Oklahoma City Barons defenseman Alex Plante and center Chris VandeVelde signed one-year contracts with the Edmonton Oilers. Plante and VandeVelde, who both spent time last season with the National Hockey League team, could be back in Oklahoma City if they fail to make the Oilers' roster in training camp.
Both players contributed to Oklahoma City winning the American Hockey League's West Division and Western Conference championships during the regular season. The Barons reached the AHL semifinals before losing to the Toronto Marlies.
The National Christian Collegiate Athletics Association has four Southern Nazarene football players on its preseason All-America team. Sophomore linebacker Michael Hicks, senior running back Derick Perkins, junior wide receiver Jarod Martin and senior wide receiver Sedrick Johnson were chosen by voters, which included coaches, professional scouts and national media.
Hicks, a former Cushing High standout, was an NAIA All-American last season while helping Southern Nazarene win the Central States Football League championship and qualify for the playoffs. Both were firsts for the football program, which is about to begin its second year of NCAA Division II candidacy. SNU will not be eligible for the NAIA or NCAA Division II playoffs this season, but it can participate in the NCCAA postseason.
Southern Nazarene begins its season Aug. 30 at Henderson State (Ark.), a Division II member from the Great American Conference.
*Scott Parkinson, an NAIA All-American defender for the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma men's soccer team, was named head boys coach at Chickasha High School. Although Parkinson is about to begin his junior season at USAO, the native of Liverpool, England, said he can manage playing for the Drovers in the fall and coaching the Chicks in the spring. Juggling of school work will be required, too.
“Scott will do a great job for CHS,” USAO coach Jimmy Hampton said. “I have no doubt he will be able to maintain his academics, his USAO team responsibilities and contribute to CHS and their tradition of success.”
*Jayme Hutchcraft, a record-setting softball player at Oklahoma Baptist, was named as an assistant coach for the program. She returns to OBU after teaching and coaching at Shawnee Middle School. The former Jayme Boyer graduated from OBU in 2009, holding school records for career homers (46), single-season homers (17) and single-game homers (3).