Washington Warriors football
|8 - 3||6 - 0||2 - 3||.727||369||228|
|2013-09-05||vs||Bridge Creek||W||55 - 31|
|2013-09-13||vs||Purcell||W||15 - 13|
|2013-09-20||@||Bethany||L||27 - 48|
|2013-09-27||vs||Frederick||W||44 - 14|
|2013-10-04||@||Hobart||W||28 - 3|
|2013-10-11||vs||Hinton||W||57 - 14|
|2013-10-17||@||Comanche||W||44 - 0|
|2013-10-25||vs||Mangum||W||48 - 12|
|2013-11-08||@||Lindsay||L||3 - 31|
|2013-11-15||vs||Lexington||W||41 - 21|
|2013-11-23||@||Hennessey||L||7 - 41|
|Rush Yds||Rush Yds Game||Pass Yds||Pass Yds/Game||Yards Total||Yards/Game||Pts Total||Pts/Game|
|Rush Yds Allow||Allow Rush/Game||Pass Yds Allow||Allow Pass/Game||Yds Total Allow||Yds Allow/Game||Allow Pts||Allow Pts/Game|
|Player Name||Number||Year||Height||Weight||Position (main)|
Washington football News
NewsOK articles about Washington football, or articles mentioning current or former Washington football players.
Washington High School Varsity Boys Football
Other players with state ties in the NFL TULSA QB G.J. Kinne (Philadelphia): The former Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year will attend his third NFL camp after stints with Omaha in the United Football League and San Antonio in the Arena Football League. Kinne went to camp with the Jets two years ago and made the Eagles practice squad last season. Kinne is battling former USC...
Oklahomans in the NFL: Okies in NFL training camps
Jul 27, 2014Other players with state ties in the NFL TULSA QB G.J. Kinne (Philadelphia): The former Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year will attend his third NFL camp after stints with Omaha in the United Football League and San Antonio in the Arena Football League. Kinne went to camp with the Jets two years ago and made the Eagles practice squad last season. Kinne is battling former USC quarterback Matt Barkley for the No. 3 job. WR Demarius Johnson (Philadelphia): The NCAA’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards and kickoff return yards. An undrafted free agent, Johnson has compiled only 21 receptions in two seasons with the Eagles. His nitch is he’s averaged 10.3 yards on punt returns, 25.9 yards on kickoffs. DE Tyrunn Walker (New Orleans): An undrafted free agent, Walker made the Saints roster two years ago but never appeared in a game. Last season, he made his NFL debut, playing primarily on special teams, accumulating 12 tackles in seven games. RB Trey Watts (St. Louis): The son of the famous OU quarterback-turned-politician, Watts was an undrafted free agent. There’s a buzz the third all-time leading rusher in TU history might surprise and make the roster with a solid training camp. OTHER COLLEGES DL Armonty Bryant, East Central (Cleveland): Appearing in a dozen games with the Browns, Bryant, a seventh-round pick, recorded 12 tackles and a dozen quarterback hurries last season. DS Bryce Davis, Central Oklahoma (Pittsburgh): After spending two years on the Bengals practice squad, Davis attempts to make the Steelers roster. WR Caleb Holley, East Central (Buffalo): An Alaska native who earned a training camp invite after a strong tryout last spring. Holley hopes to turn some heads during camp. OKLAHOMA HIGH SCHOOL PLAYERS RB Felix Jones, Tulsa Washington (free agent): After playing four years in Dallas, Jones saw limited action (48 carries) last year with the Steelers. He has 2,912 career yards rushing but is looking for work. CB Bryan McCann, Putnam City (Arizona): Signing late in the season with the Cardinals, McCann recorded two special teams tackles in six games. In 35 NFL games, undrafted four years ago, McCann has totaled 29 tackles in 35 games with the Cowboys, Ravens and Raiders. WR Robert Meachem, Tulsa Washington (New Orleans): Age (29) isn’t an issue, but Meachem recorded only 16 catches last season. He’s been bypassed on the depth chart by Kenny Stills and other Saints wideouts. It’s a big camp for Meachem. WR Wes Welker, Heritage Hall (Denver): The Broncos put up video-game like numbers in Welker’s first season with Peyton Manning. The consummate slot receiver, Welker (83 catches, 778 yards, 10 TDs) has compiled 841 career receptions and is only 642 yards shy of becoming the 41st player to reach 10,000 career receiving yards. The primary focus is to get that elusive Super Bowl ring.
Here’s a look at the full list for The Oklahoman’s Super 30 for the Class of 2015, which ranks the state’s high school recruits. Our final preseason Super 30 will be released in our statewide high school football preview section, coming in the Aug. 24 edition of The Oklahoman. No. 1: Josh Wariboko-Alali, OL, Casady No. 2: Jalin Barnett, OL, Lawton No. 3: Will Sunderland, DB, Midwest City No. 4:...
The Oklahoman's Super 30: Full list for the Class of 2015
Jul 26, 2014Here’s a look at the full list for The Oklahoman’s Super 30 for the Class of 2015, which ranks the state’s high school recruits. Our final preseason Super 30 will be released in our statewide high school football preview section, coming in the Aug. 24 edition of The Oklahoman. No. 1: Josh Wariboko-Alali, OL, Casady No. 2: Jalin Barnett, OL, Lawton No. 3: Will Sunderland, DB, Midwest City No. 4: Marquise Overton, DT, Jenks No. 5: Dahu Green, WR, Westmoore No. 6: John Kolar, QB, Norman North No. 7: Darryel Patterson, DB, Lawton No. 8: Austin Cantrell, DE, Roland No. 9: McKinley Whitfield, ATH, Spiro No. 10: Josh Little, DE, Millwood No. 11: Warren Wand, RB, Edmond Memorial No. 12: Michael Anderson, DE, Owasso No. 13: Marquiz Simpkins, RB, Clinton No. 14: Davion Freeman, WR/DB, Del City No. 15: Tramayne Wauahdooah, LB, Anadarko No. 16: Riley Daniel, OL, Ringling No. 17: Akylen Mayfield, ATH, Tulsa Edison No. 18: Tristan Wyatt, OL, Shawnee No. 19: Kaden Jackson, OL, Kingfisher No. 20: Connor McGinnis, QB, Heritage Hall No. 21: John Jacobs, QB, Shawnee No. 22: Robert Charlton, DB, Edmond Memorial No. 23: Denver Johnson, WR, Casady No. 24: Dameko Doddles, DB, Douglass No. 25: Aaron McKinney, DB/LB, Midwest City No. 26: J.R. Hensley, OL, Edmond Santa Fe No. 27: Caileb Booze, LB, Edmond North No. 28: Kalin Sadler, WR, Lawton No. 29: Dejai Johnson, DT, Midwest City No. 30: T.J. Harris, DE, Tulsa Washington
Jul 17, 2014
The Oklahoman’s Super 30 selection picks Wildcats over nearly a dozen other programs.
High school football: Millwood defensive end Josh Little headed to Kansas State
By Scott Wright | Jul 17, 2014Millwood defensive end Josh Little learned just how fast news can travel in the days of social media and closely monitored football recruiting. “I guess people already knew I committed to Kansas State,” Little tweeted Wednesday at 9 p.m., the time he had previously said he would announce his commitment. But word had gotten out a few hours earlier and spread quickly via multiple websites that the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Little had picked the Wildcats over nearly a dozen other programs who had offered the fast-rising prospect. Little exploded onto the scene in the spring, with the likes of Purdue, Tulsa, Washington State, Iowa State, New Mexico and others jumping on the bandwagon. Kansas State and Arizona State were the latest to extend offers, both in the last two weeks. Now Little is set to follow the footsteps of several Oklahoma high school products who have found success in Manhattan, Kan., the most recent of which is Tulsa Washington’s Tyler Lockett. Little had 76 tackles and five sacks as a junior last season. His size, combined with a 40-yard dash time in the 4.9-second range, made him a popular prospect over the last three months. According to coaches, Little was not currently available to be interviewed. With Casady receiver Denver Johnson decommitting from Tulsa earlier this week, Little makes nine state players who are committed to Division I programs, and he’s the fifth to choose an out-of-state school.
NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Conforto already has an athletic pedigree and a Big Apple appetite. The New York Mets think he's got a swing tailored to Citi Field, too.Selected 10th overall in last month's draft, Conforto signed with the Mets on Friday and was introduced at a news conference. The 21-year-old outfielder from Oregon State received a $2,970,800 bonus — the assigned value for his draft...
Mets sign top draft pick, OF Michael Conforto
MIKE FITZPATRICK, Associated Press | Jul 11, 2014NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Conforto already has an athletic pedigree and a Big Apple appetite. The New York Mets think he's got a swing tailored to Citi Field, too. Selected 10th overall in last month's draft, Conforto signed with the Mets on Friday and was introduced at a news conference. The 21-year-old outfielder from Oregon State received a $2,970,800 bonus — the assigned value for his draft slot. Wearing No. 88, Conforto took batting practice on the field with the big league team before the opener of a three-game series against Miami. The Mets said he will start his professional career with Class A Brooklyn in the short-season New York-Penn League. "There's no feeling like it," Conforto said. "On the same field as people you used to idolize, it's a very, very cool feeling. I'm definitely cherishing this day." Conforto batted .345 with seven home runs and 56 RBIs in 59 games this year during his junior season with the Beavers. He was the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year for the second straight season and the first three-time All-American in school history. He also is a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy, given to the top college player in the United States, and the Golden Spikes Award, presented to the best amateur player in the country. Looking to complement their stable of touted young arms, the Mets have drafted position players with their past four first-round picks. They also grabbed promising catcher Kevin Plawecki at No. 35 overall in 2012. Amateur scouting director Tommy Tanous and the Mets like Conforto's plate discipline and left-handed stroke. They think his gap-to-gap approach suits their spacious ballpark. The 6-foot-2, 217-pound Conforto had a .504 on-base percentage this season, setting a school record with 55 walks, and a .547 slugging percentage. He batted .340 for his college career with 31 home runs and 179 RBIs in 182 games. "Michael was obviously very highly rated throughout baseball and extraordinarily high on our draft board. We were concerned that he might not be available to us at 10. Ecstatic that he was," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "From our point of view, his outstanding on-base approach as well as his left-handed swing and the power potential that he brings, sort of a natural fit for our organization and this ballpark." Still, it took a while for the Mets to get him signed. Represented by agent Scott Boras, Conforto completed his deal a week before the deadline for draftees who have not exhausted their college eligibility. "The one thing I would address at the outset, however, is the question of why it took so long," Alderson said. "And I think you only need to look at me on this end of the table and Scott Boras on the other end of the table to know that we're probably two of the more stubborn people in the game, and that whatever delay occurred had absolutely nothing to do with Michael." Conforto grew up in a Seattle suburb emulating Ken Griffey Jr.'s sweet swing. His mother, Tracie, was a gold medalist in solo and duet synchronized swimming in the 1984 Olympics and won silver in 1988. His father, Mike, played linebacker at Penn State under coach Joe Paterno in the late 1970s. On draft night, Conforto said his father's bad knees were one reason he chose baseball over football after he was a multisport star at Redmond High School in Washington. "If he's as good as everybody tells me, one of these days he's going to make a fortune. And that's because of the game of baseball," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I'm anxious to see him play. I hope I get a chance to." Conforto said he's enjoyed visiting the Freedom Tower and the Empire State Building during his first trip to New York. He and his father haven't missed a meal, either. "We've been eating a whole lot since we got here. We're Italian, and we've had some really good Italian food. Usually you can only get that from family back home," Conforto said. "I'm having a great time." Or, as his dad put it: "We've been eating our way through the city."
