Tuttle’s Madi Surber is one of the most decorated athletes in Oklahoma high school track and field history, but she was excited to end her high school career on the basketball court this week at the annual Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State Game.
Surber, who was a member of Tuttle’s 2021 state title team and 2022 state runner-up squad, scored three points and added several steals to help Large West hold off Large East, 62-61, at Sapulpa High School.
“It was awesome,” said Surber on playing in the OCA All-State game. “Basketball is always something that I’ve loved, after track. Plus, I got to play for Coach Lester one more time. He coached us all four years.”
“I think she was the first alternate and I told her, ‘hey you’re going to play and she was excited,’ said Large West and former Tuttle head coach Brian Lester. “If she can play anything, she’s going to do it.”
“I wanted to play,” confirmed Surber. “It was my last time. It was really special, especially with Hadley (Periman) playing too.”
Periman, a University of Tulsa signee and another key member of Tuttle’s 2021 state title team, led the Large West with 14 points.
“That was special for me,” remarked Lester on coaching Surber and Periman one more time. “That group of seniors that graduated, they were very special. I coached them in seventh grade. I was the seventh-grade coach the same time I was coaching the high school. They’re just a special group. Tuttle’s only had one other OCA All-State girl’s player and this year we had two.”
Surber, who will continue her running career at Oklahoma State, won an astounding 10 track and field gold medals during her high school career and is the current state record holder in the 300-meter hurdles. Along with her track success, Surber also won state titles in cross country, basketball and softball.
“In track, I had some individual titles and I had two relay wins,” recalled Surber. “The relay wins and the ones in basketball and softball, those are my favorite because they were a team thing. It was really special after putting in all that hard work.”
In a time where many high school athletes are forced to focus on one sport, Surber is proof that you can play multiple sports, excel in each of them, and still have the opportunity to advance and compete at the next level.
“A lot of people think you need to specialize in one, but I think each sport helped me in different ways,” remarked Surber. “Basketball made me a lot more athletic and it kept me in shape. Softball was the same way. In high school, I encourage you to do them all. If you love it, do them all.”