Tulsa Union's Dalton Rodriguez wanted to play defense all along. Rodriguez thought he might be content playing offensive line for Oklahoma after committing to the Sooners in May.
In the end, though, the desire to play on the defensive side and reunite with his old Union defensive line coach, Adam Blankenship, was too strong.
Thursday, Rodriguez made his switch official, announcing on Twitter that he'd committed to Tulsa.
Blankenship, the son of Golden Hurricane coach Bill Blankenship, played a big part in getting Rodriguez to make the switch.
“That was about 50 percent of it,” Rodriguez said of the opportunity to play defense. “But the chance to play for coach (Adam) Blankenship again was huge, too.”
Rodriguez said he made the decision over the last few days and called Adam to tell him the news.
“He was thrilled,” Rodriguez said.
The call to Sooners coaches came next, with Rodriguez talking to OU's Bruce Kittle.
“It wasn't easy, but it was something I had to do,” Rodriguez said.
EDMOND NORTH FINDING NEW LIFE
The struggles of the last few years have quickly been put behind the Edmond North boys basketball players, who are playing for the fourth head coach in their high school careers.
But a 5-2 start — matching their highest win total of any of the past three seasons — has helped solidify coach Steven Goss' new program.
Goss, along with move-in Carlbe Ervin from Carl Albert, fused with the talent already on campus, players such as Ed Baker, Tyler Sanders, David Montgomery and Austin Usery, who gained immeasurable experience during the past three seasons.
“We scrimmaged a lot of good teams during the preseason and we won them all,” said Goss, who came from Haskell. “Our program was down, and we want to elevate it up with the rest of the programs at Edmond North. We don't want to be the whipping boy, so to speak, of Edmond North.
“We want to earn the same respect that the football team and baseball team and all the other teams at Edmond North have earned.”
Four of the Huskies' five victories have come against teams ranked in the top 10 of Class 6A at the time.
SHOWDOWN OF NO. 1s FRIDAY
With three boys basketball teams all ranked No. 1 and trying to defend state championships, this type of matchup is bound to happen a few more times this season in the All-City Conference.
Class 3A No. 1 Centennial will host Class 4A No. 1 Douglass Friday night.
In fact, it isn't Centennial's first battle of No. 1s. The Bison suffered a 72-65 loss to Class 2A's top-ranked team, Northeast, earlier this month.
Douglass is unbeaten on the season, while Centennial is 1-1. The girls game will tip off at 6 p.m., with the boys to follow at approximately 7:30.
BETHANY'S RITZENDOLLAR PICKED FOR ALL-STAR GAME
Bethany defensive lineman Bryan Ritzendollar has been selected for the National Underclassmen All-America Games' 12th grade roster.
He's the only Oklahoma player on the roster.
The week-long event includes skill challenges, one-on-one competitions and other events leading up to the competitions for 9th-12th grades on Dec. 21-22.
Ritzendollar will play for the South team in the 12th grade game, which kicks off at 7 p.m. on Dec. 22.