Jul 6, 2014
From the smooth, almost laid-back approaches of Lovie Smith and Jim Caldwell to the fiery passion of Mike Zimmer, new NFL coaches are reshaping the environments of their teams.Some have much bigger chores than others.Bringing in a new coaching staff usually means the previous one did too much losing. That's true times seven this year as Smith takes over at Tampa Bay, Caldwell in Detroit, Zimmer...
Change it up: How 7 new coaches are shaping tone
BARRY WILNER, Associated Press | Jul 6, 2014From the smooth, almost laid-back approaches of Lovie Smith and Jim Caldwell to the fiery passion of Mike Zimmer, new NFL coaches are reshaping the environments of their teams. Some have much bigger chores than others. Bringing in a new coaching staff usually means the previous one did too much losing. That's true times seven this year as Smith takes over at Tampa Bay, Caldwell in Detroit, Zimmer in Minnesota, Ken Whisenhunt in Tennessee, Bill O'Brien in Houston, Jay Gruden in Washington and Mike Pettine in Cleveland. PETTINE: BEING BLUNT Pettine might have the biggest challenge because he takes over a perennial loser: Cleveland last made the playoffs in 2002. There's been discord surrounding the franchise ever since Jimmy Haslam bought it in 2012, and he's already on his third head coach. The son of a highly successful high school coach, Pettine is bright, self-confident and media savvy, seemingly lacking the suspicious nature of so many NFL head coaches. He doesn't pull punches, which is critical in engineering a cultural change. "I would say no nonsense," Pettine says. "I have been nicknamed BFT: Blunt Force Trauma. The days are too short to dance around subjects and I think guys appreciate that." SMITH: STAYING LOW-KEY Another necessary skill is communication. Smith, who was 84-66 in nine seasons in Chicago, yet was canned after 2012, is a master at that. After the roughness of Greg Schiano's reign in Tampa, Smith's low-key style easily won over the players. Not that Smith doesn't know how and when to be stern; he learned under Tony Dungy, a master communicator. "It's been a while, I can honestly say, since you've seen guys smile this much and have this much fun," says DT Gerald McCoy, among the Bucs' best players. "It's just a completely different feel around the building." CALDWELL: STAYING CALM Caldwell also comes from the Dungy coaching tree, and he might still be the man in Indianapolis had Peyton Manning not missed 2011 after neck surgery. The Lions needed a steadying influence as head coach after the often unpredictable Jim Schwartz regime. To some, Caldwell was a surprise choice. To others, he is the anti-Schwartz and will bring a calm steadiness to Detroit — along with more discipline for a team that sometimes stepped beyond the bounds of NFL protocol in its on-field behavior. Caldwell has joked about his reputation for remaining even-keeled. "There's no need for a whole lot of cussing, screaming, yelling and all that kind of stuff," Caldwell says. "It's a mini-quiz out here. I never had any of my professors yelling in my ear when I was sitting at the desk filling out those multiple-choice questions." ZIMMER: THE TEACHER Zimmer might be doing some yelling in Minnesota, but it will be in a constructive way. An outstanding defensive coach in Cincinnati since 2008, he was in the running for several jobs before landing the Vikings gig. His forthright manner, confidence in his defensive schemes and tough love approach make him stand out from predecessor Leslie Frazier. Most of all, Zimmer sees himself as an educator. "I think one of the things of being a coach, you're a teacher," he says. "You're trying to teach them about techniques, you're trying to teach them about all the different aspects of the game of football, not just offense or defense, but what the other side of the ball is thinking." GRUDEN: FOLLOWING HIS OWN LEAD Gruden, the younger brother of ESPN analyst and 2003 Super Bowl-winning coach Jon Gruden, was Zimmer's alter ego in Cincinnati. Gruden ran the Bengals' offense, and when Washington decided to replace Mike Shanahan, it sought someone who could design an attack around Robert Griffin III, while also protecting the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year. Nearly everything had fallen apart in the nation's capital last year, one season removed from an NFC East title. Perhaps most damaging was the fractured relationship between veteran coach and dynamic quarterback. So Gruden is charged with fixing things on the field and off it. "I'm not going to try to do something that Shanahan didn't, or not do something that he did, or do something that my brother did or Joe Gibbs did," Gruden says. "I'm just going to try to coach the way I know how, and the way I've done it in the past, and hopefully it'll be good enough." WHISENHUNT: PICKING UP THE PACE Like Gruden, Whisenhunt is considered an offensive guru. With Kurt Warner as his quarterback, he took usually downtrodden Arizona to a Super Bowl. What he likes best is a quick pace — everywhere. His practices in Tennessee are run at a faster tempo than in previous years. Players and coaches jog from drill to drill. Whisenhunt says he hopes that's noticeable because the intent is to better mimic game speed and conditions. "I think you have to create an intensity in practice because the game is so fast," he explains. Veteran receiver Nate Washington, who was with Pittsburgh when Whisenhunt was an assistant there, says the change is impossible to miss. "Before, things have happened in the past and we can't really sit here and try to compare the two or what's been happening before," he says. "But as of right now, I have seen a lot more intensity on this team, period." O'BRIEN: TEAM FIRST The excitement in Houston disappeared with a 14-game losing string that sank the Texans from AFC South champs to worst in the league. O'Brien, who could have written his own ticket at Penn State for years, instead chose to return to the NFL and take on a reclamation project. Not as massive a challenge as the one he faced with the Nittany Lions, perhaps. But certainly a hefty one for the former offensive assistant at New England. O'Brien delivered some not-so-subtle messages early on. Veterans don't have their names on their lockers anymore, only their numbers. A note on the inside of each locker says: "Always put the team first." Rookies have a temporary cubicle set up in the middle of the locker room and won't get real ones until they make the team. That goes for everyone, even top choice Jadeveon Clowney. "Being a head coach is about making sure the team understands the philosophy of what you want to get done: hard work, being a good teammate, team first and all of those things that we talk about every day," O'Brien says. ____ AP Pro Football Writer Dave Campbell and Sports Writers Noah Trister, Tom Withers, Kristie Rieken, Teresa M. Walker, Fred Goodall and Joseph White contributed to this story. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
CHOCTAW: ALEXANDER THELIN Athletics: Three-time state qualifier in wrestling. Two-time all-conference selection. All-district and all-conference in football as a senior. Academics: Scored 30 on the ACT. Weighted grade point average of 4.1. Ranked in the top 10 percent of his class. National Technical Honor Society. Concurrently enrolled at Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center. Quote:...
