Gundy had promised Gunnar, who had been down there all week with his mom, Kristen, and brothers Gavin and Gage, that if his team made it to the final day that he would be there to cheer him on.
While practice was going on Saturday morning an undercurrent developed among support staff like fellow youth baseball enthusiast and Oklahoma State director of athletic training and rehabilitation John Stemm, the Elite Campers, and the Cowboys coaching staff and players.
Even without Gundy at practice, the work got done and it was a good -- make that a very good -- second practice with lots of energy and highlights.
However, during breaks there was talk of how Gunnar's team was doing. The final score of the semifinal game came in early as Oklahoma Elite defeated a Colorado team 3-0 that eliminated them in the national tournament a year ago. That put the Elite, 8-0 on the week, in the national championship game. It would be after practice that those interested would learn that the Oklahoma Elite lost 5-2. In a text message sent from the head coach the team did lose but Gunnar hit the ball hard twice.
When the head coach gets back later Saturday and watches practice video he will see that some of the usual suspects showed up in the team period.
The team is in helmets, shorts, and jerseys, but the 11 versus 11 work in team period is not too far off the real thing. You can tell this team can't wait to get going.
Wide receiver Justin Blackmon made several plays, as he almost always does. Wide receiver Isaiah Anderson, who has been getting lots of compliments, took a screen pass for a long gain and then cut back on a reverse that was defensed well and still made a play out of it.
Running backs Jeremy Smith and Joseph Randle made significant plays. Jeremy Smith made a nice catch on a deflected screen pass, which took awfully quick reaction to make, and turned that into a significant gain. He also went deep on a wheel route that was an easy pitch and catch with Brandon Weeden.
One of the best defensive plays of the period was a real takeaway by safety Markelle Martin, who literally took the ball out of the hands of a receiver for an interception.
The rest of the day for the team following the two-hour, 15-minute practice was taken up with Fan Appreciation Day, Media Day for some players, photos, dinner, and then more meetings.