Shawnee Wolves football
|5 - 6||2 - 3||3 - 3||.455||336||349|
|2012-08-31||vs||McGuinness||L||13 - 32|
|2012-09-07||@||Deer Creek||L||6 - 42|
|2012-09-14||@||Ponca City||W||28 - 20|
|2012-09-21||@||Tulsa Memorial||L||37 - 77|
|2012-09-28||vs||McAlester||L||27 - 35|
|2012-10-05||@||Skiatook||W||51 - 0|
|2012-10-12||vs||Tulsa Kelley||L||14 - 35|
|2012-10-18||@||Durant||W||49 - 30|
|2012-10-26||vs||Tulsa Hale||W||39 - 6|
|2012-11-02||vs||Noble||W||58 - 34|
|2012-11-09||@||Tulsa East Central||L||14 - 38|
|Rush Yds||Rush Yds Game||Pass Yds||Pass Yds/Game||Yards Total||Yards/Game||Pts Total||Pts/Game|
|Rush Yds Allow||Allow Rush/Game||Pass Yds Allow||Allow Pass/Game||Yds Total Allow||Yds Allow/Game||Allow Pts||Allow Pts/Game|
|Player Name||Number||Year||Height||Weight||Position (main)|
Shawnee football News
NewsOK articles about Shawnee football, or articles mentioning current or former Shawnee football players.
Shawnee High School Varsity Boys Football
Aug 23, 2014
Kimes Gilbert was invited to walk on as a fullback at OU. He instead decided to go the small-college route, playing at Southwestern Oklahoma State and then transferring to Oklahoma Baptist after it restarted football and hired Gilbert’s high school coach Chris Jensen.
Oklahoma Baptist football: Kimes Gilbert making his mark with young Bison team
By Scott Munn | Aug 23, 2014SHAWNEE — A story problem: A high school football player is invited to walk on as a fullback at the University of Oklahoma. Playing time is not guaranteed. Only the prestige of suiting up for one of the premier college football programs in the land. The high school football player is also offered a scholarship by a considerably smaller football program. He is asked to play defensive end with an opportunity to play a whole lot over a four-year period. Which should he choose? The solution was easy for Kimes Gilbert, a mathematics major who needed no slide rule to figure out that Option B was the correct answer. Less than a week before Oklahoma Baptist begins its season, the redshirt sophomore defensive end already has 21 games of college experience, including 16 as a starter. “I just came to the conclusion that I wanted to look back on my college experience and see it as having a lot of fun,” said Gilbert, a 6-foot, 240-pound rock with a Bam Bam Rubble handshake. “I wanted to have four years of playing time, and I knew that if I went to a small school I could do that. I have confidence in myself that I would’ve eventually played at OU, but it would’ve taken a while, especially as a walk on.” Gilbert was an offensive tackle at Southmoore High School but recruited by colleges as a defensive end because of his shorter stature. Then-Southmoore coach Chris Jensen showed film of Gilbert to Oklahoma assistant coach Cale Gundy, who eventually invited Gilbert to walk on as a fullback. But Gilbert considered his options, the possibilities of playing sooner than later. He signed with NCAA Division II-member Southwestern Oklahoma State and ended up starting five of the 10 games he played on defense. About 100 miles east, Oklahoma Baptist announced it was re-starting varsity football, and it hired Jensen as head coach. Gilbert — as well as several other former SaberCats — transferred to the tiny NAIA program to play for Jensen. The Bison took some lumps during their inaugural season, finishing 3-8. But Gilbert, a one-time state powerlifting champion, was a beast. He led the NAIA with 16 sacks for minus-52 yards. Gilbert finished second in the nation in total tackles for loss with 25 for minus-90 yards. He was named second-team All-American at the end of the season, although some of his statistics were better than first-team selections. “I know Kimes, and he’s not going to rest on that either,” Jensen said. “He’s going to build on it.” Gilbert is the centerpiece figure on the team’s schedule poster that’s handed out to fans. On the OBU website, he is pictured wrapping up a quarterback. A few weeks ago, Gilbert was a first-team preseason All-America pick by USA College Football. He is modest almost to a fault. “At the end of the day, it’s a team effort,” Gilbert said. “I’m still learning the position, I don’t know everything about it. So it’s the result of being surrounded by some great teammates. We blitz a lot, bring a lot of pressure, and some of it is being in the right place at the right time.” Saturday afternoon crowds at OBU might top out at 5,000 compared to 80,000 at a big box venue like Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Central States Football League championships are the goal in Shawnee, not Big 12 titles. But Oklahoma Baptist has turned out as the right place for Gilbert. “I’m a guy who wants to be on the field,” Gilbert said. “I want to be playing and doing my job instead of watching from the sidelines. I made the right decision.”
Aug 22, 2014
Cunningham walks with a cane and talks with a stutter. When he’s walking and talking. Cunningham currently is in the Intensive Care Unit of Denton Regional Medical Center, just off a ventilator, recovering from cardiac arrest, and yet another blood clot, and more pulmonary embolism, which blocks his lungs. Cunningham’s doctor tells him he suffers from post-concussion syndrome.
Post-concussion syndrome robs former Tulsa basketball player J.R. Cunningham of a normal life
By Berry Tramel | Aug 22, 2014ARGYLE, Texas — The first time J.R. Cunningham fell, back in June 2011, he didn’t even want to go to the hospital. Cunningham was young and healthy and vibrant. He didn’t know his brain was damaged. Didn’t know why his world-class memory had been slipping some over the years. Didn’t know his life was about to change. Now Cunningham walks with a cane and talks with a stutter. When he’s walking and talking. Cunningham currently is in the Intensive Care Unit of Denton Regional Medical Center, just off a ventilator, recovering from cardiac arrest, and yet another blood clot, and more pulmonary embolism, which blocks his lungs. Cunningham’s doctor tells him he suffers from post-concussion syndrome. Cunningham has lost his job. He’s lost his home. Cunningham’s wife, Angela, takes care of him, even to the point of helping him up and down from a chair. He hasn’t driven in two years. Most days are Groundhog Day; he lies down for hours on end, trying to evade the headaches that haven’t left him since that first time he fell, getting out only for medical trips and when he can summon the strength to make one of his kids’ ballgames or dance recitals. J.R. Cunningham is 38 years old. And in July, Cunningham filed a lawsuit against the NCAA in Dallas’ federal court, alleging neglect in the treatment of concussions. Cunningham attended both Arizona State and the University of Tulsa. But he didn’t play football. Basketball was his game. * * * J.R. Cunningham lived 21/2 blocks from Edmond Memorial High School. So even as a little kid — who was big for his age — he would wander down to the Bulldog practice. “He used to come up after school and shoot free throws with my high school team when he was a little guy,” said Mike de la Garza, who spent 22 years as the Memorial coach. “He was really tall and real verbal and would talk to people. He always had a very vibrant personality. I had him in basketball camp for years and years and years.” Cunningham was camper of the week in his final summer to attend de la Garza’s camp. Cunningham made two foul shots with one second left to win the camp’s title game. De la Garza handed Cunningham the award and said, “You’re going to make a one-and-one for us one day, and we’re going to win a state championship.” In March 1993, de la Garza was proven prophet. In the Class 5A state championship game in Tulsa, the 6-foot-7 Cunningham had 32 points and 10 rebounds and sank two foul shots with four seconds left to give Edmond Memorial a 68-67 victory over Bartlesville. A star was born. “He was so good, especially his senior year, he had to battle just to get the ball,” de la Garza said. “Every defense was set up just to stop him. He was a tough, tough kid. Played hard. Never backed down from anybody.” Cunningham eventually signed with Arizona State, didn’t like it much, transferred back to St. Gregory’s when the Shawnee school was a junior college and finally Cunningham arrived at Tulsa U. in 1996. He had nine points off the bench in TU’s 78-75 victory over OU in the 1996 All-College championship game. The next season, Bill Self became the Tulsa coach, for Cunningham’s senior season. “J.R. was a tough kid,” Self said. “He didn’t have the greatest natural athletic ability. He had to fight and scratch and claw for everything. He was one of those guys that had to play a physical style in order to get a lot done.” But Cunningham’s aggression came at a cost. He suffered multiple concussions at both Arizona State and St. Gregory’s. They weren’t necessarily diagnosed as such back then, because not even the NFL was on the lookout for concussions. But Cunningham is convinced that’s what they were. “Most of ‘em were either elbows to the head or going for loose ball or hitting your head on the floor,” Cunningham said. “As they’ve come to realize, once you have a few of them, it becomes easy to get more. Not really having any protocol or anything like that for the doctors or coaches to follow, they might say, ‘OK, the next day you’re fine to go, when my brain definitely wasn’t able to go.’” Cunningham suffered more concussions at Tulsa. Cunningham missed the first part of his senior season but said Self was anxious to speed up the recovery process. “Suddenly, I was cleared to play,” Cunningham said. “I wanted to play. They needed me to be good.” Cunningham played in TU’s rout of Nebraska on Dec. 1, 1997, then in practice the next day, his career ended. “We were doing a pick drill, and I got somehow got flipped around,” said Cunningham, whose short-term memory is shaky but whose memory of long-ago events remains strong. “Our best player was Michael Ruffin; he weighed about 270. My head hit into his knee, and I just kind of plopped to the ground.” Cunningham knew this one was bad. It took awhile for him to even get up. He estimates he was mentally out of it for six hours. Cunningham went to see Dr. James Rodgers, a neurosurgeon whose son played on the TU team. Rodgers performed the first MRI on Cunningham, but it revealed nothing. Cunningham told Rodgers what had been happening. How the concussions were coming more frequently, without necessarily heavy contact. Cunningham asked the doctor if he would let his son play with a similar history. Rodgers said no. “That kind of helped me come to a decision,” Cunningham said. He would play basketball no more. His head hurt. He didn’t finish his schoolwork until July. “I just had no cognitive ability,” Cunningham said. But the headaches went away, and Cunningham went on about the business of life. Self, now at Kansas and one of the nation’s top coaches, is crestfallen at what’s happened to his former player. “This is terrible to say, but I don’t know that we as basketball coaches concerned ourselves close to the level that we are now,” Self said of concussion awareness. “Although we don’t have our arms around it, we’ve got a much better understanding of it. Obviously, today things would be handled so differently. “This was a thriving, tough-ass, 6-7, 230-pound strong man. To see what he’s going through now…” * * * Angela and J.R. met on a blind date, at a George Strait concert. She was a teacher in Lewisville, he a pharmaceutical rep working in Oklahoma City. They hit it off, he asked to be transferred to the Dallas area in 2000 and they were married in 2002. Soon enough, children Braedyn (now 10), Rylan (8) and Ashlynn (6) followed. Life was good. Cunningham was successful and healthy. He worked out, even played some basketball, trimmed down from his playing weight of 225. But Angela didn’t know that her husband still didn’t feel right, even though he told her from the start about the depression medication Dr. Rodgers had put him on. “It did get better,” Cunningham said from that last Tulsa concussion. “I got over it and had some cognitive ability, but I wouldn’t say my brain has been right since then. I would notice things, even with memory, I could see where it was slipping a little bit.” And then Cunningham fell and passed out at a business meeting in June 2011. He felt sheepish. Tried to wave off the ambulance. But by that night, Cunningham learned he had a blood clot in his leg and two clogged lungs. “I was very lucky to be alive,” he said. Cunningham went back to work a few months later but the headaches persisted and he kept falling. Doctors have told him that when the pain reaches a certain level, down he goes. Cunningham has a pump attached to his body for pain medication that helps some. He figures he’s fallen 30 times in the last three years, including once down the stairs, which injured his back and compounded his health problems. Cunningham went on long-term disability, which he’s grateful for but which has severely cut his family’s income. The Cunninghams lost their home and now rent a house in this nice suburb south of Denton. “It’s been tough,” said Angela Cunningham. “It’s affected the kids. He can’t do the stuff with the kids he wants to do. It’s been difficult. It was like overnight, everybody takes on different roles in the house.” Cunningham has been to the Cleveland Clinic and Johns Hopkins, seeking relief. Not much hope is offered. Cunningham has tried to join concussion study projects at Boston University, Vanderbilt and the University of Texas-Dallas. He says he’s been rejected because he wasn’t a football player. In March, the Cunninghams saw a commercial for Houston attorney Jeff Raizner, who has clients suffering from concussion-related conditions. Raizner said there are some class-action lawsuits pending that address medical monitoring for former athletes suffering from post-concussion syndrome, but those cases “won’t address the obvious financial and family impacts, the personal injuries that J.R. and other men and women have experienced. It really is inadequate.” Raizer said there are important distinctions between NFL players and college athletes. “NFL players have workers compensation and union representation,” Raizner said. “College athletes don’t have either one of those. That places a greater responsibility with the NCAA to be candid with these athletes. There is no safety net.” Cunningham said suing the NCAA, instead of individual schools, is proper “because I don’t think the NCAA did a great job of teaching the coaches and the trainers. The doctors don’t really come into effect in basketball practice. There’s not that knowledge out there to protect the player as I think there should have been.” Cunningham tried to keep his problems to himself. Self and de la Garza didn’t even know how badly Cunningham was until contacted in the last few days. Self immediately called Cunningham and de la Garza planned to head for Texas to visit. “I honestly tried to keep it to myself for awhile,” Cunningham said. “I don’t want to use the word embarrassing, but when you’re going through financial issues and not able to work, it’s pretty hard on you mentally.” A couple of weeks ago, Cunningham sat in his house and told his story. Glimpses of his old personality shone through, despite the stuttering that has afflicted him. He remains a big sports fan — OU football, Thunder — and is proud that he played for men like Self and de la Garza. But the blood keeps clotting, and his head keeps hurting, and his memory comes and goes. And now his condition has even worsened. “I’m very much a worrier to start with,” Cunningham said. “My physical condition is a worry. I certainly worry for myself. But I worry more about what it’s doing to my kids and my wife. Because they don’t deserve this. They didn’t sign up for this.” Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.
Aug 22, 2014
The stars didn’t disappoint as Wolves and Yellowjackets show potential offensive might.
High school football: Shawnee's John Jacobs, Choctaw's Jonah Llanusa put on quarterback show
By Trent Shadid | Aug 22, 2014Much of the hype during Friday night’s four-team scrimmage in Choctaw centered around two of the best quarterbacks in the state — Shawnee’s John Jacobs and Choctaw’s Jonah Llanusa. The stars didn’t disappoint. With all plays starting at the offense’s 35-yard line, Jacobs connected on 11 of his 15 pass attempts with one pass going the 65-yard distance to the end zone. The East Carolina verbal commit also took an option-read play the distance, running around and away from the Tecumseh defense. Llanusa, who has a scholarship offer from Navy, hit 8 of his 13 pass attempts with three of his incompletions being drops as he was rarely off target. Two of his passes resulted in 65-yard touchdowns. “I felt like I played pretty good,” Llanusa said. “I don’t really know John personally. I follow him on Twitter, that’s the only thing I know about John. But we’ve went to a couple camps together and I’ve compared myself to him always. He’s a really good quarterback and it feels good for me to come out here and compete against him.” TECUMSEH HOLDS ITS OWN AGAINST TOUGH COMPETITION Class 4A Tecumseh held its own against 6A-II’s Choctaw and Sand Springs and 5A’s Shawnee. The Savages were the only team featuring several two-way players, but they seemed to stack up well otherwise, specifically with the size of their offensive line that is returning four starters. “I thought we competed pretty well,” said coach Jason Murray. “We may not have the numbers that the other schools out here tonight have, but it was good competition for us. We didn’t even really think about it. We just loaded up the wagons and came to play football.” Running back Jordan Brown, fullback Jasper Smiley and a big offensive line shined in the running game for Tecumseh, which is expected to be its strength this season. The Savages also had a solid defensive effort except for allowing Jacobs’ 65-yard run. “When we lined up and ran the ball I thought we did a good job,” Murray said. “Defensively we were doing fine until we had that one bust.” SAND SPRINGS ALTERING OFFENSE WITH NEW QB Sand Springs featured a tweaked offensive approach from a year ago with new quarterback Connor Sitton. Sitton is replacing standout Cody Hale, who passed for morre than 2,500 yards last season. While the Sandites still featured mostly a spread attack, the offense has been adjusted to suit Sitton’s running ability with more option-read plays. Sand Springs struggled to move the ball early on Friday night, but it eventually found success with its screen and short passing game.
Edmond Santa Fe, Norman North, Westmoore and Tulsa Union — four of the best teams in the state — will all be on the turf at Norman's Harve Collins Field.
High school football: Norman North-Edmond Santa Fe highlight scrimmage action
BY SCOTT WRIGHT, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org | Aug 20, 2014A year ago this week, all eyes were on one high school scrimmage. Edmond Santa Fe and Norman North were set to meet as part of a four-team scrimmage with two of the top quarterbacks in the nation. A year later, Santa Fe's Justice Hansen is fighting for the backup job at Oklahoma and Norman North's David Cornwell is trying to climb the depth chart at Alabama. But the same scrimmage still has fans buzzing. Edmond Santa Fe, Norman North, Westmoore and Tulsa Union — four of the best teams in the state — will all be on the turf at Norman's Harve Collins Field beginning at 3:50 p.m. Thursday. At 6, Westmoore will face Union in a game-like scrimmage, with Edmond Santa Fe and Norman North following at 7. Norman North once again has a Division I quarterback in Oklahoma State commit John Kolar, while Keaton Torre is behind center for Edmond Santa Fe. Only a junior, he already has an offer from Louisville and is expected to be one of the state's top players in the 2016 class. Westmoore, which made its rise toward the top of Class 6A last season, has perhaps the state's best group of wide receivers, led by Louisville commit Dahu Green. Here's a list of notable scrimmages involving Oklahoma City-area teams Thursday and Friday: Thursday Tuttle at Cache McGuinness at Lawton MacArthur Southeast, Bridge Creek at Little Axe Chandler, Western Heights at McLoud Edmond Santa Fe, Westmoore, Tulsa Union at Norman North Millwood, Purcell at Plainview Del City at Putnam City North Edmond North, Deer Creek at Putnam City West Friday Midwest City, Mustang at Muskogee Noble at Ardmore Harrah, Newcastle at Bethany Washington, Crooked Oak, Holdenville at Bethel Southmoore at Carl Albert Christian Heritage, U.S. Grant at Casady Shawnee, Tecumseh, Sand Springs at Choctaw Dibble at Community Christian Destiny Christian at Coyle Thomas at Crescent Rush Springs at Crossings Christian Moore at Edmond Memorial Clinton at El Reno Putnam City at Enid Cashion at Hennessey Holland Hall at Heritage Hall Luther, Summit Christian at Kiefer Douglass, Guthrie, Tulsa Kelley at Langston Jones, Cushing at Meeker Apache at Minco Marlow at Pauls Valley Perkins-Tryon at Perry Kingfisher at Piedmont Mount St. Mary at OCS Yukon, Tulsa Washington, Jenks at Sapulpa Lexington at Wayne
Aug 2, 2014
John Jacobs ran for more than 800 yards as a junior, scoring 13 times. He also threw for more than 1,700 yards and 23 touchdowns, but coach Billy Brown said more can be expected out of Jacobs during his senior campaign.