2014 Scholar-Athletes: Part 2
BY JENNI CARLSON | Jun 29, 2014CHOCTAW: ALEXANDER THELIN Athletics: Three-time state qualifier in wrestling. Two-time all-conference selection. All-district and all-conference in football as a senior. Academics: Scored 30 on the ACT. Weighted grade point average of 4.1. Ranked in the top 10 percent of his class. National Technical Honor Society. Concurrently enrolled at Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center. Quote: “Alexander is one of those students that, as a teacher, you wish you could clone and have in each of your classes. He is intelligent, hard working and a true leader.” — Lynn Brooksher, pre-engineering math teacher College choice: Oklahoma State Also nominated: Kalyn Dealy CHRISTIAN HERITAGE ACADEMY: NATHAN SOSA Athletics: All-district in football. Ranked in the top 10 in tackles in Class 2A as a junior and senior. Defensive captain. Will play football at Oklahoma Baptist. Academics: Grade point average of 3.9. Salutatorian. Scored 27 on the ACT. Trestee’s Academic Scholarship. Activities: Salt and Light Leadership Program. FaithWorks of the Inner City volunteer, intern and summer sports camp leader. Quote: “He is resilient. During the fall of his senior year, he had to undergo surgery. He did not waiver in his studies or his attitude.” — Susan Elaine DeMoss, math teacher College choice: Oklahoma Baptist Also nominated: None COMMUNITY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL: ABBY WHITE Athletics: Honorable mention Little All-City in basketball. Member of Oklahoma Christian Schools Activities Association state championship team as a freshman. Also played one year of varsity volleyball. Academics: Grade point average of 4.0. Ranked at the top of her class. Valedictorian. Scored 28 on the ACT. National Honor Society. Activities: Student Leadership Institute. Key Club. Student council. Class officer. Ms. CCS. Norman Kiwanis Club representative at regional scholarhip contest. Quote: “She knows how to lead and when to follow.” — Carole Craig, faculty advisor College choice: Oklahoma Also nominated: Patrick Bruce, Addison Hall CRESCENT: TRISTAN LACEY Athletics: First-team Little All-City in football as a senior. Three-time all-district kicker of the year. Three-time state qualifier in track. Four years of varsity basketball. Ten years of club soccer. Academics: Grade point average of 4.0. Ranked at the top of his class. Scored 27 on the ACT. National Honor Society. Oklahoma Honor Society. Activities: Student council officer. Beta Club. Business Professionals of America. Yearbook. Piano lessons. Quote: “Tristan has shown great initiative in all areas of his life. He is driven and goal-oriented. He is serious beyond his years.” — Julie Cook, English teacher College choice: Undecided Also nominated: None DEER CREEK: PATTON COLLIE Athletics: Member of four state qualifying teams in baseball. Member of Connie Mack state championship team. Named the MVP of that tournament. Will play baseball at Colorado School of Mines. Academics: Scored 31 on the ACT. Weighted grade point average of 4.3. Valedictorian. National Honor Society. Oklahoma Honor Society. Activities: Concurrent enrollment at OSU/OKC. Quote: “Patton Collie is going to do something amazing. I don’t know whether it’s going to be on the baseball field or the engineering field ... or both.” James Holman, math teacher College choice: Colorado School of Mines Also nominated: Cole Verble, Kelsi Williams DEL CITY: BRETT CANNON Athletics: Class 5A All-State selection by The Oklahoman and the Oklahoma Coaches Association in basketball as a senior. First-team Big All-City as a senior, honorable mention as a sophomore and junior. Played varsity cross country, golf and soccer. Will play basketball at Arkansas-Fort Smith. Academics: Grade point average of 3.7. Ranked in the top 10 percent of his class. Valedictorian. 4.0 academic lettermen’s jacket. Scored 26 on the ACT. Activities: Athletic Leadership 212. Quote: “His ultimate satisfaction results from elevating his performance to a level that moves others.” — Barry Millican, counselor College choice: Arkansas-Fort Smith Also nominated: Kadijah Almarales, Clayton Lamb DESTINY CHRISTIAN: COLTON HAMEL Athletics: Member of five state Christian schools championship teams. Two-time All-State Independent Schools and honorable mention Little All-City in basketball. Second-team Little All-City and honorable mention All-State in football as a senior. Honorable mention All-State and reserve Little All-City in baseball as a junior. Academics: Grade point average of 4.0. National Honor Society president. Activities: Student council president. Art Club. Yearbook. Worship band. Quote: “He is a thoughtful, dependable and hard-working young man who strategically plans and executes to achieve success in all areas of his life.” — Pat Watkins, executive assistant College choice: Undecided Also nominated: Ciara McKinney DOUGLASS: ALISE BUNDAGE Athletics: Honorable mention All-City in volleyball as a senior. Member of state championship team in track as a sophomore. Honorable mention All-City high jump. Soccer team captain. Academics: Weighted grade point average of 4.4. Ranked at the top of her class. National Honor Society. Activities: Business Professionals of America. Beta Gamma Club. Student council. National Youth Correspondent at Washington Journalism and Media Conference. Junior Rotarian. American Heart Association volunteer. Quote: “Alise is self-motivated, self-disciplined, eager to learn and gets along well with her peers. She is the ideal student.” — Tina Williams, counselor College choice: Arizona State Also nominated: Anthonio Humphrey, Jr.
TECUMSEH: ASHLEE BIRCHALL Athletics: Two-time state qualifier in tennis. Received team’s Black and Gold Award. Played four years of varsity tennis, three years of varsity volleyball. Named volleyball team’s utility player of the year. Academics: Grade point average of 3.9. Ranked in the top 10 percent of her class. National Honor Society. Activities: Link Crew for freshman orientation. Family,...
2014 Scholar-Athletes: Part 6
BY JENNI CARLSON | Jun 29, 2014TECUMSEH: ASHLEE BIRCHALL Athletics: Two-time state qualifier in tennis. Received team’s Black and Gold Award. Played four years of varsity tennis, three years of varsity volleyball. Named volleyball team’s utility player of the year. Academics: Grade point average of 3.9. Ranked in the top 10 percent of her class. National Honor Society. Activities: Link Crew for freshman orientation. Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. Quote: “Ashlee is a fine example to other students and always puts forth her best effort. She is a joy to be around.” — Jennifer McKnight, tennis coach College choice: Oklahoma Baptist Also nominated: None TUTTLE: PEYTON GARRETT Athletics: All-region and coaches’ all-state reserve in softball as a senior. Member of third-place 3,200-meter relay team at state track as a junior. Played four years varsity in softball, basketball and track. Will play softball at Northwestern Oklahoma State Academics: Grade point average of 4.0. Ranked at the top of her class. Superintendent’s Honor Roll for four years. National Honor Society. Oklahoma Honor Society. Activities: Church youth group. Quote: “Peyton has high expectations, lofty goals and honorable standards by which she lives, works and plays.” — Connie Traxler, conselor College choice: Northwestern Oklahoma State Also nominated: None U.S. GRANT: TONY LUGO Athletics: Second place at the conference wrestling meet as a senior. Team captain in soccer as a senior. Four-year varsity starter in soccer and cross country, two-year in wrestling. Academics: Grade point average of 3.9. National Honor Society. Activities: Senior class president. Junior class treasurer. Technology Students Association reporter. Junior Rotarian. Youth Council of OKC. U.S. Grant Leadership Class. Quote: “I have always been proud of Tony because he uses his talents and influence to better the community and our school.” — Stephen Cookson, soccer coach College choice: Oklahoma Also nominated: None WASHINGTON: JOSH HARDAGE Athletics: Honorable mention Class 3A All-State and honorable mention Little All-City in basketball as a senior. Member of two state tournament teams. State qualifier in cross country and track. Academics: Scored 30 in the ACT. Weighted grade point average of 4.2. National Honor Society. Activities: Senior class vice president. Student council. Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Fish Club. Science Club. Quote: “He is a great role model for the younger generation of Washington Warriors. He is the type of young man parents want their children to aspire to be.” — David Crabbe, principal College choice: Undecided Also nominated: None WAYNE: LOUDEN JOHNSON Athletics: Member of a state championship team in football as a sophomore. Two-time honorable mention All-State running back. Second-team Little All-City as a junior, honorable mention as a senior. Will play football at East Central. Academics: Grade point average of 4.0. Valedictorian. National Honor Society president. Activities: Future Farmers of America. Student council. Yearbook. Masonic Student of Today. Quote: “Louden has always been a young man that has set goals and worked steadfastly to achieve those goals.” — Brandon Sharp, athletic director College choice: East Central Also nominated: None WELLSTON: BRIANNA NEELY Athletics: Four-year varsity starter in slowpitch softball, three-year in softball. Received softball team’s pitcher award as a junior. Received slowpitch team’s outfielder award as a sophomore. Played four years of varsity basketball. Academics: Weighted grade point average of 4.1. Valedictorian. Scored 22 on the ACT. National Honor Society. Activities: Two-year qualifier for National Fine Arts. Quote: “Brianna’s maturity allows her to understand there is a time to work hard and be serious as well as a time to relax and have fun.” — Matt Hall, basketball coach College choice: Southwestern Oklahoma State Also nominated: None WESTMOORE: ELIZABETH DiSALVATORE Athletics: Honorable mention All-City cross country as a senior. Three-time state qualifier. Honorable mention All-City soccer as a junior. Will play soccer at Central Oklahoma. Academics: Scored 28 on the ACT. Weighted grade point average of 4.5. National Honor Society. Oklahoma Academic Scholar. Activities: Student council president. Senior council. Fellowship of Christian Athletes facilitator. OKC Youth Leadership. Quote: “She talked other kids into coming out ... and helped to instill the importance of doing the right thing, being dedicated and finishing what you start.” — Laura Clay, cross country coach College choice: Central Oklahoma Also nominated: Tripp Fuller
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 27, 2014
Harris enters his senior year as No. 30 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 recruiting rankings for the Class of 2015. He has scholarship offers from Arkansas State, New Mexico, Sam Houston State, and South Dakota, and has received interest from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Tulsa.
High school football: Tulsa Washington's T.J. Harris waiting for offer from West Coast program
By Trent Shadid, Staff Writer | Jun 27, 2014The majority of the top high school football recruits in Oklahoma desire for nothing more than a scholarship offer from a Big 12 or possibly a SEC school. Not T.J. Harris. The Tulsa Washington standout defensive end has the West Coast on his mind. “I’m waiting for an offer from a California school,” Harris said. “I want like a USC or San Diego State. That’s where my dad is from and really a lot of my family is from out there. I spent a lot of time there when I was younger, so it’d be nice to get back.” Harris enters his senior year as No. 30 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 recruiting rankings for the Class of 2015. He has scholarship offers from Arkansas State, New Mexico, Sam Houston State, and South Dakota, and has received interest from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Tulsa. “The recruiting process so far has been great,” Harris said. “It’s been a blessing to get the offers.” At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, some of Harris’ offers have come as an outside linebacker, a position he says he’d be willing to switch to if necessary in college. But this season he’ll remained focused on helping anchor the Hornets’ defensive line. As a junior he had 35 tackles, eight sacks, four forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. “I just want to be the best defensive end in the state this year,” Harris said. “I want to be All-State, All-District, just whatever it takes to be looked at as the best defensive end in the state.” Looking ahead to his senior season, Harris has a Week 1 showdown at Midwest City circled as the Hornets will look to make an early statement in Class 6A Division II. “There’s a lot of talk about us and them maybe being the favorites to make the championship,” Harris said. “So we’re ready to go out there and see who is the best right off the top.”
Wyatt, a 6-foot-4, 292-pound tackle, received the offer from Tulsa in May. It was his lone official Division I scholarship offer. Wyatt is ranked No. 17 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 list of the state’s top college recruits.
