Thomas Terriers football
|10 - 2||5 - 0||5 - 2||.833||377||164|
|2013-09-06||vs||Alva||W||28 - 21|
|2013-09-13||@||Okeene||W||14 - 0|
|2013-09-20||@||Carnegie||W||40 - 13|
|2013-09-27||vs||Burns Flat-Dill City||W||40 - 6|
|2013-10-04||vs||Apache||W||43 - 32|
|2013-10-11||@||Sayre||W||47 - 0|
|2013-10-17||@||Hollis||L||15 - 40|
|2013-10-25||vs||Cordell||W||49 - 13|
|2013-11-01||@||Snyder||W||15 - 0|
|2013-11-08||@||Mangum||W||44 - 18|
|2013-11-15||vs||Texhoma||W||28 - 0|
|2013-11-23||@||Ringling||L||14 - 21|
|Player Name||Number||Year||Height||Weight||Position (main)|
Thomas football News
NewsOK articles about Thomas football, or articles mentioning current or former Thomas football players.
Thomas High School Varsity Boys Football
Jul 27, 2014
Cat Conti never played sports, let alone had any interest in them, when she was growing up in Southern California. She wanted to be a Hollywood star.Like many wannabe actors, she found herself waiting tables after college. And had it not been for her getting to know a high school coach at the sports grill where she worked, she wouldn't be among the four women who will be on-field officials in...
Cat Conti earns her stripes as football official
ERIC OLSON, Associated Press | Jul 27, 2014Cat Conti never played sports, let alone had any interest in them, when she was growing up in Southern California. She wanted to be a Hollywood star. Like many wannabe actors, she found herself waiting tables after college. And had it not been for her getting to know a high school coach at the sports grill where she worked, she wouldn't be among the four women who will be on-field officials in the Football Bowl Subdivision this season. The 38-year-old Conti had been assigned to the Southeast Missouri State-Kansas game on Sept. 6, making her the first woman to work a football game in the Big 12 Conference. "The ultimate goal is to be able to do it at the highest level," Conti said. "Tennis players want to play Wimbledon, golfers want to play Pebble Beach, and football players want to get to the Super Bowl. The reality of it is, I'm hoping I get a second Big 12 game ever in my life." Conti will work mostly as a line judge in the Mountain West for the second straight year. She landed the Big 12 gig through the league's officiating partnership with the Mountain West and FCS-level Southland Conference. Mountain West supervisor of officials Ken Rivera said Conti has moved up on merit and hasn't drawn much notice from coaches — which is a good thing. "Usually coaches don't call me to tell me how good an official is," Rivera said. "They call because they have an issue, and we haven't had any blowback with Cat at all." Conference USA has three female officials in Sarah Thomas, Maia Chaka and Amanda Sauer. Thomas and Chaka also will work some NFL preseason games as part of the league's developmental program. C-USA supervisor of officials Gerry Austin said he's noticed more women working high school and small-college games the past decade. Austin said the women he hired in C-USA have proved to be every bit as good as their male colleagues when it comes to field presence, knowledge and ability to apply the rules. "If they get the call right, I don't care if they're women or mutants," Austin said. "In the end, that's what I'm judged by — do they get the call right, do they manage the game right. It behooves me to put people on the field who can make that happen. The fact we have diversity, is that a thought-out process? In reality, yes. We should have diversity." Conti, from Thousand Oaks, California, said she knew nothing about football before she dated a boy in high school who was a San Francisco 49ers fan. She developed a passion for the game in college and became fascinated with the chain crew on the sideline. "As a theater arts major, I started lying to everybody for my own entertainment, telling them I'm going to move to San Francisco and be a yard-marker for the 49ers," Conti said, laughing. "Every time the chain crew would go on the field for a measurement, I'd punch the guy next to me in the shoulder and say, 'I'm totally going to do that someday.'" She was waitressing the day she met local high school coach George Contreras and asked him, half-jokingly, how one gets a job on a chain crew. He suggested she pursue on-field officiating instead. A few months later he brought her a newspaper clipping about an upcoming orientation meeting for prospective officials. "I thought, 'Why not?'" Conti said. That was in 2000. Conti ascended through the high school and junior college ranks and, by 2010, had to resign from her job as a ninth-grade English and drama teacher so she could go all in on officiating. She now does personal training to supplement her officiating income. Conti said she's taken no more abuse than a male official would and that no one has outwardly questioned her ability based on her gender. Kansas coach Charlie Weis joked last week that he would have to watch his language in the presence of Conti. Weis needn't worry. Conti won't be able to hear him because she'll be working as center judge, the eighth official who stands in the offensive backfield opposite the referee. She will watch the interior line for holding and ready the ball for play. Conti said all she wants is to be treated like one of the guys. "If everybody has to watch their language, or if everybody has to watch how they conduct themselves and I'm 'super sensitive Suzy,' then I don't belong out there," Conti said. "I'm in their world. That's the reality. I am inserting myself into their universe, and I'm just happy to be there."
Jul 22, 2014
George Brewer died Monday at the age of 85. Brewer was a halfback on Bud Wilkinson’s great OU teams of the late 1940s. We put together a quick story for the Tuesday Oklahoman, but we were super busy down in Dallas with Big 12 Media Days. I regretted that we didn’t have more time to […]
Oklahoma football: A tribute to George Brewer
Berry Tramel | Jul 22, 2014[img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/3/2014/07/george-brewer.jpeg]2874321[/img] George Brewer died Monday at the age of 85. Brewer was a halfback on Bud Wilkinson’s great OU teams of the late 1940s. We put together a quick story for the Tuesday Oklahoman, but we were super busy down in Dallas with Big 12 Media Days. I regretted that we didn’t have more time to do a better story about Brewer, who had been one of the few players remaining from the ’40s-era Sooners. Then I received an email from Kyle McCord, Brewer’s grandson. McCord and Curtis Fitzpatrick of the Sports Animal and Fox-25 are good friends, and I asked Curtis to have Kyle email some information about his grandfather. Kyle did more than that. I don’t know if he meant to, but he wrote a great tribute to George Brewer. It was so good, I thought I would share it with you: “My grandpa, George W. Brewer, Jr., was the patriarch of my family for many years and is literally why I grew up in Oklahoma and have been a Sooner fan since birth. My first memories are going to Norman as a 5-year-old with him and watching the ’85 Sooners. I haven’t missed many home games since and he even gifted me his seats as a wedding present eight years ago. “George has deteriorated in health these past few years, suffering from early dementia and Parkinson’s. His passing, while sad, is truly a blessing. “George was the middle of three brothers. Robert (two years older) was the best athlete of all and after one semester at Texas Tech, went to serve in World War II. He was shot down and was missing in action for four years until eventually his body was recovered. “His younger brother, Charlie, was the Texas player of the year in 1951 and went on to start at QB for Texas (’54-’57). Charlie’s son, Robert, played QB for Texas in ’81-’82, upsetting Bear Bryant in the Cotton Bowl. Robert’s son, Michael, was a four-time state champion at Lake Travis in Austin, and just left Texas Tech as QB and is competing at Virginia Tech this fall. (I was the disappointment you could say, but I did start in the same backfield as Wes Welker for two years at Heritage Hall and threw him his first few TDs, haha). “George Brewer graduated from Lubbock High (The Westerners) in spring 1945 (Texas high schools only went to grade 11 at the time). Enrolled at Texas Tech (to follow in his brother’s footsteps) in fall 1945 and ran track that following spring, winning the 100-yard dash in the Border Conference with a time of 9.7 seconds. He wanted to go to Notre Dame, but his Southern Baptist mother wouldn’t let him. “Caught the eye of Eddie Chiles, a Sooner booster from Texas. He flew him into OKC and was picked up by Bud Wilkinson. Not knowing who Bud was, he asked ‘what position do you play?’ only to be embarrassed upon finding out the answer. (He loved telling that story). “George got to campus and participated in a team practice. He ran for two touchdowns and passed for another. The Daily Oklahoman had an article the next day titled ‘Texas Gridder Catches Fire at OU Drill.’ He was one of (if not the first) OU running back recruited by Bud from the state of Texas. “He was 16 that fall and played with all the returning vets from World War II (Darrell Royal, Buddy Burris, Jack Mitchell, Dee Andros, Jim Owens, Wade Walker, etc….). Royal took him under his wing and remained one of his best friends until his death a few years ago. “George’s first game was against Army at Yankee stadium in 1946. It was the first time an Oklahoma team had traveled to an away game by airplane. They flew two DC3′s and had to stop in Pittsburgh to refuel. The team saw the play ‘Oklahoma’ on Broadway after the game and were introduced on stage. “Started in 1947 and was a part of the first pair of 100-yard rushers in the same game in OU history. He had 135 yards on 22 carries along with Buddy Jones’ 115 yards on 19 carries again K-State. OU went 7-2-1 with a controversial loss to Texas. “1948, broke his leg in a scrimmage after getting hit by a teammate. Due to X-ray technology, he didn’t know it was broken for a week. He played against Santa Clara and scored the first touchdown, but couldn’t play much after that. He played as a backup to Junior Thomas in the ’49 season. “Between 1948 and 1949, OU was 21-1 which springboarded Bud’s first 31-game win streak. “Drafted by Detroit Lions in 1950 but went to work for his dad back in Lubbock. “Entered the Air Force and served as the Air Provost Marshall in Chun Chon Korea during the Korean War. “Worked for Conoco Oil and Lion Oil in Liberal, Kan., between 1953-1969. Returned to OKC in 1969 and worked in real estate and uranium exploration. “He as served on the Oklahoma chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. He is also a lifetime member of the Varsity O-Club and served on the Board of OU Ex-Lettermen. “He would have been 86 on Aug. 14 and was proud to have been the ‘voice’ these past 20 years for the original ‘Bud’s Gang.’ “Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Barbara. Daughters Pam Jaax (husband, Mike) of Kansas City, Debbie McCord (husband, Ron) of OKC, and Becky Brewer of OKC. He had seven grandkids whom he proudly bragged about all graduating from seven different universities. (I am the third, and only OU grad). He also leaves behind five great-grandchildren. “Services are set for 2 p.m. Friday at All Souls Episcopal church in northwest Oklahoma City.”
Jul 21, 2014
The Devon Thomas case has to give heartburn to plenty of Cowboy faithful both inside and outside the program. So, why not distance yourself from it?
Oklahoma State football: Mike Gundy's waffling on Devon Thomas is making a bad situation worse
BY JENNI CARLSON | Jul 21, 2014DALLAS — Mike Gundy walked into Big 12 media days about the same time Devon Thomas walked into Tulsa County District Court. No surprise: the former was asked about the latter. Nearly two months have passed since Thomas was arrested and charged with burglary, armed robbery and shooting with intent to kill. Felony charges. Sinister charges. And yet, the freshman running back remained on the Oklahoma State roster. Until Monday. Media guides that were distributed for the first time were void of Thomas. Same for the Cowboys’ online roster. “The roster that we handed out today are the players that will report next week,” Gundy said when I asked during his morning press conference about Thomas’s status. “And if there’s a player that’s not on that roster, then he’s not a part of our team.” Sounds pretty cut and dried, right? Unfortunately, no. On a day OSU could’ve — and should’ve — severed ties with Thomas, Gundy instead left some strings intact. Thomas isn’t on the roster, but Gundy said later in the day that the running back hasn’t been dismissed. Thomas isn’t part of the team now, but Gundy said during the afternoon breakout session that he wasn’t ruling out a return. “You look at it like if it was your own child,” Gundy said. “He was accused of something, then all of a sudden none of it ever happened and his slate was wiped clean. I would hate to go out on a limb and say, ‘That’s going to happen.’ I don’t know either way. We all know funnier things have happened. “But with the information I have, he’s certainly not part of the team at this time.” This has to give heartburn to plenty of Cowboy faithful both inside and outside the program. Who loves OSU and wants the school’s flagship athletic program associated with someone facing three felony counts, including shooting with intent to kill? Those aren’t words you like seeing in the same sentence as your school. So, why not distance yourself from it? “I always try to let the legal system work,” Gundy said. “I think that’s the fair way.” That’s admirable, but in this instance, it doesn’t seem all that advisable. Thomas, after all, has had other run-ins with the law. As a juvenile, he was charged with distributing child pornography — according to juvenile records obtained by the Tulsa World, he recorded himself having sex with an underage girl, then showed the video to friends — and faced allegations of assault and battery with a deadly weapon. Those allegations never led to formal charges. Gundy, by the way, said Monday that he didn’t know those specifics when the Cowboys recruited and signed Thomas out of Broken Arrow. Even though Thomas had been suspended for a few high school games and the reason wasn’t exactly a secret in the Oklahoma high school sports world, Gundy said that the Broken Arrow coaches wouldn’t provide any details. “I don’t think they could go into detail with us,” Gundy said. Maybe they didn’t know. Or maybe they knew and wouldn’t tell, fearing legal issues or community backlash. Regardless, the information is out now, and still, Gundy hasn’t slammed the door on Thomas. If the tailback had been squeaky clean before being arrested earlier this year, I could understand the coach leaving that door cracked open. But after run-in No. 3? I don’t get it. It’s possible that Gundy, who has booted guys who’ve been accused of far less than Thomas, fears a bigger mess. This is a litigious society, after all. I’m not suggesting that Thomas would have a legal case against OSU if the Cowboys put one of Pistol Pete’s boots in his backside, but there could be a lawsuit all the same. And what happens if Thomas is dismissed by the Cowboys but then has his case dismissed? Or the charges are dropped? Or a trial doesn’t find him guilty? This is a messy situation. But Gundy is only adding to the chaos at this point. All of this he’s-not-on-the-team-but-he’s-not-dismissed waffling is making a bad situation worse. Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.