District 5A-3 football preview: Shawnee's John Jacobs becoming 'a true dual-threat quarterback'
BY CHRIS BRANNICK | Aug 2, 2014Shawnee head coach Billy Brown said senior John Jacobs, who has committed to East Carolina, has become “a true dual-threat quarterback.” Jacobs ran for more than 800 yards as a junior, scoring 13 times. He also threw for more than 1,700 yards and 23 touchdowns, but Brown said more can be expected out of Jacobs during his senior campaign. Brown said he’d like to see Jacobs pass more and not rely on his feet to get him out of trouble but said as a team, Shawnee would be more of a run-first team. “He’s always been a good, tough runner,” Brown said. “He’s a better passer after this summer. I think this year he’ll go through his progressions more. He used his legs to get him out of trouble last year and because of his offensive line, I think his passing will be better this year.” MCALESTER’S SUCCESS HINGES ON WOOD’S HEALTH Dalton Wood has earned the starting quarterback job in both his sophomore and junior seasons, so it’s no surprise Wood will take snaps to start games for McAlester, who lost in the state championship to Guthrie in 2013. What will have to change in his senior season is for Wood to stay healthy. Wood hasn’t played a full season in high school yet. McAlester coach Bryan Pratt said with a healthy Wood under center, his team might not just get back to the title game but could win it all in 2014. “He’ll have to stay healthy for us,” Pratt said. “If Dalton can stay healthy we feel we have a chance to be good.” Pratt said move-in wide receiver Cameron Hunter, from Melissa, Texas, should provide plenty of help for Wood and the McAlester offense. “He’s came on really strong,” Pratt said. “He’s gotten bigger and stronger and he’s picked up our offense.” Pratt said it is McAlester’s expectation to go back to where they were in December and to win that game. TULSA KELLEY HOPES YOUTH CAN PROVIDE SPARK Coach JJ Tapana said he’s coaching his youngest team in the ten years he’s been at Tulsa Kelley. That didn’t stop him from talking about winning some ball games though. “We got a really strong sophomore and junior class,” Tapana said. “And our seniors are good there just isn’t very many of them.” Tapana said one of those seniors, Ryan Martin, is drawing interest in from Ivy League schools and that he’ll be the heartbeat of Tulsa Kelley’s offense. “He’s a 3-year starter and he will lead our offense. He’ll make us go,” Tapana said. Tapana also said he expects big contributions from a pair of junior running backs in Jake Percy and Jack Woolflayer, both 6-1 and just over 200 pounds. “Those two guys will be good for us,” Tapana said. “They also catch the ball out of the backfield. They are going to have strong years.” Tapana is also high on sophomore linebacker Matt Smith, saying that in his time at Kelley, no one has played linebacker as good as Smith at Smith’s age. EXTRA POINTS *Tulsa Memorial’s trying to fill some key spots. Head coach Ryan Reed, a Memorial alum, said, “when you lose six kids to college football, which is a good thing for us, we have to replace that and it’s not always easy.” Reed is hoping junior quarterback Trevor Boone can stay healthy and said he has one of the best arms he’s seen in coaching. Reed is also high on junior defensive back Decory Royal, who had nine interceptions last season. *Skiatook coach Vance Miller said being young last year will help his team this year. Specifically Baylor Jenkins, the team’s leading tackler as a sophomore and junior. Miller said if his Skiatook defense can prevent the big plays, their record can improve. *Greg George comes to Noble from Tecumseh and said it helped that his new players studied him as an opponent last season. George is changing Noble’s defense to a 3-4 scheme and said, “They’re learning to grasp the system and they’re on board. We’re in the process of finding out who can do what.” *Tulsa Hale didn’t win a single game last year, but coach Tony Peters said his kids have never given up and summer workouts have been great. DISTRICT 5A-3 COACHES’ POLL 1. Shawnee (9-3) 2. McAlester (12-2) 3. Tulsa Kelley (6-5) 4. Skiatook (4-7) 5. Memorial (6-4) 6. Durant (2-8) 7. Noble (4-6) 8. Hale (0-10) *-Last year’s records in parentheses
Here’s a look at the full list for The Oklahoman’s Super 30 for the Class of 2015, which ranks the state’s high school recruits. Our final preseason Super 30 will be released in our statewide high school football preview section, coming in the Aug. 24 edition of The Oklahoman. No. 1: Josh Wariboko-Alali, OL, Casady No. 2: Jalin Barnett, OL, Lawton No. 3: Will Sunderland, DB, Midwest City No. 4:...
The Oklahoman's Super 30: Full list for the Class of 2015
Jul 26, 2014Here’s a look at the full list for The Oklahoman’s Super 30 for the Class of 2015, which ranks the state’s high school recruits. Our final preseason Super 30 will be released in our statewide high school football preview section, coming in the Aug. 24 edition of The Oklahoman. No. 1: Josh Wariboko-Alali, OL, Casady No. 2: Jalin Barnett, OL, Lawton No. 3: Will Sunderland, DB, Midwest City No. 4: Marquise Overton, DT, Jenks No. 5: Dahu Green, WR, Westmoore No. 6: John Kolar, QB, Norman North No. 7: Darryel Patterson, DB, Lawton No. 8: Austin Cantrell, DE, Roland No. 9: McKinley Whitfield, ATH, Spiro No. 10: Josh Little, DE, Millwood No. 11: Warren Wand, RB, Edmond Memorial No. 12: Michael Anderson, DE, Owasso No. 13: Marquiz Simpkins, RB, Clinton No. 14: Davion Freeman, WR/DB, Del City No. 15: Tramayne Wauahdooah, LB, Anadarko No. 16: Riley Daniel, OL, Ringling No. 17: Akylen Mayfield, ATH, Tulsa Edison No. 18: Tristan Wyatt, OL, Shawnee No. 19: Kaden Jackson, OL, Kingfisher No. 20: Connor McGinnis, QB, Heritage Hall No. 21: John Jacobs, QB, Shawnee No. 22: Robert Charlton, DB, Edmond Memorial No. 23: Denver Johnson, WR, Casady No. 24: Dameko Doddles, DB, Douglass No. 25: Aaron McKinney, DB/LB, Midwest City No. 26: J.R. Hensley, OL, Edmond Santa Fe No. 27: Caileb Booze, LB, Edmond North No. 28: Kalin Sadler, WR, Lawton No. 29: Dejai Johnson, DT, Midwest City No. 30: T.J. Harris, DE, Tulsa Washington
Jul 9, 2014
Right tackle has only been playing football for three years, but is committed to play at Tulsa after his senior season with the Wolves.
Super 30: Shawnee's Tristan Wyatt a quick learner on the field
By Chris Brannick, Staff Writer | Jul 9, 2014SHAWNEE — Tristan Wyatt knows what it will take to have a successful season on the football field. And the senior right tackle has all his goals lined out for his final year in high school. Pretty impressive for a kid who has only played competitive football for three years. Wyatt (6-5, 290) credits his dad for getting him on the field and said he was pretty nervous about playing for the first time. “It was actually kind of funny because I didn’t really want to play football,” Wyatt said. “I told my dad I just wanted to play basketball. I was a little nervous and my dad said, ‘Just give it one year.’ And it’s amazing how it’s developed to this.” Wyatt hopes it will develop into more, specifically going to the NFL. Wyatt’s list of goals includes limiting sacks and keeping his quarterback healthy but also includes becoming a professional football player. He’ll use his future offensive line coach as much as he can to aid in the process. Wyatt will head to the University of Tulsa next fall to play for the Golden Hurricane. Denver Johnson is in his third year with Tulsa and made a huge impact on Wyatt on the recruiting trail. “It felt like the right fit,” Wyatt said. “I think the main thing that really turned me was Coach Johnson, their O-line coach and the guy that recruited me basically. It just felt like he wanted me more than a lot of other schools. It felt more personal when I was being recruited by him rather than other coaches. He’s a really good coach and he’s the kind of guy that can get me where I want to go in life, and get me to the league.” But first comes Wyatt’s senior season. Shawnee will try to improve on one of its best seasons in recent memory. The Wolves went 9-3 and were eliminated in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs. Wyatt said sticking together will be key for Shawnee to have a good season. “Just keep focused,” Wyatt said. “Don’t be worrying about saying we’re going to beat this team by this much, you know don’t do that. Just stay on the practice field and work as hard as we can as a group and stay together as a team.”
PIEDMONT: KASEY REIN Athletics: State swimming champion in the 200 individual medley, state runner-up in the 100 backstroke as a senior. Won 500 freestyle and 100 back as a junior, 200 IM and 100 back as a sophomore. Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State. Four-time second-team All-City. State qualifier in track and cross country. Will swim at Evansville. Academics: Weighted grade point average...
2014 Scholar-Athletes: Part 5
BY JENNI CARLSON | Jun 29, 2014PIEDMONT: KASEY REIN Athletics: State swimming champion in the 200 individual medley, state runner-up in the 100 backstroke as a senior. Won 500 freestyle and 100 back as a junior, 200 IM and 100 back as a sophomore. Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State. Four-time second-team All-City. State qualifier in track and cross country. Will swim at Evansville. Academics: Weighted grade point average of 4.2. Scored 25 on the ACT. National Honor Society. Activities: Science Club. Spanish Club. Key Club. Quote: “Kasey is highly motivated and sets high standards.” — Shelly Thomas, English teacher. College choice: University of Evansville Also nominated: Bre Davis, Jamie Lowrie PUTNAM CITY: GARRETT LENZ Athletics: Varsity baseball for four years, three years as a starter. Also played basketball. Academics: Scored 27 on the ACT. Grade point average of 3.9. National Honor Society. Activities: Student council vice president. Spanish and Latino Student Association. Youth Leadership Exchange. Oklahoma City Beautiful. Oklahoma Student Council District 10 vice president. Feed the Children and Dwight Mission Summer Camp volunteer. Quote: “Garrett is the kind of young man I admire. He is intelligent, compassionate, dependable and loves to serve others.” — Pam Simmons, English teacher College choice: Oklahoma State Also nominated: None PUTNAM NORTH: KOOPER TAYLOR Athletics: Captain of the volleyball team as a senior. Winner of team’s Award of Excellence. Captain of OK Charge club volleyball team. Academics: Scored 34 on the ACT. Weighted grade point average of 4.6. Valedictorian. National Honor Society. Academic All-State. OU Academic Scholar. Activities: Four-year class officer. Panther Pals leader. Youth Leadership Oklahoma. Girls State. Hugh O’Brien Leadership Award. Quote: “It is my pleasure to be her teacher as she simply enjoys learning. She is the type of student all teaches wish to have in class.” — Deborah Hill, Spanish teacher and volleyball coach College choice: Oklahoma Also nominated: Blake Harris PUTNAM WEST: RYAN DUNN Athletics: All-District 6A-4 wide receiver in football as a senior. All-conference honoree as well. Selected as team’s offensive player of the year. Three-year varsity starter. Academics: Grade point average of 3.5. Ranked in the top 15 percent of his class. Activities: DECA. Quote: “Ryan has a heart of a lion. He can get anything done he puts his mind to. He studies hard and works even harder for what he wants.” — Sharie Ainsworth, sports medicine teacher College choice: Undecided Also nominated: None SHAWNEE: McKENZIE COOPER Athletics: Member of four state qualifying teams in basketball, including one champion. Second-team All-State and first-team Big All-City as a senior. Second-team Big All-City in softball as a junior. Missed senior season with knee injury. State golf qualifer as a sophomore. Will play basketball at Oklahoma Baptist. Academics: Grade point average of 3.8. National Honor Society. Activities: Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Tri-Hi-Y. First National Bank Student Advisory Board. Quote: “Her attitude is exemplary. She is always ready to learn and help others learn.” — Terri Moore, English teacher College choice: Oklahoma Baptist Also nominated: Daniel Langley, Maddie Rutherford SOUTHEAST: ANTHONY BRYANT Athletics: Honorable mention Big All-City defensive lineman in football as a senior. Received the basketball team’s sportsmanship award. Captain of the football, basketball and track teams as a senior. Will play football at Southern Nazarene. Academics: Grade point average of 3.2. Activities: Senior class treasurer. Business Professionals of America treasurer and historian. Key Club. Yearbook. Quote: “His love of sports has inspired him to work to promote healthy lifestyles and has been instrumental in his plans of becoming a teacher and coach.” — Evon Finklea, counselor College choice: Southern Nazarene Also nominated: Alejandra Amezquita, Daevion Nelson SOUTHMOORE: CASSIDY OLSEN Athletics: Qualifier for the state track meet in the high jump. Holds school record in the high jump. Four years varsity track, two years varsity basketball, one year varsity cheerleading. Academics: Weighted grade point average of 4.3. Scored 26 on the ACT. Trustee’s Academic Scholarship. Activities: Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Choir. All-State Women’s Chorus. All-State Mixed Chorus. Quote: “She never allows anything to divert her from her long-term goals. Cassidy always exudes great confidence in her abilities.” — Shanon Atkinson, track coach College choice: Oklahoma Baptist Also nominated: Rachel Copus STILLWATER: CHARLES CLARK Athletics: Member of state championship team in swimming as a senior when he finished second in the 100 backstroke, third in the 100 butterfly. Honorable mention All-City as a junior and senior. Academics: Scored 31 on the ACT. Grade point average of 3.9. National Honor Society. Activities: Student council treasurer. Beta Club historian. Junior class treasurer. Disc Golf Club historian. Quote: “Charles has severe problems with his spine ... yet each day he battles through the pain, always working to better his times.” — Tommie Grant, math teacher College choice: Trinity University Also nominated: Sarah Carpenter, Nathan Herrmann
Wyatt, a 6-foot-4, 292-pound tackle, received the offer from Tulsa in May. It was his lone official Division I scholarship offer. Wyatt is ranked No. 17 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 list of the state’s top college recruits.
High school notebook: Shawnee's Tristan Wyatt commits to Tulsa
By Jacob Unruh and Scott Wright | Jun 25, 2014Shawnee’s Tristan Wyatt enjoyed the attention and vibe from Tulsa. The offensive lineman will have plenty of time to experience that after verbally committing to Tulsa on Wednesday. “It just felt like the right place for me,” he said. “The campus has an Ivy League feel. and the football team has had an energetic, competitive and upbeat feeling to it. The team had seemed really energetic about getting me since Day 1.” Wyatt, a 6-foot-4, 292-pound tackle, received the offer from Tulsa in May. It was his lone official Division I scholarship offer. Wyatt is ranked No. 17 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 list of the state’s top college recruits. MILLWOOD’S LITTLE, MIDWEST CITY TRIO ADD OFFERS Millwood defensive end Josh Little picked up another significant college scholarship offer, and Emporia State is trying for another successful haul in Oklahoma in the class of 2015. Little, a 6-4, 240-pounder, was offered by Kansas State on Monday. Kansas State is among the most prominent of his suitors so far, along with Iowa State, Washington State, Memphis, Tulsa and Purdue, among others. Emporia State in Kansas snagged multiple top players from Oklahoma last season and is making a push for more this year. On Monday and Tuesday, Emporia offered three players from one of the state’s best defenses. Midwest City athlete Aaron McKinney, defensive lineman Demikal Harrison and defensive back Roscoe Gatewood all received offers from Emporia. Gatewood has been incredibly productive the last two seasons in the Bomber secondary. McKinney is a unique prospect at 6-4, 195 pounds, because he could be a receiver or safety at the next level, or add enough weight to move into a linebacker role. And Harrison is an intriguing prospect because he’s entering just his second season as a football player. At 6-5, 290, Harrison has a 6-11 wingspan and is learning fast. So far, five players on the Midwest City defense have offers Division I or II programs. GREEN TOPS GOLD IN EIGHT-MAN GAME Laverne’s Tanner Harris scored three touchdowns and Cherokee’s Tanner Ducotey had 92 yards Saturday as Green beat Gold 50-20 in the annual Oklahoma Eight Man Football Coaches Association All-Star Game at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. The combined point total is the most in the game’s history of the Green and Gold format. Green had 411 yards of total offense, including 257 on the ground. Harris finished with 61 yards. Wetumka’s Chase Williams caught two TDs for Gold, which finished with 223 passing yards between three quarterbacks. But turnovers hampered Gold, as it committed five. ENID’S LEE, PIEDMONT’S SCOTT HONORED BY NFCA The National Fastpitch Coaches Association recently released its All-Region Teams, with two players from Oklahoma making the South Central team. Enid’s Abby Lee was named to the first team, while Piedmont’s Kassidy Scott was named to the second team. Lee, a second baseman, hit .400 last season as a senior. Scott, a pitcher, was 14-6 with a 0.78 ERA last season as a sophomore.
May 25, 2014
Here’s a look at our updated Super 30 as of Monday, May 26.