High school notebook: Shawnee's Tristan Wyatt commits to Tulsa
By Jacob Unruh and Scott Wright | Jun 25, 2014Shawnee’s Tristan Wyatt enjoyed the attention and vibe from Tulsa. The offensive lineman will have plenty of time to experience that after verbally committing to Tulsa on Wednesday. “It just felt like the right place for me,” he said. “The campus has an Ivy League feel. and the football team has had an energetic, competitive and upbeat feeling to it. The team had seemed really energetic about getting me since Day 1.” Wyatt, a 6-foot-4, 292-pound tackle, received the offer from Tulsa in May. It was his lone official Division I scholarship offer. Wyatt is ranked No. 17 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 list of the state’s top college recruits. MILLWOOD’S LITTLE, MIDWEST CITY TRIO ADD OFFERS Millwood defensive end Josh Little picked up another significant college scholarship offer, and Emporia State is trying for another successful haul in Oklahoma in the class of 2015. Little, a 6-4, 240-pounder, was offered by Kansas State on Monday. Kansas State is among the most prominent of his suitors so far, along with Iowa State, Washington State, Memphis, Tulsa and Purdue, among others. Emporia State in Kansas snagged multiple top players from Oklahoma last season and is making a push for more this year. On Monday and Tuesday, Emporia offered three players from one of the state’s best defenses. Midwest City athlete Aaron McKinney, defensive lineman Demikal Harrison and defensive back Roscoe Gatewood all received offers from Emporia. Gatewood has been incredibly productive the last two seasons in the Bomber secondary. McKinney is a unique prospect at 6-4, 195 pounds, because he could be a receiver or safety at the next level, or add enough weight to move into a linebacker role. And Harrison is an intriguing prospect because he’s entering just his second season as a football player. At 6-5, 290, Harrison has a 6-11 wingspan and is learning fast. So far, five players on the Midwest City defense have offers Division I or II programs. GREEN TOPS GOLD IN EIGHT-MAN GAME Laverne’s Tanner Harris scored three touchdowns and Cherokee’s Tanner Ducotey had 92 yards Saturday as Green beat Gold 50-20 in the annual Oklahoma Eight Man Football Coaches Association All-Star Game at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. The combined point total is the most in the game’s history of the Green and Gold format. Green had 411 yards of total offense, including 257 on the ground. Harris finished with 61 yards. Wetumka’s Chase Williams caught two TDs for Gold, which finished with 223 passing yards between three quarterbacks. But turnovers hampered Gold, as it committed five. ENID’S LEE, PIEDMONT’S SCOTT HONORED BY NFCA The National Fastpitch Coaches Association recently released its All-Region Teams, with two players from Oklahoma making the South Central team. Enid’s Abby Lee was named to the first team, while Piedmont’s Kassidy Scott was named to the second team. Lee, a second baseman, hit .400 last season as a senior. Scott, a pitcher, was 14-6 with a 0.78 ERA last season as a sophomore.
Jun 24, 2014
Jacob Unruh and I wrote about the future of high school football championship game locations, now that the OSSAA’s contract with Oklahoma State’s Boone Pickens Stadium has expired. You can find all that info here. Of course, not every potential future state championship site made its way into the package in Monday’s paper. Here are […]
HS football championship sites: Other stadiums to keep in mind as potential hosts
Scott Wright | Jun 24, 2014[img url=http://blog.newsok.com/dittocontent/uploads/sites/13/2014/06/Taft-Newspaper-Pics-013.jpg]2814339[/img] Gary L. Armbruster, Principal Architect, and Marsha Gallant of MA+ Architecture, look over plans to rebuild Taft Stadium in this provided photo taken in May, shortly after the new artificial turf playing surface was installed at the stadium. Taft won’t be ready for high school football until the fall of 2015, but could again become a potential site for state championship games in the future. Jacob Unruh and I wrote about the future of high school football championship game locations, now that the OSSAA’s contract with Oklahoma State’s Boone Pickens Stadium has expired. You can find all that info here. Of course, not every potential future state championship site made its way into the package in Monday’s paper. Here are a few more from the Oklahoma City metro area that deserve mention. Langston University: It’s a little off the radar because it has a more remote location, but it’s not terribly far off Interstate 35. The school’s administration is interested in being involved with high school sports, particularly football, and the stadium is in very good condition, with plenty of space. It could be a good middle ground for an OKC-Tulsa type matchup. In fact, when the Douglass-Booker T. Washington football series was renewed two years ago, the original plan was for it to play once at each school’s home site, then become a regular opening-week game at Langston. However, Washington pulled out of the series and has scheduled a home-and-home matchup with Midwest City instead. Taft Stadium: The legendary OKC stadium is getting a much-needed facelift, and won’t be ready for football action (American football, anyway) until 2015. Soccer (high school and professional) will be played there in the spring of 2015. But with an entirely new field surface, bleachers, locker rooms, video board and parking lot, why couldn’t Taft once again host some championship games? Bishop McGuinness’ Pribil Stadium: Like Taft, Pribil benefited from OKC’s recent pro soccer fascination, getting some help to provide a new grass field surface with an improved water/drainage system, plus some extra bleachers. The stadium still has an awkward seating arrangement, with very little seating on the visitors’ side, and some end zone bleachers. But the facility could adequately host a small-school championship.
Jun 21, 2014
Something is happening just beneath the fight over the name of a certain Washington, D.C., pro football team: America is working through the process of determining what is — or is not — racially offensive.What is a slur, and who gets to decide? How many people must be offended to tip the scales? Why should some be forced to sacrifice their traditions out of respect for others?We are a long way...
What is a slur? Redskins case forces us to decide
JESSE WASHINGTON, Associated Press | Jun 21, 2014Something is happening just beneath the fight over the name of a certain Washington, D.C., pro football team: America is working through the process of determining what is — or is not — racially offensive. What is a slur, and who gets to decide? How many people must be offended to tip the scales? Why should some be forced to sacrifice their traditions out of respect for others? We are a long way from consensus on these questions, judging by the response to a federal ruling that the "Redskins" team name is disparaging and its trademarks should be canceled. The team is appealing the decision, and even if it loses its trademark, it can still use the name. But this latest development highlights the limitations of how America wrestles with certain racial statements, and our struggle to balance free speech and social good. A rapidly diversifying nation has more need than ever to figure out what is racially offensive. Some offenses are undeniable: NBA owner Donald Sterling earned universal condemnation for asking his mistress not to bring black people to his games. Yet in an era of blunt and sometimes coarse online discussion and political debate, Americans continue to disagree about the nature of calling Hispanics who cross the border without documents "illegals," or the propriety of images that depict President Barack Obama as a "witch doctor." And it took years of discussion to win makeovers for Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, the stereotypical black faces used to sell syrup and rice. Jim McCarthy, a lawyer who followed the Redskins trademark case, said he is not offended by the name, but "there's no denying the fact that a certain percentage of Native Americans are offended. We don't know if it's a minority, a majority, but it's a fact." "If we want to be the best version of ourselves in our society, do we want to promote that, or do we want to minimize that?" he asked. "I'd love it to be different where people just cooperate to effect change," he said. "But we're a very adversarial society." Michael Lindsay, who was lead attorney for a group of Native Americans in a prior trademark case, said there are two ways to determine if something is offensive. "The first is the legal path. The other is out in the real world. The legal test, it seems to me, actually does have something to teach the real world," said Lindsay, of the Dorsey and Whitney firm in Minneapolis. Here is what the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, ruling Wednesday in a case first filed more than 20 years ago, tried to show the real world: —What matters is if "Redskins" is disparaging to Native Americans — whether other ethnic groups are offended doesn't matter. —A "substantial" percentage of Native Americans must be offended — not a majority. The judges defined that threshold at 30 percent. —A disparaging term does not require intent: "Redskins" can still be disparaging even if the team says it is intended to show honor and respect. Based on testimony from linguistics and lexicography experts, and a review of how the term was used in dictionaries, books, newspapers, magazines and movies, the board ruled 2-1 that the term was disparaging to Native Americans. The dissenting opinion was not a ringing endorsement of the term: "I am not suggesting that the term "redskins" was not disparaging ... Rather, my conclusion is that the evidence petitioners put forth fails to show that it was," the judge wrote. All of which left Paul Calobrisi, co-founder of www.savethewashingtonredskins.com, quite unsatisfied. In his opinion, there's a simple way to determine whether something is a slur: The majority rules. "I think an overwhelming majority of Native Americans should be against the name before we change it," said Calobrisi, who grew up in Virginia rooting for the team. He resisted the idea that a few people could decide something is offensive when he did not intend to offend them. "If they think we're demeaning them, if they think we think they are mascots, if we were doing it in any negative way, they are wrong ... As Redskins fans, we love them. Cowboys and Indians, we were the Indians. We cherish these people." But intent is irrelevant to Lindsay, the attorney: "When a substantial percentage tell you this is offensive, you should stop. It's really that simple." "Even if you meant no offense, if you keep using it, what does that say about you?" It says that some people care more about their traditions than determining what is offensive, said Gillian McGoldrick, editor-in-chief of the school newspaper at Neshaminy High School in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Neshaminy's mascot is the "Redskins." Her newspaper recently chose to no longer print the name, but school administrators ordered them to do so. When McGoldrick and her staff resisted, administrators briefly confiscated the newspapers. At first, McGoldrick thought the name honored Native Americans. But when an Indian school parent objected, she researched the history and usage of the word and changed her mind. She doesn't think those who support the team name have fully investigated the issue. "I don't think they want to," she said. "I think they want to decide the word for themselves. But that's not how this works. We have dictionaries for that." The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says the term is "very offensive and should be avoided." But again, given today's confrontational discourse on the Internet and in politics, do we really care about giving offense? Or has that value gone the way of curtsies and tipping hats? "As a general culture, I think we care about offending certain people," said Karmit Bulman, executive director of the Conflict Resolution Center in Minneapolis. "We are still very much a power-based society. We care if we offend those in power. We don't care if we offend those who we see as irrelevant and invisible." "You can look at this (Redskins case) as a trivial dispute, it's just a name," she said. "Or you can look at it as demonstrating how we still have huge clashes between people who we see as different than we are. And that our systems that we use to try to address those issues are really unsatisfactory." ___ Jesse Washington covers race and ethnicity for The Associated Press. He is reachable at http:www.twitter.com/jessewashington or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jun 19, 2014
The star receiver decided Thursday that dedication was enough for him to verbally commit to the Cardinals.