Jul 17, 2014
I received a bunch of emails about my soccer column, which ran in the Wednesday Oklahoman and which you can read here. The majority of emails were supportive of my ideas to improve the World Cup and the profile of soccer in the U.S. But not all. Here’s a sampling: Christopher: “Do us all a […]
Soccer emails: "Idiotic opinions" and some support
Berry Tramel | Jul 17, 2014[img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/3/2014/07/Germany.jpg]2867177[/img] I received a bunch of emails about my soccer column, which ran in the Wednesday Oklahoman and which you can read here. The majority of emails were supportive of my ideas to improve the World Cup and the profile of soccer in the U.S. But not all. Here’s a sampling: Christopher: “Do us all a favor, and keep your idiotic opinions to yourself. Your ignorance of futebol is blatantly obvious.” Do you think Christopher is from Europe, with that “futebol” stuff, or is he trying to throw us off the scent? Sam: “Hey, Mr. T, good article on soccer’s problems. Here’s a thought on overtime: Start the first extra period one man short on both teams and the second, two men short. Maybe sudden death? If still nil, decide the winner by “best flop.” That goes back to my problem with shootouts. You’re messing with the game. Seven-on-seven is no more legit than one-on-one. Thomas: “In the same way international basketball tweaks their game from American origin, how about we tweak international rules to fit the American style?” Beautiful analogy. That’s all I’m saying, too. Just fit the sport to our particular taste. We don’t rail against the Euro-style basketball. In fact, we sort of think it’s cool. Even adopted some of it over here. Gary: “I became a soccer fan eight years ago simply because it was August, and nothing but baseball was happening. I had The Soccer Channel on my satellite system, so I watched it. As a red-blooded American, I went with the flow and hated soccer. But after I learned the rules and strategy, and picked a favorite team, I became hooked. (As a Cubs fan, baseball held little interest.) The World Cup is OK, but like NCAA football, the usual suspects prevail: Germany, Holland, Italy, Brazil and Argentina. The USA has made good strides in developing players, and having several tiers of pro soccer, which is the secret to having a solid national team. The money from TV contracts in Europe is almost obscene. Now, several networks in the U.S. have fought for the rights, with NBCSN winning the bid. Will it replace my Sooner football, NFL or Thunder? Heck no, but it something at 6 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.” Man, Gary, you get up early. Paul: “Couldn’t agree more on changes to soccer to increase its popularity in the USA. I would go one step further and change the offside rule to be more like the NBA clear path rule. I mean, if a defender gets beat on a break, the offside rule just bails him out. Modify that and scores go up. The replay for flopping, I really like. One good actor can change a game. The fans not knowing extra time deal completely wears me out as well.” Lots of people wrote about offsides… John: “Agreed with your soccer article, but you left out the most significant change needed — perhaps on purpose because it’s so controversial! Every major league sport in America over the last several decades has manipulated their sport to increase offense to increase viewership — reign in offsides in soccer! Not saying completely eliminate (or maybe they should with a few other adjustments), but it’s ridiculous to penalize a player for ‘excessive speed.’ Doing so would dramatically increase scoring, would lead to many striker vs. goalie matchups that are so darn exciting in penalty kick phase and would do away with the overtime issue you mentioned if you would combine with sudden death in overtime. Until they do, plus incorporate your suggestions, it will never come close to the popularity of the three majors.” Actually, I didn’t address offsides because I didn’t want to tinker with the fundamental playing of the game. That’s what the soccer crazies don’t realize. I wasn’t calling for revolution. I was calling for a change in administration. Officiating, timekeeping, overtime, etc. I never have fully understood why soccer and hockey have offsides; seems like it would add to the strategy if you didn’t have it. But I know there are good reasons for having it, too, and I’m not trying to change the structure of the sport. Just how that structure is administered. Greg: “I enjoyed your soccer article and couldn’t agree with you more. Four year ago I wrote many of those same thoughts in a note I posted to my Facebook. The one thing you failed to mention is the offsides rule. Nobody can give me one good reason to keep it, but everyone just assumes it serves some purpose. Yes, holding down the score and the excitement.” Actually, the only reason I’ve ever heard was that it prevents cherry-pickers. What I haven’t been told is what’s wrong with cherry-pickers. Larry: “I am really glad you wrote ‘A Few Tweaks’. Seemed like you were just transcribing what I’ve been thinking. I watched start to finish all the U.S. games and the World Championship game. Maddening – that’s exactly the word I’ve been trying to find. Your fixes are all on the mark for American sports fans. As I watched I saw guys grabbing other guys jerseys, tripping guys, throwing body blocks (actually liked that) all over the field and the refs calling maybe one out of every 5-10 fouls. They need at least four refs who can call fouls. Replay – got to add that especially for blatant flops. Worse than the NBA. Time Clock – ridiculous to have to guess how much time is left. The NBA gets that right by allowing players to see the clock, down to the second right over the basket. Exciting stuff. Substitutions — they have a bunch of guys sitting on the bench they can’t get into the game because they’re worried about red cards and injuries. Crazy. Europeanness – exactly. This is America. Oklahoma City Slickers is American. Energy FC is not American. Overtime – maybe 15-minute sudden death overtime? That might inspire teams to send the entire team, including the goal keeper, on last minute ‘student body straight ahead’ power plays. One more thing. I know they like showing how tough they are by using their heads as bats and playing with broken noses, but they really need to come up with a soccer helmet – not a modern football helmet, but maybe something like a Bronko Nagurski, Red Grange era old time leather football helmet. Anyway, I feel better that you’ve written what would make soccer popular more than once every four years with American sports fans.” Interesting point. Only the stuck-in-the-mud attitude of soccer is keeping the players from wearing helmets. Soccer concussions are actually quite common. Keith: “If you Americanized the sport you would have to give each team 10 timeouts in addition to five-minute change of possession timeouts which would result in the fans who actually go to the games sitting with their thumbs up their you know what like we do currently at football games. Please, please don’t ruin soccer by turning into the pathetic money machines of college football or basketball.” Keith was having a bad day, but he brings up an interesting point. Soccer should not feel picked upon. I do this all the time with American sports. Tell them how to improve. I would cut NBA timeouts down to two per team. I would make all kinds of clock adjustments on football. And don’t even get me started on college football overtime. The point is, I often critique football and basketball. But critique soccer, and I’m the Ugly American. Jim: “Loved your article on soccer! One additional thing not mentioned: Higher scoring would make the game more appealing to Americans, no? Referees could be encouraged to call more fouls inside the penalty area, which would result in more scoring. I saw some fouls in World Cup games that I would have called in a typical high school game. By tradition, and because no one wants to reward a flopper (like you mentioned), if they did not see the play from the right angle, many referees are hesitant to call fouls inside the penalty box which would result in a penalty kick. (Soccer referees, like most all referees, want the game to be settled on the merits and not on the referee’s calls.) One way to accomplish this objective would be to allow a fourth/fifth official looking at the replays to advise the center referee by headset as to whether he thinks a foul or a flop has occurred.” The more eyeballs the better, as far as I’m concerned. The Big 12 and other leagues are going to eight officials working football games. They used to have six. But the game has demanded more policing. Soccer is no different. Andy: “Interesting article, and I think you’re on the right track for the most part. Officiating: Spot on. They have three guys watching a bigger area than what the NFL does with seven. I’d like to have two extra officials on each goal line, one on either side of goal. Most controversy occurs in the penalty area, and with three pairs of eyeballs keeping track of things, most of that could be eliminated. Replay: I’m not sure of this one due to the flowing nature of soccer. In NFL football, I greatly approve of replay and would even expand it a bit, but I’m not convinced that it could be implemented effectively in soccer. To FIFA’s credit, they finally did allow goal line technology, which worked pretty well. Timeclock. Spot on again. Make the game 90 minutes and actually stop the clock when there are stoppages. Let it run during throw-ins, corner kicks, and goal kicks, and if the team with the ball wastes time, rather than showing a yellow card to the time wasting player, give the ball to the other team. Substitutions. I’m on the fence about this one. One advantage of limited substitutions is that a small club or country can often compete with a bigger club because the match depends on 11 players rather than the depth of the bench. I suspect though that something will have to change, just to deal with the concussion issue. Europeanness. Curiously, I’ve thought lately that more Europeanness could help the game. They all converted to the Metric system years ago, but everything is still measured in Imperial units. Yes, FIFA lists Metric units first in its official Laws, but declaring a goal to be 7.32 m x 2.44 m, does change the fact that it is 8 yards x 8 foot. Make the goal 8 m x 2.5 m, and a lot of caroms off the posts, will now go in. Overtime. Here’s an easy solution. Forget extra time. Forget penalties. Use set pieces instead. Once you hit the regulation 90 minutes, go to alternating set plays, corner kicks and free kicks from 25 yards out or so. Once the defending team gains possession, then it’s their turn. It’s still a bit artificial, but it would be a lot more similar to full blown soccer than penalty kicks. In some ways it’s a similar idea to what they did with college games. I think a score could be guaranteed to occur in a reasonable length of time, and by cutting out all the midfield running, the players would be fresher. Offsides. This could be modified just a bit to really open up the game. Change the rule so that the attacking player is not offside, until he is completely behind the last defender with no overlap. Not only would it be easier to call, but by essentially giving the attacker an extra step, it would not only improve attacks, but it would probably make the offside trap largely ineffective, and thus really open up the game. Of course, I don’t think that FIFA will ever listen to people like you and me, but it’s fun to dream.” Hey, I think Andy just advocated making the goal a little bigger. That’s a heck of an idea.
Jul 13, 2014
Especially on defense, new faces are likely to make an immediate impact. On offense, the Cowboys grabbed a few players who could become stars. Here are some new Cowboys to keep an eye on this season.
Oklahoma State football: Six newcomers to watch in 2014
By Cody Stavenhagen, Staff Writer | Jul 13, 2014After losing a 28-player senior class, Oklahoma State goes into the 2014 season with starting positions to fill and many other spots on the depth chart open. Especially on defense, new faces are likely to make an immediate impact. On offense, the Cowboys grabbed a few players who could become stars. Here are some new Cowboys to keep an eye on this season: Josh Mabin, LB A three-star recruit from Klein Oak (Texas) High School, Mabin comes in with college-ready size at 6-2, 227. He also runs a 4.5 40-yard dash, and though he might be more of an inside linebacker prototype, Mabin will be one of several incoming linebackers competing to start on the outside after the Cowboys lost Shaun Lewis and Caleb Lavey to graduation. Gyasi Akem, LB Akem is a four-star recruit from Broken Arrow, and though he’s smaller (6-1, 210) and slower (4.6) than Mabin, he’s known for his physical style and has had a long relationship with the OSU coaching staff. Thrown in Pearland (Texas) recruit Justin Phillips, and the new guys are sure to become familiar in a thin OSU linebacking corps. Josh Furman, S Furman graduated from Michigan in May before transferring to OSU, making him eligible immediately. OSU needs help and experience at safety, and Furman provides just that. He was no star at Michigan, but he started three games for the Wolverines in 2013 and walks into a depth chart situation that should give the 6-foot-2 transfer every opportunity to start at strong safety. Sione Palelei, RB The Louisiana native went under the radar after suffering a season-ending injury early in his senior year, but he has a 4.35 40-yard dash time and enters a backfield looking for a fourth option. With Devon Thomas all but officially out of the picture, Palelei could earn a few carries early in his career. Mason Rudolph, QB The 6-foot-4, 217-pound quarterback from Rock Hill, S.C., enrolled at OSU to compete for a starting job. He wasn’t spectacular in spring practices, but he has a strong arm and underrated mobility. His first season in Stillwater will likely depend on how J.W. Walsh performs, but the OSU coaching staff recruited Rudolph to play, and that time will come. It’s just a matter of when. Tyreek Hill, RB-WR If you don’t already know about him, you should. Hill comes from Garden City Community College, and he already broke OSU records this spring on the track. He brings supreme speed, and proved with highlight plays in the spring that he’s already one of the Cowboys’ top offensive players. Hill will likely play running back, receiver and possibly return kicks.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former Stanford football players Davis Dudchock and Chandler Dorrell have transferred to Vanderbilt and will be eligible to play this season.Dudchock, a tight end, is a graduate transfer using his final year of eligibility. Dudchock, listed as 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, played eight games for Stanford last fall and caught five passes for 43 yards.Dorrell, a redshirt...