Oklahoman Super 30 list of the state's top high school football recruits
By Scott Wright and Jacob Unruh | May 25, 20141. Jalin Barnett, OL, Lawton, 6-4, 310 Top programs coast to coast are still pursuing the giant Wolverine. 2. Josh Wariboko-Alali, OL, Casady, 6-3, 310 Still piling up offers since his decommitment from OU. 3. Will Sunderland, DB, Midwest City, 6-3, 194 Named the top DB at the Rivals camp in Dallas this spring. 4. Marquise Overton, DT, Jenks, 6-2, 300 The OU commitment can plug the middle as well as anyone. 5. Dahu Green, WR, Westmoore, 6-3, 190 After his breakout junior year, Green has remained on the rise, with Tulsa and Southern Miss among his 15 offers. 6. John Kolar, QB, Norman North, 6-4, 190 In September, he was starting at receiver. In February, he committed to OSU as a QB. 7. Darreyl Patterson, DB, Lawton, 6-0, 165 Like Green, Patterson has been gathering offer after offer, with Memphis the latest to come. 8. Austin Cantrell, DE, Roland, 6-3, 220 Landed an Arkansas offer and promptly committed. 9. McKinley Whitfield, ATH, Spiro, 6-4, 195 Ten offers in the last two weeks for the freakishly athletic Whitfield. 10. Warren Wand, RB, Edmond Memorial, 5-7, 170 (UP) Southern Miss, New Mexico and Arkansas State have extended offers to the class’ most explosive RB. 11. Tramayne Wauahdooah, LB, Anadarko, 6-3, 200 Tulsa was the first to offer a scholarship to the head hunter. 12. Josh Little, DE, Millwood, 6-4, 230 Another fast riser on the recruiting scene, with more big-school offers looming. 13. Marquiz Simpkins, RB, Clinton, 5-10, 185 Recruitment had gone quiet but is picking back up again with Southern Miss extending an offer recently. 14. Riley Daniel, OL, Ringling, 6-6, 310 Making his case as the top OL in the class with Tulsa and North Texas offers already. 15. Akylen Mayfield, ATH, Tulsa Edison, 6-2, 190 Incredibly athletic, Mayfield recently got his first offer from Arkansas State. 16. Davion Freeman, DB, Del City, 5-10, 160 His speed and versatility make Freeman desirable. New Mexico is the latest to extend an offer. 17. Tristan Wyatt, OL, Shawnee, 6-5, 290 The Wolves’ big, talented tackle recently received an offer from Tulsa. 18. Connor McGinnis, QB, Heritage Hall, 6-5, 190 His big body, good arm and athletic ability keep McGinnis on the recruiting radar, though no offers have come in yet. 19. John Jacobs, QB, Shawnee, 6-1, 220 Jacobs settled on East Carolina earlier this month. 20. Robert Charlton, DB, Edmond Memorial, 5-10, 170 Speedster has Tulsa and South Dakota offers, with more programs lurking. 21. Aaron McKinney, ATH, Midwest City, 6-4, 190 One of three Bomber defensive players with an offer already, McKinney likely is a LB at the next level. 22. Caileb Booze, LB, Edmond North, 6-3, 205 A physical specimen, Booze is still waiting for that first offer. 23. Kaden Jackson, OL, Kingfisher, 6-2, 265 New Mexico and North Texas have extended offers to the powerfully built Jackson, who is on his way to being a four-year Yellowjacket starter. 24. J.R. Hensley, OL, Edmond Santa Fe, 6-4, 285 Hensley’s big body continues to draw plenty of interest from a variety of programs. 25. Dameko Doddles, ATH, Douglass, 6-2, 185 Emerged as a playmaker down the stretch last season and has continued to impress with his athletic ability this offseason. 26. Denver Johnson, WR, Casady, 6-3, 205 Good size in a recruiting class without many big receiver prospects. 27. Roscoe Gatewood, DB, Midwest City, 5-9, 185 Height could bring some questions, but his strength and speed certainly don’t. 28. Dillon Lohr, ATH, Carl Albert, 6-1, 195 Physically impressive athlete with a versatile skill set that will keep him prominent in the recruiting game. 29. Dakota Troglin, TE, Southmoore, 6-4, 240 No offers yet, but drawing interest from a variety of big programs. 30. Dejai Johnson, DT, Midwest City, 6-0, 280 Strong defensive tackle just broke through with his first offer, from Air Force.
May 18, 2014
Fresh off guiding Putnam North to the Class 6A girls basketball state tournament, coach Brett McGee has resigned. McGee said he is pursuing other career opportunities.
High school notebook: Putnam City North's Brett McGee resigns
By Scott Wright and Jacob Unruh | May 18, 2014Fresh off guiding Putnam North to the Class 6A girls basketball state tournament, coach Brett McGee has resigned. The Panthers finished the season 18-10 after a quarterfinal loss to Edmond Santa Fe. It was their first appearance in the tournament since 2010. McGee said he is pursuing other career opportunities. “I thought it was time to try another career now,” he said in an email. “I can always go back to teaching/coaching, and will probably end up doing so later on in life.” McGee spent three seasons at Putnam North. SHAWNEE’S JOHN JACOBS COMMITS TO EAST CAROLINA Shawnee quarterback John Jacobs had gathered a unique set of offers, and now he has made his decision. Jacobs announced on Twitter late last week that he had verbally committed to East Carolina, choosing the Pirates over Troy and Alabama-Birmingham, a trio of schools that rarely find their way to Oklahoma on the football recruiting trail. Jacobs threw for 2,263 yards and 28 touchdowns as a junior, adding 1,122 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Jacobs has been clocked at 4.55 seconds in the 40-yard dash at college camps. CASADY GIRLS GOLF REPEATS AS SPC CHAMPION Last year, the Casady girls golf team broke a 14-year drought by winning the Southwest Preparatory Conference tournament. This time, there was no such drought. Led by Pauline Nguyen, Nicole Nguyen and Elizabeth Freeman, Casady repeated as the SPC champion earlier this month. For the year, Pauline Nguyen had five top-three finishes, including three victories. STORM’S MITCHELL SETS HOMESCSHOOL RECORDS Over the last two years, the OKC Storm’s McKae Mitchell has established herself as one of the state’s top sprinters. And she recently extended her success to the national stage. Mitchell won the 100 and 200 meters at the national homeschool track meet, setting the meet record in both events.
A list of all the Oklahoma high school athletes who have signed to play college sports next year.
Oklahoma high school athletes signing list: Saturday, April 19
Apr 19, 2014BASEBALL Hunter Aguirre, Westmoore (Cowley County) Garrett Benge, Yukon (Cowley County) Jordan Boyer, Deer Creek (Wichita State) Jenner Brown, Bethany (SNU) Chase Byndas, Dale (Connors St.) Caleb Caldwell, Edmond North (Tabor) Brian Canfield, Bishop McGuinness (Newman) Jacob Chappell, Guthrie (Oklahoma State) Blake Clanton, Clinton (Western) Patton Collie, Deer Creek (Colorado School of Mines) Austin Cranford, Norman North (Connors St.) Corey Cupp, Tuttle (SW Christian) Garrett Degelos, Southmoore (Coffeyville) Jake Dyer, Westmoore (Ft. Scott CC) Caleb Eldridge, Deer Creek (OSU) Connor Finkhouse, PC North (Oklahoma Wesleyan) Brenden Fowler, Yukon (Crowder) Josh Garbrecht, Edmond North (Redlands) Aaron Garner, Edmond North (Oklahoma Wesleyan) Colton Huggard, Southmoore (Connors St.) Ty Jackson, Southmoore (Midland) Bradley Kinsey, Norman North (Wichita State) Austin Kretchmar, Okarche/Redlands CC (William Jewell) Gavin LaValley, Carl Albert (OU) Connor Litterell, Tuttle (Cowley County) Joe Lytle, Yukon (OCU) Mitch Malherbe, Bishop McGuinness (Barton CC) Conner Mangham, Pocola (Connors St.) Mason McAlister, Yukon (Cowley County) Justin McGregor, Carl Albert (Cowley County) Tyler McIntosh, Tuttle (SW Christian) Joe Nostrand, Norman North (Frank Phillips) Blake Owen, Blanchard (Arkansas Tech) Lane Ramsey, PC North (Newman) Paul Reed, Norman (Pomona College) Luke Reynolds, Edmond North (Butler County) Reed Roberts, Guthrie (Harding) Seth Sandlin, Stigler (Carl Albert) Dalton Secrist, Tuttle (SW Christian) Ryan Skalnik, Verdigris (Neosho) Will Sprayberry, Moore (NOC-Enid) Dalton Tillison, Dale (Seminole St.) Quin Walbergh, Edmond Santa Fe (OU) Reid Wall, Byng (OSU) Cameron Warren, Carl Albert (OU) Hunter Wilson, Spiro (Stephen F. Austin) Logan Wigley, Yukon (NOC-Enid) BOYS BASKETBALL Brett Cannon, Del City (Arkansas-Fort Smith) Chauncey Collins, OKC Storm (TCU) Dexter Dean, Edmond Santa Fe (NOC) Stephen Edwards, Putnam City West (Santa Clara) Jacob Essman, Edmond Memorial (East Central) Tripp Fuller, Westmoore (OC) Omega Harris, Putnam City West (UTEP) Xavier Hunter, Del City (Fort Scott CC) Collin Jennings, Harrah (UMKC) Jace Kerr, Forgan (UCO) Michael Majors, Enid (Hillsdale) Torey Noel, Midwest City (NOC-Tonkawa) Jake Seagraves, Choctaw (Hillsdale) Mitchell Solomon, Bixby (OSU) GIRLS BASKETBALL Jasauen Beard, Midwest City (Oral Roberts) Aaliyah Blakely, Ada (OBU) Kaely Bond, Mount St. Mary (American) Sidney Carolina, PC North (Redlands) McKenzie Cooper, Shawnee (OBU) Katy Custer, Dickson (OBU) Sara Fountain, Stilwell (NSU) Daniela Galindo, Shattuck (Seward County) Jordan Gilbert, Carl Albert (Oral Roberts) Miranda Griffin, Ketchum (NSU) Blaire Hall, PC North (OC) Tamara Lee, Edmond Santa Fe (Denver) Jayden Oliver, Putnam City (Oral Roberts) Chandler Roof, Weatherford (UMKC) Jetta Smith, Classen SAS (Colby CC) Erika Wakefield, Heritage Hall (Tulsa) LaNesia Williams, Northeast (OU) Mariah Williams, Edmond Santa Fe (Redlands) CROSS COUNTRY/TRACK Rylee Bellmon, Perry (UCO) Deven Bond, Poteau (UCO) Maddie Brown, Jenks (UCO) Karlie Hamman, Edmond Santa Fe (William Jewell) Taylor Harrill, Cache (St. Gregory’s) Emily Hart, Edmond Santa Fe (OBU) Erin Hart, Edmond Santa Fe (OBU) Grey Howard, Edmond Memorial (Tulsa) Mikayla Howorka, Tuttle (SWOSU) Anthonio Humphrey, Douglass (Kansas) Ainsley Ibison, Broken Arrow (OC) Heather Johnson, Noble (St. Gregory’s) Dakota Kappelle, Anadarko (Tabor) Abbey Mace, Norman North (OU) Kambre Major, Millwood (Missouri Baptist) Katherine Muegge, Deer Creek-Lamont (OBU) Courtney Nelson, Putnam City North (Pittsburg St.) Hayley Redwine, Norman (OU) Kevin Roddy, Duncan (Virginia) Brenon Smith, Hinton (OBU) Stephen Snider, Edmond Santa Fe (William Jewell) Sheri Snyder, Deer Creek (UCO) Belle Wallace, Norman North (OU) Michaela Werner, Grove (OCU) Schuyler Wood, Putnam City (OU) FOOTBALL Jalen Adams, Southmoore (North Texas) Gyasi Akem, Broken Arrow (OSU) Ashton Antwine, Edmond Memorial (NEO) John Ashcraft, Southmoore (NEO) Fre’Darian Ashley, Northwest Classen (NEO) Keaton Baggs, Broken Arrow (La.-Monroe) Nick Basquine, Norman North (OU)* Trenton Ball, Carl Albert (Emporia St.) Cameron Batson, Millwood (Texas Tech) Ty-Chris Beasley, Muskogee (NWOSU) Kevin Bell, Lawton (NSU) Tyler Bess, Hollis (Langston) Tre Betts, Sand Springs (Missouri St.) Tyrone Beverly, Lawton Eisenhower (Langston) Dustin Blasingame, Carl Albert (Southwestern, Kan.) Trevor Blassingame, Guthrie (UCO) Dominic Blue, Muldrow (SWOSU) Samuel Bond, Madill, (UCO) Luke Booker, Edmond Memorial (OBU) Cameron Booty, Jenks (NEO) Tyler Bowling, Yukon (Tulsa) Rashaad Boyd, Putnam City West (Langston) Jordan Brailford, Tulsa Washington (OSU) D’Angelo Brewer, Tulsa Central (Tulsa) Anthony Bryant, Southeast (SNU) Trey Buckner, Kingfisher (OBU) Madison Bunch, Roland (SNU) Thor Burnside, Oologah (NEO) Darrius Burris, Piedmont (NEO) Tristan Butcher, Coweta (UCO) Beau Butler, Midwest City (Wesleyan University) Kai Callins, Guthrie (Emporia St.) Mason Camp, Enid (Baker) Patrick Cantrell, Beggs (NWOSU) Cody Carnes, Alex (NWOSU) Nigel Carter, Tulsa McLain (Tulsa) Zac Cater, Durant (NEO)* D.C. Chance, Commerce (NEO) Adim Chukwurah, Norman North (UCO) Montana Clark, Tuttle (NEO) Sam Clemens, Enid (Baker) Emmanuel Cole, Millwood (OBU) Drew Cook, Casady (Emporia St.) David Cornwell, Norman North (Alabama) Austin Cross, Grove (OBU) John Custar, Sharon-Mutual (OBU) Jalan Daniels, Blanchard (NEO) R.J. Dantzler, Southmoore (Panhandle St.) Cole Darnell, Edmond Memorial/OSU (OBU) Ronnie Davis, Midwest City/NEO (Kansas) Matt Day, Westmoore (ECU) Jakcob Dean, Norman (Arkansas Tech) Mike’Quan Deane, Tulsa Memorial (NEO) Robbie Decker, Elk City (Henderson St.) Rayce Denton, Heritage Hall (Arizona Christian) Quincy Dotson, Millwood (NSU) Andre Dowuona-Hammond, Yukon (OSU)* Garrett Duckworth, OCS (OBU) Malik Earl, Edmond Santa Fe (Missouri St.) Frankie Edwards, Mustang (OBU) Lawrence Evitt, Wagoner (UCO) Josh Farley, Norman (NSU) Michael Farmer, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO) T.J. Filer, Chickasha (NEO) Jared Fink, Dewey (OBU) Hadyn Ford, Wagoner (UCO) Cooper Free, Sharon-Mutual (SWOSU) Trayvon Gamble, Edmond Memorial (Langston) Max Gillett, Norman (William and Mary)* Matt Giroux, Yukon (Tabor) Diesen Gorham, Perkins (Emporia St.) Karson Green, Madill (NEO) Jesse Gregory, Tuttle (NEO) Anthony Grimes, Norman (Hastings) Aaron Guess, Prague (NWOSU) Blake Gunn, Casady (Pomona College) Noah Hammons, Westmoore (UCO) Cameron Hanan, Plainview (ECU) Justice Hansen, Edmond Santa Fe (OU) Dylan Harding, Jenks (OSU) Kieron Hardrick, Westmoore (SEOSU) Cade Harkins, McAlester (SNU) Bryan Hartfield, Midwest City (NEO) Tre Harvey, Catoosa (ECU) Hunter Hasen, Barnsdall (Langston) Dakota Haynes, Southmoore (Doane) Riley Hess, Alva (NWOSU) Tristan Hill, Mustang (Georgia Southern) Daavon Hilley, Tulsa East Central (Langston) Stephen Hocker, Enid (Emporia St.) Matt Hockett, Norman (OSU)* Craig Hofeld, Destiny Christian (OBU) Eli Hooks, Deer Creek (UCO) Ty Hooper, Alva (NWOSU) Jordan Huff, Midwest City (Southwestern, Kan.) Armando Ibarra, Tulsa Washington (Langston) Dallas Jackson, Meeker (NWOSU) Mack Jensen, Casady (OBU) Tazden Jevons, Dibble (NSU) Laquan Johnson, Del City (Langston) Louden Johnson, Wayne (ECU) Trey Johnson, Hugo (NEO) Corben Jones, Yukon/Emporia St. (SWOSU) Brandon Jones, Midwest City (NSU) Jake Jones, Verdigris (Ottawa) Johnny Jones, Douglass (UCO) Miles Jones, Edmond North (Briarcliff) Quinzell Jones, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO)* Wyatt Jones, Sulphur (ECU) Robert Jordan, Yukon (Tabor) Taber Jordan, Plainview (OBU) Drew Kaiser, Broken Arrow (Evangel) Blake Kalman, Bethany (UCO) Micah Kee, Woodward (NWOSU) Ryland Ketchum, Alex (NWOSU) Coleman Key, Broken Arrow (Colorado State) Cory Keyes, Southmoore (Missouri Southern) Connor Kinsey, Midwest City (Southwestern, Kan.) Chris Klick, Cherokee (SWOSU) JaVone Knox, Putnam City (SNU) Larry Lambeth, Millwood (Panhandle St.) Camron Large, Ada (ECU) Evan Lashar, OCS (OBU) Grant Lee, Clinton (NWOSU) Andrew Lesnick, Ponca City (NWOSU) Wiley Lester, Putnam City (NEO) Alex Lewis, Broken Arrow (OBU) Billy Lewis, Durant (NEO)* Jacob Lewis, Bishop McGuinness (Princeton) Colton Lindsey, Christian Heritage (UCO) Austin Link, Tuttle (NEO) Boyea Lockett, Tulsa Union/Illinois (OBU) Bishop Louie, Tulsa McLain (Tulsa) Jaylen Lowe, Owasso (NEO) Noble Lybrand, Bethany (ECU) Kameron Lyons, Millwood (Panhandle St.) Austin Mack, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO) Austin Madison, Oologah (SNU) Anthony Mason, Del City (NEO)* Zac Maynard, Davis/NEO (SWOSU) Bailey McKay, Claremore (SWOSU) Corneilus McKiver, Centennial (NEO) Gary McKnight Jr., Lawton MacArthur (NEO) Devin McLelland, Midwest City (Southwestern, Kan.) Ace McMahan, Ringling (SWOSU) Alfonzo McMillian, Millwood (Sam Houston St.) Jacob McMullen, Choctaw (NEO) John McQueen, Claremore (NEO) Jeffrey Mead, Tulsa Union (OU) Seth Mead, Woodward (NWOSU) Carson Meier, Tulsa Union (OU) Gage Meisinger, Claremore (OBU) Bradyn Meyer, Yukon (Baker) Chandler Miller, Bixby (Tulsa) Nick Mills, Tuttle (NEO) Jordan Mitchell, Owasso (Tulsa) Trevor Mitchem, Spiro (NEO) Michael Moana, Lawton Eisenhower (Houston) Tyler Moniz, Sequoyah-Claremore