Stilwell High School hosts social stickball games
Two students reach for the ball during a stickball tournament Stilwell High School hosted for Adair County middle school students on Nov. 9 in Stilwell, Okla. The tournament was held to bring Adair County middle school children together. TESINA JACKSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
A student throws the stickball ball at a wooden fish on top of pole to try and score a point during one of the Nov. 9 stickball games at Stilwell High School in Stilwell, Okla. The tournament was held to bring Adair County middle school children together. TESINA JACKSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
STILWELL, Okla. – Stilwell High School hosted a social stickball tournament on Nov. 9 to bring students from different Adair County middle schools together with hopes that they would form friendships before entering high school.
“We have a different setup here in Adair County, and we have several K (kindergarten) through eight (eighth grade) schools, and they grow up playing against one another most of the time,” Stilwell Public Schools Superintendent Geri Gilstrap said. “So when they come into high school to be together, it’s difficult for them to bonds sometimes because they’ve grown up playing against one another. The more events that we can have to make them feel like we are a community and that we’re working together for the good of all, the better off we are.”
Students from Bell, Rocky Mountain, Stilwell, Dahlonegah, Tenkiller, Cave Springs and Maryetta schools participated in the tournament. Teams were formed using students from each school so that schools weren’t playing other schools. Tours of SHS were also given so students could become more familiar it.
SHS and Westville High School are the county’s only two high schools.
“We’re really hoping to fill our freshman academy with children that want to be a Stilwell Indian and know that we care about each of them and that they’ve made relationships with these other students outside of competitive sports where they are friends and they can come in and be ready to go as a ninth grader and be ready to bond together,” Gilstrap said.
Northeastern State University and University of Arkansas representatives also attended to encourage students to continue on to college after high school.
“Some of the college students are my Cherokee Promise scholars and a few of them went to school here at Stilwell or at Dahlonegah or at Rocky Mountain or at some of the feeder schools who are here so they know what it’s like, and they said ‘yeah, this is a great idea, whatever they can do to help,’” Dr. Leslie Hannah, NSU director of Cherokee programs, said.
Cherokee Promise scholars are low-income Cherokee students pursuing higher education at NSU who live in a designated residence hall with large spacious rooms on an all-Cherokee floor. They are provided, throughout their time in the program, with different Cherokee cultural activities, specialized classes and other opportunities designed to fit their needs.
The idea for the tournament came together when Hannah and SHS faculty wanted to get Adair County middle school students more acquainted with the high school’s system.
“Anything we can do in the future like this to get these kids together, we’re hoping to do more,” Gilstrap said.
The SHS Indian Heritage Club, whose members frequently play stickball, helped with setting up the poles, organization and sharing some of the Cherokee culture.
“I’m with the Indian Heritage Club and we’re putting on this to get all of the schools together to learn about culture and the Cherokee language,” Heath Bunch, SHS senior and United Keetoowah Band citizen, said.
During the tournament, students also got the chance to learn how stickball sticks are made.
“There aren’t very many people who know about their culture anymore so we’re just trying to get everybody together so we can kind of, regroup the culture so we can be a proud Nation once again,” he said.
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ᏍᎩᎵᏪᎵ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – ᏍᏗᎵᏪᎵ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᎸᎡᎵ ᎤᎾᏓᏟᏌᎯ ᎤᎾᏁᏦᏂ ᎤᎾᏓᎪᎾᏔᏅᎢ ᏅᏓᏕᏆ ᏐᏁᎵᏁᎢ ᏚᎾᏘᏃᏢ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏄᏓᎴ Adair ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᏰᏟ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎢᏧᎳ ᎤᏚᎩ ᎤᏅᏒ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᎵ ᎢᎬᏩᎵᏍᏙᏗ Ꮟ ᏄᎾᎴᏅᏓ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏄᎾᎴᏅᏓ.
“ᏙᎩᎭ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎢᏗᎦᎬᏁᏗ ᎠᎭᏂ Adair ᏍᎦᎩᎩ, ᎠᎴ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ k(kindergarten) ᏧᏁᎵᏁ ᎢᏍᏗ (eighth grade) ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᏓᎾᏛᏍᎪ ᏓᎾᏁᎶᎲᏍᎬ ᎤᏅᏌᏊ ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ,” ᏍᏗᎵᏪᎵ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏗᎦᏘᏯ ᎧᏁᏥᏙᎯ Geri Gilstrap ᎤᏛᏅᎢ. “ ᏃᏊᏃ ᏳᏂᎷᏣ ᎾᎿ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏂᎦᏓ, ᎠᏍᏓᏲ ᏴᏓᎭ ᎨᎳᏊᏱ ᏧᎾᏙᏟᏍᏗ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏍᏆᏞᏍᏗ ᏓᎾᏁᎶᎲᏍᎬ ᏚᎾᏓᏁᏄᏠ. ᎤᎪᏛ ᎯᎠ ᏌᏊ ᏗᎬᏩᎾᏁᎶᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎤᎾᏓᏅᏖᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏌᏊ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏙᏓᏲᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎵ ᎤᏁᎵᏍᏗ ᏂᎦᏓ, ᏓᏤᏞᏍᏗ.”
ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎭᎸᏂ, ᏅᏯ ᏦᏓᎸ, ᏍᏗᎵᏪᎵ, ᏓᎶᏂᎨᏍᏛ, ᏍᎪᎯᏗᎯᎯ, ᎤᏍᏓᎦᎸ ᎦᏅᎪᎬ ᎠᎴ Maryetta ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎤᏁᎳᏗᏙᎸ ᏍᏆᏞᏍᏗ ᏓᎾᏁᎶᎲᏍᎬᎢ. ᏗᎾᏁᎶᎲᏍᎦ ᎠᎾᏙᏢᏍᎬ ᏓᏅᏗᏍᎬ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏂᏙᏓᏳᏂᎶᏒ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ Ꮭ ᎤᏅᏌᏊ ᏱᏚᎾᏓᏁᏄᏝᎢ. ᎤᏂᎦᏖᏃᎵᏙᎸ ᎾᎿ SHS ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᎤᏃᏟᏍᏗ, SHS ᎠᎴ Westville ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏧᏩᏌ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏔᎵ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ.