Vandy adds Stanford transfers Dudchock, Dorrell
Associated Press | Jul 10, 2014NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former Stanford football players Davis Dudchock and Chandler Dorrell have transferred to Vanderbilt and will be eligible to play this season. Dudchock, a tight end, is a graduate transfer using his final year of eligibility. Dudchock, listed as 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, played eight games for Stanford last fall and caught five passes for 43 yards. Dorrell, a redshirt freshman, will play wide receiver for Vanderbilt after working out as a defensive back at Stanford. Dorrell was a high school wide receiver at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. As a former Stanford defensive coordinator, Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason already is familiar with both players. Dorrell also is the son of Vanderbilt offensive coordinator Karl Dorrell. Vanderbilt opens its season Aug. 28 against Temple.
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
Jun 29, 2014
WASHINGTON — Amanda Blackhorse, a Navajo who successfully moved a federal agency to withdraw trademark protections from the Washington Redskins because it considers the team’s name derogatory, lives on a reservation where Navajos root for the Red Mesa High School Redskins. She opposes this name; the Native Americans who picked and retain it evidently do not. The Patent and Trademark Office...
George F. Will: What's in a name?
Jun 29, 2014WASHINGTON — Amanda Blackhorse, a Navajo who successfully moved a federal agency to withdraw trademark protections from the Washington Redskins because it considers the team’s name derogatory, lives on a reservation where Navajos root for the Red Mesa High School Redskins. She opposes this name; the Native Americans who picked and retain it evidently do not. The Patent and Trademark Office acted on a 1946 law banning trademarks that “may disparage” persons. “May” gives the agency latitude to disregard evidence regarding how many people actually feel disparaged, or feel that others should feel disparaged. Blackhorse speaks of “the majority of Native American people who have spoken out on this.” This would seem implausible even if a 2004 poll had not found that 90 percent of Native Americans were not offended by the Redskins’ name. A 2013 AP-GfK poll showed that 79 percent of Americans of all ethnicities opposed changing it, and just 18 percent of “nonwhite football fans” favored changing it. The federal agency acted in the absence of general or Native American revulsion about “Redskins,” and probably because of this absence. Are the Americans who are paying attention to this controversy comfortable with government saying, in effect, that if people are not offended, they should be, so government must decide what uses of language should be punished? In today’s regulatory state, agencies often do pretty much as they please, exercising discretion unconstrained by law. George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley notes that in 2004 the Federal Election Commission held that the anti-George W. Bush movie “Fahrenheit 9/11” did not need to be regulated as an “electioneering communication” but in 2008 held that the hostile “Hillary: The Movie” was such a communication. In the regulatory state, the rule of law is the rule that law barely limits regulators’ discretion. Although the death penalty clearly was not considered a “cruel and unusual” punishment when the Eighth Amendment proscription of such punishments was adopted, perhaps society’s “evolving standards of decency” have brought this punishment under the proscription. Standards of decency do evolve: No sports team launched today would select the name “Redskins.” Although Thomas Sowell is correct that “some people are in the business of being offended, just as Campbell is in the business of making soup,” the fact that some people are professionally indignant does not mean offense may be given promiscuously to others. The name “Redskins” is more problematic than, say, that of the Chicago Blackhawks or Cleveland Indians presumably because “Redskins” refers to skin pigmentation. People offended by this might be similarly distressed if they knew that “Oklahoma” is a compound of two Choctaw words meaning “red” and “people.” Blackhorse, however, has two larger objections. She says “someone” once told her that teams’ mascots “are meant to be ridiculed,” “to be toyed with,” “to be pushed around and disrespected” and “have stuff thrown at them.” She should supplement the opinion of that someone with information from persons more knowledgeable. But she considers “any team name that references Native Americans” an injurious “appropriation of our culture.” Has an “appropriation” been committed by the University of Utah and Florida State University even though they have the approval of the respective tribes for their teams’ nicknames, the Utes and Seminoles? William Voegeli, a senior editor of the Claremont Review of Books, writes that the kerfuffle over an NFL team’s name involves serious matters. They include comity in a diverse nation, civil discourse, and “not only how we make decisions, but how we decide what needs to be decided, and who will do the deciding.” Time was, Voegeli writes, a tolerant society was one with “a mutual nonaggression pact”: If your beliefs and practices offend but do not otherwise affect me, I will not interfere with them if you will reciprocate regarding my beliefs and practices. Now, however, tolerance supposedly requires compulsory acknowledgment that certain people’s beliefs and practices deserve, Voegeli says, “to be honored, respected, affirmed and validated” lest they suffer irreparable injury to their sense of worth. And it requires compelling conformity for the good of the compelled. When two Oregon bakers chose, for religious reasons, not to provide a cake for a same-sex wedding, an Oregon government official explained why tolerance meant coercing the bakers: “The goal is to rehabilitate.” Tolerance required declaring the bakers’ beliefs and practices intolerable. We are going to discover whether a society can be congenial while its government is being coercive regarding wedding cakes and teams’ names. George Will’s email address is email@example.com. WASHINGTON POST WRITERS GROUP
Jun 22, 2014
OSU football is not the renegade program that Sports Illustrated tried to portray. But off-season scandals are a sign that the Cowboys could get to such status quickly if coaches are not more careful on who they bring in.
Oklahoma State football has lost a step or two in positive public relations
By Berry Tramel | Jun 22, 2014When the Sports Illustrated series last September put Oklahoma State football under siege, the Cowboys’ response was effective. A professional public relations campaign. Ample media help. Strong leadership from OSU personnel. By the end of the week, SI was under as much scrutiny as was Mike Gundy’s program. But Cowboy football this offseason has given back some of those PR gains. Its academic progress rate was sub-standard enough that OSU has been docked a day’s practice per week in the 2014 season, and freshman tailback Devon Thomas is charged with a variety of felonies in Tulsa, including shooting with intent to kill. Two big black eyes on a program that had risen to great heights in recent years. And those black eyes are linked. Gundy and staff have not been careful enough on whom they recruit. OSU football is not the renegade program that Sports Illustrated tried to portray. But these offseason scandals are a sign that the Cowboys could get to such status quickly if coaches are not more careful on who they bring in. And strange as it sounds, the academic shortcomings are the biggest alarm. Coaches can miss on the character of any individual recruit. There’s a little Father Flanagan in every football coach. Certainly OSU knew or should have known that Thomas was troubled. All kinds of stories floated around Tulsa and Broken Arrow. Since Thomas’ arrest a few weeks ago, juvenile records have been released showing Thomas was suspended four games in his junior year at Broken Arrow High School and accused of distribution of child pornography. Thomas videotaped himself having sex with a girl under the age of 18, then showed his friends. That makes Thomas anything from a knucklehead to a degenerate. Football scholarships by the score have been given to risks like that. This time it bit the Cowboys, made more embarrassing by the fact that Thomas was committed to OU before the Sooners apparently backed off because of his behavior. But again, coaches not only want to win, they believe in that mentorship concept. They believe they can impact the lives of wayward young men, and often they do. But sometimes they don’t. Fail often enough on the same campus, and someone else will be in Father Flanagan’s office. Thomas was an early enrollee. The alleged crime occurred May 27. If Thomas had not come to Stillwater in January, he would be labeled an OSU recruit, not an OSU tailback. That’s part of the PR game. OSU has not removed Thomas from the squad, at least not publicly, but I assume that’s a formality. The Cowboy brass is lying low on Thomas — both Gundy and OSU President Burns Hargis declined to comment on the offseason problems — but I know what they were thinking on Thomas. I don’t know what the explanation is on the academic progress rating. The Cowboys blamed part of it on players who remained on scholarship but prepared for the NFL Draft instead of going to class in spring semesters. But that’s a problem that afflicts every program with talent. OSU has taken too many risks. Academic risks. Behavior risks. Attitude risks. Lack of retention is about the only way a football program can fall below the NCAA’s APR standards. With virtually mandatory summer workouts, summer school is a staple for almost every player. Impressive academic support programs exist at most programs on the Big 12 level and certainly that includes OSU. Players have to work hard not to be in good academic standing. The NCAA’s entrance requirements are so low, almost every prospect can get into school. But that doesn’t mean schools should take all qualifiers. Take too many risks, and you pay for it. That’s what OSU did. While recruiting better and better talent, the Cowboys were not so focused on prospects’ other characteristics. And now State football is giving back some of the hard-earned PR points from last September. Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Jun 15, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Rodney Thomas, who played running back for the Houston Oilers, Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons during a seven-year NFL career, has died. He was 41.Thomas died Saturday at the home in Groveton, a small East Texas town where he grew up, that he bought for his mother after signing his first professional contract, Groveton Funeral Home owner Terry Cartwright said...
Ex-Titans running back Rodney Thomas dies at 41
EMILY SCHMALL, Associated Press | Jun 15, 2014FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Rodney Thomas, who played running back for the Houston Oilers, Tennessee Titans and Atlanta Falcons during a seven-year NFL career, has died. He was 41. Thomas died Saturday at the home in Groveton, a small East Texas town where he grew up, that he bought for his mother after signing his first professional contract, Groveton Funeral Home owner Terry Cartwright said Sunday. The cause of death wasn't known and an autopsy was underway, he said. The Oilers selected the Texas A&M running back in the 3rd round of the 1995 draft, and he ran for 947 yards and five touchdowns during his rookie season. The team finished the season 7-9, though, and drafted Heisman Trophy-winning running back Eddie George in the first round the following spring, making Thomas a backup. Thomas remained with the team as a backup after it moved to Tennessee and became the Titans, but eclipsed 200 rushing yards in a season only once more, when he ran for 310 yards during the Titans' 1997 campaign. He played in Super Bowl XXIV, when the Titans lost to the Rams, and played his seventh and final season with the Atlanta Falcons in 2001. He finished his career with 1,973 rushing yards, 631 receiving yards and 15 total touchdowns. Cartwright said Thomas had been living in Spring, near Houston, with his wife and 4-year-old child, and that he often visited Groveton on business and to see his mother and other relatives who live in town. He said Thomas was well-liked in the community because he was "down to earth and humble." Thomas led the high school football team to two back-to-back state championships, in 1989 and 1990. He led the Aggies in rushing for four straight seasons, and in 1994, his teammates gave him the Aggie Heart Award, an award for a Texas A&M senior football player who demonstrates effort, determination, leadership and courage. "What a great young guy he was," former Texas A&M football coach R.C. Slocum told The Associated Press. "He made the greatest impact on his teammates of all the guys I've ever coached." ___ Follow Emily Schmall on Twitter at https://twitter.com/emilyschmall
Jun 12, 2014
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Sarah Thomas starts the day at her second job by tucking her long blond hair inside her cap, so she doesn't get noticed.On a football field, that's impossible.Thomas doesn't consider herself a pioneer, just "one of the guys." But as one of two female officials in the NFL's officiating development program, Thomas has a chance to break barriers in a male-dominated...
Female official hopes to break NFL barrier
TOM WITHERS, Associated Press | Jun 12, 2014BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Sarah Thomas starts the day at her second job by tucking her long blond hair inside her cap, so she doesn't get noticed. On a football field, that's impossible. Thomas doesn't consider herself a pioneer, just "one of the guys." But as one of two female officials in the NFL's officiating development program, Thomas has a chance to break barriers in a male-dominated profession. This week, Thomas, a former college basketball player, current college official and mother of three whose full-time job is as pharmaceutical sales representative, worked with a crew of officials during Browns mini-camp. Like the players, she worked on improving her skills and honing her craft. One day, she hopes to be on the field with the pros. But not because of her gender. "I am a female, but I don't look at myself as just a female," she said. "I look at myself as an official." Thomas began her officiating career in 1996, when an NFL scout spotted her working a high school game. From there, she joined Conference USA and was invited to join the NFL's developmental program, now in its second year. Thomas worked some training camps and preseason games last season. The next step is a regular-season game, and the earliest that can happen is 2015. It's not her call, so to speak, but Thomas believes she's ready. If this week was any indication, Thomas could be on her way. "She's done a good job," Browns coach Mike Pettine said after practice Thursday. Pettine believes it's time for the league to welcome female officials. "If she's efficient and good at what she does, I have no issues with it," Pettine said. "I think the best compliment somebody paid to her was when someone said, 'What did you think of the female official?' And they said, 'There's a female official out here?' I thought she was on point." Browns cornerback Joe Haden joked that Thomas was a little whistle happy. "She was calling everything," Haden said, smiling. "I couldn't snap on her. I was chilling." Thomas said her goal is to blend in. She doesn't want to stand out because of her sex — or worse, because she's not competent. She's dedicated to being a solid, fair and mostly unseen, which is why she pulls her hair up under her cap. Still, sometimes players do a double take when they see her on the field. "I think sometimes they go 'What is that?'" she said. "Yes, I do tuck my hair and at first I really wasn't too sure why. But I get it. We don't want to be noticed and anything I can do to blend in — I like it when I leave the field and people go 'I told you that was a girl.'" Thomas has two boys and an 18-month-old girl. She said her sons are most interested in her nabbing some NFL attire or autographs, "I can't do that," she said. Her children have never thought about their mom being anything other than an official, so they don't really grasp that she could make history as the NFL's first female official. "They just know mom officiates and it's nothing foreign to them or pioneering or anything," she said. "I do this." ___ AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org
Jun 5, 2014
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Pro Bowler Julius Thomas' resume now reads like this: one year of youth football, one year of high school ball, one season in college and, essentially, one full season in the NFL.Yet the 6-foot-5, 255-pound late-bloomer became a bulls-eye for some of Peyton Manning's biggest moments last year, like when he caught Manning's 51st TD throw that broke Tom Brady's...
