Westmoore senior principal Brian Fitzgerald a candidate to replace Carl Franks as district AD. Jeremy Stark a candidate to take over as head football coach at Southmoore.
High school notebook: Moore board to name district athletic director, Southmoore coach
By Jacob Unruh | Jun 29, 2014
The Moore Board of Education will discuss and take action regarding naming a new district athletic director and Southmoore football coach during Monday night’s special meeting.
Former Moore athletic director Carl Franks was recently reassigned within the district. The agenda says the board is considering Brian Fitzgerald, the senior principal at Westmoore, to replace Franks.
Also, the board will consider the promotion of Southmoore defensive coordinator Jeremy Stark to head coach, replacing Jeff Brickman.
The board will also vote on naming former Crooked Oak soccer coach Mike Fadum the new boys soccer coach at Moore.
KRALIK NAMED CAPITOL HILL COACH
Longtime Blanchard boys basketball coach William Kralik has been named the coach at Capitol Hill.
Kralik spent the past 10 years with the Lions, going 129-127.
Kralik, a U.S. Grant alumnus, also led the Lions to 22-win seasons in 2009 and 2013.
Capitol Hill went 6-12 last season, losing to Carl Albert in the Class 5A regionals.
EDMOND NORTH’S OLSEN PICKS UP FIRST OFFER
Edmond North’s Abby Olsen picked up her first scholarship offer last week when Brigham Young University offered the sophomore guard.
Olsen picked up the offer at an elite camp.
A freshman last season, Olsen joins standouts Ana Llanusa of Choctaw, Bethany Franks of Norman and Jo’Nah Johnson of Edmond Santa Fe with Division I offers in the 2017 class.
Putnam City West is No. 1 in Class 6 boys basketball. U.S. Grant and Capitol Hill looking for head football coaches.
High schools: Discussing the 6A split, basketball surprises and football coaching moves
BY SCOTT WRIGHT, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 19, 2014
Topics of conversation have been broad lately, so it seemed like a good time to address the three most popular — the potential Class 6A split, the biggest surprises of basketball season, and the future ramifications of the football coaching carousel — in question-and-answer form:
Will the Class 6A split in all sports actually happen?
Too early to tell. Dr. Dick Balenseifen, the Putnam City Schools athletic director, put a lot of work into the proposal he presented to the OSSAA last week, which suggested the need to split the 32 Class 6A schools into two 16-team divisions in all sports, based on the number of championships won by the 16 largest schools as compared to the 16 smallest.
The number is pretty staggering: 87 percent of all state titles over the last 16 years have gone to the largest 16 schools, according to Balenseifen's research.
And that number is the bedrock of his argument. But Balenseifen and his supporters know they have a lot of work left to do if they're going to get the OSSAA fully on board with his idea. There's a lot of support for the idea, especially from the schools outside the top 16, for obvious reasons. But there are a lot of hurdles left to clear before the proposal will ever go out to a vote of the member schools involved.
The item will be up for discussion and possible action at the February board meeting, and the direction it goes from there will be most telling of its potential success.
What has been the biggest surprise of the first half of the basketball season?
My initial reaction is to say the Putnam City West boys, who are now No. 1 in Class 6A, but in reality, I've been more impressed than surprised by them. The Patriots were No. 2 in The Oklahoman's preseason poll, and knocking off Tulsa Union was impressive — but not a huge surprise. That team has a lot of talent and a really good coach in Lenny Bert. The ceiling is high for the Pats, not just this season but in the future as well.
So, as for actual surprises, the Choctaw girls would fall into that category. They've hit a couple speed bumps against really good teams lately, but showed enough to prove that the 9-0 start wasn't a fluke. Now at 10-2, they've moved into the top 5 in Class 6A, and deservingly so.
And I'll add the Centennial boys to the list of surprises as well. Not the fact that they're having success, but the fact that they're unbeaten and have hardly been challenged through 14 games. The Bison have a pair of two-point victories. All the other wins have been by 12 points or more.
Coach Scott Raper built that program into a winner from the ground up, and in doing so had earned the respect of his players. For Garrette Mantle to do the same with just a few months on the job, and keep the program on track like he has, says a lot about the coaching job he's done there so far.
Will the football coaching carousel stop spinning anytime soon?
Not likely. This all started when Steve Spavital stepped down at Broken Arrow, leaving an opening at the largest school in the state. Now it's down to two men, Broken Arrow assistant David Alexander and Guthrie head coach Rafe Watkins. Signs point to the odds being in Alexander's favor.
The Westmoore opening could knock over some other dominoes, though. Billy Langford did a fantastic job taking a program that fallen and reviving it. It's a good job now, and in the future, so it's very possible that it could lure another good head coach.
There are some other good openings out there now, at places like Grove and Duncan, that could shake things up as well.
And here are two unique yet intriguing job openings currently on the market: U.S. Grant and Capitol Hill.
Both football teams will begin their four-year independence from the OSSAA in the fall, meaning they will not be a part of a district and are allowed to schedule teams of any level.
