East Central defensive end Armonty Bryant is getting a couple chances to raise his stock as a draftable player. Bryant has received an invitation to the NFL Combine, which is Feb. 23-26 in Indianapolis. He will also play in the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Challenge at 2 p.m. Saturday in Allen, Texas. Bryant, a Wichita Falls native, will play for Texas.
“Going to the NFL Combine has been a goal of mine,” Bryant said. “So when I got the news, it was a dream come true. It's a great feeling.”
Bryant is a Division II All-American and two-time Oklahoman State College Defensive Player of the Year selection. The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder finished his collegiate career with school-record 27.5 sacks. As a senior, Bryant had 54 tackles, 17.5 of those for minus-115 yards. He added four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, one of which he returned for a game-winning touchdown.
Bryant said he has talked to scouts from several teams. Now that he has an invite to the Combine, Bryant might bypass a pro day at a local university.
“I really haven't decided yet,” he said. “Right now, I'm getting ready for the Combine by working out, trying to get a lot stronger.”
*The Northeastern State women's basketball team is tough. The RiverHawks are 13-5 overall and 8-2 in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association; they have four conference wins against ranked opponents, all from Kansas: No. 9 Washburn, No. 10 Fort Hays State, No. 18 Pittsburg State and No. 21 Emporia State.
*Rogers State senior Logan Froese reached 1,000 career points. The Claremore product hit the mark during a 79-70 victory over Mid-America Christian, collecting 18 points and 10 rebounds. Barring injury, Froese should become Rogers State's all-time scorer for women's basketball. The record holder is Hunter Peterson, who had 1,132 points over the 2007-2011 seasons.
*Mid-America Christian picked up a historic win. The Evangels beat tradition-rich Oklahoma City U. for the first time, 81-74; it was Mid-America Christian's first victory over OCU since joining the NAIA in 2007. The game featured 11 ties and 15 lead changes. Charlie Shorter hit six 3-pointers and finished with 27 points for the winner.
*University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma gets the award for earliest start to a baseball season by a local team. The Drovers went to Tyler, Texas, last Saturday — Jan. 26 — and swept a doubleheader from Texas College, 7-0 and 14-1. Plenty of people received playing time, including six pitchers on USAO's part. Seth Sturgeon and Clinton Selman blanked the Steers on four hits, no walks and five strikeouts in the first game
*Central Oklahoma was picked fourth and Northeastern State 11th in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association preseason baseball poll. Central Missouri was No. 1, receiving 14 of 15 possible first-place votes. Missouri Western, which had the other first-place vote, was second, and Emporia State was third.
*Ron Bradley of Rogers State was named Rawlings-NAIA Regional Coach of the year for the Plains Region. Bradley was recognized for leading the Hillcats to the NAIA World Series finals for the first time. Rogers State has been playing baseball since 2006.
*Keep an eye on the Oklahoma Baptist men's golf team. The Bison had a spectacular fall tournament season, finishing in the top-five three times. Coach Kenny Lindsey said one of the challenges will be to “play at the same level in the spring season. When we play to our ability, we can play with any team in the country.” The Bison are deep in talent; Ethan Fine Todd Balkin, Drew Posada and Alexander Hall are expected to be the top-four players for a program trying to reach the NAIA Championships for just the second time in history.
COMPILED BY SCOTT MUNN