Julius Thomas isn't resting on breakout season
ARNIE STAPLETON, Associated Press | Jun 5, 2014ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Pro Bowler Julius Thomas' resume now reads like this: one year of youth football, one year of high school ball, one season in college and, essentially, one full season in the NFL. Yet the 6-foot-5, 255-pound late-bloomer became a bulls-eye for some of Peyton Manning's biggest moments last year, like when he caught Manning's 51st TD throw that broke Tom Brady's single-season record, one of a dozen touchdown passes he caught. He was Manning's main target in the AFC Championship, too, with eight receptions for 85 yards a week after his two clutch third-down catches helped ice Denver's win over San Diego. All of this from a guy who entered the season with just one career catch in his first two injury-filled seasons.
May 30, 2014
In case you missed it, Cowboys freshman running back Devon Thomas was arrested. And it looks bad. Felony complaints of armed robbery and shooting with intent to kill. Here’s a link to the details. Thomas enrolled at OSU in January and went through spring drills, doing some good things before a minor knee injury sidelined […]
OSU Football: Devon Thomas Impact
jhelsley | May 30, 2014[img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/11/2014/05/broken-arrow1.jpg]2704308[/img] Broken Arrow’s Devon Thomas gets by Mustang’s Jordan Greenspan during the Class 6A football playoff game between Mustang and Broken Arrow at Mustang High School in Mustang, Okla., Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps The Oklahoman In case you missed it, Cowboys freshman running back Devon Thomas was arrested. And it looks bad. Felony complaints of armed robbery and shooting with intent to kill. Here’s a link to the details. Thomas enrolled at OSU in January and went through spring drills, doing some good things before a minor knee injury sidelined him. His future with the Cowboys, however, is now shaky. At best. So what does it mean for the Cowboys? Beyond the obvious black eye of the incident, if reports are accurate, it cuts into depth at running back, yet doesn’t really alter the outlook at the position. The Pokes still have the tandem of Desmond Roland and Tyreek Hill, as well as Rennie Childs, who showed promise as a true freshman a year ago. That trio always figured to define the position this fall. Sione Palelei, another addition in the February recruiting class, will join the mix this summer. So barring a rash of injuries, the Cowboys have depth. And they’ve got five-star prospect Ronald Jones III committed for the 2015 recruiting class.
May 10, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ryan Grigson ignored the conventional wisdom by doing his own thing in this year's NFL draft.Instead of taking a true center, he chose two versatile offensive linemen. Instead of taking a big-name receiver, he selected a 20-year-old with potential. And instead of picking a safety, he reinforced the defense with another pass rusher and a big inside linebacker.Grigson and the...
Colts take different tack to get help in NFL draft
MICHAEL MAROT, Associated Press | May 10, 2014INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ryan Grigson ignored the conventional wisdom by doing his own thing in this year's NFL draft. Instead of taking a true center, he chose two versatile offensive linemen. Instead of taking a big-name receiver, he selected a 20-year-old with potential. And instead of picking a safety, he reinforced the defense with another pass rusher and a big inside linebacker. Grigson and the Colts will soon find out if this weekend's choices will work out. "Everyone on the outside, I don't think, can understand how this all works, but you don't see the (draft) board and if you don't see the players that are there that you think are good enough to pick, you can't pick them," Grigson said. "If they're almost the same as the guys you have on your roster, it doesn't make you any better." Grigson has always preferred following his instincts to playing by the book -- with the exception of the first two picks he made as the Colts general manager, Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener. Since then, he's made 16 trades and scoured all corners of the planet to find hidden gems. Nobody can quibble with the results. Grigson took over a team that went 2-14 in 2011 and parted ways with longtime star Peyton Manning and led them right back to the playoffs with a 10-6 record in 2012. Last year, the Colts won their first AFC South title and their first playoff game in the post-Manning era. After taking two big-school guys on Friday, Grigson added three smaller-school players Saturday — Ball State defensive end-linebacker Jonathan Newsome, Western Kentucky inside linebacker Andrew Jackson and Georgia State offensive lineman Ulrick John. The Colts are hoping Newsome's pass-rushing skills will complement reigning NFL sacks champ Robert Mathis, and the 254-pound Jackson could become a run-stopping presence in the middle. Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano believe those two players will help upgrade the defense. "The tape doesn't lie," Pagano said. "He (Newsome) is a football junkie, it's his whole life. It's hard to find pass rushers and the way our league's going, you can't have enough of them." Both of those guys run into trouble off the field. Jackson was arrested in high school and was suspended for one game last season for violating undisclosed team rules. He finished his career with 326 tackles with 43 for losses in four seasons and played at the same Florida high school as Ray Lewis, whom coach Chuck Pagano coached in Baltimore. "That (Lewis) is his idol, and that's the guy he's tried to pattern his game," Pagano said. Newsome started his career at Ohio State but transferred to Ball State after missing most of the Buckeyes' 2011 spring practice because of academic problems. He sat out 2011 to comply with NCAA rules then was arrested in August 2012 on a marijuana possession charge. Following a two-game suspension, Newsome started the last 21 games, finished with 16½ sacks in two seasons and eventually caught the attention of the closest NFL team to the Muncie, Indiana, campus. Grigson said both owned up to their mistakes during the interview process. "If he lies, he's dead to us," Grigson said when asked specifically about Newsome, the first Ball State player drafted by the Colts. "He laid it all out there and if you do that, you've got a chance." The Colts also took a couple of chances along the offensive line. Second-round pick Jack Mewhort was a highly regarded prep center, played both guard spots and left tackle at Ohio State and right tackle and guard at the Senior Bowl. At 6-foot-6, 309 pounds, he could play anywhere next season. John, who was listed at 6-8 and 290 in college, was an all-league tackle in the Sun Belt Conference, though Grigson described him as a developmental player who could emerge as an NFL left tackle. And Grigson made it clear that second-year center Khaled Holmes, who played just 12 snaps last season, is expected to star this fall. "Khaled's our center, and you know, like we said, Jack has played center, Donald (Thomas) has snapped we're going to be fine," Grigson said. "We took Khaled in the fourth round because we believed he could play." Indy also took 6-1, 224-pound receiver Donte Moncrief in the third round as a potential successor to perennial Pro Bowler Reggie Wayne. Grigson is convinced the Colts made enough progress in the draft to remain a Super Bowl contender — regardless of anyone else's opinions. "Delano Howell has played some really good snaps for us (at safety), we feel good about Delano," Grigson said. "We hope some other guys rise to the occasion. We'll look at the June 1 cuts because we're always looking to get better."
Weleetka’s TeAndre Lucas collapsed on the track and stayed there for several seconds, writhing in pain, before getting up and limping over the finish line. His time was 58.02. Lucas had the fastest qualifying time in Friday’s preliminary at 11.37.
Class A-2A state track notebook: Heartbreak at the finish line for Weleetka's TeAndre Lucas
BY ED GODFREY | May 10, 2014Weleetka’s TeAndre Lucas was just a few steps away from becoming the state champion in the Class A 100-meter dash and possibly setting the state meet record when he pulled up and grabbed his hamstring. Lucas collapsed on the track and stayed there for several seconds, writhing in pain, before getting up and limping over the finish line. His time was 58.02. Lucas had the fastest qualifying time in Friday’s preliminary at 11.37. Ramy Anderson of Texhoma won Saturday’s finals with a time of 11.11. REESE BECOMES THREE-TIME CHAMPION Baylor Reese of Fairview won the discus for the third consecutive year and broke her own state meet record from a year ago with a toss of 140-7. Her previous state meet was 138-3. THE ASKA REIN CONTINUES AT COYLE Sophomore Tyra Aska of Coyle won three golds and one silver Saturday. Aska won the 100 and anchored the winning 400 and 800 relay teams. She finished second in the 200, leading her team to a third place finish in Class A. Her older sister, Taren, ran the second leg on both winning relay teams. Their brother, Tony, plays basketball at Redlands Community College in El Reno. TONKAWA’S REESE FINISHES WITH 13 GOLDS Omega Reese of Tonkawa finished her sensational high school career with three more gold medals, giving her a total of 13. Reese anchored Tonkawa’s winning 1600 relay Saturday, a race the Buccaneers won for the third straight year. She also anchored the 3200 winning relay on Friday — a race Tonkawa won for the fourth straight time with Reese — and captured the 800 on Saturday. She would have had four gold medals this weekend, something she accomplished the past two years at the state 2A track meet, but finished second in the 400 Saturday. Reese actually broke the old state record in the 400 and ran her person best time, but was beaten by Millwood’s Breonna Hall. She is going to run for Oral Roberts University. “I’m said that it’s over, but I am thankful for the time I had in high school,” Reese said. ACADEMIC STATE CHAMPIONS Laverne boys and Turpin girls were the academic track champions in Class A. Fairview girls and Thomas-Fay-Custer boys were the Class 2A champs. CUSTAR GETS FOURTH CONSECUTIVE GOLD John Custar of Sharon-Mutual won his fourth consecutive Class A state title in the shot put and broke the state meet record with a throw of 53-4. The old record was 53-1.50 set in 1993. “As a Custar you are expected to win state,” Custar said. “My cousin was a four-time gold medalist his senior year.” Jory Custar won the 400, 800 and was part of winning 1600 and 3200 relays for Sharon-Mutual in 2008. John Custar will play nose guard for the Oklahoma Baptist University football team next season and throw the shot put in track for the Bison. Custar shared his state meet record with T.J. Krittenbrink of Pond Creek-Hunter, who also had a throw of 53-4 on Saturday. Custar was given the gold medal because his second-best throw was better than Krittenbrink’s next-best toss.
May 6, 2014
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The green jacket hardly left Bubba Watson's closet the first time he won the Masters. Already in the last three weeks, he has worn it to a hometown function for kids, to the University of Georgia, and even had it on when he threw out the first pitch in a minor league baseball game.The difference?Watson says winning the Masters the first time was all about him as a...