Mildren Montgomery, Douglass (Tulsa) Daniel Moore, Duncan (Henderson St.) Khalil Moore, John Marshall (NEO) Trevor Moore, Edmond North (North Texas) Zack Moore, Kingfisher (SWOSU) Cole Moos, Broken Arrow (NEO)* Luis Morales, Guthrie (Langston) Gerrell Murry, Putnam City (SWOSU) Dawson Myers, Cushing/NEO (OBU) Quentin Nails, Tulsa McLain (NEO) Landon Nault, Kingfisher (Emporia St.) Joe Neece, Cashion (Emporia St.) John Cole Neph, Owasso (OSU)* Jose Ochoa, Alex (NWOSU) Cameron Oliver, Owasso (UT-San Antonio) Brendan O’Steen, Seminole (NEO) Jacob Overton, Minco (OBU) Zak Owen, Blanchard (NEO) Cade Parker, Norman (OU)* Steven Parker, Jenks (OU) Logan Parks, Yukon (NEO) Cade Pfleider, Avla (NWOSU) Dustin Pierce, Jones (Mid-America Nazerene) Caden Pratt, McAlester (SEOSU) Christian Preston, Savanna (SEOSU) Stephen Price, Empire (SNU) Payton Prince, Norman North (Tulsa) Ryan Rackley, Sulphur (ECU) Wyatt Rathjen, Miami (NEO) Kale Reed, Comanche (SNU) Shaliamere Rentie, Beggs (NEO) Keishawn Richardson, Putnam City/NEO (West Virginia) Cole Ridgway, Norman (NSU) Wesley Rivas, Tahlequah (William Penn) Tanner Robertson, Mustang (OBU) Korie Robinson, Lawton MacArthur (NEO) Sinue Rodriguez, Sallisaw (NEO) Sam Rolle, Edmond Memorial (Hastings) Tyquae Russell, Midwest City (NEO) Caden Sander, Deer Creek (OU)* A.J. Sanders, Elk City (Panhandle St.) John Sasser, Perkins (SEOSU) David Seagle, Cascia Hall (UCO) Dallas Sealey, Lawton (Abilene Christian) Myykhail Shaw, Lawton (NEO) Isaiah Shawver, Carl Albert (Hastings) Tyler Sipe, Norman North (UCO) Akii Smith, Stilwell/NEO (North Texas) Devion Smith, John Marshall (NEO) Dillon Smith, Meeker (SEOSU) Jalen Smith, Tulsa Memorial (NEO) Janson Smith, Tulsa Union (NEO) Jarome Smith, McAlester (SEOSU) Jeremy Smith, Berryhill (Tulsa) Marguess Smith, Southeast (NEO) Myles Smith, Broken Arrow (SNU) Trey Smith, Guthrie (Langston) Nathan Sosa, Christian Heritage (OBU) Jacob Spady, Hinton (SNU) Pierce Spead, Southmoore (NEO) Evan Sprayberry, Moore (Tabor) Jordan Stafford, Hugo (UCO) Dalton Stout, Bethany (Southwestern, Kan.) Ross Stovall, Tulsa Washington (NEO) Braden Stringer, Blanchard (Arkansas Tech) Payton Striplin, Little Axe (Langston) Carter Swanson, Ardmore (Garden City CC) Trent Taber, Jenks (OSU)* Lindell Tate, Edmond North (OU)* Myles Tease, Tulsa Washington (UCO) Justin Tharp, Thomas (SWOSU) Devon Thomas, Broken Arrow (OSU) Ivan Thomas, Lawton (OSU)* Stevie Thompson, Carl Albert (Pitt St.) Devin Thornburg, Alex (NWOSU) Quintonio Tolon, Broken Arrow (NEO)* Clay Trotter, Mustang (SW Assemblies of God) Trey Tully, Plainview (OBU) Brett Tye, Jenks (Pitt St.) Houston Tyler, Southmoore (The Citadel) Nathan Voreis, Tuttle (SNU) Rowdy Votaw, Madill (NEO) Jaelon Walker, Southmoore (UCO) Malik Walker, Spiro (NEO) Cody Ward, Hartshorne (SWOSU) Khalil Warren, Del City (NEO) Michael Warren, Lawton (Iowa State) Ty Watkins, Westmoore (NEO) Caleb Webster, Claremore (NWOSU) Eric Weed, Putnam City (SNU) Jordan Weltzheimer, Edmond Memorial (Air Force) Cameron Westbrook, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO) Papi White, Seminole (Ohio) Xavier Whitehead, Mustang (Langston) Kelby Wickline, Stillwater (UT-San Antonio) Terrell Willliams, Lawton (NEO) Jonathan Willis, Tulsa Washington (Oregon St.) Dolee Wolf, Beggs (NEO) Conner Wood, Owasso (NEO) Skyler Wood, Nowata (UCO) Chantz Woodberry, Carl Albert (SWOSU) Ryan Woolman, Locust Grove (NSU) Trey Wormington, Norman North (UCO) Colton Wright, Tahlequah (SWOSU) Ty Yeates, Jenks (William Penn) Dakota Young, Lawton Eisenhower (NWOSU) GOLF Emma Allen, Tulsa Union (OCU) Lexi Armon, Owasso (NSU) Jacob Bishop, Edmond Memorial (Wichita State) Daniel Echevarria, Cascia Hall (Wichita State) Trent Evans, Edmond Memorial (Kansas State) Talor Fisher, Bethel (St. Gregory’s) Emily Folsom, Deer Creek (SWOSU) Jessica Gremling, Moore (Southwestern, Kan.) Nick Heinen, Edmond North (OSU) Matthew Henry, Pauls Valley (ECU) Madison Herron, Edmond Santa Fe (OBU) Alexander Hughes, Tulsa Edison (UCO) Sam Humphreys, Edmond North (Tulsa) Drew Ison, Edmond Santa Fe (Drake) Ashley Moore, Edmond Santa Fe (SNU) Kaylee Neff, Mustang (Redlands) Casey Paul, Owasso (Tulsa) Griffin Pierce, Edmond North (OU) Zac Schaefer, Oklahoma Christian (OC) Chad Smith, Plainview/OU (OBU) Marla Souvannasing, Tulsa Union (UCO) Ty Tamura, Edmond Memorial (OC) Cody Troutman, Edmond Santa Fe (UCO Hannah Ward, Poteau (Arkansas-Little Rock) Emilee White, Comanche (SNU) Ariel Wixson, Jenks (Rogers State) Hayden Wood, Edmond North (OSU) LACROSSE Sam Heaton, Edmond North (Lindenwood) Jake Hobbs, Edmond North (Lindenwood) Jessica Prewitt, Broken Arrow (OBU) ROWING Charlotte McMeekin, Classen SAS (Princeton) Hannah Naylor, Edmond Santa Fe (OU) Rachel Parks, Classen SAS (Tulsa) Cody Shafer, Tulsa Union (OCU) Madison Wilfong, Washington (UCO) BOYS SOCCER Truman Berghall, Jenks (OBU) Tyler Buchanan, Midwest City (Mid-America Chr.) Durham Chilcoat, Jenks (OBU) Mauro Cichero, Norman North (SMU) Clay Collier, Edmond North (OC) Josue De Paz, Putnam City West (OBU) Tyler Hatfield, Norman North (Harding) Julius James, Moore (NSU) Zac Medawattage, Edmond North (Eastern Illinois) Michael Mitrik, Jenks (Tulsa) Alex Mullet, Edmond North (Midwestern St., Iowa) Nathan Osborne, Jenks (OBU) Daniel Paugh, Heritage Hall (OCU) Tyler Ridener, Jenks (Central Arkansas) Keaton Van Eck, Norman North (Dallas) GIRLS SOCCER Reagan Ballard, Edmond Memorial (UCO) Anna Beffer, Tulsa Union (OSU) Abbey Bright, Edmond North (OSU)* Kayla Buster, Broken Arrow (NSU) Olivia Butler, Putnam City West (SWOSU) Karla Cabello, Puntam City North (Mid-America Christian) Lexi Carroll, Norman North (UCO) Jordan Cleveland, Moore (USAO) Brenna Cooper, Westmoore (Tabor) Anna Crawford, Mustang (OU)* Amanda Dial, Edmond Memorial (ORU) Shianne Donato, Westmoore (Eastern) Lana Duke, Edmond Memorial (OSU)* Courtney Essary, Carl Albert (UCO) Hannah Frogge, McGuinness (UC-Santa Barbara) Melissa Giles, Broken Arrow (NSU) Caitlyn Hanslovan, Verdigris (ORU) Hannah Hover, Edmond Santa Fe (Ouachita Baptist) Morgan Kent, Sapulpa (NSU) Bri Kuestersteffen, Norman North (Alabama-Birmingham) Madi Logsdon, Tulsa Union (NSU) Mikayla Lowery, Deer Creek (OBU) Mackenzie Marquardt, Norman North (OC) Lauren Martin, Newcastle (SWOSU) Julia Mathis, Broken Arrow (NSU) Kayle Moore, Southmoore (USAO) Shelley Mueller, Enid (SWOSU) Kali Newman, Norman North (OU) Lauren Parker, Stillwater (USAO) Hannah Robinson, Southmoore (SNU) Simone Ryan, Norman North (UCO) Sheridan Spelman, Norman North (Lindenwood) Katelin Teter, Claremore (NSU) Victoria VanHootegem, Norman North (Florida Atlantic) Sydni Wiles, Mustang (OC) Katelyn Williams, Moore (USAO) JuliAnne Williamson, Noble (ECU) Morgan Wilson, Piedmont (USAO) Summer Witt, Verdigris (ECU) SOFTBALL Courtney Anderson, Piedmont (Rose St.) Kelsey Arnold, Holland Hall (OU) K.C. Beardsley, Southmoore (Ft. Scott) Sheridan Bond, Edmond North (OC) Kelsey Bortvit, Carl Albert (USAO) Katelyn Brown, Southmoore (SNU) Kortney Brown, Duncan (Rose St.) Riley Brown, Bethany (Lipscomb) Kasey Jo Burgess, Sand Springs (OBU) Shelby Carel, Tuttle (UCO) Makenzie Carpenter, Jenks (Connors St.) Chloe Clifton, Wayne (Seminole St.) Cheyanne Coffman, Apache (Rose St.) Mallory Collins, Sand Springs (OSU) Chris Coplen, Stigler (Eastern) Bre Davis, Piedmont (UCO) Paige Finney, Lindsay (Mid-America Chr.) Peyton Garrett, Tuttle (NWOSU) Shannon Godfrey, Tulsa Kelley (St. Gregory’s) Ashli Hafford, Blanchard (East Central) Caitlin Hall, Moore (OBU) Sable Hankins, Moore (Lamar) Macey Hatfield, Lindsay/Seminole State (OU) Morgan Heard, Carl Albert (UCO) McKayla Hendrix, Jenks (Seminole St.) Morgan Hildebrandt, Lincoln Christian (Central Christian, Kan.) Heather Jones, Norman (Oklahoma Wesleyan) Kaitlyn Kromer, Putnam City North (SWOSU) Reneé Leonard, Rush Springs (Rose St.) Brayden Lindsey, Wynnewood (Western Texas) Destinie Lookout, Westmoore (OU) Jamie Lowrie, Piedmont (NOC-Enid) Shayla Lucas, Westmoore (USAO) Jenna Lynn, Moore (OBU) McKenzie Martin, Perkins-Tryon (NOC-Tonkawa) Stephanie Martin, Kellyville (Rose St.) Lauren Mason, Cache (Rose St.) Brianna McArthur, Moore (Central Arkansas) Kierra McFadden, Bethany (Oklahoma Wesleyan) Abby Meador, Carl Albert (OCU) Lauren Miller, Blanchard (East Central) Shelby Miller, Bethel (Seminole St.) Kate Myers, Jenks (Tulsa) Alexa Nolen, Stigler (Connors St.) Madison Norkyke, Edmond North (OC) Randee O’Donnell, Tahlequah (OSU) Amy Reynolds, Putnam City North (Rose St.) Shelby Robinett, Tuttle (SW Christian) Michael Rowlen, Jones (Des Moines CC) Kecia Sharp, Mount St. Mary (Robert Morris) Allison Smith, Lindsay (Mid-America Chr.) Michaela Smith, Norman North (UT-Dallas) Mycah Smith, Plainview (Mid-America Chr.) Sethe Story, Heritage Hall (Austin College) Bethany Sullivan, Lexington (Cisco College) Kourtney Tanner, Edmond North (UCO) Aspen Vail, Little Axe (St. Gregory’s) Katie Ventress, Bethany (Rose St.) Krista Waggoner, Carl Albert (West Virginia Wesleyan) Taylor Watham, Blanchard/Cowley (NWOSU) Jessica Watkins, Glenpool (Rose St.) Emily Watson, Deer Creek (Tulsa) Mindy Winters, Tuttle (Rose St.) MacKenzie Wright, Carl Albert (Wichita State) Lauren Zalewski, Rush Springs (Rose St.) SWIMMING Reid Hibbs, Southmoore (Towson) Lara Gatton, Westmoore (OBU) Jessi Hildebrand, Newcastle (Evansville) Tim Hyland, Carl Albert (St. Gregory’s) Kasey Rein, Piedmont (Evansville) Jaedon Roe, Carl Albert (St. Gregory’s) TENNIS Travis Christianson, Edmond Santa Fe (Arkansas-Fort Smith) Taylor Factor, Moore (Seminole) Emily Faulkner, Casady (Harding) David Hager, Edmond North (Davidson) Annie Hays, Edmond North (UM-St. Louis) Spencer Papa, Edmond North (Tulsa) Easton Parker, Bixby (NSU) Stormi Tipton, Westmoore (Cowley) VOLLEYBALL McKayla Benner, Norman North (SNU) Dani Chase, Yukon (SNU) Kate Decker, Edmond North (OBU) Madison McClure, Mustang (SW Assemblies of God) Kenzie McMullen, Edmond North (OCU) Micayla Payne, Southmoore (Hillsdale) Holly Randall, Edmond North (OCU) Kamille Smith, Midwest City (Bellevue) Taylor Turner, Deer Creek (ECU) WRESTLING Andrew Dixon, Edmond North (OU) Joel Dixon, Edmond North (OU) Lance Dixon, Edmond North (OU) Gary Wayne Harding, Collinsville (OSU) Clayton Lamb, Del City (OCU) Nathan Marek, Southmoore (OU) Chandler Rogers, Stillwater (OSU) Derek White, Edmond North (Nebraska) *-Will walk on Know of a player who signed a letter of intent but isn't on this list? Email the information to Scott Wright at email@example.com.
Apr 17, 2014
Orr had successful open-heart surgery in October — his second in his young, 14-year life — and has since become an inspiration for the school’s baseball team, successfully working his way back to the field.
High schools: Chaz Orr is the heart of Washington's baseball team
By Jacob Unruh | Apr 17, 2014WASHINGTON — Chaz Orr has a scar in the middle of his chest stretching the length of his sternum. He has a similar, but older one, on his back. “When they said I had to have open-heart surgery, all I could think about was if I was going to live,” said Orr, a freshman at Washington. Orr had successful open-heart surgery in October — his second in his young, 14-year life — and has since become an inspiration for the school’s baseball team, successfully working his way back to the field. He’s done more than just play, though. He’s become the starting second baseman and No. 3 hitter in the lineup while delivering key hits and even throwing well on the mound. “He’s a little bitty, short and chubby kid, but the kid can play baseball,” Washington senior Bo Nixon said. “He’s our best baseball player on the team. As a leader and senior on this team, I look up to him. He’s the leader from the start of the game until the finish. He’s the one who keeps us going.” Orr, who is 5-foot-8 and 140 pounds, is hitting .250 with two home runs and 10 runs batted in this season. He’s also 2-2 on the mound. THE LONG JOURNEY Chaz Orr’s focus is on the team first. On Oct. 14, though, his focus was on surviving. His heart issues started when he was 17 months old. Diagnosed with coarctation of the aorta, Orr had to have surgery to fix the condition, which involves narrowing of the aorta, and left him with the scar on his back. The surgery, though, was a temporary fix. Orr always knew he would have to have another surgery. “Ever since the first surgery, we had known he had a valve that leaked,” said Orr’s father, Matt. Chaz, however, started having breathing problems last spring. He was fatigued and didn’t even want to finish a baseball game. It was eventually determined he needed to have full cardiac bypass. The Orrs turned to the doctor who performed Chaz’s first surgery, Christopher Knott-Craig in Memphis, Tenn. “From the day they said Knott-Craig was doing it, I was confident that he could do it and that I would come back,” Orr said. “I didn’t know this well, but I knew I was going to come back and be able to play again.” The day was Oct. 12. The Orrs had a long drive to Memphis planned, but first they had a detour to Shawnee with Kailee, a junior, playing in the state championship softball game. The entire family watched her and the Warriors win the title, but did not waste time after the game. They had to get Chaz’s heart better. “We had just won state and it’s pretty surreal and we grab her,” Washington coach David Vallerand said. “It’s pretty rough because they’re going off, and they don’t know what the result is going to be and how it turns out.” On Oct. 14, Orr was prepped for surgery, but his father had a surprise for him. A video of Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops was recorded for the big Sooners fan and shown before the surgery. Once the surgery was finished, Orr was told it would take 10 weeks to recover. Nearly eight weeks later, he was cleared to return to the basketball court, where he played for Washington’s junior varsity team. “He’s a kid that’s always wanted to be athletic, and he was feeling good,” Matt said. ‘IT’S JUST A MIRACLE’ Since his athletic comeback, Chaz Orr says he doesn’t notice his heart anymore and feels better than before. Now full of energy, Orr has become the life of the team, even as a freshman. “These guys, they razz him more than anything,” Vallerand said. “They just know it’s Chaz Orr; he can play and he can contribute.” There have been big moments for Orr, too. He hit a big three-run homer against Heavener early in the season and pitched nearly five shutout innings in relief during the Warriors’ 18-16 comeback victory. He also nearly pitched a complete game against Class 6A’s Mustang. “It’s just a bonus,” Orr said. “It’s crazy that I’m still here and be able to play on the varsity and be able to contribute and help the team win in any way I can.” The Warriors are 7-9 on the year, with each win having Orr’s mark on it. “He’s obviously a strong, young kid who has handled it well,” Matt Orr said. “You can’t take that for granted. “It’s awesome to be able to see him out there performing.” The Washington players and coaches certainly don’t take that lightly seeing Orr on the field after what he had been through. And he’s certainly happy to be on the field every day. “It’s just a miracle,” Chaz Orr said. “For them to be able to cut me open and repair everything and me be able to come out here and play to the best of my abilities, it’s a miracle.”
Apr 16, 2014
The eight-plus year run of the Oklahoma High School Sports Express appears to be coming to an end, leaving a noticeable void in the high school sports scene.