High school notebook: Westmoore's Dahu Green picks Louisville
By Scott Wright and Jacob Unruh | Jun 19, 2014Louisville was there from the very beginning for Dahu Green. The Westmoore star receiver decided Thursday that dedication was enough for him to verbally commit to the Cardinals. “They were my first offers, so I had real high interest in them right off the bat,” Green said. “Learning about the program and stuff like that, and meeting the coaches, it was the right fit for me.” The 6-foot-3 Green, who is ranked No. 5 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30, caught 10 touchdown passes among his 40 receptions and 700 yards last season for the Jaguars’ Class 6A semifinalists. He said he hopes to be playing around 200 pounds once this season starts, a 10-pound increase from last season. Green said he’s looking forward to playing for Louisville coach Bobby Petrino, who was hired in January for his second stint with the team as it enters the Atlantic Coast Conference. “I want to be part of something special,” Green said. “I feel like Bobby Petrino is a great offensive mind. I feel like (the) offense is going to be unstoppable and all of the weapons on offense are going to make it great.” Green had 14 scholarship offers, including Cincinnati, Illinois, Tulsa, Wake Forest and Washington State. LAVALLEY NAMED TO ALL-USA BASEBALL TEAM Carl Albert’s Gavin LaValley brought in another honor after his impressive senior season Thursday when he was named to USA Today’s American Family Insurance All-USA Baseball Team. LaValley, who is The Oklahoman’s All-State and Big All-City Player of the Year, is listed as the first-team first baseman after hitting .539 with 19 home runs and 75 RBIs. He was selected in the fourth round of the MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds earlier this month. He signed two days later and is currently in Arizona in the Low Rookie League. LaValley helped lead Carl Albert to its third straight Class 5A championship this season. Left-hander Brady Aiken of Cathedral High School in San Diego was named the Player of the Year. He was selected No. 1 overall in the draft by the Houston Astros after compiling a 7-0 record with a 1.06 ERA. SANTA FE’S PRESTON, CHOCTAW’S LLANUSA PICK UP FIRST OFFERS Two state football prospects broke through with their first Division I offers this week. Edmond Santa Fe defensive back Ashton Preston’s offer came from North Texas on Wednesday. Preston, who is 5-foot-11 and 179 pounds, announced the offer via Twitter. “Finally Just received my First offer from The University of North Texas!” he tweeted. Preston had 18 tackles and an interception last season for the Wolves. And Choctaw’s dual-threat quarterback Jonah Llanusa was offered by Navy on Thursday morning. Llanusa is 6-1, 200 pounds and runs a 4.4-second 40-yard dash. He threw for 2,155 yards and rushed for 626 with 24 total touchdowns as a junior. OSU JOINS PROGRAMS IN PURSUIT OF NORMAN NORTH’S YOUNG Over the course of this week, Norman North sophomore-to-be Trae Young has made trips to all four of the state’s Division I basketball schools, and the 6-1 point guard came away with scholarship offers from all four. Oklahoma State was the latest to join the list, with the offer Thursday afternoon. Several out-of-state programs, including Texas Tech, Baylor, Kansas State and Creighton, have offered Young as well. HERITAGE HALL’S MCGINNIS ADDS EMPORIA STATE OFFER After a strong showing at Oklahoma’s camp recently, Heritage Hall’s Connor McGinnis added his second Division II offer Wednesday. Emporia State joined Central Oklahoma as the schools to offer the 6-5 dual-threat quarterback. Offers could continue piling up, including Division I offers, should he continue his strong summer at the Shootout of the South 7-on-7 Tournament this weekend in Little Rock, Ark. The Chargers reached the finals of the tournament last summer.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Another highly touted transfer has fizzled out as the Kansas starting quarterback.Former five-star prospect Jake Heaps, who was heralded by coach Charlie Weis after his arrival from BYU, said in a statement issued by the school Friday that he'd be leaving the program when he finishes his degree requirements at the end of the month.Wide receiver Andrew Turzilli, who...
Heaps, Turzilli, Miller leave Kansas football team
DAVE SKRETTA, Associated Press | Jun 13, 2014LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Another highly touted transfer has fizzled out as the Kansas starting quarterback. Former five-star prospect Jake Heaps, who was heralded by coach Charlie Weis after his arrival from BYU, said in a statement issued by the school Friday that he'd be leaving the program when he finishes his degree requirements at the end of the month. Wide receiver Andrew Turzilli, who graduated in May, also said that he is leaving the program, while running back Darrian Miller has left for what Weis called "personal reasons." Heaps was considered one of the nation's top prep quarterbacks coming out of Washington's Skyline High School. He ended up at BYU and set several freshman passing records, but eventually lost his starting job and decided to transfer to Kansas. But like former Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist, who also lost his starting job after joining the Jayhawks, Heaps was eventually passed over as the starter by freshman Montell Cozart. Heaps only completed 49 percent of his passes for 1,414 yards with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions as the Jayhawks struggled to a 3-9 finish last season. "I am very grateful for the opportunity given to me by Coach Weis to play football and earn my college degree," Heaps said. "My wife and I have truly enjoyed being part of the Jayhawk community. We have made lifelong friends through this experience." It's unclear whether Heaps intends to play elsewhere next season. As a graduate transfer, Heaps would be eligible to play immediately. The same is true for Turzilli, who was expected to provide some depth in a wide receiving corps that struggled all of last season. Turzilli started seven of the 24 games he played over the course of three seasons, catching 27 passes for 491 yards and two touchdowns. "I am extremely proud to have earned my degree," Turzilli said. "I am thankful for all of the relationships I have made during my time at Kansas and I wish the entire program nothing but the best in the future." Miller was expected to compete for playing time at running back next season. The former top prospect was recruited by former coach Turner Gill and dismissed from the program by Weis shortly after he took over. Miller spent a year in junior college before returning last season. Still, Miller missed part of the season for what Weis would only call "personal reasons," and it was unclear where he stood in the program entering fall camp.
Jun 11, 2014
MOKENA, Ill. (AP) — The five American troops killed in a friendly fire airstrike included an Illinois soldier who went to Afghanistan a month after his father died, an Ohio man who was engaged to be married, a California Green Beret who only deployed in January, and Washington state man who loved the outdoors.Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said the five were killed Monday "during a...
Families remember US soldiers killed in airstrike
SOPHIA TAREEN, Associated Press | Jun 11, 2014MOKENA, Ill. (AP) — The five American troops killed in a friendly fire airstrike included an Illinois soldier who went to Afghanistan a month after his father died, an Ohio man who was engaged to be married, a California Green Beret who only deployed in January, and Washington state man who loved the outdoors. Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said the five were killed Monday "during a security operation in southern Afghanistan." Officials said an airstrike was called in after the unit was ambushed by the Taliban. It was one of the deadliest friendly fire incidents in nearly 14 years of war. Family representatives of Aaron Toppen of Illinois and Justin Helton of Ohio told The Associated Press that military members came to their relatives' doors in the middle of the night to deliver the news of the deaths. Relatives and local schools on Wednesday confirmed the deaths of Justin Clouse of Washington and Staff Sgt. Scott Studenmund of California. The other victim has not yet been identified. Here is a look at the lives of Toppen, Helton, Studenmund and Clouse: ___ Aaron Toppen, 19 Family members of Toppen remembered him as a kind-hearted man who had aspired to a career in the military or law enforcement. "Aaron was predisposed to serve. He was very keen to be in the military," his uncle Jack Winter said. "He was quite proud to be there." It was the second death of a loved one for the family this year. Toppen, from the Illinois city of Mokena, about 40 miles southwest of Chicago, was set to leave for Afghanistan in February. But his gravely ill father died that month, and he stayed for the funeral. He deployed in March. Toppen was a graduate of Lincoln-Way East High in Frankfort, Illinois, and loved the outdoors, especially fishing. Family members at the home Tuesday circulated a picture of Toppen as a young child sitting next to his father in a fishing boat. "He was something somewhat rare in youth culture today. ... In a word, I would summarize what he had as 'class,'" Winter said of his nephew. "So rarely now do you see somebody like that who truly does have class, who's polite, humble, loyal, who's a kind-hearted soul, generous." Toppen was the youngest of three children. ___ Justin Helton, 25 Helton had been in the Army since 2010 but had been in Afghanistan for only about two months, according to cousin Mindy Helton. It was his first deployment, and he expected to be home in about six months, she said. She said her cousin specialized in dealing with explosives and was based out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She also said he was engaged. His parents live in Beaver, a two-hour drive east of Cincinnati, Ohio. "He was a great boy, so full of life and outgoing," she said. "He loved hunting and the outdoors." The 2006 graduate of Beaver's Eastern High School was known to friends and family as Buck and was a quiet leader, Robert Day, his high school baseball coach, told WCMH-TV in Columbus. Tim Hattle, who had known Helton since grade school, told the station that he messaged his friend on Facebook last week. "He said time was really dragging over there. I said, 'Just don't worry. You'll be home soon.' And to be safe," Hattle said. "Then I told him I loved him." ___ Scott Studenmund, 24 Staff Sgt. Studenmund of Pasadena, California, was deployed to Afghanistan in January and was set to return home in August. His mother is former eHarmony CEO Jaynie Studenmund, and his father is Woody Studenmund, an economics professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Scott Studenmund was a 2008 graduate of Flintridge Preparatory School in the Los Angeles foothill suburb of La Canada Flintridge. Both schools confirmed his death Wednesday with permission from the family. Studenmund was a "brave, virtuous patriot" who played football and ran track at Flintridge and loved military history and a good debate, the school said in a statement. "When I think about Scott's service, I think of the Founding Fathers — a virtuous man must be prepared to risk his life, fortune and sacred honor for his country," Headmaster Peter Bachmann said in the statement. Though undersized for a defensive position, "he made our defense go," football coach and science teacher Glen Beattie said. "He was aggressive, quick and wouldn't let anyone block him or dominate him. He would fight through anything and would not let himself be defeated." Studenmund played football at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, for a year, then took leave to pursue his "life's dream" of becoming a Green Beret, the Flintridge statement said. Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard has requested that flags in the city be flown at half-staff in his honor. ___ Justin Clouse, 22 Clouse, of the tiny town of Sprague, Washington, loved sports and the outdoors, family members said. He played basketball and football at Sprague High School, about 30 miles west of Spokane. In basketball he was the team captain and most valuable player his senior year. Clouse enrolled in the Army shortly after graduating. Orville Clouse said Wednesday his grandson was an "awesome man" who loved fishing and hunting. He was planning to leave the military next spring and get married. "He was outgoing, and yet quiet," Orville Clouse said. "He was always a hard-working and ambitious kid." Justin Clouse's parents departed Wednesday for a military base in Delaware, where his body will return to the U.S., Orville Clouse said. Residents of the town of 550 people gave them a community send-off Wednesday morning. Justin Clouse enlisted in the Army in 2010 and was on his second tour in Afghanistan. ___ Associated Press writers Robert Jablon in Los Angeles and Nicholas K. Geranios in Spokane, Washington, contributed to this report.