It's part of the process designed to build those programs back to the point where they have a chance to compete against schools their size when the four-year period ends in 2018.
For a coach looking to build a program from a clean slate, and have chance to greatly impact the lives of his players, there's no place with a greater opportunity than what's available at Grant and Capitol Hill.
Many of the coaches who've been at those two schools over the last several years have worked hard to touch the lives of the children who come to play for them. But now, there's a new opportunity to impact your players and win games.
The latter might sound superficial, but it has meaning to a 17-year-old boy who maybe hasn't experienced it much. And it might keep him on the team when he wouldn't have stayed before.
The new landscape of Class 6A football is a little clearer.
High school notebook: OSSAA board approves ADM, sets new Class 6A football divisions
BY JACOB UNRUH, SCOTT WRIGHT AND TRENT SHADID, Staff Writers | Aug 14, 2013
The new landscape of Class 6A football is a little clearer.
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board of directors unanimously approved the new average daily membership Wednesday, confirming the new divisions in Class 6A football for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Class 6A will be divided into two 16-team divisions beginning the 2014 season. Each division will have its own postseason and champion.
However, U.S. Grant will not be involved in Division II, as it had previously received approval to not participate in football for four years. That will leave Division II with 15 teams.
Capitol Hill will also not be involved in Class 5A football for the same span, leaving the class with 31 teams.
Under the new average attendance numbers, Putnam City is No. 16, marking the cutoff point for Class 6A Division I.
With the board's approval Wednesday, the districts can now be set for the 2014-15 seasons. That is expected to take place later this month.
BOARD CLARIFIES LANGUAGE OF POOL PLAY RULE
The Wright City case last spring still has a lingering effect with the OSSAA.
The OSSAA clarified language of the pool play rule for baseball and softball, ensuring the rule would be understood in the future.
The rule will now state that in pool play, “if two or more games are played after the completion of pool play then all pool play games shall count against the regular season limitations.”
Baseball and softball teams are allowed 22 regular season games. Last spring Wright City exceeded the limit, but raised concerns of Yukon possibly violating the pool play limitations. The OSSAA had already determined Yukon did not break the rule.
OSSAA executive director Ed Sheakley told the board he just wanted to clarify the interpretation.
“Our interpretation of the pool play rule has always been you've got your games within the pool, you play those within the pool, if you come out of the pool you can play one game,” he told them. “If you play more than one game, then all of those games that you played during the pool count against your regular season. For those that are short on games during the regular season, they can come out and play multiple games.”
BRICKTOWN TO HOST FALL BASEBALL
The fall baseball state championship games will remain at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark after the OSSAA board of directors unanimously approved the location.
The games are scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12.
The board has continuously attempted to bring the spring state championship games to Bricktown, but availability of the ballpark in May is more difficult to manage.
BROYLES ELECTED TO OSSAA BOARD
Braggs superintendent Michael Broyles was elected to the OSSAA board of directors for the Northeast Quadrant, Division III.
Broyles replaces Dudley Hume, of Webbers Falls. Hume resigned over the summer from his position on the board.
Broyles was in attendance Wednesday, but did not participate in the voting process of any of the cases on the agenda.
COMANCHE'S HAMMOND COMMITS TO NEBRASKA
Former Oklahoma basketball commit Jacob Hammond appears to have found his college home, verbally committing to Nebraska this week, according to OKHoops.com.
Hammond, a 6-foot-10 forward who is expected to play his senior season of high school basketball at Comanche this winter, decommitted from OU at the end of last season, which he played at Sunrise Christian in Kansas.
He also had an offer from Texas Tech.
KEVIN DURANT'S STRENGTH COACH HOLDING CAMP AT DEL CITY
The nationally renowned basketball strength and conditioning coach who has worked with Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant will be holding a camp in Del City this weekend.
Alan Stein's Cutting Edge Camp, designed to improve basketball athleticism, will be held from noon-4 p.m. Saturday at Del City High School.
The camp is open to boys and girls age 10 and up. Cost is $99.
The camp offers exercises in quickness, agility, core strength and basketball-specific conditioning, among other things.
Email any questions to email@example.com.
LEXINGTON COACH JEFF HALL CONTINUES TO BUILD PROGRAM
At the conclusion of the 2011 season, Lexington was 1-9 and had just 14 players.
Coming into this season, the Class 2A Bulldogs now have 56 players.
The turnaround can largely be attributed to coach Jeff Hall, who is now entering his second season as the Bulldogs head coach.
“From 14 to 56 shows the kids have bought in,” Hall said. “They're comfortable around us, and they're now starting to put in extra work. Last year, our junior high bunch would show up on Sunday's (voluntarily) and go throw a football around. It's just the little things like that.”
Hall improved the Bulldogs win total by six games last season, going 7-3.
With nine returning starters, including standout receivers Jeron Hamm and Jake Blanchard, Lexington looks to continue the turnaround.
“We've built a mutual respect with our kids by showing them we really care about them,” Hall said. “That's been the biggest thing. X's and O's are the same everywhere, but we try to connect with our kids on a personal level as much as we possibly can. I think that's been really important for us.”