High schools: Former sportscaster Van Shea Iven named to OSSAA staff
By Jacob Unruh and Scott Wright | Apr 16, 2014The eight-plus year run of the Oklahoma High School Sports Express appears to be coming to an end, leaving a noticeable void in the high school sports scene. The show’s founder and host, Van Shea Iven, was named director of media relations by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board of directors on Wednesday, though he plans to bring some of the highly successful show’s elements to the OSSAA. Iven will finish the school year on the show, but he has no plans to hand control over to someone on the outside. “I’m not going to have time to do it and if the Oklahoma High School Sports Express is going to carry on, I want it to be done right,” he said. “I want kids to get covered in every sport from all corners of the state and get a chance to be on TV.” After spending 17 years with KFOR, Iven started the Sports Express in January 2006. During the show’s run, he has named on average nearly 200 student athletes per episode. He said the show will end at 320 episodes, bringing the total to nearly 60,000 names. Things have recently changed for Iven with the birth of his son Turner in October. Moving to the OSSAA will allow him to spend more time with his family. “I’ve loved every minute of it, but this gives me a little more freedom to be with my wife and my son.” It will also allow Iven to expand the OSSAA’s presence as he will oversee media relations, the organization’s webpage and publications. “We’re just excited about what he brings to the organization and what he can do to promote our kids and our playoffs,” OSSAA executive director Ed Sheakley said. “Our website is pretty much an information site where you want to go and get rules, get playoff information, get brackets. Well, we want to change that. We want to put video clips of our championships, we want to put sound bites of our championships, we want to look at social media and it continues our mission that we’re all about kids.” STATE BASEBALL SITES DETERMINED OSSAA assistant director Mike Whaley called it a perfect storm. Whaley announced the final plan for the spring baseball state tournament sites, with all classes being played in the Oklahoma City area and receiving a 12-0 vote for approval from the board. The biggest news is that the University of Oklahoma will be the host for the entire Class 6A tournament and the Class 5A semifinals and championship, while Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark will host the championships for Classes 4A-2A. The tournaments will be held May 15-17. “We haven’t had this opportunity before,” Whaley told the board. “We’re very excited.” The Class A and Class B semifinals and championships will remain at Dolese Park, with Class B opening the tournament Thursday, May 8, at Edmond Memorial before moving to Dolese Park on May 9 and May 10. Class 5A’s quarterfinals will be at Norman North on Thursday, May 15, before moving to OU’s L. Dale Mitchell Park the next two days. Class 4A’s quarterfinals and semifinals will be played at Edmond Santa Fe, Class 3A will be at Edmond Memorial and Class 2A will be at Shawnee. Whaley said there will not be one site for the semifinals as in the past to allow for scheduling flexibility with teams possibly facing graduation that evening. AARON YOUNG HEADED TO ORU Another Edmond Memorial product is heading for Division I basketball. Aaron Young has signed with Oral Roberts, becoming the fourth former Bulldog in the last four years to join one of the state's D-I programs. Young was one of the heroes of Memorial’s 2013 state championship run, hitting the game-winning shot in the Class 6A semifinals. Young played his freshman season at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton. He joins former Bulldog Obi Emegano at ORU. Memorial’s James Woodard is currently at Tulsa and his brother, Jordan Woodard, is at OU. STILWELL HIRES J.T. COBBLE AS FOOTBALL COACH Hoping that the proverbial apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree, Stilwell hired J.T. Cobble as its new football coach this week. Cobble is the son of Hall of Fame coach Tom Cobble, who has been successful at a number of stops, most notably El Reno, Weatherford and Enid. He’s currently at Chickasha, where J.T. had been serving as his offensive coordinator. Stilwell had a late surge to end the season with three wins in its final five games, but finished 4-6 and one win short of the playoffs. MAX WARIBOKO-ALALI PICKS UP FIRST OFFER Defensive back Max Wariboko-Alali picked up his first scholarship offer Tuesday night from Louisville, adding to the growing list of talent at Casady. Wariboko-Alali, the younger brother of Oklahoma commitment Josh Wariboko-Alali, is a 5-foot-10, 168-poind sophomore who recorded 41 tackles last season. Junior quarterback T’Quan Wallace is also attending the Texas spring game this weekend, according to his father.
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association Board of Directors will vote on a five-year contract extension with Oklahoma State Fair Park to host the state tournaments for wrestling and basketball at Wednesday’s monthly meeting. And it could come at a cost. The OSSAA said Monday that the agreement will cost more money, though the total increase likely won’t be finalized until Tuesday....
High school notebook: OSSAA looking at contract extension with State Fairgrounds
BY JACOB UNRUH AND SCOTT WRIGHT | Apr 14, 2014The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association Board of Directors will vote on a five-year contract extension with Oklahoma State Fair Park to host the state tournaments for wrestling and basketball at Wednesday’s monthly meeting. And it could come at a cost. The OSSAA said Monday that the agreement will cost more money, though the total increase likely won’t be finalized until Tuesday. This year marked the final year of the previous contract, which required the OSSAA to pay the fairgrounds 12 percent of the profits from the gate admission and $1,500 each weekend State Fair Arena was used. The OSSAA uses the arena three weekends — one for wrestling and two for basketball — totaling $4,500. “It’s time for discussion about the arena,” OSSAA executive director Ed Sheakley said. “Next year will be our 50th year there, I believe. It’s got a lot of history to it.” The arena, though, was under fire in March during the basketball tournaments. There was a leak in the roof that dripped onto the court, while there were also multiple power outages in the small-school basketball tournament. That was not an issue the final weekend of the season, though there were complaints about the arena floor by teams. Sheakley announced at last month’s meeting that arena officials will make sure the floor is refinished before next season’s tournaments. SHAWNEE’S COOPER TO SIGN WITH OBU Shawnee senior guard/forward McKenzie Cooper isn’t sure how her older sister Taylor is able to live so far from home in College Station, Texas, while playing at Texas A&M. Cooper, though, won’t have to worry about distance from her family during college. She will sign with Oklahoma Baptist University on Wednesday. “I just weighed it out and I took other visits,” Cooper said. “It just felt right. It was a factor staying close to my parents. I have to live in the dorms, but my parents said they are changing the locks.” Cooper was on The Oklahoman’s Big All-City first team this season after averaging 15.7 points per game last season and leading Shawnee to the Class 5A semifinals. She suffered a torn ACL in the state tournament her junior season, but returned at full strength in time for last season. She said she had interest from Harding, Central Oklahoma, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and even considered trying to walk on at Texas A&M with her sister. “That’s just too far away,” Cooper said. “I don’t know how she stays down there six hours away. There’s no way I could do that.” DEL CITY’S HUNTER, HERITAGE HALL’S DELINE PICK FORT SCOTT Del City’s Xavier Hunter and Heritage Hall’s Lindsay Deline have verbally committed to continue their basketball careers at Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College. The 6-foot-2 Hunter averaged 16.0 points and 5.1 rebounds as a senior for Del City. Deline averaged 9.4 points and was a key defender for the Chargers, who made their first state tournament appearance in more than 30 years. Hunter and Deline are currently expected to be the only Oklahoma players on the roster, though former Putnam City West point guard Kevin House just finished making history for the Fort Scott men’s team. House led Fort Scott in scoring with 17.0 points and 6.6 assists per game as a sophomore this past season. He set the school’s career record for assists with 317 over his two-year career. He also moved into fifth place on the Greyhounds’ all-time scoring list. MUSTANG MOVES VETS’ APPRECIATION DAY Monday’s cold weather led to the Mustang baseball team postponing its Veterans Appreciation Day event. It has been rescheduled for 4:30 p.m. next Monday, when the Broncos host Southmoore. OSSAA TO DISCUSS REINSTATEMENT OF BARROW, ELLETT The OSSAA will also discuss and possibly vote on the reinstatement of Broken Arrow athletic director Ken Ellett and assistant track coach Brad Farrow. Ellett and Farrow were both suspended by the school district following several violations that resulted in the Tigers forfeiting two football games and five track meets from the 2012-13 school year. The penalties were self-imposed by Broken Arrow and approved by the OSSAA in September. Ellett was suspended from his duties that involve any oversight of athletic eligibility this school year. Farrow was suspended from all coaching duties in the district.
Apr 3, 2014
The panel will be led by former Oklahoma Sooner standout Jim Riley, who played for the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins. He will be joined by five other former NFL players from the state.
High school notebook: Former NFL players to lead anti-drug discussion in Yukon
By Scott Wright, Jacob Unruh and Trent Shadid | Apr 3, 2014Six former NFL players will be featured speakers at the Town Hall Meeting of the YuCan Coalition, a Yukon organization that fights drug and alcohol abuse. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Yukon High School, 1777 S. Yukon Parkway, and is open to the public. The panel will be led by former Oklahoma Sooner standout Jim Riley, who played for the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins. He will be joined by five other former NFL players from the state. The panel consists of former Sooners Roy Williams and John Goodman, as well as former OSU standouts Derrel Gofourth and Terry Brown. Former Philadelphia Eagles player Kenny Blair of Oklahoma City, who has coached at Northeast Academy and Northwest Classen, is also on the panel. For further information about the meeting, contact Kent Mathers at 314-5475. SHAWNEE GOLFERS OFF TO HOT START The Shawnee boys golf team continued its hot start with its second tournament victory in the span of a week on Wednesday. Coming off a win at their home course at Shawnee Country Club last week, the Wolves won at Coffee Creek in Edmond Wednesday with a team total of 318. Deer Creek was second at 323. Shawnee senior Daniel Langley shot 5-over-par 75 to win individual medalist honors, while teammate Morgen Pettigrew was fifth with a 78. The Wolves were runners-up at Seminole last week as well. EIGHT HIGH SCHOOL MASCOTS IN USA TODAY POLL The high school sports section of USA Today is hosting a contest for the best mascot in the nation, and eight Oklahoma schools have their mascots in the competition. The Woodward Boomers, Claremore Zebras, Dewey Bulldoggers, Bray-Doyle Donkeys, Eufaula Ironheads, Miami Wardogs, Newcastle Racers and Wright City Lumberjax are competing against each other in the first round of voting. The winner of the state round will advance to the regional round. The third and final round of voting to decide the nation’s best high school mascot will end April 25. Voting for the state round will continue until April 8 and can be found at contest.usatodayhss.com. ANTLERS’ MCNUTT WINS OSSAA BOARD ELECTION Antlers High School principal Bryan McNutt is the newest member of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association Board of Directors after he won the runoff for the Southeast Quadrant II spot. McNutt will begin his term with the board in August. Also, current board member and Enid superintendent Shawn Hime’s resignation was accepted by a 12-0 vote at last week’s meeting. Hime was the Northwest Quadrant I representative and his term was scheduled to end June 30. SUBURBAN CONFERENCE WRESTLING AWARD WINNERS NAMED Deer Creek’s Cole Pacheco (182 pounds) was named Suburban Conference Wrestler of the Year after capping his senior season with a third-straight state title. Pacheco’s teammate Tanner Cole (106 pounds) received Newcomer of the Year honors after winning a state title as a freshman. Piedmont’s Blane Culp (170 pounds) and Chickasha’s Josh Latham (195 pounds) were the two other state champions to make the first team. Dayton West (113 pounds) was also a first-team selection from Deer Creek, which tied Piedmont for the most first-team honorees. The Wildcats also had Reece Henry (138 pounds) and Fransisco Lopez (145 pounds) named to the first team. OCA GIRLS ALL-STATE ROSTERS ANNOUNCED On Thursday, the Oklahoma Coaches Association released the rosters for the annual girls basketball All-State games in Tulsa. The games will be played Wednesday, July 30 at Oral Roberts University’s Mabee Center. The small-school game begins at 7 p.m. with the large school game to follow. Here’s the complete roster for each of the four teams. Large East Toree Thompson, Broken Arrow; Jordan Doyle, Broken Arrow; McKenzie Cooper, Shawnee; Janee Arnold, Tulsa East Central; Savannah Gray, Fort Gibson; Kamry Chamberlain, Vinita; Faith Ihim, Tulsa Memorial; Aaliyah Blakley, Ada; Lexi Williams, Inola; Esther Udoumah, Tulsa Union; Coaches: Mike Hughes, Broken Arrow; Dottie Slabaugh, Broken Bow. Large West Tamara Lee, Edmond Santa Fe; Jasauen Beard, Midwest City; Jordan Gilbert, Carl Albert; Whitney Jones, Deer Creek; Chandler Roof, Weatherford; Darian Hill, Harrah; Bri Kuestersteffen, Norman North; Aimee Rischard, Mount St. Mary; Taylor Ely, Norman; Paj Jackson, Lawton MacArthur; Coaches: Andy Bloodworth, Plainview; Robb Mills, Enid. Small East Baileigh O’Dell, Verdigris; Logan Burgess, Tonkawa; Marissa Goodman, Frontier; Baylee Evans, Red Oak; Molly Kerr, Adair; Miranda Griffin, Ketchum; Megan Womack, Stroud; Omega Reese, Tonkawa; Bailey Stephens, Adair; Miranda Stiles, Kiowa. Coaches: Jim Upshaw, Kellyville; Kurt Heller, Sperry. Small West Erika Wakefield, Heritage Hall; Gabbie Parsons, Cordell; Jade Jones, Pond Creek-Hunter; Morgan Vogt, Okarche; LaNesia Williams, Northeast; Jamie Gibson, Thomas; Taylor Mendell, Lomega; Kassy Easter, Sayre; Hannah Millar, Erick; Andi McGill, Turner. Coaches: Kenny Bare, Velma-Alma; Richard Carney, Hobart. REPORT: EAST CENTRAL TO HIRE FORMER NSU COACH Tulsa East Central is set to hire former Northeastern State football coach Kenny Evans as its football coach, the Tahlequah Daily Press reports. Evans confirmed to the paper he has had conversations with Tulsa Public Schools. The move will not be official until the TPS Board of Education meets Monday. Evans was 22-44 during his six years at NSU and was fired following the RiverHawks’ season-ending loss to Central Oklahoma in November. He had interviewed with several high schools in north Texas and also turned down a scouting position with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Daily Press reports. A source told The Oklahoman earlier this year that Evans interviewed at Westmoore, but was not a finalist for the job that went to new coach Adam Gaylor. He would be replacing Bobby Klinck, who resigned earlier this year to become the defensive coordinator at Broken Arrow.
A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience: •Okmulgee native Jim Thomason, 85, died in Abilene, Texas. Thomason retired as an elementary school principal, but he had a notable career in athletics. He starred on the football and basketball teams at Holdenville High School, and then played football and ran track at East Central University in Ada. Thomason finished...
Tributes: Okmulgee's Jim Thomason was a successful football coach
Mar 3, 2014A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience: •Okmulgee native Jim Thomason, 85, died in Abilene, Texas. Thomason retired as an elementary school principal, but he had a notable career in athletics. He starred on the football and basketball teams at Holdenville High School, and then played football and ran track at East Central University in Ada. Thomason finished a Master's degree in education at Oklahoma, and then spent 1951-57 as an assistant football coach at Ada High. He moved to Texas, where he spent 11 years as an assistant at Dumas and 12 seasons as head football coach at Gainesville High. Thomason guided Gainesville to state championships in 1974, 1976 and 1978. Including his tenures at Ada and Dumas, he was a part of 10 state title football teams. He also coached the Texas squad for the 1977 Oil Bowl All-Star Game against Oklahoma. •John Dunaway, 88, of Midwest City was a three-year football letterman in the late 1940s at the University of Central Oklahoma. Nicknamed “Runaway Dunaway,” he went into the coaching field, spending time at Harding, Shawnee, Classen, Northeast and Midwest City high schools. Dunaway retired as an administrator in the Mid-Del school system. • Herb Copeland, 73, of Bella Vista, Ark., was a longtime dirt car racer. He had multiple victories at State Fair Speedway in Oklahoma City, Tulsa Speedway and tracks in Lawton, Muskogee, Dallas, Wichita and his native Dodge City, Kan. Copeland won a National Championship Racing Association title and twice triumphed at the Hutchinson Nationals, once regarded as the biggest sprint car event of the summer. He drove for many car owners over a 20-plus-year career, including Carroll Nance, whose state-of-the-art racers were recognized by fans as being white with a red No. 1. One of Copeland's landmark victories came in 1983 on Oklahoma City's half-mile oval, when he captured the inaugural NCRA vs. USAC Challenge. The $8,000-to-win race attracted drivers with Indianapolis 500 experience. • Darrell Hill of Yukon starred in football and wrestling in his native Kansas. He was an All-State lineman while helping Topeka High School win the 1951 state title. That same school year, Hill was state wrestling champion at heavyweight. He received a football scholarship to Wichita State, playing all four years and helping the Wheat Shockers win the Missouri Valley Conference championship twice. Hill was an all-conference offensive tackle, before going on to coach high school football and wrestling in Kansas and Oklahoma. Hill advanced to administration and was superintendent of Yukon Schools when he retired after 40 years in education. On the side, he refereed wrestling for OU, OSU, other Big Eight schools and NCAA tournaments. Hill battled congestive heart failure for 18 years before his death at age 80. • Jack Davis, 96, of Ryan played for Union Valley High School’s state tournament basketball team in 1936. He went to work for Ashland Oil, which required a move to Illinois. Recreation time was spent playing softball and golf. He pitched St. Elmo (Ill.) to a men’s state championship, and he aced nine holes in golf. • Tulsa native Nancy Bragg Witmer, 87, was a Hall of Fame trick rodeo rider. She performed all over the country and was inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City and the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, although her career ended by age 30 due to injury. While in New York for a rodeo at Madison Square Garden, Witmer did a radio spot with baseball legend Babe Ruth. She raised three children and remained a horsewoman, twice winning the world champion cutting horse title. • Bob McCurdy, 91, was a surgeon who spent more than 60 years as a Denver resident. But he grew up in Oklahoma, graduating in 1940 from Purcell High School, where he starred in football, basketball and tennis. McCurdy was a state champion tennis player, winning the Class B doubles title in 1939 and then a singles crown in 1940. He attended OU on a basketball scholarship and was a two-year starter for coach Bruce Drake before being drafted into military for World War II. • Don Tidwell, 87, played center for Yukon High School's undefeated football team in 1943. Like many youngsters during the World War II era, he left school early to fight for his country. At age 17, Tidwell joined the Navy and served on the U.S.S. Prairie, a destroyer that saw action in the South Pacific. After he was discharged, Tidwell returned to Yukon and received his high school diploma. A diehard Oklahoma State sports fan who fulfilled his dream as a car salesman. • Gary Mayfield, 81, of Tulsa was president of the Oklahoma Scuba Diving Association. A league bowler. ... Bill Carr, 80, of Tulsa played basketball at Connors State Junior College. A golfer and Little League baseball coach. ... Connor Hamilton, 19, of Oklahoma City played football at Putnam City North High School. ... Ron Springfield, 74, of Norman was a longtime teacher in the Mid-Del school system who often traveled to OU football bowl games. ... •Tulsa resident Herbert Wilde Jr., 55, was a diesel mechanic in the Marines. The former Golden Gloves boxer remained in shape by running marathons. ... Denisa Stephens Faustner, 57, of Marietta was a junior high track standout who often posted times better than the boys. ... Edward Corrigan, 67, of Cushing was a high school wrestler in his native Ohio. He was also a Golden Gloves boxer. ... • Mary Smith Adams, 83, was a homecoming queen at Barnsdall High School. ... Ethan Lewis, 9, of Tulsa played football, baseball and basketball. ... Kenneth Smith, 72, was a longtime Salina High School athletics booster. He also attended weekly dirt car races at Salina Highbanks Speedway.
Lee averaged 15.1 points per game for the Vikings, who finished 26-2 and state runner-up. The General Motors employee died at age 59.