The 2016 and 2017 basketball recruiting classes across the state are already shaping up to be very strong, and two of those players recently took another step to prove it. Mustang’s Jakolby Long, who will be a junior, and Norman North sophomore-to-be Trae Young were both invited to the Nike Elite 100 camp, which is being held this weekend. Long, a 6-foot-4 point guard, already has multiple...
High school notebook: Jakolby Long, Trae Young invited to Nike Elite 100 camp
By Scott Wright and Jacob Unruh | Jun 11, 2014The 2016 and 2017 basketball recruiting classes across the state are already shaping up to be very strong, and two of those players recently took another step to prove it. Mustang’s Jakolby Long, who will be a junior, and Norman North sophomore-to-be Trae Young were both invited to the Nike Elite 100 camp, which is being held this weekend. Long, a 6-foot-4 point guard, already has multiple offers, including Oklahoma. Young, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard, is beginning to pile up offers as well, with both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State showing strong interest. The Nike Elite 100 camp generally takes about 70 players from the upcoming junior class and approximately 30 from the sophomore class. Both players have a strong pedigree as well. Long’s father is Mustang coach Terry Long, and Young is the son of former Texas Tech player Rayford Young. LITTELL EXPECTED TO ATTEND OSU Stillwater outfielder Jon Littell is expected to attend Oklahoma State after being drafted late in last week’s MLB First-Year Player Draft, his coach confirmed to The Oklahoman. Littell, who was considered by many scouting services to be the state’s top-ranked outfielder, was taken in the 39th round by the Washington Nationals. Stillwater coach Jimmy Harris said he has already spoken with Littell and he will play the next three years at OSU, where his father Jim is the women’s basketball coach. Jon Littell hit .446 with five home runs and 39 RBIs this season, helping the Pioneers win their first state championship since 1957. EL RENO’S SCHWERTFEGER STEPS DOWN El Reno is looking for a new football coach for the third time in the last five years. Taylor Schwerdtfeger informed the school last week that he was stepping down to take an assistant coaching position at Alva after one season with the Indians. El Reno went 4-6 last season playing in one of the state’s toughest districts, which included the last two state champions, Guthrie and Carl Albert, as well as McGuinness and Deer Creek. TUTTLE'S OWEN SUSPENDED BY OSSAA Tuttle baseball coach Travis Owen will miss the first half of next season after violating Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association rules this season. Owen allowed two different freshman players to participate in too many tournaments, exceeding the limit of three tournaments set by the OSSAA. One suited up in four tournaments, while the other suited up in five. However, the two players did not play and that’s a point Owen is arguing. He said he plans to appeal the suspension, which will be for at least 17 games. “It’s one of them things that I feel personally that I thought the rule was kind of vague, because I suited up a kid and it wasn’t because I played a kid,” Owen said. “But them are the rules and I broke them. I don’t want to hurt my team and I don’t want it to be about me. I guess I should be more knowledgeable about the rule and I guess I’ll know it now.” Owen missed the first game of the Class 4A state tournament due to the violation. The Tigers went on to win the Class 4A championship. The OSSAA also suspended Jenks assistant coach Sandy Farrell for one game next season due to his actions following the Trojans’ loss to Stillwater in the Class 6A semifinals on a walk-off walk. He was arguing balls and strikes as umpires left the field following the eight-inning loss. OSSAA ANNOUNCES SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS The OSSAA announced the 12 scholarship winners as part of its program along with Farmers Insurance. Each student honored will receive $750 toward college costs. Winners include Kellan Hostetler of Garber (football); Paige Fingerie of Lincoln Christian (fastpitch softball); Josh Hardage of Washington (boys basketball); Katie McKenna Morrison of Drummong (girls basketball); Nathan Herrman of Stillwater (boys soccer); Aubrey McCutchen of Collinsville (girls soccer); Brian Canfield of McGuinness (baseball); Brittany Bingham of Waukomis (slowpitch softball); Catherine Petty of Stillwater (girls track); Wyatt Johnson of Watonga (boys track); Sarah Carpenter of Stillwater (volleyball); and Cole Reynolds of Woodward (wrestling).
Jun 8, 2014
NEW YORK (AP) — Hut ... hut ... home run!The San Diego Padres threw a Hail Mary on the final day of the Major League Baseball draft Saturday by taking Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel — listed as a shortstop for Texas A&M, even though he never played for the Aggies — in the 28th round."It was kind of, 'Why not?'" Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said before the Padres hosted the...
Manziel joins list of QBs drafted by MLB teams
DENNIS WASZAK Jr., Associated Press | Jun 8, 2014NEW YORK (AP) — Hut ... hut ... home run! The San Diego Padres threw a Hail Mary on the final day of the Major League Baseball draft Saturday by taking Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel — listed as a shortstop for Texas A&M, even though he never played for the Aggies — in the 28th round. "It was kind of, 'Why not?'" Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said before the Padres hosted the Washington Nationals. "Best athlete on the board," Mike Dee, the Padres' president and CEO, wrote on Twitter. Manziel likely won't ever play an inning of professional baseball, but he's not the first NFL quarterback who heard their name called during the MLB draft. Sure, Manziel was a terrific baseball player at Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas, but he hasn't played the sport since so he could focus on football. It looks as though he might have called a successful audible after being the 22nd overall pick in the NFL draft last month. "We'll see what happens with his football career," Padres closer Huston Street said. "He's potentially got a baseball one." Here are a few quarterbacks who turned down the baseball diamond for the football gridiron: ___ JOHN ELWAY A two-sport star in high school in California, Elway was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 18th round in 1979. He chose to go to Stanford, where he continued to play baseball and football. The Yankees drafted the slugging outfielder, who was also a hard-throwing pitcher, in the second round in 1981 — 52nd overall, six spots ahead of Tony Gwynn — and he played for their short-season affiliate in Oneonta. Elway was selected No. 1 overall in the NFL draft by Baltimore in 1983, but unhappy with the team, he threatened the Colts that he would turn to baseball if they didn't trade him. Baltimore gave in and dealt him to Denver, where Elway forged a Hall of Fame career and won two Super Bowl rings. ___ DAN MARINO Marino was a right-handed pitcher and quarterback at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, and drew interest for his skills in both sports. The Royals drafted him in the fourth round of the 1979 draft — yes, they took Elway and Marino in the same draft — but Marino opted to play football at the University of Pittsburgh. Good play call. Marino became one of the game's greatest quarterbacks, going in the first round to the Miami Dolphins in 1983, setting dozens of passing records and being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005. ___ TOM BRADY Yep, the three-time Super Bowl champion and two-time MVP was a pretty good baseball player, too. So good, that he was drafted out of high school in the 18th round by the Montreal Expos in 1995 — as a catcher. He ended up not signing with the Expos and headed to the University of Michigan, where he worked his way up the depth chart from seventh to starter. He wasn't particularly highly touted coming out of college, going to New England in the sixth round. But, we all know what happened next. ___ MICHAEL VICK He was such an amazing athlete that the Colorado Rockies drafted him as an outfielder out of Virginia Tech in the 30th round of the 2000 baseball draft — even though he hadn't played the sport since the eighth grade. Vick was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft and became one of the game's most dynamic players with the Atlanta Falcons. After rejuvenating his career following a nearly two-year jail term for his role in a dogfighting ring, the soon-to-be 34-year-old Vick is with the New York Jets and competing with Geno Smith for the starting job. ___ RUSSELL WILSON The quarterback of the Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks was a 41st-rounder by Baltimore out of high school in 2007, but opted to go to North Carolina State. He was a fourth-round pick of Colorado in 2010 and played in the Rockies' system as a second baseman. Wilson, who later transferred to Wisconsin, told the Rockies in January 2012 that he wanted to pursue an NFL career, and was a third-round choice by Seattle that April. He wasn't quite done with baseball yet, though. In December 2013, he was acquired by the Texas Rangers in the Rule 5 draft. A few weeks after winning the Super Bowl, Wilson attended Rangers spring training and participated in infield drills. ___ COLIN KAEPERNICK The speedy, athletic and tattooed signal-caller of the San Francisco 49ers had a blazing fastball in high school. He threw two no-hitters in his senior season and was a two-time all-state pitcher in California. Kaepernick turned down a few offers to play college baseball and instead chose a football scholarship at Nevada. He still was drafted in the 43rd round in 2009 by the Cubs, but continued his college football career, was a second-round pick by the 49ers in 2011 and helped lead them to the Super Bowl in his second season. ___ BRANDON WEEDEN The Dallas Cowboys' backup quarterback once had a brilliant baseball future after being a second-round pick of the Yankees in 2002. A 6-foot-4 fireballing right-hander, Weeden was traded to the Dodgers in 2004 and spent the 2006 season in the Royals organization, but was never able to advance beyond Class A. He was 19-26 with a 5.02 ERA in five minor league seasons before hanging up his baseball cleats and heading to Oklahoma State to play quarterback. He was a first-round pick of the Browns in 2012, but the 30-year-old QB was cut in March — two months before Cleveland drafted Manziel. Weeden signed a two-year deal with the Cowboys. ___ JAKE LOCKER The Angels really wanted Locker, drafting the strong, speedy outfielder and right-handed pitcher in the 40th round out of high school in 2006 and again in the 10th round in 2009 out of the University of Washington. Locker actually signed with the Angels the second time, but stayed off the diamond and played another season for the Huskies' football team. He was the eighth overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, but injuries have plagued his first few seasons. ___ A few other notable QBs who were once baseball draft picks: Jay Schroeder (1st round in 1979, Blue Jays); Ken Stabler (2nd in January 1968, Astros); Chris Weinke (2nd in 1990, Blue Jays); Kerry Collins (26th in 1990, Tigers; 60th in 1991, Tigers; and 48th in 1994, Blue Jays); Daunte Culpepper (26th in 1995, Yankees); Steve McNair (35th in 1991, Mariners); Matt Cassel (36th in 2004, Athletics); Joe Theismann (39th in 1971, Twins); and Mark Brunell (44th in 1992, Braves).
Jun 8, 2014
Oklahoma City architect Rick Johnson spent his formative years in Italy and on the East and West Coasts, but considers Oklahoma home.
