By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The Sand Springs varsity football team has had some great years, but they've always been fairly spaced out.
The program started in 1919 under head coach Ivan Grover and went 6-2-1 in its first year. It's now in its 97th year and since then it's seen the playoffs 17 years and amassed a 13-20 post-season record and won its lone State Championship in 1966.
Since 2000, Sand Springs has seen the playoffs four years and won its first playoff game since 1997 last year at Midwest City.
A 5-2 district record this year has clinched Sand Springs a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive year, the fifth year since head coach Dustin Kinard took over the program in 2007.
The program has seen a lot of improvements during Kinard's tenure. His first year on the job was also the first season at the newly remodeled Memorial Stadium. In 2008 he led his team to their first winning record and first playoff appearance since 1997.
There were a few rough years after that; Sand Springs went 8-22 from 2009-2011, but since then it's been one of the better programs in the state.
2012 saw the team's first 6-0 start since 1997, and in 2014 the Sandites beat the Midwest City Bombers by a single point in an frigid overtime win to advance to the semi-finals.
Overall, Kinard has a 45-49 record at Sand Springs, but it should turn into a winning record within a season or two if things continue the way they have been. In his 9th season, Kinard is currently the second-longest tenured coach in Sandite history, behind LD Baines who coached from 1983-1996.
The last few seasons have seen lots of notable achievements and 2015 was no different. This season marked the Sandites' fourth-consecutive winning record and fourth-consecutive playoffs appearance. Sand Springs handed Bixby their first shutout in seven years.
The biggest loss for the Sandites this season was by 17 points. The last time Sand Springs made it through a season without a loss larger than 21 points was in 1997. A 53 point win over Hale (that was later forfeited) gave Sand Springs their third consecutive season with a 50+ point win. So far Sand Springs has only allowed 111 points this season, the team's best defensive record since 1997.
A 4-0 record at home also gave Sand Springs their first perfect season at home since 1997.
There's never been a better time to be a Sandite!
Join the Minutemen this Friday as they travel to #7 Stillwater (5-5). Kick off is at 7:00 PM at Pioneer Stadium.
*this article has been corrected at 8:34 AM Monday 11/9/15. It previously reflected the Stillwater game as scheduled for Saturday.
*OSSAA has changed kickoff from 7:30 PM Friday to 7:00 PM. Article has been corrected to reflect this change.