Tributes: Stanley Stanley Lee helped Northeast reach the Class 3A basketball finals in 1972
By Scott Munn | Feb 26, 2014A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience: •Stanley Lee, 59, of Oklahoma City earned a basketball scholarship to Texas Tech, where he earned a degree in physical education. He spent 30 years working for General Motors, where he stood tall among his co-workers. At 6-foot-7, Lee teamed with fellow starters Lawrence Wilson, Roy Burris, Russell Post and Clarence Lucky to help the Northeast High School basketball team reach the Class 3A state championship game in 1972. The No. 1-ranked Vikings entered the tournament at the Big House with a 24-1 record, their only loss coming against Tulsa Washington. Lee and Co. beat Guthrie and Okmulgee in the first-two rounds but lost a 64-59 title decision to an unbeaten Miami squad that received game-clinching free throws from future OU All-America wide receiver Tinker Owens. Lee finished the season averaging 15.1 points per game. •Curtis Richmond, 68, was a customer service manager for United Airlines in Houston. He grew up in Oklahoma, where he excelled in football, basketball and tennis in the 1960s at Shawnee High School. As a senior, Richmond was named Shawnee’s Athlete of the Year. He won state tennis championships in singles and doubles and compiled an 82-4 record as a high-schooler. Richmond then played tennis at Southeastern State University and was an NAIA All-American as well as the Oklahoma Collegiate Conference champion in singles and doubles. He was inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame and also the Missouri Valley/Oklahoma Tennis Hall of Fame. •John Langford, 88, of Oklahoma City was a member of the PGA for 66 years. He played in the PGA Championship eight times and had two top-10 finishes. Langford later played in the Senior PGA Championship as well as several local tournaments. •Former Oklahoma wrestler Sid Terry died in Wichita, Kan., at age 75. Terry was a championship wrestler at Edmond High School and received a scholarship to OU. He lettered for the 1958, ’59 and ’60 seasons. Terry won the Big Eight championship at 157 pounds in 1960, the same season the Sooners won the national championship. Terry was a second-team All-American in 1959; that season, he had a landmark victory as a 167-pounder. He defeated previously unbeaten Bruce Campbell to help OU stun defending national champion Oklahoma State. After college, Terry was a flight instructor for the Air Force and worked in the insurance business. •Louis Arambula, 80, of Moore was a Golden Gloves boxing champion as a teenager. Arambula fought in the 126- and 135-pound divisions for the Oklahoma City Elks and Southside boxing clubs. He was a veteran of the Korean War and spent 37 years as an air traffic controller. • Danny Thurman, 68, of Sand Springs was an Army veteran who served during the Vietnam War. He would spend 22 years as a mechanic at Fred Jones Ford and used those wrenching skills in dirt car racing. Thurman owned and served as a crew chief for local super modified drivers such as D.E. Suggs, George Armstrong, Donnie Crawford and Herb Copeland. Thurman owned race cars that twice won points championships at Tulsa Speedway. • Dwight Rymer had a way of breaking away from the pack. He starred in track and field at Cheyenne High School, winning five first-place ribbons during his career. That speed and agility came in handy as an Army soldier during World War II. Rymer was captured in Luxembourg by German forces, and while marching to a prisoner of war camp, he and comrade slipped under a bridge. They then hiked through the mountains to freedom in Belgium. Rymer, a Morrison resident, died at age 89 after careers in dairy farming, education and banking. • Deneen Olson Uhrman, 49, of Jenks was a career educator. As a youngster, she was one of the first girls to play Little League baseball in her native Ohio. She was a four-sport letterman at Loraine Catholic High School. • Donald Booher, 80, of Tulsa remained a Chickasha Chicks sports fan long after he graduated. He was a member of Oklahoma State baseball teams that qualified for the College World Series in 1954 and 1955. Booher liked to hunt and fish, and he was an avid golfer who played on courses in Ireland and Scotland. He had a hole-in-one. •John Yaroslavski Jr., 66, of Norman was a high school cross country and track standout in his native New Jersey....Jack Hammock, 80, of Oklahoma City was a cabinet maker who enjoyed calf roping on the side....Ann Jones Colby, 80, of Vinita played high school basketball with sister Sallye at White Oak. ... Mildred Turner Marshall, 85, of Lawton was a barrel racer and played basketball at Walters High School. ... • Joe Richardson, 74, of Fort Worth was a Snyder High School graduate who returned to his alma-mater as a coach. He spent three years at Snyder before coaching in Irving, Texas. ... Jimmy Brown, 16, was a junior at Tecumseh High School. He played for the Savages’ bowling and golf teams. ... Raymond Lutomski, 79, of Shawnee was a bullrider who often participated in the old Harrah rodeo.
The Homestead native, according to a family obituary, “was every boy's favorite dad for many years.”
Tributes: Cecil Outhier spent spare time teaching neighborhood kids the basics of sports
By Scott Munn, Assistant Sports Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org | Feb 24, 2014A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed a game day experience: *Cecil Outhier was a Homestead native who worked 37 years for Haliburton Oil Services. He took great pleasure in teaching neighborhood boys how to pitch, hit and catch a baseball; kick and pass a football; shoot a basketball; and safely fire a rifle. A family obituary said Outhier “was every boy's favorite dad for many years.” He died recently at age 86. *Carla Hertzog Elam, 42, of Chickasha was a supervisor for United Parcel Service. She was the mother of three, softball player Lynnsie and wrestlers Austin and Cael. The kids' athletic ability came naturally. Carla played softball and basketball at Lawton High School. She went on to play college softball while earning a business administration degree at Cameron. Carla also coached youth softball. *Mitchell McElmurry, 61, of Muskogee was a three-sport letterman at Fort Gibson High School in the early 1970s. He played football, basketball and baseball, before moving on to Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. McElmurry played competitive softball for several state championship teams. He returned to Fort Gibson High and served as an assistant football coach for more than 15 years. *Jimmy Banks, 88, of Elk City was asked to play baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals organization out of high school. He instead chose the Navy, signing up in September 1942 as America faced the challenge of a two-front war. Afterward, he went home to southwestern Oklahoma and played semi-pro baseball in the Elk City League. Banks spent one season in professional ball, 1951, with the Pampa Oilers and Borger Gassers of the West Texas-New Mexico League. He wound up spending several years working for the postal service. *Talala resident Errol Calvert Sr., 73, was an accomplished archer who bagged a state-record buck in 1963. Calvert was a body builder into his late 50s, receiving the Mr. Oklahoma Spirit Award after defeating kidney cancer. *Jerry Meyers Jr., 66, graduated from Ada High School, which was about 10 miles from his hometown of Francis. Meyers served in the Vietnam War, and then worked in the oil fields as a mechanic. Free time was spent fixing and driving race cars. *Ken Hopkins, 61, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was an all-area offensive lineman in 1970 for Lawton High. He earned a football scholarship to Northwestern Oklahoma State, although he finished an economics degree at Southwestern Oklahoma State. Hopkins, a supporter of youth sports, worked in health care while living in Florida. *Ed Buddrus, 92, of Muskogee was president and chairman of the board of Acme Engineering and Manufacturing Corp. The World War II veteran was a disciplined athlete, running in many marathons during his life. *Sharon Davis Ellwanger of Shawnee liked to tell people she grew up playing baseball with a kid who would go on to become a pretty good catcher — Hall of Famer Johnny Bench. Ellwanger, who grew up in the Oney area, died eight days before her 67th birthday. *Jon Arrasmith, 33, was a silver medalist in tennis at the 1997 Sooner State Games. He was an All-City honorable mention selection as a senior, in 1998, at Choctaw High School and then played two seasons at Seminole Junior College. A die-hard Indianapolis Colts fan who worked for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation as an internal auditor for the game commission. *Buddy Leake, 80, of Oklahoma City starred at halfback for the Oklahoma Sooners under coach Bud Wilkinson. For more on Leake's career, read staff writer Berry Tramel's story on NewsOK.com. *Shirley Fulton Finley, 68, of Velma was an Army wife who coached youth baseball and bowling. ... Ernie Cox, who died on his 77th birthday, played baseball at Dale High School. ... Ben Morgan, 20, of Locust Grove was a swimming instructor at the Boys & Girls Club. ... Bob Perry, 73, of Enid coached youth basketball. ... Carl White, 52, of Choctaw wrestled at Carl Albert High School. The commercial plumber was a fan of Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr., the Oklahoma City Thunder and the OU sports teams. *Ward McCaskill, 93, of Hennipen spent 30 years as a faculty member at Star Spencer. The World War II veteran coached eighth-grade boys and girls sports. ... Army veteran Richard Stokes, 64, coached soccer at Park Lane Elementary School in Lawton. He was Cibalo, Texas, resident at the time of death. ... Allen Blaylock, 73, of Chickasha played football at Douglass High School. Also an avid golfer. ... Neva Dunbar Huffman, 78, of Vinita played basketball at Bluejacket High School. ... *Richard Jack, 71, played basketball and wrestled for Sapulpa High School. ... Robert Adair, 76, was a longtime industrial arts teacher at Chouteau High School who participated in tractor pulls. ... Kathy Spess Bell, 63, of Stillwater played high school basketball at Mannford. ... Mike Blonien, 58, of Altus attended the University of Tulsa on a baseball scholarship. ... Ocie Davis, 82, was an Air Force veteran and longtime Department of Transportation employee. He was an avid Rush Springs High School athletics supporter. BY SCOTT MUNN
A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed a game day experience.
Tributes: Former State Fair Speedway driver Jerry Morrison dies on 76th birthday
BY SCOTT MUNN | Feb 17, 2014A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed a game day experience: *Anything that had wheels and Jerry Morrison was willing to race it. Local dirt car racing fans will remember the El Reno resident for driving a No. 8 Pontiac Grand Prix pro stock at State Fair Speedway. Pro stocks were a highly competitive division over the 1989-2009 seasons, and although Steve Smith, Perry Robb Jr. and Mark Brill dominated headlines by combining for 15 championships, Morrison could make it tough for that trio on any given Friday night. He was often a top-10 driver during his career at the landmark Oklahoma City track, winning six A features and finishing fourth in points for the 1991, 2001 and 2007 seasons. Morrison raced drag cars in the 1960s, twice finishing runner-up in the National Hot Rod Association's World Finals in a B dragster. He later competed in motocross, then moved to oval track car racing. Before becoming a Friday night staple in Oklahoma City, Morrison won three mini-stock championships at Dutton Speedway in Fort Cobb and one title at Clinton Motorsports Park. Morrison's love for speed extended into the family — his granddaughter is Kenzie Ruston, who is a rising star on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Morrison died recently on his 76th birthday. *Dr. Tom Stough, 74, of Okarche was a 123-pound wrestler and quarterbacked the Geary High School football team. Stough earned a wrestling scholarship to Oklahoma, although he soon joined the Army and trained as an X-ray technician. After Stough was discharged, he returned to OU to begin studying medicine. *Michael Raines, 40, was a broker for Midtown Mortgage. The Tulsa Union High School graduate was an All-State golfer in 1992. *Francis Francoeur, 91, of Lawton worked as a gunner and navigator — and eventually became a pilot — on a B-17 bomber during World War II. After the Allied victories, he worked in lumber and also coached boys basketball at St. Mary High School in Ponca City. He guided St. Mary to an Oklahoma Catholic League championship in the 1950s. Francoeur was an avid fisherman who made trips to Mexico and Canada to drop a line. *Jim Pugh died on his 69th birthday. He played football for Cushing High School, when it defeated Harding 15-14 for the Class A state championship in 1961. Pugh went on to serve in Vietnam as a reconnaissance helicopter pilot. *Shirley Willcox Johnson, 72, of Choctaw held OU season football tickets for more than 35 years. She was an international traveler who never left home without her golf clubs and a founding member of the Choctaw Women's Golf Association. *Horace Anderson, 88, of Tulsa played football, basketball and baseball at Wayne High School. The World War II veteran played semi-pro baseball, and he was an avid golfer who, in 1968, was the Mohawk Men's Association champion. By trade, he worked for a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Tulsa. *Don Nelson graduated from Shawnee High School and went on to play tennis for Oklahoma State. Nelson, who spent 36 years working for Southwestern Bell, was a longtime Cowboys football season ticket holder. During off time, Nelson entered several water skiing competitions. He died at age 76. *Virginia Edwards Elkins, 90, of Del City was a 1940 graduate of Crooked Oak High School, where she was an exceptional basketball and softball player. *Darrell Long, 66, of Oklahoma City spent 42 years working at Tinker Air Force Base. He was an avid golfer, fisherman and hunter who spent his post-Tinker years as an archery technician for Bass Pro Shops in Bricktown. Long was also the father-in-law of former Oklahoma City Blazers star Tyler Fleck. *Iona Patterson Flippin, 91, of Norman was devoted supporter of Oklahoma Sooner athletics. The retired teacher attended her last OU-Texas football game at age 90, traveling to Dallas the old-fashioned way — by train. *Oklahoma City resident Eldon Watts, 80, played football and basketball at Cherokee High School in his native Kansas. ... Willie Salyer, 84, of Blanchard played baseball at Binger High School. ... Irene Haynes, 48, played basketball and softball and ran track for Lawton Eisenhower High School. ... Randy Ragsdale, 52, of Oklahoma City was a four-year letterman in football at Dewey High School.
Feb 12, 2014
The 6-foot-4 guard finished with 23 points, 17 rebounds and 11 assists in the Panthers' rout of Shawnee.
High schools: Harrah's Collin Jennings records second triple-double
BY SCOTT WRIGHT AND JACOB UNRUH | Feb 12, 2014Everything seemed to be going right for the Harrah Panthers in Tuesday night's 73-58 win over Shawnee. Freshman Brady Manek hit eight 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 28 points, and senior Collin Jennings recorded his second triple-double of the season. Jennings, a 6-foot-4 guard and Missouri-Kansas City signee, finished with 23 points, 17 rebounds and 11 assists on the night. A first-team selection on The Oklahoman's Little All-City team last season, Jennings recently surpassed the 1,500-point mark for his career. NORMAN NORTH'S KOLAR GAINING INTEREST The Oklahoman's first Super 30 list, ranking the class of 2015 football recruits, has only been out for a few days, and already an outsider is starting to gain some attention. Norman North quarterback John Kolar didn't appear on the Super 30 list earlier this week, but the 6-foot-4, 185-pound junior is beginning to pick up serious interest from Oklahoma State and other programs. He made a trip to OSU for Junior Day last month and is expected to make another visit to the campus soon. Kolar started half the season at wide receiver, then moved to his natural position of quarterback after David Cornwell injured his knee. Very athletic with a strong arm, Kolar finished with better passing numbers than Cornwell on fewer attempts. Kolar threw for 1,675 yards and 15 TDs with just two interceptions, completing 109 of 168 passes (64.9 percent). WARIBOKO-ALALI ADDS FLORIDA STATE OFFER Casady offensive lineman Josh Wariboko-Alali keeps adding offers with the most recent being from national champion Florida State. Wariboko-Alali now has a dozen offers but remains committed to Oklahoma. He verbally committed June 27 to the Sooners. The 6-foot-3, 310-pound junior, who is No. 2 on The Oklahoman's Super 30, also recently confirmed that his offer with Southern California stands with new coach Steve Sarkisian. OWASSO, CARL ALBERT IN TOP 50 TEAMS NATIONALLY Perfect Game released its top 50 baseball teams in the nation Monday, with two Oklahoma teams being included. Owasso, which won Class 6A last season behind an undefeated season, is ranked No. 7, while Carl Albert, the two-time defending Class 5A champion, is ranked No. 32. Both teams have won four titles since 2007.
Feb 10, 2014
Linebacker Jones is headed to Central Oklahoma. Offensive lineman Montgomery will play for Tulsa.
High school notebook: Douglass' Johnny Jones, Mildren Montgomery announce signings
BY SCOTT WRIGHT, JACOB UNRUH AND TRENT SHADID, Staff Writers | Feb 10, 2014While Deondre Clark's college announcement drew most of the attention, he wasn't the only Douglass football player who shared his college signing Monday. Offensive lineman Mildren Montgomery, 6-foot-5, 265 pounds, is headed to Tulsa, while linebacker Johnny Jones, 6-1, 210 pounds, signed with Central Oklahoma. Montgomery switched his commitment from Texas Tech to Tulsa last month. With his sights set on stardom as a left tackle, Montgomery says he hopes to be up to 275 pounds by the time he arrives at TU in June with an ultimate target weight of 300. “I wrestled at 171 pounds when I a freshman in Florida,” Montgomery said. “It's a process, a plan. I thank God for the opportunity to play college football. “I report in mid-June, and I can't wait to get in the flow of college life. It's one of my dreams.” Jones will join former Trojan linebacker Jas'Sen Stoner and others at UCO in Edmond. Jones has also been a defensive end and tight end during his time at Douglass, but looks to fit as an outside linebacker with the Division-II Bronchos. “I felt like I fit right in,” Jones said. “The campus isn't too big, not too small. It feels like home. “I'm real excited. Ready to go make a difference.” OSSAA AGENDA INCLUDES 6A PROPOSAL Wednesday's Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board of directors meeting is jammed with big items on the agenda. Putnam City Schools athletic director Dick Balenseifen will continue his proposal to split Class 6A into two divisions across all sports with the board voting to possibly take action. Last month, Balenseifen's proposal was delivered, but the board voted to include it as an item Wednesday. The board will also vote to send out a legislative ballot to member schools to be voted upon regarding hardship waiver appeals and “due process” procedures for investigating alleged rule violations. OSSAA executive director Ed Sheakley will also inform the board of sanctions against Ringling regarding playing Ryan Lester during football season. Lester, who is also appealing for his baseball eligibility Wednesday, was ruled ineligible in December. The board can vote to change the sanctions should it deem that necessary. DUAL STATE BRACKETS RELEASED The brackets in all four classes for this Saturday's Dual State Wrestling Tournaments were released by the OSSAA on Monday. The Class 3A and 4A tournaments will be at Cushing High School, and the 5A and 6A tournaments at Yukon High School. The first round will begin at 10 a.m. for 3A and 5A, and at noon for 4A and 6A. Matchups in all classes are determined after the eight-team field is split by east and west and seeded 1-4 based on the coaches' rankings. Here are the first-round matchups: 3A: Perry (W1) vs. Chandler (E4), Locust Grove (E2) vs. Plainview (W3), Jay (E1) vs. Kingfisher (W4), Blackwell (W2) vs. Tonkawa (E3). 4A: Tuttle (W1) vs. Mannford (E4), Catoosa (E2) vs. Harrah (W3), Vinita (E1) vs. Clinton (W4), Cushing (W2) vs. Sallisaw (E3). 5A: Lawton MacArthur (W1) vs. Western Heights (E4), Shawnee (E2) vs. Altus (W3), Collinsville (E1) vs. Piedmont (W4), Del City (W2) vs. Coweta (E3). 6A: Edmond North (W1) vs. Muskogee (E4), Broken Arrow (E2) vs. Southmoore (W3), Stillwater (E1) vs. Midwest City (W4), Yukon (W2) vs. Tulsa Union (E3). Semifinal duals will begin at 2 p.m. with the finals at 6:30 in all classes. WARIBOKO-ALALI ADDS FLORIDA STATE OFFER Casady offensive lineman Josh Wariboko-Alali keeps getting offers with the most recent being from national champion Florida State. Wariboko-Alali now has a dozen offers, but he remains verbally committed to Oklahoma. He committed June 27 to the Sooners. The 6-3, 310-pound junior, who is No. 2 on The Oklahoman's Super 30, recently confirmed that his offer from Southern California stands with new coach Steve Sarkisian. MILLWOOD'S GLOVER PICKS WESTERN ILLINOIS While his Millwood teammates were signing their letters of intent Wednesday, running back Janari Glover was still mulling over his decision. Rumors suggested he might end up at Northeastern State in Tahlequah, like teammate Quincy Dotson, but an offer from Western Illinois in which he'll be able to play football and run track ultimately won him over. Glover, 5-7, 145 pounds, rushed for 1,187 yards and 13 touchdowns on just 88 carries, an average of 13.5 per attempt to earn a second-team spot on The Oklahoman's Little All-City team. He was first-team Little All-City in track for his performance as a sprinter. He won the 100 meters in Class 3A with a time of 10.87 seconds. BENSON LEAVING SALLISAW FOR DUNCAN Sallisaw football coach Craig Benson is expected to be named the new football coach at Duncan, according to a report by the Tahlequah Daily Press. Sallisaw went 51-19 under Benson, reaching the playoffs in each of his six seasons. He will replace legendary coach Jim Holloway, who was let go in December. OWASSO, CARL ALBERT IN TOP 50 TEAMS NATIONALLY Perfect Game released its top 50 baseball teams in the nation Monday, with two Oklahoma teams being included. Owasso, which finished unbeaten while winning Class 6A last season, is ranked No. 7. Carl Albert, the two-time defending Class 5A champion, is ranked No. 32. Both teams have won four titles since 2007.