The Bubba Tour focuses on schools and inspiration
DOUG FERGUSON, Associated Press | May 6, 2014PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The green jacket hardly left Bubba Watson's closet the first time he won the Masters. Already in the last three weeks, he has worn it to a hometown function for kids, to the University of Georgia, and even had it on when he threw out the first pitch in a minor league baseball game. The difference? Watson says winning the Masters the first time was all about him as a player, though he wanted to show proper respect to the club and its jacket. The second time around, he's more interested in using the jacket to benefit others. "I felt like this time I should be about inspiring kids and different people, and so I wanted to give back and do some things at my schools that I went to," Watson said Tuesday at The Players Championship, his first tournament since the Masters. He went to Bagdad, the tiny town in northwestern Florida, and after being honored at the Historical Society, he went to his elementary school and donated money for the school to buy computers. He also visited his middle school and high school. "For me, it was kind of about thanking everybody in the communities, thanking my teachers that really put their blood, sweat and tears into helping Bubba Watson," he said. "I might not have paid attention like I should, but it was, just to say thanks to everybody that's helped me throughout my young life." At Georgia, he attended what Watson described as "an awards banquet for the smart kids." "I wasn't ever invited to this banquet," he said. "It took me two green jackets before I finally got invited to this event." His message to the children was to listen to the teachers. His message at Georgia was to give back to the community. And thus ended the Bubba Tour. "We asked the members and the chairman at Augusta if we're allowed to use it (the green jacket) for certain events, but now it's done," Watson said. "It's up in the closet. Now we're going to hopefully try to contend at some other tournaments." ___ LEFTY AND THE SKULL: Callaway Golf has a new slogan for its Odyssey brand of putters called, "Innovate or Die." It's part of a promotion in which staff players carry a black bag with the motto written around what appears to be a skull and crossbones. It's actually a skull with 10 golf tees sticking out the bottom of the chin, and the crossbones are a pair of "Odyssey #7" putters. It's an attention-getter. But it wasn't for Phil Mickelson. Mickelson carried the skull on his bag for the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship. By Friday, he sought permission from Callaway to go back to the staff bag (red, white and blue) that he had carried all year. "He called last week and said, 'Do you mind if I carry my regular Callaway bag?' And we told him, 'Do what makes you feel comfortable,'" said Nick Raffaele, Callaway's vice president of tour. "He just didn't feel like it was him." There was no criticism leveled at Mickelson, and Callaway said it has not received any negative comments, but there were murmurs from some in the crowd at Quail Hollow when they saw the skull on the side of his bag. To each his own. Not surprisingly, Pat Perez thought it was the coolest bag he ever had. ___ LEARNING EXPERIENCE: Jordan Spieth had a two-shot lead with 11 holes to play in the Masters until a four-shot swing over the next two holes. He wound up in a tie for second behind Bubba Watson, and Spieth later said the loss stung. Jack Nicklaus speaks from experience when he said last week it would serve Spieth in the long run. Nicklaus won his first U.S. Amateur in 1959 and played in the U.S. Open at Cherry Hills the next year at age 20. He played the final 36 holes on the last day with Ben Hogan and could have won except for a 39 over the final nine holes. Hogan had a shot until hitting into the water on the 17th hole, and Arnold Palmer wound up winning when he closed with a 65 for what would be his only U.S. Open. "I keep telling Arnold, 'If I hadn't shot 39, nobody would have heard of you,'" Nicklaus said last week. On a more serious note, he thinks winning the U.S. Open at age 20 "would have been the worst thing that ever happened to me." "Here I have been a 20-year-old kid winning the biggest tournament in the world, and yet I wasn't ready to win," Nicklaus said. "It was just as much like the problem Jordan Spieth would have had if he won the Masters. You get to the pinnacle at age 20, it's hard to keep growing and believe in your mind that you need to work. So it was the best thing that ever happened to me." Nicklaus won the U.S. Amateur again the following year, turned pro in 1962 and defeated Palmer in a U.S. Open playoff at Oakmont for the first of his 18 majors. ___ GOLF AND FOOTBALL: Among the reasons The Players Championship moved away from its late March date were to give it separation from the Masters and because it often got lost in a month that featured the NCAA basketball tournament. Now it has to go up against the NFL draft, which starts Thursday night, in a town that has an NFL team. The course is near Jacksonville, home of the Jaguars. "I continue to believe that it won't have much of an impact on our telecast," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem. "Most of the hoopla is around the first round." Beyond television, however, Finchem conceded The Players will lose some attention. "I don't think that really has an effect on us, but it does. There's only so many column inches out there and things online that people are going to read. ... I'm not troubled by it, but I suppose if they moved it up, it wouldn't hurt." ___ DIVOTS: Manulife has signed on as title sponsor of the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in Canada for at least two more years. In its first two years, the tournament has attracted more than 125,000 spectators. ... The McGladrey Classic in 2015 will start awarding a spot in the field at Sea Island to the winner of the Jones Cup, one of the top amateur events in the country. Past champions include Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed and Luke List. ... Among the former champions in the field at Sawgrass, include Morgan Hoffmann. He won the Junior Players Championship in 2007. ... NBC and Golf Channel will present a one-hour film called "Payne" a week before the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, where Payne Stewart won the 1999 U.S. Open just four months before he perished in a freak plane crash. NBC will broadcast it at 5 p.m. EDT on June 8, and Golf Channel will show it at 10 p.m. EDT on June 9. ___ STAT OF THE WEEK: In the six years since Phil Mickelson won The Players Championship, he has failed to crack the top 10. Tiger Woods won The Players in 2001, and then went six years before he recorded a top 10 at the TPC Sawgrass. ___ FINAL WORD: "I'm obviously for it." — Phil Mickelson on what he thinks of a U.S. Open course without rough.
Apr 24, 2014
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — When it was clear Marcus Trufant's time with the Seattle Seahawks was over following the 2012 season, he was given a message by general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll on his way out.If it became apparent that Trufant was ready to retire from the NFL, they wanted him to do it as a member of the Seahawks.Trufant got that opportunity Thursday, officially...
Marcus Trufant retires as member of the Seahawks
TIM BOOTH, Associated Press | Apr 24, 2014RENTON, Wash. (AP) — When it was clear Marcus Trufant's time with the Seattle Seahawks was over following the 2012 season, he was given a message by general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll on his way out. If it became apparent that Trufant was ready to retire from the NFL, they wanted him to do it as a member of the Seahawks. Trufant got that opportunity Thursday, officially retiring from football after signing a one-day contract with Seattle. "It (the offer) says a lot about them, it says a lot about their character, it says a lot about the organization itself because they didn't have to do it," Trufant said. "They chose to do it and I'm very grateful for that. They just extended the hand and that just shows what kind of people they are, and I appreciate it." Trufant spent his entire NFL career with the Seahawks, with the exception of the 2013 training camp when he was with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Trufant was released at the end of August and remained out of football during the 2013 season. Being a dad shuttling around his daughters and starting in on new business ventures during his season out of football solidified Trufant's believe that he was finally done with the game. "It was just time, man. Just to be home with my family, all of my girls are getting bigger so it's just good to be home," Trufant said. "I had a nice run, and I have no complaints." Trufant retires as one of the few to become a star without ever really leaving home. He was a prep star at Wilson High School in nearby Tacoma, Wash., then a college standout at Washington State and finally a first-round pick of the Seahawks in 2003. Instead of having to fly across country for his introductory news conference after being drafted, Trufant took a phone call from then-coach Mike Holmgren, jumped in the car and drove 45 minutes up the freeway. That was the start of his association with the Seahawks. Trufant started 125 of 136 games played during his time in Seattle. He finished with 21 career interceptions and was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2007. He spoke about his career for 20 minutes Thursday, reading from notes typed out on his phone the night before. The Seahawks auditorium was packed with friends and family. Trufant was joined on stage by his parents, his wife and his brothers, Desmond and Isaiah, both cornerbacks in the NFL. Isaiah now plays for Cleveland, while Desmond is entering his second season with Atlanta. Carroll was there as well, along with former teammates Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, soon-to-be Hall of Famer Walter Jones and Isaiah Thomas of the Sacramento Kings. The fact all three Trufants were in NFL camps last August at the same time, playing the same position, brings a special sense of pride for the family. "He laid the path out for me," Desmond Trufant said. "I seen exactly what I had to do, what not to do, how to carry yourself on the field, off the field. Just completely set the right path for me. He made it a lot easier for me to get where I am now." ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
The following appeared in the April 23, 1989 editions of The Dallas Morning News.This wasn't another game day for Tom Landry. It was his day, and it convinced him that you are never too old to learn.At 64, the former coach of the Dallas Cowboys found that what people feel for him is a four-letter word.Love.It was a delightful lesson that reached him again and again as he rode through downtown...
Flashback: Tom Landry, Dallas part ways with parade, adulation
Sam Blair, Associated Press | Apr 22, 2014The following appeared in the April 23, 1989 editions of The Dallas Morning News. This wasn't another game day for Tom Landry. It was his day, and it convinced him that you are never too old to learn. At 64, the former coach of the Dallas Cowboys found that what people feel for him is a four-letter word. Love. It was a delightful lesson that reached him again and again as he rode through downtown Dallas on Saturday in a blue convertible on a perfect spring day, as he sat in the seat of honor on the platform in City Hall Plaza and heard the tributes and words of great affection and as he stood at the microphone happily awash in a five-minute standing ovation. It was there again as he visited Texas Stadium one more time, reunited with old players and old friends wishing him the best in a new life. It was a golden day that wound pleasantly into night, which found him appearing live on a 30-minute show on KXAS-TV (Channel 5). Mr. Landry glowed so much that he could have gone on camera with the studio lights off. Officially, this was Tom Landry Appreciation Day. Realistically, this was Tom Landry Adulation Day. And when it finally ended, he had something he will cherish for the rest of his life. The real beauty of it all, of course, was that the thousands of people expressed how they felt about the only coach the Dallas Cowboys ever fired. It was something that will live in the memory like that Hail Mary pass or those Super Bowl championships. Mr. Landry knew it and the people knew it, but he was delighted to tell the world at City Hall Plaza what it meant to him. His pale blue eyes gleamed as he looked out over the huge crowd and spoke in the language of the day -- from the heart. "You just ride in that parade down the street and see those faces. You kind of choke up," Mr. Landry said. "You just can't believe it's happening. This outflowing of love and concern is something my family and I will never forget. It's just beautiful. We've had so many wonderful times for so many wonderful years." And on Saturday, the best possible first day of the rest of Tom Landry's life, they were waiting at every turn. And loving him. At 10:30 a.m., Tom Landry stands beside a vintage 1954 Buick Skylark convertible, smiling, shaking hands, signing autographs and posing for pictures. He is dressed in his warm-weather coaching clothes: pale blue linen jacket, medium gray slacks, pale blue shirt, blue-and-silver striped necktie and, of course, The Hat. This one is a blue-gray straw with a two-tone blue band. So much for his wardrobe. What he really is wearing is a quiet euphoria. It is 15 minutes until perhaps the most ballyhooed parade in Dallas history -- his parade -- starts, and he couldn't be more at peace or more relaxed if he were sitting with his family on the backyard patio. Perhaps that's because he already is sensing what soon will become wonderfully obvious to everyone else: The mood is good, the people so giving that the whole parade could march right through his back yard. "Tommy has been so relaxed, so content ever since he got up this morning," says Alicia Landry, who after 40 years of marriage is pretty good at reading her husband's moods. "This is a very big day, but it's not a game day. There's no pressure for him. He's just out for the pleasure." So is everyone else. A clown comes over and presses on his lapel a sticker, which reads "Skipper Says: Just Say No." Another grin, another handshake. A diminutive pompon girl from Thomas Jefferson High School wants an autograph -- and something else. She stretches on tiptoes to hug his neck. Alicia checks her watch. She speaks softly to her husband. "It's 10:42. Time to go, Tommy," she says. He steps into the convertible, perches on top of the back seat and keeps signing autographs. If a fan doesn't have a pen, he reaches into his jacket for his. He is in position, and Alicia is pleased. She knows this routine well. "He doesn't have time for trivia,' she says. "On game days, I always remember the glasses, the tickets, the playbook." She soon learns that her husband has a lot more time for greeting his fans. The parade eventually starts 35 minutes late, but Mr. Landry is feeling so good that he doesn't seem to notice. This day will be all cheers, no tears. Not too heavy. Not too light. Just right. A lot of friends enjoying each other's company. The Landry convertible, owned and driven by Jim White of Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., finally moves forward in the staging area along Jackson Street, and the fans along the sidewalks cheer and banter with Mr. Landry. "How's your golf game?' one guy yells. Mr. Landry laughs and waves. "Improving." Just a few blocks and a couple of turns and he'll find he is going to ace Commerce Street. They move slowly past the Dallas County Courthouse and into a crescendo. Thousands screaming, thousands clapping. From old ladies with blue hair to babies in strollers. As the parade pauses briefly near Field Street, a chant grows from a mumble to a roar. Tom! Tom! Tom! Tom! It's the heartbeat of the street. Mr. Landry holds both hands high. Someone tosses him a white T-shirt. He grins, grabs it with his right and keeps waving with his left. He knows they are there for the best of reasons, and he glows. "People were saying they love you, they care for you," Mr. Landry says. "That's what it's all about." It certainly is, all the way up Ervay Street to City Hall. The old coach in the old convertible, both in mint condition, moved into the sun. The roar and excitement in the final few blocks is even greater than on Commerce. They're only just beginning. The parade is super, the ceremony superb. The tributes are on the money, the light moments really funny. Roger Staubach, co-chairman for Tom Landry Appreciation Day, calls the honoree to the lectern to take a phone call. Bob Hope, making a charity appearance in Port Arthur, wants to say thanks for the memories. "You've done as much for football as you've done for hats," Mr. Hope tells Mr. Landry. "You've been coaching so long, a lot of people think Tom Landry is the capital of Texas." Everyone loves it, especially Mr. Hope's closing line: "Wherever you go, you'll enhance the neighborhood. You're a class act, Tom." And then Mr. Staubach says it his way: "He's the best coach in the NFL and a pretty darn good guy." It's just one great ride after another for the Landrys on this day. A helicopter hurries them from City Hall to Texas Stadium for a reception with old players and friends, the Cowboys-Redskins Pro Legends Classic flag football game and a halftime ceremony filled withmore tributes and gifts. Back at City Hall Plaza, American, Braniff and Southwest airlines give them passes to fly wherever they wish. "I think the airlines want to get me out of town," Mr. Landry says. At the stadium, game sponsor KMGC-FM (102.9) presents the Landrys with a golf cart. With Tom driving and Alicia holding an armful of red roses, they take a fitting victory lap in the new cart and leave the stadium. No sooner are they back at their North Dallas home than a limousine from Channel 5 arrives to carry them to Fort Worth for the 30-minute special with Brad Wright and Timm Matthews. The title of the show is the perfect ending to a perfect day: Thanks, Tom! "I know this is the most exciting day of my life," Mr. Landry says. "In time, I think it will be the most important day of my life." The show ends. One more round of handshakes, autographs and pictures. Then, 14 hours after their day began, the Landrys are ready to go home. They glide east on Interstate 30, the lights glowing softly on a lovely spring evening. They still are riding in the limo, but in their hearts Tom and Alicia Landry are floating on their very own cloud. A lot of people obviously feel they deserve it. Staff writer Trent Whitney contributed to this report. ——— ©2014 The Dallas Morning News Visit The Dallas Morning News at www.dallasnews.com Distributed by MCT Information Services
c.2014 New York Times News ServiceBELLEVILLE, Ill. — In a drill at a college football practice, Fred W. Rensing charged downfield, lowered his white helmet and drilled the punt returner in the chest for a thunderous hit. Rensing did not get up, and he never walked again.He spent the next 28 years in relative anonymity, the initial years engaged in a long-shot legal dispute with his university,...