“ᏙᎯᏳ ᎤᏚᎩ ᎣᎬᎭ ᏦᎩᎧᎵᏍᏗ ᎯᎠ ᏐᏁᎵᏁ ᎠᎾᎴᏂᏍᎩ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᏍᎩ ᏍᏗᎵᏪᎵ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏅᏙ ᏙᏥᎸᏉᏛ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏧᎾᏟᏃᎮᏟᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᎾᎿ ᏂᏓᎾᏁᎶᎲᏍᎬᎾ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ ᏧᎾᎵ ᎨᏐ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᎷᎯᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏛᏅᎢᏍᏔᏃᏅ ᏐᏁᎵᏁ ᏗᏂᏂᏙ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎾᏙᎵᎩ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏂᎦᏓ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ GilstrapᎢ.
ᎤᏴᏢᎢ ᎧᎸᎬ ᎢᏗᏢ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ Arkansas ᏗᏂᎳᏫᎩ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎠᏁᏙᎰ ᏧᏂᏂᎳᏕᏗ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏗᏂᏂᏙᎯ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏂᎦᏯᎢᏐ ᏩᎦᎸᎳᏗᏴ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏫᏚᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏳᏂᏍᏆᏓ.
“ᎢᎦᏓ ᏩᎦᎸᎳᏗᏴ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏂᏚᎢᏍᏗ ᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎢᎦᏓ ᎠᎭᏂ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᎥᎢ ᏍᏗᎵᏪᎵ, ᏓᎶᏂᎨᏍᏛ ᎠᎴ ᏅᏯ ᏦᏓᎸᎢ ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᎾᎥ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎢᎾᏅᏗ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎤᏂᏰᎸᏐ ᎠᎴ ᏓᏂᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪᎢ” ᎯᎠ Dr. Leslie Hannah, NSU ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᎪᏍᏗ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
ᎠᏂᎡᎳᎩ ᎤᏂᏚᎢᏍᏓ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎦᏲᏟ ᎤᏂᎷᏤᎯ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᏍᎩ ᎦᎸᎳᏗᏢ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏫᏚᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏯᏛᎾ NSU ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏎᎸ ᏧᎾᏁᎳᏗᏍᏗ ᏕᎧᏅᏑᎸ ᎤᏔᏂ ᎤᏝᏅᏛ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏲᏓᏝᎲᎢ. ᎠᎾᏁᏢᏍᎪ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏁᎳᏗᏙᎲ ᎯᎠ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᏒ, ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎰ, ᏗᏑᏰᏓ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᏐᎢ ᏓᏝᏅᏓᏕᎬ ᏗᏑᏰᏍᏗ ᏗᏙᎵᎩ ᎤᏂᏂᎬᎬᎢ.
ᎠᏓᏅᏖᎸ ᎾᎿ ᎠᎾᏓᎪᎾᏗᏍᎬ ᎢᏧᎳ ᏕᎦᎷᎦ ᎾᎿ Hannah ᎠᎴ ᏍᏉᏲ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᏍᎬ ᏓᏫᏍᎦᎶ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᏰᏟ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎤᏃᏟᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏄᏅᎾᏅᎢ.
“ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎢᎦᏲᎦᏛᏗ ᎤᏩᎪᏗᏗᏒ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎤᎾᏓᏟᏐᏗᎢ, ᎤᏚᎩ ᎣᎬᎭ ᎤᎪᏛ ᏲᎦᏛᏗᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ GilstrapᎢ.
ᎾᎿ SHS ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᏧᎾᏓᎴᏅ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ, ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎠᏁᎳ ᎤᏎᎦᏦ ᏓᎾᏁᎶᎲᏍᎪ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᏁᏦᏍᎪ, ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᎲ ᏗᎨᏘᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏅᏃᏍᏛᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᏃᎮᏢᏍᎬ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᏗᎩᎶᏒᎢ.
“ᎦᏥᏰᎳᏗᏙᎰ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᏧᎾᏓᏢᏅ ᎠᏂᏃᎮᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎠᎴ ᎯᎠ ᏂᏓᏲᏣᏛᏁᎵ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏙᏓᏲᏥᏟᏌᏂ ᎣᎦᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏂᏧᎾᏛᏁᎸᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᎴ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ,” ᎠᎾᏗᏍᎬ ᎯᎠ Heath Bunch, ᏍᏏᏉᏲ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏔᎳᏚᏏᏁ ᏗᏍᏆᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ UKB ᎨᎳᏗᏙᎯ.
ᎾᎿ ᎠᎾᏁᏦᏍᎬ, ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏟᏅᏓᏕᎸ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏂᏓᏅᏁᎲ ᏗᎳᏍᎦᎸᏙᏗ ᏓᏃᏢᏍᎬᎢ.
“ᏝᏃ ᏙᎯᏳ ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᏳᎾᏅᏓ ᏂᏧᎵᏍᏔᏅᏍᏔᏅ ᏄᎾᏛᏁᎵᏙᎸ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎣᏣᏁᎶᏗ ᏦᏥᏟᏐᏗ, ᎥᎠᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏂᎦᏛᏁᎵᏙᎸ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎦᏅᏓ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏗᎦᏓᏢᏅ ᎠᎴ ᏫᏗᎦᏛᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.