Feb 9, 2014
Most football fans understand that linemen are the building blocks of a good offense, and that's why there are a couple of specific days when linemen get their due respect: Signing Day and Draft Day.
High schools: Super 30 loaded with big linemen
BY SCOTT WRIGHT, Staff Writer, email@example.com | Feb 9, 2014There's not a lot of glory in being an offensive lineman. Miss a block, and everyone notices you. Make a perfect block, and everyone notices the guy running for a touchdown. But most football fans understand that linemen are the building blocks of a good offense, and that's why there are a couple of specific days when linemen get their due respect: Signing Day and Draft Day. A year from now, when Signing Day 2015 arrives, offensive linemen all across the state will be celebrated as their college's next big thing — with emphasis on big. It's not that the state just has a lot of good offensive linemen. It has a lot of good, and HUGE, offensive linemen. Six such linemen appear on The Oklahoman's first edition of the Super 30 recruit rankings for the 2015 class, including the top two on the list. Lawton's Jalin Barnett, a mauler at 6-foot-4, 310 pounds, heads the class. He's regarded as a top-10 recruit in the nation by some national scouting services. An Oklahoman All-State selection after his junior season in which Lawton went 11-1, Barnett's offer list is almost as big as his shoe size — 18 — and he is fielding offers from all over the country, Alabama, Auburn and Stanford among them. Of course, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have been in on Barnett since he emerged as a sophomore, and he admitted that he came close to committing to the Sooners during a recent visit. Barnett is the ideal combination of size, agility, strength and speed. “He's obviously a real big kid, a very, very intelligent kid,” Lawton coach Randy Breeze said. “When people see him they think, ‘Well, he's probably pretty good going straight ahead and blocking the defensive tackle.' But one of the things he does best is we run the counter and we pull him back to the other side of the center and send him up on a linebacker. “You don't see many kids that big. A good tackle that size doesn't have a problem blocking someone right across from him, but he has the ability to go to the second level and get a linebacker on both sides of the center.” Behind him on the list is Casady's Josh Wariboko-Alali, who committed to Oklahoma last fall and has an offer list that continues to grow. At 6-3, he's the “short” linemen on the list. But he's all muscle in his 310-pound frame. Four other blockers, all 6-4 or taller, made this edition of the Super 30. Some of them you might've heard of, like Edmond Santa Fe's J.R. Hensley. Some of them might be new names, like Riley Daniel of Class A Ringling. Ringling has only had two Division I signees in school history, former Sooner Richard Dillon and his son, Jackson, who just finished his freshman season at Memphis. But Daniel is on his way to making it three. At 6-6, 310, he obviously has the size. Some might doubt him because of the level of competition he plays against. But his strength and ferocity as a blocker is enhanced by his athletic ability. “He used to play tight end for us, until he grew out of that,” Ringling coach Tracy Gandy said. “Obviously coaches like his size, but he just moves so well. He's getting attention from all over.” Shawnee's Tristan Wyatt and Yukon's Shane Block fit the mold of college linemen as well, both standing 6-foot-5. And there are others — Westmoore's John Delmoral, Duncan's Dalton Dismuke, Enid's Estevan Arana and Kingfisher's Kaden Jackson among them — who could find their way onto future versions of the Super 30. So on Friday nights next fall, when you're out watching a high school football game, keep an eye on the offensive linemen. College scouts will be.
Feb 9, 2014
With National Signing Day behind us for the class of 2014, it's time to look to next year. Here is the first edition of The Oklahoman's Super 30 recruit rankings for the football class of 2015.
High schools: The Oklahoman's Super 30 for 2015
BY SCOTT WRIGHT AND JACOB UNRUH, Staff Writers | Feb 9, 2014The Oklahoman's Super 30 for 2015 With National Signing Day behind us for the class of 2014, it's time to look to next year. Here is the first edition of The Oklahoman's Super 30 recruit rankings for the football class of 2015: 1. Jalin Barnett, OL, Lawton, 6-4, 310 Top 50 in most national rankings, top 10 in some. Barnett said recently that he came close to committing to Oklahoma on a recent visit. 2. Josh Wariboko-Alali, OL, Casady, 6-3, 310 The Casady star was the first commit of the 2015 class when he picked OU last fall, but programs such as USC, LSU and others have offered since. 3. Marquise Overton, DT, Jenks, 6-2, 300 Another early OU commit, Overton had been leaning toward the Sooners and gave his verbal shortly after the Sugar Bowl. 4. Will Sunderland, DB, Midwest City, 6-3, 194 The big, athletic safety is getting attention from all over. The in-state schools offered first, and others, like Arkansas, are coming on board now. 5. Dahu Green, WR, Westmoore, 6-3, 190 The big surprise of 2013, Green was an unknown when the season started. With a big body and soft hands, he became the focal point of opposing defensive backs. 6. Caileb Booze, LB, Edmond North, 6-3, 205 Surrounded by seniors on last season's stout Husky defense, Booze still shone through as a star in the making. 7. Akylen Mayfield, ATH, Tulsa Edison, 6-2, 190 Edison struggled last season, but Mayfield stood out immediately. Mainly a QB for Edison, Mayfield's college future will be at any of a number of other positions. 8. Tramayne Wauahdooah, LB, Anadarko, 6-3, 200 When you watch him play linebacker, the phrase “reckless abandon” comes to mind. 9. Marquiz Simpkins, RB, Clinton, 5-10, 185 Picked up a Tulsa offer after a stellar sophomore season, though Injuries led to an up-and-down junior campaign. 10. Darreyl Patterson, DB, Lawton, 6-0, 165 Patterson has been gaining more and more attention recently, including a Tulsa offer. 11. Bobby Henry, DT, Southmoore, 6-3, 260 A dangerous interior lineman with a good mix of speed and strength. 12. Riley Daniel, OL, Ringling, 6-6, 310 Dominant at the Class A level with the size and athletic ability that will translate to big-time college opportunities. 13. J.R. Hensley, OL, Edmond Santa Fe, 6-4, 285 Santa Fe has another strong class of recruits coming up, and Hensley, a technician on the line, leads the way. 14. Connor McGinnis, QB, Heritage Hall, 6-5, 190 The best QB in the class, McGinnis is the prototypical passer for the spread offense. 15. Warren Wand, RB, Edmond Memorial, 5-7, 170 His size will always bring doubts, but Wand is an electric ballcarrier, with the strength to overcome his small stature. 16. Kalin Sadler, WR, Lawton, 5-11, 185 Lawton is overflowing with D-I talent once again, and Sadler has been gaining lots of attention lately. 17. Dillon Lohr, ATH, Carl Albert, 6-1, 195 A potential top-10 candidate on this list, Lohr can play anywhere — running back, receiver, defensive back, kick returner. 18. Denver Johnson, WR, Casady, 6-3, 205 Part of a solid recruiting class at Casady, Johnson is rangy and athletic. 19. Aaron McKinney, ATH, Midwest City, 6-4, 190 D-I talent for sure, but the question is at what position? Receiver? Defensive back? Maybe a future linebacker? 20. Tristan Wyatt, OL, Shawnee, 6-5, 290 Yet another big OL in this class, Wyatt has good athleticism with a powerful frame. 21. Dalton Wood, QB, McAlester, 6-3, 230 Injuries have slowed him down the last two years, but Wood is a talented dual-threat QB. 22. LaManuel Singleton, DE, Edmond Memorial, 6-4, 220 He's still a little raw, but his size and speed catch your eye quickly. 23. John Jacobs, QB, Shawnee, 6-1, 220 A fast and powerful runner who is underrated as a thrower. 24. Robert Thomas, DB, Tulsa Union, 6-0, 170 Impressive agility and a good overall talent base to build on as a cornerback. 25. Markale Moses, DB, Broken Arrow, 5-9, 155 He might lack size, but he has the ability to be a shutdown cornerback. 26. Shane Block, OL, Yukon, 6-5, 265 Following in the footsteps of recent Tulsa signee Tyler Bowling, Block has the ideal OL frame, and he's part of a Yukon class that could have multiple D-I prospects. 27. Roscoe Gatewood, DB, Midwest City, 5-9, 180 Another smaller DB on the list whose play on the field makes you forget his size. 28. Ashton Preston, DB, Edmond Santa Fe, 5-11, 170 Good strength for his frame, Preston has the skills and potential to climb up this list. 29. Brandon Prather, WR, Stillwater, 6-0, 165 Athletically gifted, Prather won the Class 6A long jump last spring at 23-feet, 5 inches. 30. Luke Frankfurt, DB, Oklahoma Christian, 5-11, 170 A little under the radar, Frankfurt plays RB/LB for the Saints but is suited more for a safety role. Good strength and a playmaker deluxe.
Winters guided the Bronchos to three conference championships and one NAIA Tournament appearance.
Tributes: Former UCO basketball coach Mark Winters dies at age 85
BY SCOTT MUNN, Assistant Sports Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org | Feb 3, 2014A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed a game day experience: *Mark Winters, 85, spent 16 years as men's head basketball coach at the University of Central Oklahoma. He guided the Bronchos to a 239-185 record with three Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference championships and one NAIA Tournament appearance over the 1962-78 seasons. Winters was inducted into the UCO Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004. He also spent time as a basketball coach at the high school level and at Eastern Oklahoma Junior College. Funeral services are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at first Presbyterian Church in Edmond. *Leland Crissman, 86, of Duncan was a pitcher in the Cleveland Indians organization. The right-hander spent the 1947 season with the Ardmore Indians of the Sooner State League, tying for the team lead with 11 wins. Crissman threw for the Indians' farm teams in Midland, Texas (1948) and Spartanburg, S.C. (1949), before returning to Oklahoma for one more season of pro ball. He played parts of the 1950 season with the Chickasha Chiefs of the Sooner State League and the Oklahoma City Indians of the Texas League. After his playing days, he coached American Legion baseball and worked for Haliburton Services. *Stillwater resident Joan Bauer Wittner was a New York native who coached at the elementary and high school levels. She and husband Bob moved to Oklahoma in 1982 (Bob accepted a position at Oklahoma State), and Joan continued her involvement in athletics. She was a youth soccer coach; officiated youth and adult sports; and worked as a coach and volunteer coordinator for Special Olympics. Joan was a Donna Nigh Award recipient for her service as a volunteer. She died recently at age 73. *Vern Benson, 89, of Granite Quarry, N.C., spent the 1959 and 1960 baseball seasons as manager of the Tulsa Oilers. Benson guided the St. Louis Cardinals farm team to a 153-135 record and two third-place finishes in the Texas League. He then served as an assistant coach for several big league teams, including the Cardinals' 1964 world champions. In an unusual twist to Benson's career, he spent one game as manager of a bad Atlanta Braves team, in 1977. He replaced Braves owner and television magnate Ted Turner, who managed one game while regular skipper, Dave Bristol, was on a reported scouting assignment. National League president Chub Feeney told Turner rules prohibited managers from having ownership in a team. So Benson, the Braves' third-base coach, took over for Turner until Bristol returned to finish out a 61-101 season. *Archie Franz, 88, played basketball for Corn High School. He became a farmer and rancher in the area, supplementing his income by refereeing basketball games. *Seth Martin, 15, played basketball for the Cement junior high and high school teams. A devoted fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant. *Racine, Wis., native Virgil Carlson had a successful tryout with the old Milwaukee Braves — but any thoughts of playing pro baseball were dashed later that week, when he was drafted into the Navy. He was a Broken Arrow resident at the time of death at age 74. *Stanley Hardrick played football at Central High School in Oklahoma City and Cameron University in Lawton. Hardrick was a 240-pound all-district and All-Capital Conference lineman for Central, which clinched its league championship in 1966 with an 18-16 victory over Southeast. The title was the Cardinals' first of any kind since 1947. After college, Hardrick went on to become a supervisor for the City of Oklahoma City. *Tulsa native Linda Ishmael Smith, 78, was an all-conference basketball player at Jenks. She worked in speech therapy in Oklahoma, Illinois, Virginia and Wisconsin before retiring to Sarasota, Fla. *Dwight Ward, 57, of Maysville owned the D&L Tackle Shop. He also donated time to the Pauls Valley rodeo arena, helping build bleachers. *Wes Burton, 58, of Tulsa was a professional golfer and teaching pro in New York, Florida and Argentina. He spent 30 years playing on either the South American Tour or the Champions Tour. Burton qualified for the 2007 U.S. Senior Open with a record-low 64. *Yvonne Blount Chesnutt, 94, of Oklahoma City played tennis for Central High School, finishing as state runner-up in May 1937. ... Norman Schulz, 76, was a Lone Wolf native who played college football at Southwestern State. ... Patti Baker Crosby, 67, of Edmond was a Cushing High School cheerleader. ... Mary Penner, 57, of Wayne played high school basketball at Lexington. ... Jack Staiger, 83, of Tulsa owned the Staiger Tennis Center for 20 years. *Glen Richardson, 95, of Edmond was a golfer who played at Wichita State. ... Charlene Thorpe Black, 74, of Courtney coached youth softball and was an avid Ringling Blue Devils fan. ... Kevin Weedle, 58, of Denton, Texas, was a record-setting basketball player at Chattanooga High School. ... Sue Parker Wild, 66, of Fox assisted husband Ed in training bird dogs for field trials competition. *Paul Seiter, 74, played baseball and football at Moore High School. ... Elinor Russell Lehman, 91, of Commerce was a cheerleader and football queen at Kingfisher High School. ... John Hudspeth, 78, of Shawnee played baseball at Durant High School and then freshman football at OU. ... Delbert Kauk, 89, of Clinton played sandlot baseball in the 1940s for Johnniesville in western Oklahoma. BY SCOTT MUNN
The annual All-State game is scheduled Aug. 1 in the Tulsa area.
High schools: Oklahoma Coaches Association announces All-State football rosters
FROM STAFF REPORTS | Jan 27, 2014The Oklahoma Coaches Association announced its All-State football rosters Monday. The All-State game will be played Aug. 1 in the Tulsa area. WEST Coaches: Mike Williams, Anadarko (Head); Stuart Purintun, Kingfisher; Clint Warren, Minco; Justin Merideth, Edmond Memorial. Offense Quarterbacks: Jacob Lewis, McGuinness; Cameron Batson, Millwood; Colton Lindsey, Christian Heritage. Running backs: Michael Warren, Lawton; Landon Nault, Kingfisher; Braden Stringer, Blanchard; Jacob Overton, Minco; Trevor Harris, Laverne. Receivers: Malik Earl, Edmond Santa Fe, Alfonzo McMillian, Millwood; Joe Neece, Cashion. Tight end: Payton Prince, Norman North. Linemen: Tristan Hill, Mustang; Houston Tyler, Southmoore; Logan Parks, Yukon; Blake Finley, Guthrie; Jonathan Higgins, McGuinness; Grant Lee, Clinton; Mildren Montgomery, Douglass. Defense Linemen: Ivan Thomas, Lawton; Brandon Jones, Midwest City; Cade Parker, Norman; Noble Lybrand, Bethany; Gatlin Squires, Kingfisher; Levi Allen, Wynnewood. Linebackers: Mitchell Fritts, Lawton MacArthur; Johnny Jones, Douglass; Carlos Herrera, Hollis, Braden Ruth, Davis; Trenton Grimes, Pond Creek-Hunter. Backs: Kai Callins, Guthrie; Ashton Antwine, Edmond Memorial; Justin Brown, El Reno; Mykel Shaw, Anadarko; Devon Mitchell, Clinton; Cage Kennedy, Plainview. Kicker: Matt Hockett, Norman. EAST Coaches: Bryan Pratt, McAlester (Head); Mike Hedge, Meeker; Duwayne King, Vinita; Brent Marley, Victory Christian. Offense Quarterbacks: Cody Hale, Sand Springs, Coleman Key, Broken Arrow. Running backs: Lawrence Evitt, Wagoner, Jarome Smith, McAlester. Receivers: Slade Nordic, Bartlesville; Caden Pratt, McAlester; Chris Lester, Shawnee; Austin Reed, Broken Arrow; Bradley Campbell, Hilldale, Danny Burke, Metro Christian; Tanner Sweeten, Arkoma; Linemen: Jordan Blue, Talihina; Jason Bradford, Hominy; Dillon Smith, Meeker, Tyler Base, Oologah; David Seagle, Cascia Hall; Connor Wood, Owasso, Chandler Miller, Bixby. Defense Linemen: Skyler Wood, Nowata; Jeremy Smith, Berryhill; Matthew Dreyer, Bixby; Tristan Anderson, Tulsa Union; James Willis, Owasso, Bailey McKay, Sequoyah-Claremore. Linebackers: Carlos Aguilar, Poteau; Coleby Evans, Tulsa Union; Cale Wilson, Sallisaw; Dylan Chance, Commerce; Dalton Shinn, Afton. Backs: Steven Parker, Jenks; Tre Betts, Sand Springs; Jace Pitchford, Poteau; Andrew King, Victory Christian; Taylor Kegley, Pryor; Shamal Evans, Vian; Chase Williams, Wetumka.