Executive Q&A: FSB principal found architecture by design
By Paula Burkes, Business Writer | Jun 8, 2014Once Rick Johnson figured out he wanted to be an architect, various bents and events over his lifetime all added up. His father liked to tell a story of how Johnson, as a boy, would take things apart and put them back together. Johnson once did that with a toy of his sister’s, which his father couldn’t reassemble, but Johnson could. And then there were the times when he was a teenager living in Maryland and extended family would fly into Washington, D.C., for visits. Johnson always would volunteer to pick them up. Dulles International Airport was brand new, and he fell on every opportunity to check out the building. Ultimately, Johnson, who’s a principal with Frankfurt-Short-Bruza Associates, fortuitously found his career path as a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma. From his fifth-floor offices at 5801 Broadway Extension, Johnson, 59, sat down with The Oklahoman on Tuesday to talk about his life and career. This is an edited transcript: Q: Tell us about your roots. A: My parents met at dental school at Temple University in Philadelphia. My father joined the U.S. Navy during the Korean War and served 20 years as a dentist. My mother worked as a dental hygienist until she had children; I’m the oldest of four, born over five and half years. I have a sister in Tulsa, a brother who’s a geologist with Sandridge Energy, and another outside Salt Lake City, where he works as a pilot for Delta Airlines. Q: So you were a Navy brat and lived all over. How was that? A: Mainly, we lived on the East and West Coasts. I loved experiencing a lot of different things. Because we moved every two to three years, I learned to be more outgoing and social than I’m sure I’d be otherwise. But I envied my friends who had roots. Q: What do you remember of your various hometowns during your childhood? A: When I was in the sixth grade, in 1966, we lived in Alameda, Calif. I don’t remember much about the counter-culture revolution, but I do remember the climate was great. When I was in the seventh and eighth grade, we lived in Naples, Italy, in an apartment up on a ridge on the bay, with a beautiful view of the active volcano Mount Vesuvius. We’d take city buses down to the USO where the sailors shot pool, and there was a great hole-in-the-wall pizzeria across the street. I attended one of three American schools in Italy. From ’70 to ’73, we lived in Rockville, Md., where I played offensive and defensive line on the football team, rode my bike everywhere and fished off Virginia Beach. Q: How did you settle in Oklahoma? A: My father, who died of cancer this past August, had a second career as a dental professor at OU. After all that moving around, my mother has lived in the same house in Edmond since 1974. Oklahoma is home to me. I attended a small school in Maryland my freshman year in college, but transferred to OU my sophomore year. Q: How did you decide upon a career in architecture? A: My first semester at OU, my roommate was a construction science major in the architecture college. By the end of that semester, I was helping him with all his projects. It was like a light went off, and I realized I wanted to be an architect. Q: What was your first professional job? A: After graduation, I worked 10 years with Miles Associates, which then was a firm of about 10 and specialized in the building and remodeling of research labs on the health sciences center campus. But I always wanted to work with a large firm, and FSB is where I wanted to be. I started as a project manager, and made partner in 2005. I’m one of five principals in the third generation of the firm’s ownership. We employ 120, and our firm is unique in that it has its own engineering department. Q: What are some of FSB’s noteworthy projects, built recently or in design? A: The OSU alumni center, the Capitol dome, the Myriad Gardens renovation, the Edmond Safety Center, the renovation of Central High School for the OCU Law School and the Maps 3 exhibit hall at the Oklahoma State Fair Park. Some 45 percent of our projects are outside Oklahoma. Because of our expertise in aviation and strong customer satisfaction levels, we successfully compete with firms nationwide that are as much as 50 times bigger. We’ve got ongoing projects in San Diego and Rhode Island, and four in Connecticut for the National Guard. Q: Your focus is marketing and client management in the federal market, including aviation and the federal defense department. Tell us about that. A: FSB has a long history in the aviation business, starting with American Airlines in the ’50s. For United Airlines, we built eight hangars and supporting shops in Indianapolis, after the city in ’91 won the bid over Oklahoma City for a new maintenance complex. The construction value of that project alone was $530 million. Our aviation projects grew significantly throughout the ’90s. We’ve built hangars nationwide, including in Alaska and Hawaii. At our own Will Rogers World Airport, we designed a baggage handling project currently under construction, and we’re currently designing an emergency generator terminal.
Jun 7, 2014
NEW YORK (AP) — Just call him Johnny Baseball.Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 28th round of the Major League Baseball draft Saturday — the 837th player taken.Manziel was listed as a shortstop for Texas A&M, although he never played for the Aggies as he focused on football. He hasn't played baseball since high school and probably won't see...
Padres pick Browns QB Johnny Manziel in 28th round
DENNIS WASZAK Jr., Associated Press | Jun 7, 2014NEW YORK (AP) — Just call him Johnny Baseball. Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 28th round of the Major League Baseball draft Saturday — the 837th player taken. Manziel was listed as a shortstop for Texas A&M, although he never played for the Aggies as he focused on football. He hasn't played baseball since high school and probably won't see the diamond again as he embarks on his NFL career, but was happy the Padres took a swing at him. "Big thank you to the @Padres and @padresmikedee for selecting me in the MLB draft," Manziel wrote on his Twitter page. "What a great day!" Mike Dee, the Padres' president and CEO, tweeted back: "Best athlete on the board... #JohnnyBaseball." Manziel, the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy in 2012, was taken by the Browns with the 22nd overall pick in the NFL draft last month. "It was kind of, 'Why not?'" Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said Saturday before the Padres hosted the Washington Nationals. In May 2013, Manziel visited the Padres when he was in San Diego to work with a quarterbacks coach. "He certainly loves baseball," Byrnes said. "We kind of talked about it at that time, 'Do you want us to draft you?' He said, 'Yeah, absolutely.'" Why in the 28th round? "We really liked our 27th-rounder," Byrnes said. Asked the odds of actually signing Manziel, Byrnes, a big football fan, just smiled. Manziel played baseball and football at Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas, and asked Texas A&M coaches about being part of the baseball team before winning the Aggies' starting quarterback job as a redshirt freshman. Earlier this week, Manziel — decked out in an Indians jersey — was set to throw out the first pitch in Cleveland before the Indians played Boston. He warmed up earlier with Indians pitcher Josh Tomlin, but his toss was washed out by rain that delayed the start. But, in May 2013, Manziel took batting practice with the Padres at Petco Park and tossed out a football-style first pitch as he dropped back, scrambled to the side of the mound and floated a bootleg "pass" to San Diego outfielder Mark Kotsay, who caught it behind his back with his glove. On Manziel's first swing in batting practice, the bat flew out of his hands, but he settled down and later drove a pitch off the right-field wall. "I didn't know he played baseball," Padres right-hander Ian Kennedy said Saturday. "Anybody in Texas probably plays all those sports, football, baseball." Padres closer Huston Street, who pitched at Texas and whose late father, James, played quarterback for the Longhorns, liked the pick, even if Manziel did play for the Aggies. "I'm a fan. I think he's an exciting player," Street said. "I think he's good for sport. I think he plays hard. I don't know if he'll ever wear a Padre uniform, but it sure is exciting that the organization took him. I know he hung out here last year a couple times and everybody really enjoyed his presence. Everybody liked him. I came away from that day thinking, 'Man, that's a good dude, that's a cool guy.' It seemed like he was a very focused, mentally strong guy. He wanted to do something. We know what he can do in football. "Heck, if he wants to come out here and hang around before games ... I don't know if they let 28th-round picks do that," Street said. "But he's a great athlete. I don't think anybody expects to see him in the big leagues, but maybe he's going to try and do both. I don't know. If he does, he's one of the more competitive people I've been around. We'll see what happens with his football career. He's potentially got a baseball one." Street isn't sure if Johnny Football would try both sports. "I would tell him to don't try to be a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none," Street said. "But at the same time, it's been done before. I don't know about at the quarterback position. A little bit tougher position." Big-time quarterbacks are no stranger to recent Major League Baseball drafts. John Elway, Dan Marino, Tom Brady, Daunte Culpepper, Colin Kaepernick and Jake Locker were all drafted by big league teams but instead stuck to the gridiron. Russell Wilson of the Super Bowl-champion Seattle Seahawks was a 41st-round selection by Baltimore out of high school in 2007, but opted to go to North Carolina State. He was a fourth-rounder of Colorado in 2010 and played in the Rockies' system as a second baseman. Wilson, who had transferred to Wisconsin, told the Rockies in January 2012 that he wanted to pursue an NFL career, and in December 2013 was acquired by the Texas Rangers in the Rule 5 draft. A few weeks after winning the Super Bowl, Wilson attended Rangers spring training and participated in infield drills. Next year, Florida State's Jameis Winston could be in the same situation as Manziel. The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback also is a hard-throwing closer for the Seminoles' baseball team. Winston was already a 15th-round pick of the Rangers in 2012. ___ AP Sports Writer Bernie Wilson in San Diego contributed to this report.
INSTITUTE, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Athletic Coaches Association's Hall of Fame will induct two new members this month.Bob Mullett, director of the North-South Football Classic, announced the selections of Steve Edwards Sr. and Steve Newberry on Tuesday.Edwards is the former head football coach at George Washington High School. He led the Patriots to a 1982 state title, and the school's...
Edwards, Newberry named to W.Va. hall
Associated Press | Jun 4, 2014INSTITUTE, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Athletic Coaches Association's Hall of Fame will induct two new members this month. Bob Mullett, director of the North-South Football Classic, announced the selections of Steve Edwards Sr. and Steve Newberry on Tuesday. Edwards is the former head football coach at George Washington High School. He led the Patriots to a 1982 state title, and the school's stadium is named in his honor. Newberry is a former Peterstown High School multi-sport star and four-year starter for the West Virginia football team. He was elected to the university's Sports Hall of Fame in 2011. Edwards and Newberry each participated in the North-South Football Classic as players and coaches. They will be honored June 21 at West Virginia State University.
Jun 3, 2014
EAST ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — Cricket, the international game of bats and balls that isn't baseball, is enjoying a surge of popularity in America, with the debut of a national league this spring and higher demand to build "pitches" across the country.Areas such as New York City, California's Silicon Valley, Washington, D.C., Dallas and Chicago have become cricket hotbeds, fueled by an influx of...