Collegian’s Early Case for Employee Rights Echoes Still
By STEVE EDER, Associated Press | Apr 22, 2014c.2014 New York Times News Service BELLEVILLE, Ill. — In a drill at a college football practice, Fred W. Rensing charged downfield, lowered his white helmet and drilled the punt returner in the chest for a thunderous hit. Rensing did not get up, and he never walked again. He spent the next 28 years in relative anonymity, the initial years engaged in a long-shot legal dispute with his university, fighting for injured worker benefits. Today, as a landmark case at Northwestern University challenges the foundation of collegiate athletics, Rensing and the 1976 punt drill that felled him still resonate. Though he has been largely forgotten by the public, those who have long been pushing for changes in the NCAA see him as an early pioneer in the struggle to win employment rights for campus athletes, which would potentially qualify them for protections like workers’ compensation benefits and unemployment insurance. Rensing did not win his fight, however. When the courts ultimately ruled against him, the decision gave the NCAA an important legal victory, bolstering its stance that its athletes are not professionals and delivering a precedent that stood opposite to what Rensing had pushed for. “The Rensing decision provided legal camouflage for the myth that college athletes are amateurs engaged in sports during their free time,” said Allen Sack, a professor at the University of New Haven who advocates NCAA reform. “I was stunned by that ruling and I still am today.” Nevertheless, Rensing, who died in 2004, “should be pulled back into history,” Sack added. “He was written out of history.” Rensing’s legal battle bears striking similarities to the one now roiling Northwestern. Whatever the outcome, Rensing’s family and friends see today’s push to change the NCAA as a continuation of his battle. “It’s about time — a long time coming,” his widow, Babette Rensing, said. “I don’t think he ever thought he’d be around to see it.” She keeps an old Indiana State football helmet near framed photos of a muscular 20-year-old in her small office here. She was with Rensing as he waged his legal campaign from his wheelchair, suing Indiana State for workers’ compensation benefits. She was with him in 1982 when a state appeals court ruled in his favor, declaring that as a football player, he should be considered a university employee. (Last month’s decision by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board about the Northwestern case echoed this argument.) And she was with him the next year when an Indiana Supreme Court reversed that ruling, declaring that he should not be considered a professional athlete after all. (BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM.) The son of a former high school football player, Rensing was an unlikely figure to take on the NCAA. He was a lifelong football fan who grew up here watching the St. Louis Cardinals football team with his father. But he spent his final years struggling with medical problems and was largely unemployable: He typed by tapping the keyboard with a piece of cardboard held between his lips. “As far as I’m concerned, the NCAA just put me in a bag and tied me up and threw me in the river,” Rensing told a reporter in 1997. Rensing would have been encouraged by the recent NLRB decision that Northwestern football players are university employees. The university has appealed the decision to the full National Labor Relations Board, which is now deciding whether to hear the case. The Northwestern players will hold a vote Friday on whether to unionize. At Althoff Catholic High School here, Rensing excelled on the offensive line, and was so dedicated that he lifted weights in an assistant coach’s basement at night. By his senior year, coaches from Indiana State, Tulane and Army were recruiting him. Rensing chose Indiana State, and had dreams of playing in the NFL. (END OPTIONAL TRIM.) In spring practices after his sophomore season, Rensing was competing for a starting spot on the offensive line. Before the final spring practice, on April 24, 1976, his coaches told him that they had seen enough and that he could rest his ailing knee. But Rensing insisted on practicing. He was injured on the punt drill that morning. Once the swelling subsided, a fractured dislocation of the cervical spine was diagnosed: He was a quadriplegic. When he was released from rehabilitation many months later, his parents turned their garage into a wheelchair-accessible bedroom. He did not return to Indiana State, and the university’s insurance covered only initial expenses. His family’s insurance covered much of the costs, but his father remembered needing to come up with $20,000 early on. (BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM.) Indiana State and the Belleville community held fundraisers to help offset the initial costs. Indiana State even hosted a Fred Rensing week, which included a visit from Jim Otis, the Cardinals quarterback. But Rensing’s parents understood that their son would always need caretakers to dress him, feed him and help him out of bed. And finding a job would be difficult, if not impossible. “I was worried about my son and his medical bills that were coming in droves,” his father, Fred J. Rensing, said. “I knew he wasn’t going to make a livable salary. He couldn’t use his hands or his legs. That pretty much ties you down.” (END OPTIONAL TRIM.) In 1977, Rensing filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits from the state of Indiana. His lawyers acknowledged in their letters with the Rensings that the case would be a novel one. The state’s workers’ compensation panel rejected Rensing’s claim, prompting his lawyers to turn to an Indiana appeals court. Rensing appeared in person for the hearing. “He wanted them to see him — have them look and see that this is it,” Babette Rensing said. In 1982, the appeals court decided, 2-1, in Rensing’s favor, finding his “scholarship constituted a contract for hire” within the state’s law and that it “created an employer-employee relationship.” The decision immediately drew fire from college sports officials. “We don’t like it,” an NCAA lawyer said at the time, questioning if scholarships would soon be taxable and if out-of-work athletes could file for unemployment benefits. Indiana State, with the backing of the NCAA as well as nearby universities like Indiana, Purdue and Ball State, appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court. Rensing’s friends were surprised he had taken on such a battle. “We were young and out of a small town,” said Tim Thomas, his high school teammate and best friend. “You think, ‘Man, that’s pretty bold.’ But it was just something they felt they needed to do.” The Indiana Supreme Court ruled in 1983 that Rensing “was not considered to be a professional athlete who was being paid for his athletic ability.” The decision noted that the benefits Rensing received from Indiana State were governed by “strict” NCAA rules “designed to protect his amateur status.” The decision would be cited in other cases challenging the NCAA. (STORY CAN END HERE. OPTIONAL MATERIAL FOLLOWS.) Rensing struggled to find work. He eventually found a low-wage job with a cellphone and paging company that allowed him to work from home, but he spent years unemployed. He continued to go to the weight lifting club, even if he could not do much there. He managed an adult softball team and coached youth football. And he counseled his adopted son, Gabe, who played college football before his playing career was cut short by concussions. Rensing even maintained his love for Indiana State, often returning to watch games from his wheelchair. When he died in 2004, he was buried in his Indiana State jersey.
I have three rules I live my life by.1. God has a plan for all of us. 2. Family matters. 3. Never bet against a Dreiling.As April nears its end and May flowers begin to bloom, so, too, will come the NFL Draft. And as each name is called, Nate Dreiling will hope someone reads his. You may remember Nate as the star linebacker of such teams as Hutchinson High School and Pittsburg State University...
Dear NFL: Do not bet against a Dreiling
Kyle McCaskey, Associated Press | Apr 20, 2014I have three rules I live my life by. 1. God has a plan for all of us. 2. Family matters. 3. Never bet against a Dreiling. As April nears its end and May flowers begin to bloom, so, too, will come the NFL Draft. And as each name is called, Nate Dreiling will hope someone reads his. You may remember Nate as the star linebacker of such teams as Hutchinson High School and Pittsburg State University football. “All it takes is one team to like what you’ve done,” Dreiling said. But we have to face facts. Dreiling knows his name will not be called May 8. Or May 9. Or probably even May 10. By the end of that Saturday, 256 names will be read out, and not one will likely be Dreiling. His work will then start in earnest. Dreiling hopes for a team to take a gamble on him in free agency. The best chance for the 6-foot-3, 235-pounder comes from shining on special teams and in a backup linebacker role. “As long as I just get a shot at making a team, that’d be an honor,” Dreiling said. Of course, we all know undrafted free agents cannot cut it in the big leagues. To confirm this, I took a gander at some former undrafted free agents. Adam Vinatieri, James Harrison, Kurt Warner, Warren Moon – anybody ever heard of these guys? Actually, upon further review, that’s a collective seven Super Bowl rings, 20 Pro Bowls and one Hall of Famer so far (Moon). OK, bad example. But let us not overlook that someone who played Division II football could not possibly succeed in the NFL. Brent Grimes? Jahri Evans? Matt Overton? What have those guys ever done in the NFL, besides make the 2014 Pro Bowl? “They put so many hours into breaking down a player,” Dreiling said. “Once they realize that you can play, they say they don’t care what the competition looks like.” It should not take too much film to realize Dreiling can play. One does not rack up 491 tackles and become a four-time All-American by standing around slurping Gatorade. Look, I am not an NFL talent evaluator, though we all can agree I should be. Dreiling will have to prove himself to someone else. He is working on that. He spent two months in Florida running a gamut that ranged from speed training to lifts to boxing classes. Several NFL scouts got to size him up as he motored through pro day workouts at Kansas State and Pittsburg State. Now, he is in Kansas City, helping his father, Randy, run the weight room at St. Thomas Aquinas. Which brings me to my final point – do not bet against a Dreiling. When Randy took over as coach at Hutchinson High, the team was, to be frank, terrible. When he resigned after this past season, he left with seven state titles. Expect more of the state as he takes over at Aquinas. Nate was part of that tradition at Hutchinson, and he continued to shine at Pitt State. I would not pass on Nate Dreiling. He says playing for the Chiefs or Cowboys would be awesome, but he is simply looking for one opportunity. “As long as some team gives me a chance, I don’t care where it’s at,” Dreiling said. Kyle McCaskey is a sportswriter for The Hutchinson News. Email: email@example.com. ——— ©2014 The Hutchinson News (Hutchinson, Kan.) Visit The Hutchinson News (Hutchinson, Kan.) at www.hutchnews.com Distributed by MCT Information Services _____ Topics: t000046469,t000003194,t000003183,g000218018,g000065627,g000362661,g000066164
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? 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NORMAN — Oklahoma enters the 2014 season with enormously high expectations, but there are still plenty of questions surrounding the team.
