'Sloth' and it just went from there.
The team nickname comes with a hand sign and a distinct "sloth call." And it becomes apparent this group of players really has all the "intangibles" of a successful team. We'll see if it translates into another Owasso state championship.
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