A magical season came to an end for the Oakdale Vikings basketball team last weekend.
For the first time, Oakdale advanced to the quarterfinals of the SIJHSAA Class S Tournament at Rend Lake College where the Vikings fell to Meridian.
“We’ve made it to state before, but we’ve never advanced to the Elite Eight,” coach Daniel Carson said. “I’d have liked to play one more and brought home a trophy.”
Even without a trophy, Oakdale had a great run. The team finished 26-4 and played against some very tough opponents this year.
“We played some teams we’ve never seen before to help prepare us,” Carson said. “We played teams like Bartelso and Steeleville, and we played Lovejoy from the Metro East during a tournament in Mt. Vernon.”
Oakdale had 11 players on the roster, including four 8th graders, two 7th graders, two 6th graders and a fifth grader. Two of the 8th graders, Carter Schoenherr and Cameron Diecker, had started since they were in sixth grade.
“This is why I came back to coaching,” Carson said. “I knew we had a good group, and I wanted to show everyone what our school could do.”
Carson, a farmer, has coached for ten years. Daniel Siliven and Alec Johns are assistant coaches.
The school is planning a reception to honor the team this Saturday. Fans can gather in the gym at Oakdale Grade School at 2 p.m.