Oklahoma football: A look at 25 Sooners who could have a breakout 2014 season
Jason Kersey | Apr 16, 2014NORMAN — Oklahoma enters the 2014 season with enormously high expectations, but there are still plenty of questions surrounding the team. Who will join Sterling Shepard as the team’s starting wide receivers? Who will be the main ballcarrier? Who will take over in the depleted defensive backfield with cornerback Zack Sanchez? Earlier this week, I released my updated rankings of the top-10 players on the current OU football roster. Here is a list of the 25 players I think could have a breakout season in 2014, listed in alphabetical order. Dakota Austin, So., CB: Austin intercepted Trevor Knight’s first pass attempt during the open portion of Thursday’s practice, and sounds confident that he’ll be the starting cornerback opposite Sanchez this fall. Austin Bennett, So., WR: Led all receivers with four catches for 62 yards and a touchdown in the spring game Saturday. He made one catch as a true freshman last season — an 11-yard reception in the season opener against Louisiana-Monroe. Devante Bond, Jr., LB: The junior-college transfer showed coaches this spring that he’s a capable pass rusher. If that translates to the game field this fall, it could, in theory, allow Eric Striker to further expand his role. Daniel Brooks, So., RB: Suffered a nasty knee injury just before he graduated high school and redshirted in 2012. He didn’t play last year at all, but was the leading rusher in Saturday’s spring game, carrying the ball eight times for 67 yards. Keith Ford and Alex Ross are the frontrunners in the backfield, and with Joe Mixon joining the team this summer, it won’t be easy for Brooks. But this kid is resilient, so don’t sleep on him. Hatari Byrd, So., S: A few days before Signing Day 2013, Byrd told our man Trent Shadid that one of the Sooners’ starting safety spots would be his as a true freshman. That didn’t quite pan out, but the former four-star recruit appeared in five games and could be in line to make an impact this year, with the defensive backfield losing most of its starters. Matt Dimon, So., DE: Dimon played in 12 of the Sooners’ games last season as a true freshman, blocking a punt that resulted in a safety during Oklahoma’s Oct. 19 victory at Kansas. Jordan Evans, So., LB: It doesn’t sound like OU coaches are expecting Frank Shannon to return to the team this fall, and if that happens, Evans would enter the starting lineup at middle linebacker. The former Norman North standout played well last Oct. 26 against Texas Tech when Shannon was injured. He recorded a career-high eight tacles and broke up a pass that night. Evans looked good in the spring game. Dimitri Flowers, Fr., FB/TE: Knight targeted Flowers on his first three pass attempts in Saturday’s spring game, and the San Antonio native finished with four receptions for 40 yards. Don’t expect the Trey Millard comparisons to end anytime soon. Keith Ford, So., RB: Appeared in 10 contests last year, recording 23 rushes for 134 yards and a touchdown. Ford quickly became a fan favorite last year because of his tough, contact-heavy running style, but found himself in the dog house after showing a troubling fumble problem. He’ll have as good a shot as anyone to be the Sooners’ main ball carrier in 2014. Taylor McNamara, So., TE: The San Diego native and former four-star recruit started a game as a true freshman in 2012, but suffered a shoulder injury and received a medical redshirt. He caught his first career pass in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama, and recorded two touchdown receptions in the spring game. If the tight end position is truly going to make a comeback in 2014, expect McNamara to be at the forefront of that movement. Joe Mixon, Fr. RB: The five-star prospect from Oakley, Calif., was signing autographs and posing for pictures Saturday at the spring game, demonstrating just how excited fans are for his debut. Durron Neal, Jr., WR: Neal has made 23 appearances with two starts throughout his career so far, with 18 career receptions for 251 yards. With the Sooners’ receiving corps depleted, Neal will certainly have an opportunity to make an impact as a junior. He missed the spring game with an injury. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, RFr., LB: Coaches have raved about Okoronkwo’s spring, and the player known as “Obo” delivered in the spring game, picking off a fourth-quarter pass and returning it 39 yards to set up a touchdown. Okoronkwo was originally committed to Oklahoma State before flipping in December 2012. Michiah Quick, Fr., WR: A high-school teammate of OU safety Hatari Byrd, Quick will have an opportunity to make an instant impact in the Sooners’ inexperienced receiving corps. Like Mixon, Quick was seen signing autographs and posing for pictures with fans before Saturday’s spring game. Steven Parker, Fr., S: The four-star signee from Jenks picked the Sooners over Auburn just before signing day, and his commitment was among the most exciting recruiting news Oklahoma fans received this year. Walk-on safety Thaddeus LaGrone — who has the best name on the team, without a doubt — played on the second-team defense Saturday and did pretty well, but the fact that OU is using a walk-on there demonstrates how important Parker could be in the fall. Matthew Romar, RFr., DT: The former three-star recruit from Port Arthur, Texas, redshirted last season, but looked pretty good in Saturday’s spring game. Former OU defensive line standout Dusty Dvoracek raved about Romar on his Norman radio show this week. Alex Ross, So., RB: Ross made 10 appearances last season, mostly playing special teams. Coaches have praised his effort this spring, and the former Jenks standout is seemingly right in the thick of the Sooners’ running back battle. “Maturity” is a word that gets tossed around quite a bit when coaches and teammates discuss Ross. In last year’s season opener, he picked up 7 yards on his first carry, then hit an opposing player and picked up a personal foul. Has Ross turned the corner? That remains to be seen. Jordan Smallwood, RFr., WR: A preseason injury forced Smallwood to redshirt as a true freshman last year, but his effort this spring has been praised by coaches and teammates alike. The former Jenks standout caught three passes for 60 yards and a touchdown in the spring game. Stanvon Taylor, So., CB: The former Tulsa East Central standout started one game last seasn as a true freshman and played in all 13 games. He’s competing with Dakota Austin and Cortez Johnson to be the Sooners’ starting cornerback opposite Sanchez in 2014. Ahmad Thomas, So., S: Thomas made 12 appearances last season and, like Byrd, seems to be a strong candidate to contribute heavily in the secondary next season. He’s also spent time working at the nickelback spot this spring with returning starter Julian Wilson out after shoulder surgery. Dallis Todd, Fr., WR: The La Mirada, Calif., native and four-star signee will join the team this summer, and could definitely be in line to make an immediate impact. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound receiver caught 66 passes for 1,163 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior in 2013. Charles Walker, RFr., DT: Walker has been one of the players who has generated the most buzz this spring because of his athleticism. The Garland, Texas, native redshirted last season, but could provide the Sooners with solid depth on the defensive front behind Jordan Phillips and Jordan Wade in 2014. Dvoracek, while praising Romar this week on the radio, added that Walker looked like he was thinking a little too much during Saturday’s spring game. D.J. Ward, RFr., DE: Ward hasn’t played in an actual football game since his junior year at Lawton High School. He tranferred to Douglass, then Southmoore before his senior year and was ruled ineligible by the OSSAA. A medical issue cost him any chance at playing time in 2013, but he’s healthy and ready to contribute this season. Derrick Woods, So., WR: The Inglewood, Calif., native made a critical, 20-yard reception against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, and could be in line to make an impact this season as a sophomore. The former U.S. Army All-American appeared in 11 games last season. K.J. Young, RFr., WR: Young redshirted last season, but has been one of the receivers most often praised by defensive players this spring. The Perris, Calif., product is another potential breakout player in a young, inexperienced group of wide receivers.
Mike Gundy won’t guarantee it, but he said he thinks the OSU backfield will be better than it was a season ago. Despite missing the spring with shoulder surgery, Desmond Roland is in line to be the bell cow after running for 811 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2013. Rennie Childs should see plenty of carries, too, but that number will depend on what happens with Tyreek Hill, the much-hyped...
Oklahoma State football: Backfield breakdown
BY CODY STAVENHAGEN, For The Oklahoman | Apr 8, 2014Mike Gundy won’t guarantee it, but he said he thinks the OSU backfield will be better than it was a season ago. Despite missing the spring with shoulder surgery, Desmond Roland is in line to be the bell cow after running for 811 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2013. Rennie Childs should see plenty of carries, too, but that number will depend on what happens with Tyreek Hill, the much-hyped junior-college transfer who can play receiver and running back. It makes for a good balance on paper. Roland is powerful, Childs is quicker and Hill is as fast as they come. “It keeps the defense off,” Roland said. “I come in, more of a power person, and they come in and one cut, can go down the field for 80 yards.” OSU is also trying to find a fourth option at running back. Position coach Jemal Singleton said that search is ongoing. “What I need is another guy,” Singleton said. “I need that fourth guy to figure out who it’s going to be, whether it’s Caleb Muncrief, Corion Webster, a young guy like Devon Thomas. Just finding that fourth guy.” Muncrief is a junior who has played sparsely in the past. Webster is a redshirt freshman ESPN listed as a four-star recruit of high school and Thomas is a top recruit and early enrollee from Broken Arrow. “We need Rennie, Tyreek and whoever else could step up in that position,” Gundy said. “We need those guys to help carry the load like what Jeremy Smith did last fall.”
Apr 8, 2014
Oklahoma’s offensive line was already plenty thin entering spring practice. Other positions are now in the same boat for Saturday’s spring game. Sooners coach Bob Stoops announced Tuesday that 11 players, including wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Durron Neal, would miss the game with various injuries. Shepard is out with a pulled hamstring, while Neal injured both his knee and his ankle....
Oklahoma football: Sterling Shepard, Durron Neal to miss spring game
BY RYAN ABER AND JASON KERSEY | Apr 8, 2014Oklahoma’s offensive line was already plenty thin entering spring practice. Other positions are now in the same boat for Saturday’s spring game. Sooners coach Bob Stoops announced Tuesday that 11 players, including wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Durron Neal, would miss the game with various injuries. Shepard is out with a pulled hamstring, while Neal injured both his knee and his ankle. Other players sidelined include Rashod Favors (knee), Quincy Russell (ankle), Blake Bell (knee) and Nila Kasitati (infection). Julian Wilson, Adam Shead, Tyrus Thompson and Tyler Evans have not participated in spring practice. “They’ll all be OK in three or four weeks, by the time we get back,” Stoops said. “When we start in June with all our main conditioning and training through the summer, they’ll all be ready to go.” TRANSFER PROSPECT VISITING OU Former Alabama guard Chad Lindsay is visiting the Sooners this week, CBSSports.com reported on Tuesday. Lindsay is also expected to visit Louisville this week. Lindsay (6-foot-2, 302 pounds) started four games last season for the Crimson Tide. He’s already graduated, so he would be eligible to play immediately. The Woodland, Texas, product visited Michigan last week. The Wolverines’ offensive coordinator is former Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. Lindsay did not play in the Sugar Bowl. Out of high school, he chose Alabama over Oklahoma, LSU, Tennessee, Auburn, Notre Dame and Nebraska among others. GRISSOM PLAYING SOME LB Geneo Grissom has bounced around during his time at OU, going from defensive end to tight end and back to defensive end. Now, Grissom is seeing time at linebacker. “It’s every D-end’s dream to pick up his hand and stand on the edge and come off the line in a two-point stance,” Grissom said. Grissom said he hoped the move was a permanent one. “I’m working hard and trying to win the job and hopefully I can make that happen,” Grissom said. Also excited about the move was defensive tackle Chuka Ndulue, who said he bugged Grissom constantly when he was on offense, telling Grissom he needed to “come home” to the defensive side. “He’s the heaviest linebacker we’ve got and he’s as fast as any of them,” Ndulue said. “He can play the run and drop in coverage at the same time. You know he can pass rush, so he can do it all.” MAYFIELD’S ACTION LIMITED SATURDAY Stoops said quarterback transfer Baker Mayfield would see time in Saturday’s spring game, but it would be limited since Mayfield must sit out this season after transferring from Texas Tech. Starter Trevor Knight and backups Cody Thomas and Justice Hansen will see the majority of the snaps. “We need to feed them a lot of snaps here in the last three or four days because Baker isn’t able to play next year,” Stoops said. “We’ve loved what he’s done. He’s got a ton of snaps. … Don’t read anything into it. If he doesn’t get much, it’s because of that.” After starting several games for the Red Raiders last season as a true freshman walk-on, Mayfield will lose a year of eligibility this season while sitting out because Texas Tech did not clear Mayfield to transfer to OU. “I guess I would make a case for a guy that isn’t on scholarship, whether I had Baker or not, to give him the flexibility to go where he wants,” Stoops said when asked if transfer rules needed to be altered. “Scholarship guys, I’m not going to sit here and get into any big debate on it.”
Apr 5, 2014
While Cody Thomas is competing for OU’s backup quarterback job, he’s also trying to fight his way into the outfield rotation for Pete Hughes’ OU baseball team.
Oklahoma football: A look inside Cody Thomas' two-sport spring
By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Apr 5, 2014NORMAN — Cody Thomas hasn’t gone to the wrong practice or shown up at the wrong stadium this spring. “Not yet,” he said. Only one more week to go. The Oklahoma freshman is the baseball-playing quarterback or the football-playing outfielder, depending on your vantage point. No matter how you see it, though, this has been an interesting spring for Thomas, who’s vying for the backup quarterback job while trying to bust into the outfield rotation. His two-sport spring culminates next weekend with football’s Red-White Game smack in the middle of baseball’s three-game series against Red River rival Texas. “I was pretty busy in high school,” Thomas said of balancing football and baseball at Heritage in Colleyville, Texas, “but this is college level and it’s a whole other deal. “I’ve become a really good time manager, I’ll say that.” He laughed. So, he’s kept his sense of humor. Standing on the field at Mitchell Park after baseball practice this past week, you could see that he’s kept his sanity, too. That’s no small thing since he’s been balancing baseball season with spring football for the past month or so. How has it worked? Thomas is on a full football scholarship, so football takes precedence whether in the fall or the spring. Football practices. Football meetings. All of those come before baseball obligations. But even with that, Thomas hasn’t missed all that many baseball commitments this spring. There have been a few practices that he missed, though the coaches have helped him get in batting practice when his schedule allows, and there have only been two games that he’s had to skip. Baseball coach Pete Hughes and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel devised a plan for Thomas before spring football began, and while a few surprises have popped up here and there, things have mostly gone as planned. “We want him to have success in both” sports, Sooner football coach Bob Stoops said, “and I know (the baseball coaches) want him to, too.” Mission accomplished, Thomas said. He thinks he’s made strides in both sports this spring. On the baseball field, he feels like he’s improved his opposite-field hitting and is better at getting his hands inside the ball. On the football field, he feels like his footwork is vastly better than when he arrived on campus last summer. And he’s gotten bigger and stronger, which helps in both sports. He arrived on campus with 200 pounds on 6-foot-5 frame. Now, he’s just under 220. He does lifting and conditioning with the football team, by the way. When the baseball team lifts and runs, he gets to cool his heels, a rarity this spring. “It’s been a balancing act between the two sports,” Thomas said, “but I’ve really enjoyed it. I look forward to doing it the next three years, four years. “I just hope to be able to get on the field in both sports.” Opportunities have been limited in baseball. Thomas has appeared in only six games this season, though you have to wonder if he might play more once spring football is over. As for football, playing time seems possible this fall. Kendal Thompson transferred, Blake Bell switched positions, and Trevor Knight struggled to finish games because of injury this past season. So, with the Sooners needing to solidify their backup quarterback spot, did Thomas ever consider sitting out baseball to try to cement a spot in the pecking order? “No, that thought hasn’t come into my mind yet,” Thomas said. “I’ve been playing baseball and football my whole entire life, and I can’t see it any different right now. “Maybe one day that will come, but right now, I’m sticking with it.” Maybe that day will be when he’s competing to be the starting quarterback or when he’s named the starting quarterback. Maybe then he will want to focus all of his attention on football. Maybe not. But for the time being, Thomas is going to keep a cleat in both sports. Teammates on both teams tell Thomas often that he’s a little crazy to do this. They know how much work one sport is, and they know that the downtime they have is usually when Thomas is doing his other sport. “Not much free time when you’re playing both,” he said. “Baseball plays on the weekend, and that’s usually when football has off.” He shrugged. “But again, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love what I’m doing.” A few minutes later, Thomas left the field for his next appointment. It was a community service event with the baseball team. He wore a baseball shirt and a backward cap. As he turned to leave, he revealed a Sugar Bowl logo on the front of the cap given to all the football players after beating Alabama. Seems the two sports are a constant part of his life right now. Two sports too difficult? Not for Cody Thomas. Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.