The Oklahoman's final high school football rankings Class 6A Rank, Team, Record (Prev.) 1. Jenks, 14-0 (1) 2. Tulsa Union, 11-3 (2) 3. Broken Arrow, 10-3 (4) 4. Westmoore, 10-3 (5) 5. Lawton, 11-1 (3) 6. Midwest City, 9-3 (6) 7. Edmond North, 7-5 (7) 8. Mustang, 7-5 (8) 9. Tulsa Washington, 7-4 (9) 10. Edmond Memorial, 7-4 (10) Dropped out: None Class 5A Rank, Team, Record (Prev.) 1. Guthrie,...
The Oklahoman's final high school football rankings
By Scott Wright | Dec 23, 2013The Oklahoman's final high school football rankings Class 6A Rank, Team, Record (Prev.) 1. Jenks, 14-0 (1) 2. Tulsa Union, 11-3 (2) 3. Broken Arrow, 10-3 (4) 4. Westmoore, 10-3 (5) 5. Lawton, 11-1 (3) 6. Midwest City, 9-3 (6) 7. Edmond North, 7-5 (7) 8. Mustang, 7-5 (8) 9. Tulsa Washington, 7-4 (9) 10. Edmond Memorial, 7-4 (10) Dropped out: None Class 5A Rank, Team, Record (Prev.) 1. Guthrie, 14-0 (1) 2. McAlester, 13-1 (2) 3. Shawnee, 9-3 (5) 4. Carl Albert, 9-3 (3) 5. Lawton MacArthur, 10-3 (4) 6. Collinsville, 10-3 (6) 7. McGuinness, 7-5 (7) 8. Pryor, 8-4 (8) 9. Ardmore, 8-3 (9) 10. Del City, 7-4 (10) Dropped out: None Class 4A Rank, Team, Record (Prev.) 1. Anadarko, 14-0 (1) 2. Wagoner, 12-1 (2) 3. Poteau, 13-1 (3) 4. Douglass, 12-1 (4) 5. Woodward, 8-4 (5) 6. Catoosa, 8-4 (8) 7. Clinton, 8-4 (4) 8. Oologah, 8-4 (7) 9. Sallisaw, 8-3 (9) 10. Cascia Hall, 9-2 (10) Dropped out: None Class 3A Rank, Team, Record (Prev.) 1. Kingfisher, 15-0 (2) 2. Blanchard, 13-1 (1) 3. Seminole, 13-1 (3) 4. Plainview, 13-1 (6) 5. Locust Grove, 12-1 (7) 6. Hilldale, 10-3 (8) 7. Metro Christian, 11-1 (4) 8. Beggs, 10-3 (NR) 9. Jones, 7-5 (10) 10. Lincoln Christian, 8-5 (NR) Dropped out: Victory Christian, 11-1 (5), Checotah, 10-2 (9) Class 2A Rank, Team, Record (Prev.) 1. Davis, 15-0 (2) 2. Millwood, 14-1 (1) 3. Meeker, 12-1 (6) 4. Adair, 11-2 (7) 5. Vian, 13-1 (3) 6. Hartshorne, 11-3 (8) 7. Hennessey, 11-2 (4) 8. Commerce, 11-1 (5) 9. Nowata, 10-2 (10) 10. Christian Heritage, 8-4 (NR) Dropped out: Lindsay, 8-3 (9) Class A Rank, Team, Record (Prev.) 1. Hollis, 14-0 (2) 2. Ringling, 12-2 (1) 3. Talihina, 13-1 (7) 4. Kiefer, 11-2 (9) 5. Apache, 11-3 (NR) 6. Minco, 10-2 (4) 7. Morrison, 11-2 (8) 8. Wynnewood, 10-2 (3) 9. Thomas, 10-2 (5) 10. Cashion, 10-3 (10) Dropped out: Okeene, 10-2 (6) Class B Rank, Team, Record (Prev.) 1. Laverne, 14-0 (1) 2. Pond Creek-Hunter, 12-2 (3) 3. Rejoice Christian, 11-1 (4) 4. Alex, 12-1 (5) 5. Wetumka, 11-1 (2) 6. Fox, 10-2 (6) 7. Davenport, 9-3 (7) 8. Keota, 9-3 (8) 9. Coyle, 8-2 (9) 10. Merritt, 8-3 (10) Dropped out: None Class C Rank, Team, Record (Prev.) 1. Cherokee, 12-0 (1) 2. Tipton, 11-1 (2) 3. Shattuck, 10-2 (3) 4. Sharon-Mutual, 11-2 (5) 5. Thackerville, 10-1 (4) 6. Bluejacket, 9-2 (6) 7. Balko, 8-3 (7) 8. Arkoma, 8-4 (8) 9. Timberlake, 6-5 (9) 10. Sasakwa, 7-4 (10) Dropped out: None
Dec 14, 2013
Nyko Symonds was the OU holder but wanted to play more — so he transferred to OBU, where he's gotten playing time and got called to preach. But someone else got to be the hero in Stillwater, and that someone was holder Grant Bothun.
Oklahoma football: A tale of two holders, Nyko Symonds and Grant Bothun
BY BERRY TRAMEL | Dec 14, 2013Grant Bothun took the center snap, but instead of setting the ball down for a kick, Bothun sprang to his feet. And watching the Bedlam game from his parents' home in Moore, Nyko Symonds' spirit soared. A fake field goal has accelerated many a heart. Bothun was a little excited himself. On the sidelines, he had heard Bob Stoops tell kicking game coach Jay Boulware to put on the fake. Boulware told Bothun on second down, get ready. “It kind of hit me,” Bothun said. “OK, we're about to run one.” A fake is Nirvana for a holder. On a kick, the holder is indispensable but completely invisible, unless something goes wrong. Like the starter on a car. But a fake is different. A fake is not automation, not an assembly line, like a hold. On a fake, a team places its immediate future in the hands and on the feet and in the mind of a guy who rarely otherwise plays and who often isn't even on scholarship. On a fake, suddenly everyone would know Bothun's name. Most of Sooner Nation would have been hard-pressed, before Dec. 7, to even name the OU holder. Which is no high crime, since even Stoops struggled to summon Bothun's name when discussing the field-goal unit earlier this season. So Bothun sprang to his feet, rolled to his left and Bedlam momentum was about to swing mightily, one way or the other. “I kind of jumped around in the living room; ‘Ah, that might have been me,'” Symonds said. “I never got the chance to run a fake. That did spark a little something inside me. I'm not going to lie. I did get pretty excited and frustrated as well.” Symonds had been the OU holder in 2011. A non-scholarship player, same as Bothun. But Symonds left the Sooners after that season, succumbing to the siren song of more playing time. Soon enough, Symonds was hastening a call, all right. But it had nothing to do with football. * * * Bothun and Symonds share a similar story. Excellent high school football players, just not quite big enough to warrant a scholarship from a major university. Bothun, 5-foot-11, 188 pounds, was a running quarterback at Rowlett High School in suburban Dallas. Recruited by the likes of Sam Houston State. Symonds, 5-11 and 170, was a wide receiver at Southmoore. Recruited by the likes of Wyoming, Marshall and Colorado State. Both decided to attend OU as invited walk-ons. OU offensive coordinator Josh Heupel visited Rowlett and encouraged Bothun to be a Sooner. Bothun's brother, Garrett, was an OU walk-on from 2004-07. “I loved the atmosphere,” Grant said. “Always wanted to play here. I told my dad when I was in the seventh grade, ‘Might not be here, but I'm going to get on a big field like this one day.' I always thought I could come here.” Same with Symonds. He decided to be a Sooner. But the walk-on experience is not always smooth. Both Symonds and Bothun say their scholarship teammates were great. Made them feel as much a part of the team as anyone else. Symonds and Roy Finch remain the best of friends. “You go through the grind together,” Bothun said. “They don't treat you any different. Doesn't matter if they're walk-on or scholarship, we all hang out.” But Symonds grew disenchanted with the status of a walk-on. “There's still a little bit of separation that you feel,” Symonds said. “As a senior in high school, the (college) coaches tell you a lot of things they don't necessarily mean. “I was told I was going to have all the opportunities. I didn't really feel I got them there. In a way, it kind of made me step back. If I'm not going to get the opportunity, why even try? “I got the opportunity to be holder. I was thankful to be a part of that. Most walk-ons don't see the field.” The holding was fun. Jimmy Stevens' game-sealing field goal at Florida State in September 2011? Symonds was the holder. He fielded a couple of bouncing snaps at Kansas State, allowing Michael Hunnicutt to get the kicks in. “It's a tough job,” Symonds said. “Very nerve-wracking. I took pride in it. Loved contributing to the team in any way.” But Symonds was itching to play. He decided to leave OU. His parents warned him he might still get a chance to play receiver. But, Symonds said, “I just felt like it wasn't where my heart wanted to be.” Turns out it was more than that. OU wasn't where Symonds' heart was supposed to be. * * * In Stillwater on Dec. 7, Bothun took the snap, sprang to his feet and rolled to his left. OSU safety Lyndell Johnson bore down on Bothun. Cornerback Tyler Patmon peeled back to cover OU tight end Taylor McNamara, only to discover linebacker Caleb Lavey already there. That left Hunnicutt, the kicker, uncovered. So Bothun dumped the ball to Hunnicutt. A holder throwing to a kicker. “When the play starts, it's adrenaline, it's all practice,” Bothun said. “We've done it so much. Instincts just take over.” Hunnicutt caught the ball just before he crossed the goal line, took a thunderous hit and the ball popped free. But Hunnicutt had crossed the goal line first. Touchdown. Grant Bothun had throw a game-tying TD pass in Bedlam. “It was fun to contribute to such a big game, you know?” Bothun said. “You come to play in big games like that. To be able to make a big play like that with Hunnicutt was awesome. “After I saw Hunnicutt … get crushed, I had to look around, make sure he caught it. Then the first thing that went through my head, that's exciting. I want to do that again.” You know the rest. The Sooners won 33-24 with two touchdowns in the final 20 seconds. But that fake field goal in the waning seconds of the third quarter had reversed the tide. Bothun knows the frustrations that Symonds felt. Bothun is a receiver, too, and really hasn't played other than the holds on kicks. “It's tough,” Bothun said. “You definitely have to earn all your respect, that's for sure. “To me, it's understandable. You're not one of these big All-American guys. My dad taught me to never to expect to be given anything. “To get into a coach's head that you belong here, and that you can play here, you have to go above and beyond … to get noticed, that's for sure.” Getting noticed within the context of Oklahoma football never again will be a problem for Grant Bothun. * * * When Symonds decided to transfer from OU before spring practice 2012, he first told receivers coach Jay Norvell, then Stoops. “Oh man, we're going to lose our holder for the next three years,” Stoops told Symonds. That made Symonds feel good. Stoops offered to help Symonds find a new school. But Symonds' high school coach, Chris Jensen, had been hired to implement the revived program at Oklahoma Baptist University. OBU seemed like a good spot. Symonds didn't know how good. He was headed to OBU to play football, he thought. But God had other plans. In May, before Symonds made it to Shawnee, he was in his Norman apartment. For about three weeks, Symonds had felt funny. He'd been reading his Bible more than ever. Suddenly, he fell to his knees and started weeping. “Just happened in an instance,” Symonds said. “God just spoke to me, revealed himself in a mighty way. “I've always been a Christian. But it was just something that was a part of my everyday life, everyday routine. Didn't really dive into the word and truly believe with all my heart, like I do now.” Symonds was being called to preach. Called to pastor a church. He was headed to OBU to play football. Turns out football would be secondary in Shawnee; Symonds entered the pastoral studies program. “What's going on? Who are you?” friends and family asked. But Symonds had no doubt. “God had already set that up for me to go to OBU,” Symonds said. “I have no doubt in my mind this is where I'm supposed to be.” In OBU's first season of football in more than half a century, the Bison went 3-8. Symonds was elected captain and made second-team all-conference. The football life is different at OBU from OU. When it rains, you practice in puddles, not in an indoor facility. You bus to games, rather than fly charter. You play in front of hundreds, not tens of thousands. “Night and day difference,” Symonds admitted. “You're not treated like a king. But it brings it out, this is about work, even if I'm in the puddles, if I'm in the heat. “Going down a level has helped me work even harder. Allowed me to not take the sport for granted. Let it be more fun.” Symonds admits that while he's content, his imagination wanders. Even before the Bedlam fake field goal, Symonds wondered if he might have gotten on the field at OU as a receiver. The 2013 Sooner passcatchers aren't nearly as deep as the 2011 Sooner receivers. Then came the Bedlam play that thrust Grant Bothun into Oklahoma lore. “There's always that what if,” Symonds said. “But I try not to do that so much. More than football, this is where God has me right now, preparing me to be able to preach his word. “That's another thing that blows my mind. I never imagined in my wildest dreams, my faith would be the main part of who I am and everything I want to do in life. “There are those times I look and I'm like, I know I could be playing out there on Saturday with the Sooners. But at the same time, what's more important, playing for OU or doing God's will for my life?” Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.
A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience.
Tributes: Competitive body builder Jerry Roquemore, outdoorsman Earl Abram pass away
BY SCOTT MUNN | Dec 9, 2013A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience: Jerry Roquemore of Shawnee died of heart failure at age 79. The native Texan was a competitive body builder who won several awards, including Mr. Southwest USA. An Army veteran who was a member of the International Parachuting Team. Earl Abram, 76, of White Oak was an avid outdoorsman who hunted bear, mountain lion and wild hogs. In 1977, he set the record for the biggest bear taken in Idaho. Longtime Vinita resident Charles Dirickson participated in several rodeos. He won a calf-roping title at the Will Rogers Rodeo held in Vinita. A World War II veteran who served on the American Legion Rodeo Committee. By trade, Dirickson was senior vice president of the First National Bank of Vinita. He was 93 at the time of death. *Bill Parris, 78, of Tulsa played football and baseball at Sand Springs High School. He held season tickets for University of Tulsa football and basketball teams for 23 years. By trade, Parris was a military man. He was a major in the Air Force, coordinating four interceptor units and 14 long-range radar squadrons. *Carl Hamilton, 79, was a star athlete at Goodwell High School. He played football, basketball and baseball at Panhandle State, which inducted Hamilton into its Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012. Hamilton went into coaching after his university days; he spent time at Goodwell and Hardesty high schools in Oklahoma. He also had coaching stops in Texas, Kansas and California. *Marshall Smith, 87, of Miami, OK, played golf at Northeastern A&M Junior College and the University of Mississippi. The Quapaw High graduate was a PGA teaching professional. *Vernie Alba, 89, of Lawton captained the Cameron Junior College football team. The World War II veteran was a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees and — despite his loyalties to the Cameron Aggies — the Oklahoma Sooners. By trade, Alba owned and operated the Hawk movie theater in Erick. *Mac Alloway was a Turley native who moved to Winfield, Kan., as a youngster. He starred for Winfield High in baseball and basketball, earning a scholarship in the latter at Southwestern College. Alloway cut short his college career, joining the Marines in 1943 to help the U.S. win World War II. Afterward, he worked in the oil industry and spent leisure time as an award-winning deep sea fisherman. Alloway, 89, was a Tulsa resident at the time of death. *Carl Brecheisen, 89, of Bartlesville attended Notre Dame on a baseball scholarship. The World War II veteran would play professional baseball in the Cleveland Indians organization, a three-year career spent in either the Lone Star or West Texas-New Mexico leagues. Brecheisen was an outfielder who had a career .291 batting average. *Logan Phillips, 57, of Mounds played football at Tulsa Webster High School and Coffeyville Community College (Kan.). ... Grace George, 89, wife of legendary Ada High School and East Central University football coach Elvan George. ... Leonard Callaway, 53, was an award-winning basketball player at Shattuck High School. ... Billy Watkins, 83, of Garber built race cars and then drove them at Enid Speedway.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Shawnee, a town of 30,000 about 45 minutes outside of Oklahoma City, will soon be home to the only two colleges in the entire state offering varsity collegiate swimming and diving.Starting next school year, St. Gregory's University will offer men's and women's swimming and diving to their athletics program, joining crosstown rival Oklahoma Baptist University, which added...
Second Shawnee school adds swimming to roster
KRISTI EATON, Associated Press | Dec 3, 2013OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Shawnee, a town of 30,000 about 45 minutes outside of Oklahoma City, will soon be home to the only two colleges in the entire state offering varsity collegiate swimming and diving. Starting next school year, St. Gregory's University will offer men's and women's swimming and diving to their athletics program, joining crosstown rival Oklahoma Baptist University, which added swimming and diving in the 2011-2012 school year. The hope, according to St. Gregory's athletic director Jeff Potter, is that the small Catholic liberal arts university can recruit students it may not have been able to otherwise. In addition to the aquatic sports, St. Gregory's will add men's lacrosse. While the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, the organization the school belongs to, doesn't recognize lacrosse, many NAIA schools have it. "We wanted to get a niche. Men's lacrosse will be the first program in the state. Swimming, obviously, will be the second. We want to get in while the gettins' good," Potter said. "Swimming, in particular, is underserved in Oklahoma and Texas." Adding swimming and diving and lacrosse didn't require much in the way of capital expenses — St. Gregory's already has a swimming pool and lacrosse can be played on the soccer field, Potter said. St. Gregory's will hire one head coach for men's and women's swimming and one coach for lacrosse as well as least one part-time assistant coach for each program, Potter said. Marketing on some lacrosse and swim websites will start appearing once coaches are hired to inform potential recruits about the opportunities, including partial scholarships that will cover some of the tuition costs, which run $18,000 to $20,000 per year. It's not a coincidence that both private schools in Oklahoma offering swimming are in Shawnee. Potter, an OBU alum and former coach, did some of the initial research into which sports would be smart additions to that school's roster. He later used that same research and work at St. Gregory's. "They've had a lot of success in swimming ... and it just reinforced my idea that swimming could work," Potter said. Oklahoma Baptist University's men's swimming and diving team won the NAIA National Championships in 2012 and 2013, while the women's swimming and diving team won a national championship in 2013. Jeff Allen, the swim coach at Phillips 66 Splash Club in Bartlesville, said St. Gregory's new swim program will hopefully bring more recognition to the sport, which often takes a backseat to football, baseball and basketball in Oklahoma. But, Allen said, until a large school like University of Oklahoma or Oklahoma State University offers swimming, these programs may not have as much impact as people would think. "We have a lot of great athletes going out of state," he said. ___ Follow Kristi Eaton on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kristieaton.