Our look at the biggest sports stories from the past year begins with Shawnee football.
The 2013 season marked a return to form for the Shawnee Wolves.
After a pair of down years at the 6A level and a 2012 season in which they finished with five wins, the Wolves came back in a big way in 2013, winning nine games, including the program’s first playoff win since 2009 before bowing out to eventual state champion Guthrie 23-21 in the 5A quarterfinals.
The season got off to something of a shaky start. Behind a sparkling defensive effort that included four interceptions, the Wolves upset third-ranked McGuinness 14-7 in their opener, only to follow that up with a 41-21 loss to Deer Creek that was never close.
A win over Ponca City and one over Tulsa Memorial in the district opener was followed by a mistake-filled loss to McAlester that featured five Shawnee turnovers, leaving the Wolves with a 3-2 record.
From there though, the Wolves would reel off five straight wins to close out the regular season. In those wins, Shawnee scored no less than 42 points in each game and averaged 49 points per contest.
The Wolves then downed Claremore 42-14 at home for their first playoff win since a 43-13 win over Altus in the first round of the 2009 postseason.
Although they graduated nearly 20 seniors, the Wolves will return plenty of starters and prominent players and expect to make another postseason run in 2014. Led by East Carolina commit John Jacobs, who threw for over 1,600 yards and ran for over 1,100 more, plus an experienced offensive line, Shawnee will have plenty of offensive firepower for the coming fall campaign.