Apr 4, 2014
Gates at Boone Pickens Stadium open at 12:30 p.m., with the scheduled practice running from 1:30 to 3.
OSU football: 'Orange Blitz' promises fun and even some scrimmaging
By John Helsley | Apr 4, 2014STILLWATER – Mike Gundy has scrapped the spring game, at least temporarily. Out with the Orange-White. In with the Orange Blitz, which thankfully for Oklahoma State football fans isn't the latest frozen yogurt shop in Stillwater. Gundy promises fun, if not game, and even some scrimmaging when Boone Pickens Stadium opens to the public Saturday. Gates open at 12:30 p.m., with the scheduled practice running from 1:30 to 3. With Oklahoma State’s overall numbers down, due to a large outgoing senior class, other departures and a few injuries, splitting sides for a game format would be neither easy nor prudent. Instead, Gundy plans an upbeat workout that will feature drills and skills, some running commentary with him mic’d up and entertaining via the video board, and finally a scrimmage session that will stamp a competitive edge to the day. “This will give them an opportunity to see different players compete in different drills,” Gundy said. “We’re going to try and create a ‘combine’ atmosphere, where there’s interviews and things on the video board. There will be some pre-recorded messages up there. “I think it’ll be very entertaining. It’ll be a better day, not only for our team and our preparations, but also for our fans.” So, what to watch Saturday? Here’s a few suggestions, for starters: QBs, Of Course If it’s spring in Stillwater, there’s a quarterback battle, right? Well, yes… and no. Veteran J.W. Walsh seems to have a hold on the job — for now — with Daxx Garman and Mason Rudolph providing the competition. Walsh, who has started eight games over two seasons, offers experience and more of a dual-threat element to the offense. Garman has drawn raves – even from former Cowboy Brandon Weeden – for his arm strength and accuracy in the passing game. Rudolph, who could be winding down his high school days right now, enrolled early and carries the tag of “quarterback of the future.” It’s just a matter of when the future becomes now. Hill The Thrill You’ve surely heard about Tyreek Hill’s speed. Now witness it. The junior college transfer, versatile enough to play a receiver spot in the slot or line up at running back, has split his time this spring between football and the track team, where he’s already left his mark – and claimed some school marks. He’s a football player Saturday. No. 24. Don’t blink. The Next Wave Josh Stewart and Tracy Moore are gone, yet the Cowboys receiving corps might be better. The youngsters who flashed potential last fall are growing up, providing plenty of playmakers. “You see those guys’ bodies, they’ve really improved themselves there,” said offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. “And more importantly, or as important as that, is their maturity level and their leadership qualities. “They’re emerging as leaders. That’s really important and good to see.” There’s much to see here, too, with Jhajuan Seales, Marcell Ateman, Brandon Sheperd, C.J. Curry, Blake Webb, Austin Hays and more all pushing for prominent roles. Defensive Turnover Not interceptions and fumble recoveries, but massive overhaul on the defensive side, where seven new starters must be identified. Gone are the familiar and favorite faces: Justin Gilbert, Calvin Barnett, Shaun Lewis, Daytawion Lowe, Caleb Lavey, Tyler Johnson and Shamiel Gary. Not all of the replacements are strangers. Sophomore safeties Deric Robertson and Jordan Sterns, sophomore linebacker Seth Jacobs and junior linebacker Kris Catlin are but a few ready to make their introductions. It’s been a struggle at times for the defense, but progress at this stage must be measured incrementally. “Every day, we get better in the back seven,” said tackle James Castleman, one of four returning starters. “I watch them on film and I see them get faster. They may make a mistake one day, but the next day they have it fixed. Every day they’re getting better.” Backfield In Motion Desmond Roland is sitting out the spring following offseason shoulder surgery, creating opportunity – and competition – for a piece of the running back pie. Hill has already secured a slice, although he figures to get time at receiver, too. For Rennie Childs, Corion Webster, Devon Thomas and Caleb Muncrief, this is the time to state their case.
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.
Mar 30, 2014
Weeden likes Daxx Garman’s arm strength, but he’s also impressed with what J.W. Walsh and Mason Rudolph bring to the table.
OSU football notebook: Brandon Weeden offers scouting report on OSU quarterbacks
BY JOHN HELSLEY | Mar 30, 2014Former Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden attended practice last week and admired quarterback Daxx Garman’s arm strength. Weeden also offered his take on J.W. Walsh and Mason Rudolph, the perceived main characters in OSU’s quarterback competition. “J.W., I was around him for a few years so I kind of know what he brings. He’s just a football player,” Weeden said. “He throws a good ball. You can tell he’s in complete control of the offense – again, just being a leader. “Mason looks good. From the reps I saw in team, he sits back there and he’s a big kid. You can tell he’s still learning, but I think he’s a guy that has a pretty high ceiling.” GILBERT COMES BACK, TOO It was old-home week at Cowboys practices. Weeden strolled into town, getting in a round of golf at Karsten Creek. Justin Gilbert, preparing for the upcoming NFL Draft, checked in, too. With the cornerback’s stock at an all-time high, projected as a first-round draft pick, he confirmed that returning for a senior season with the Cowboys was a wise move. "Oh yeah, I knew I made the right decision coming back, because I didn't have the year that I wanted to have my junior year,” he said. “To come back and be around these guys that I came in with – I knew the heart that they have to go out every day and play on Saturday for each other. That's just something that I wanted to continue to be around. Coming back for another year, it couldn't hurt me, it could only do me right." QUOTABLE True freshman running back Devon Thomas, an early enrollee, on the hardest part about college football so far: “Probably the running. Running is different. We didn't do this much conditioning in high school.”
Mar 29, 2014
Jordan Smallwood’s first season with Oklahoma ended before it began as the wide receiver from Jenks had to have foot surgery before practice began last fall. Smallwood returned to practice during bowl preparation and has been in the mix during spring practices. “A great start,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops answered when asked about the impression Smallwood had made so far in the spring. “He’s gonna...
Oklahoma football: Jordan Smallwood turning heads for Sooners
By Jason Kersey and Ryan Aber | Mar 29, 2014Jordan Smallwood’s first season with Oklahoma ended before it began as the wide receiver from Jenks had to have foot surgery before practice began last fall. Smallwood returned to practice during bowl preparation and has been in the mix during spring practices. “A great start,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops answered when asked about the impression Smallwood had made so far in the spring. “He’s gonna be a really good player.” Earlier in the week, several outside coaches were observing the Sooners’ practices, and the wide receivers made an impression based on more than their ball-catching abilities. “They were marveling at how well our receivers were blocking out there on the perimeter,” Stoops said. “It’s just attitude and effort more than anything.” KNIGHT GETS A BREATHER At a scrimmage just before spring break, the Sooners gave starting quarterback Trevor Knight a bit of a break, with the other quarterbacks — redshirt freshman Cody Thomas, freshman Justice Hansen and transfer Baker Mayfield — getting the work. “They’ve all looked good,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops said. “Justice obviously coming right from high school has the biggest adjustment, but he’s a really talented guy with his arm and how he works. Baker has looked really good. You can tell he’s played. It’s obvious when you watch him out there. He’s comfortable and makes plays.” Mayfield must sit out this season after transferring from Texas Tech. VOTE OPEN FOR FIELD DESIGN Fans can vote at SoonerSports.com for the field design for OU’s spring game on April 12. Midfield designs include the OU logo by itself, an OU helmet and an outline of the state with the OU logo in the middle. End zone designs include two different designs with “Oklahoma” in each end zone and three others with various diamond designs. One fan who votes online will be chosen randomly for a VIP experience that includes field passes and a pregame photo session. The game will begin at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $5 each by calling the OU Athletics Ticket Office at (405) 325-2424 or (800) 456-4668. Ticket prices increase to $10 on April 9. All seating is general admission, and parking on campus is free for the game. Season-ticket holders, OU students, members of the Sooner Kids Club and children 5 and under will be admitted free. COACHES CLINIC SET Bob Stoops and his staff will lead a three-day coaches clinic Thursday through Satuday at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The clinic will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday with registration and check-in at the stadium. The event will feature OU coaches as well as high school and junior-college coaches from around the country. Coaches will be able to watch an OU scrimmage as well as a practice. The cost is $50 per coach. If four or more coaches register together, the rate is $45 per coach. Registration forms can be found at SoonerSports.com. Co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel and defensive coordinator Mike Stoops will speak Thursday. Friday’s sessions include demonstrations by offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery, co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Jay Norvell and cornerbacks coach Bobby Jack Wright as well as Jerry Schmidt, OU’s director of sports enhancement. Other speakers include McAlester coach Bryan Pratt and Blanchard’s Jeff Craig.
Mar 27, 2014
Cherami and Jason Thomas are the owners of Reclaimed Lumber Solutions
Recession leads to furniture business
By Steve Gust, For The Oklahoma | Mar 27, 2014Cherami and Jason Thomas refused to let a crushing business failure stop them from launching Reclaimed Lumber Solutions, a venture that can’t expand quickly enough. As it is, there are 11 employees at the Oklahoma City shop putting together mostly tables and benches from reclaimed lumber, primarily old railroad cars. The stained and painted furniture is sturdy, distinguished and exudes what Jason describes as “down-home warmth and charm.” “This wood has traveled thousands of miles and there is something special about it,” Jason said as he ran his hand over the richly varnished finish of one of the tables. The unique products seem to resonate with consumers. There are more than 200 customers on a waiting list for the one-of–a-kind furniture. “Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State University football coach) has bought three tables,” Cherami said. “As OU graduates, we want Bob Stoops to come buy one.” “We’ll make him a good deal,” Jason said. While the mood is jovial now, it wasn’t always that way for the couple, who have been married 14 years. Six years ago, they were in the homebuilding business in northwest Arkansas. Around that time the housing bubble burst and a recession arrived, killing the Thomas’ homebuilding business. “We had to declare bankruptcy and sell our things,” Cherami Thomas said. While knocked down, Jason reached deep. “I asked God for help,” he said. The couple, parents of four children, regrouped and moved home to Oklahoma. Cherami is originally from Jenks and Jason graduated from Bishop McGuinness High School. They met at OU, where Cherami majored in interior design. That flair for design was soon to pay off. “Basically, we were looking at a pile of wood and trying to decide what to do with it,” Cherami said. At first the new business made countertops. There was a limited market for that, but eventually they decided the wood could be recycled into tables. They tested the first one through online sites and it sold the first day. A bench or a table can cost from $135 to more than $1,000. Yet the prices are usually less than a wholesale outlet because Reclaimed Lumber Solutions makes and sells the product, avoiding a middle man. About a year ago, the business was confined to a smaller shop in Yukon. Space was at a premium. They would stack furniture and take some outside. “That worked OK, until it rained unexpectedly, and then we’d have to rush the furniture back in the shop,” Jason said. About six months ago, the business got a break. People who had purchased the tables needed matching chairs. Many people went to Lorec Ranch, a retailer for rustic home furnishings. Store personnel finally started to ask where the tables had been purchased. Lorec got in touch with Jason. He found out the store, at 4111 W Reno, had a large storage and work room in the back. Having outgrown the Yukon location, he needed more room and agreed to lease the space. Some of his creations, designed by Cherami, go from the back right to the Lorec display floor. Many sales are still made online and the company adds personnel the same way. One of the crew members is Ben Dragoo, of Norman. He’s seen the business grow and knows the future looks even better. For Dragoo, the work is gratifying. “This beats working,” he said. “If I was retired, this is what I would do. At the end of the day, you don’t have to tell anybody what you’ve done at work. You just point to what you’ve done.” The search for boxcar lumber continues. “We load it in semi-trucks now,” Jason said. “It used to be they would burn it.” The future appears unlimited. “We need to grow right,” Jason said. “I want to make sure a table is ready when I tell a customer it will be.” For more information, go to www.reclaimedlumber.com.