Three former Division I football players with local ties have transferred to Central Oklahoma.
Defensive tackle Markus Wakefield (Heritage Hall) was a redshirt last season at Howard; running back Donovan Roberts (Norman) spent the fall semester at Arkansas; and running back Andrew Long (Southmoore) comes in from Air Force. All three are attending classes this semester and will participate in spring drills.
OCU TIED FOR NO. 1
Voters picked up on the idea the second time around that Oklahoma City University might have a better women's basketball club than Lubbock Christian. OCU beat the top-ranked Chaps 79-68 on Jan. 8 in Lubbock, and then on Saturday, the Stars proved the first game was no fluke. They popped LCU again, this time 74-60 in Abe Lemons Arena.
When the NAIA women's poll was released Tuesday afternoon, OCU moved into a first-place tie for No. 1 with Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) Oklahoma City (19-2) picked up five first-place votes, while Freed-Hardeman (21-1) bagged six. Lubbock Christian (21-2) fell to No. 4.
“It's just an incredible feeling. Our group of young ladies have worked hard to reach this point,” OCU coach Latricia Trammell said. “They just get out there and compete and play well together.”
Six new players. A new head coach. Just four returnees, although two, Desiree Jeffries and Lauren Gober, were starters for last season's NAIA championship team. Poll voters played it cautious and started Oklahoma City at No. 3 in the preseason. And then there was an 0-2 start, though the losses were to NCAA Division II powers Southwestern State and Northeastern State.
But three months later, the Stars have indicated they can contend for the program's seventh national title.
“We just continue to strive to get better,” Trammell said.
*Leticia Silva set the all-time scoring record for women's basketball at St. Gregory's. She set the mark during a win against Oklahoma Baptist, and then a few days later scored 33 points — including 21 off 3-poiners — in the Cavaliers' victory at John Brown (Ark.). Silva has 1,702 points; the previous record holder was Jalisa Howard, who played at St. Greg's from 2008-2012.
*Mid-America Christian moved into the NAIA men's basketball ratings for the first time in school history. The Evangels were listed at No. 25 Tuesday after winning six of their last eight games. Mid-America Christian, located in Oklahoma City, has wins over No. 9-ranked Rogers State and No. 21 USAO.
*Central Oklahoma will host the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Wrestling Championships on Sunday in Hamilton Field House. The one-day tournament begins at 10 a.m., with the finals scheduled to start at approximately 2:30 p.m. UCO (12-1) won the regular-season conference championship and will be favored to win the tournament. Defending NCAA Division II champion Nebraska-Kearney is in the tournament and could bid to beat the Bronchos for the team title.
*Oklahoma Baptist senior Jura Levy was named National Track Athlete of the Week by the NAIA. She recorded the top NAIA time in the 200, finishing in 23.62 seconds during the recent Husker Open. The meet included Division I teams such as Nebraska, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois and Baylor. Levy has the second-best NAIA time in the 60, too, at 7.33 seconds.
AULD LANG SYNE
*Northeastern State is asking that anyone who has coached, played or cheered inside Jack Dobbins Field House to attend the RiverHawks' Feb. 27 basketball games against Central Oklahoma. That will be the last time the women's and men's teams will play at the 58-year-old field house; a new $14.4 million events center will open next season. Souvenir T-shirts are available at any remaining home games for $10. Proceeds will go toward the Make-A-Wish Foundation.