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High school notebook: Norman's Patrick Ahearn remains critical

Cross country standout remains in critical condition after jet ski accident on Sunday
by Ed Godfrey and Ryan Aber and Scott Wright Published: August 7, 2012

Norman cross country and soccer standout Patrick Ahearn remained hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday in a Florida hospital.

The 17-year-old, who was set to captain the Tigers' cross country team this year, was injured Sunday when a rented personal watercraft he was driving hit a boat. The boat's propeller cut off Ahearn's left leg below the knee.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Stan Kirkland told The Associated Press that the family aboard the boat was not injured and the operator saw Ahearn's watercraft approaching and tried to avoid the collision unsuccessfully.

TIME TO REBUILD AT HERITAGE HALL

Gone are longtime starters like Barry J. Sanders, Sterling Shepard and Cale Courtney, along with several others in last year's senior class at Heritage Hall.

Now, coach Andy Bogert is going back to basics in his coaching with Tuesday's first practice.

“We're young and inexperienced,” Bogert said. “We can't assume these guys know what the guys in the past knew. So we're doing a lot of teaching early, and it's a good time to teach, since we're not in pads. We're working on our basics and getting our terminology down.”

To emphasize Bogert's point about the Chargers' youth, there are 41 players on the team currently, and 19 of them are freshmen.

“We have a really nice freshman class, a really good group,” Bogert said. “But as far as getting on the field, there will only be a few of them that will get a chance. So we're basically playing with 22 or 23 kids.”

And there's no rush to get to the regular season. Clinton, Davis and Kingfisher — all state championship contenders in their respective classes — are on the Chargers' schedule in the first four weeks.

MCGUINNESS GOES LATE

In trying to avoid the heat of the day, Bishop McGuinness ran up against an unexpected obstacle — rain.

Tuesday evening's showers kept the Irish from starting their practice on time,

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by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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