Immigrants fueling a US boom in cricket
FRANK ELTMAN, Associated Press | Jun 3, 2014EAST ISLIP, N.Y. (AP) — Cricket, the international game of bats and balls that isn't baseball, is enjoying a surge of popularity in America, with the debut of a national league this spring and higher demand to build "pitches" across the country. Areas such as New York City, California's Silicon Valley, Washington, D.C., Dallas and Chicago have become cricket hotbeds, fueled by an influx of mostly South Asian immigrants, some of whom arrived as part of the high-tech boom. In the immigrant-rich New York area, cricket has become so popular that lotteries are being held for the chance to play in pitches at some parks. New York City schools still have the only varsity cricket league in the country, but it has doubled in size in just seven years, with 30 teams now competing for the title. A national traveling league, the American Cricket Champions League, began this spring and has 17 teams from Boston to Los Angeles vying a for a six-team playoff tournament. For 17-year-old Akash Chowdhury, who arrived in New York City four years ago from Bangladesh and plays in the city schools league, cricket has helped smooth the transition to his new home. His Brooklyn International High School team, outfitted with crisp, white uniforms and batting helmets like the stars they follow on cable television, often play their games in the outfields of idle baseball diamonds. "Playing cricket in America helps me remember my back country," Chowdhury said. "But I really don't miss it like that, because I can play here." In the past several years, communities in states from Maryland to Indiana have taken initiatives to organize youth leagues and build cricket facilities. The United States Youth Cricket Association has donated 1,500 sets of cricket equipment — bats, balls and wickets — to community youth programs around the country. "We're hoping that as kids grow up, they will create pressure on school systems to think of cricket," said Jamie Harrison, CEO of the American Cricket Federation. Cricket is wildly popular in former countries of the British Empire. The game is played on a field known as a pitch, but the pitcher is called a bowler. The bowler hurls the ball to the opposing team's batsman, who attempts to hit it with a flattened bat. Depending on how well the ball travels, a hit can result in one or more runs. In the most traditional forms, a team bowls until 10 opposing batsmen are out, meaning matches can run for days. In other forms, the game is limited by the number of "overs," a series of six throws. New York City schools play a limited "over" form that lasts two to three hours. John Aaron, executive secretary of the American Cricket Federation, grew up playing the game in his native Guyana. He compares cricket in the U.S. to where soccer was just a few decades ago. "When soccer first started here, people said it's not going to go anywhere — American football is the thing," Aaron said. "Soccer has not replaced American football, but it has certainly taken off now, hasn't it? It's attracting international teams coming here to play. Cricket can do the same thing." ___ Associated Press video journalist David Martin contributed to this report.
WASHINGTON (AP) — NFL teams and the league's foundation will fund trainers in underserved high schools nationwide in a $1 million program.An announcement was made Thursday as part of a White House summit on youth sports safety.The program, a collaboration with the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS), is part of $25...
NFL to help fund athletic trainers
Associated Press | May 29, 2014WASHINGTON (AP) — NFL teams and the league's foundation will fund trainers in underserved high schools nationwide in a $1 million program. An announcement was made Thursday as part of a White House summit on youth sports safety. The program, a collaboration with the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS), is part of $25 million committed by the NFL Foundation over the next three years toward health and safety projects. According to NATA, only 55 percent of high school athletes nationwide have access to a full-time certified trainer. Access is particularly challenging in low-income and rural communities. The outreach program will provide certified trainers in NFL communities. NFL teams will identify schools in their region that are eligible. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
May 28, 2014
WASHINGTON (AP) — Concerned that too little is known about the effects of head injuries in young athletes, President Barack Obama is bringing representatives of professional sports leagues, coaches, parents, youth sports players, researchers and others to the White House to help educate the public about youth sports concussions.Tackling the issue at a White House summit Thursday, Obama also...
Obama to tackle youth sports concussion issue
DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press | May 28, 2014WASHINGTON (AP) — Concerned that too little is known about the effects of head injuries in young athletes, President Barack Obama is bringing representatives of professional sports leagues, coaches, parents, youth sports players, researchers and others to the White House to help educate the public about youth sports concussions. Tackling the issue at a White House summit Thursday, Obama also will highlight pledges of money and other support from the NFL, the National Institutes of Health, the Pop Warner Little Scholars and others to do the research, promote safety and speed development of materials designed to provide better protection. Obama comes to the issue through his well-documented love of sports, and as the father of two daughters active in sports. The president thinks sports are also a good way to keep kids healthy and out of trouble, but he raised some eyebrows last year by saying he would "have to think long and hard" before letting a son, if he had one, play football because of the risk of head injuries. "He, as a parent, is concerned about the safety of his own daughters," said White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri, one of several officials who previewed the White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit for reporters. In a report last fall, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council called for a national system to track sports-related concussions and begin answering questions about the risks of youth sports, such as how often do the youngest athletes suffer concussions or which sports have the highest rates. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that can be caused by a blow to the head. Concussions also can be caused by body blows that cause the brain to bounce around or twist inside the skull. Nearly 250,000 kids visit hospital emergency rooms each year with brain injuries caused by sports or other recreational activity, the White House said. The pledges Obama will announce Thursday are designed to start gathering the needed data. Among the largest commitments, the NCAA and the Defense Department are launching a $30 million effort to produce research on concussion risks, treatment and management. Concussions and other types of brain injuries are an issue for U.S. service members too. Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, was to participate in the summit. The National Football League is committing $25 million over the next three years to promote youth sports safety. The NIH is undertaking a new research effort on the chronic effects of repetitive concussions, work supported by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health through an initial investment of $16 million from the NFL. With a $10 million investment from Steve Tisch, UCLA will launch a program named for the New York Giants co-owner to target sports concussion prevention, outreach, research and treatment for athletes of all ages, but especially youth. The money will also support planning for a national system to determine the incidence of youth sports concussions. The Institute of Medicine report had called for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to establish and oversee such a system. Pop Warner Little Scholars, a private youth league, will participate in a research project that tracks concussions and concussion trends in high school sports. After Obama opens the summit with remarks, Fox Sports reporter Pam Oliver was scheduled to moderate a panel discussion that includes Odierno. In the afternoon, Obama planned to participate in sports drills on the South Lawn with kids from local YMCA programs. Obama said in a 2013 interview with the New Republic that football may need to change to prevent injuries. "I'm a big football fan, but I have to tell you if I had a son, I'd have to think long and hard before I let him play football," Obama said. "And I think that those of us who love the sport are going to have to wrestle with the fact that it will probably change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence. In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won't have to examine our consciences quite as much." The NFL has agreed to pay $765 million to settle concussion claims from thousands of former players whose complaints range from headaches to Alzheimer's disease. That settlement is still awaiting a judge's approval, while a group of former professional hockey players have filed a class-action lawsuit of their own against the National Hockey League for head injuries sustained on the ice. ___ Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dsupervilleap
ATLANTA (AP) — For all the wrangling between the tea party and establishment conservatives in this midterm election year, key players from both sides are lining up behind one candidate in Georgia's Republican Senate primary runoff.Tea party favorite Karen Handel announced Wednesday that she's backing U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston over businessman David Perdue in a July 22 runoff. Some of her notable...
Rare alliance of tea party and Chamber in Georgia
BILL BARROW, Associated Press | May 28, 2014ATLANTA (AP) — For all the wrangling between the tea party and establishment conservatives in this midterm election year, key players from both sides are lining up behind one candidate in Georgia's Republican Senate primary runoff. Tea party favorite Karen Handel announced Wednesday that she's backing U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston over businessman David Perdue in a July 22 runoff. Some of her notable backers had already committed to Kingston in the runoff. Her announcement came the same day that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an establishment titan that spent almost $1 million supporting Kingston in the initial primary campaign, announced another statewide ad buy for Kingston. The spot features Georgia Bulldogs football hero and 1982 Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker. Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, finished third in a May 20 primary for one of the nation's most closely watched Senate races. The Republican nominee will face Democrat Michelle Nunn in a Nov. 4 general election that will help determine which party controls the Senate for the final two years of President Barack Obama's administration. The GOP needs six more senators to claim a majority and cannot afford to lose the seat opened by the retirement of Saxby Chambliss. Kingston welcomed his former rival, saying she'll help him "unite the conservative family." Handel was sharply critical of Kingston, an 11-term congressman, and Perdue, a former corporate CEO, leading up to the first round of voting. "It's the career politicians and the out-of-touch elitists who have gotten us into this mess," she said at one debate. Her most personal exchanges came with Perdue, who suggested she wasn't qualified for the Senate because she has only a high school diploma. But she still lambasted GOP incumbents like Kingston. "Republicans had control of the House, Senate and White House" during part of the second Bush administration, she said while campaigning. "What did we do? Nothing. We did nothing." Handel said Wednesday that her criticisms were "in the past." She called Kingston a "consistent, effective conservative" who is "fiercely dedicated to the conservative principles that are the foundation of the Republican Party and that I want to see return to Washington." Perdue spokesman Derrick Dickey said via email that voters still prefer an outsider. "This just goes to show the clear choice he is giving voters," Dickey wrote. Handel's decision is the latest in a string of developments that allow Kingston to pitch himself as a unifying conservative, but it also highlights the narrowing gap between the archconservative activists and the established powers they have sharply criticized. Handel said she still believes that Washington needs new blood, though she also said, "Hitting the ground with some political experience is important." She noted that Kingston won 74 percent of the Senate primary vote in the 1st Congressional District he's represented for two decades. "That speaks volumes," Handel said. Kingston's endorsement list puts the chamber, which has promised to spend lavishly to quash the tea party influence in the midterms, alongside several notable conservatives. National Tea Party Express leader Julianne Thompson and RedState.com editor Erick Erickson, both Georgia residents, initially supported Handel but now back Kingston. The congressman already had an endorsement from Fox News broadcaster Sean Hannity. That could force Kingston into a tight spot on certain issues in the Senate. The U.S. Chamber supported a Democratic-led overhaul of immigration law and a bipartisan deal to reopen government last fall and raise the nation's borrowing limit. In the House, Kingston sided with tea party interests in opposing both efforts. Kingston said Wednesday that he sees no conflict. "We are going bring together people who want to reform government, people who want to cut spending, people who want a strong national security," he said. ___ Follow Bill Barrow on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BillBarrowAP .
May 17, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted three tall, physical players who were once basketball standouts with aspirations of playing in the NBA, prompting general manager Jason Licht to jokingly refer to the team as the Dunkaneers.Receiver Mike Evans, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and tackle Kevin Pamphile are all listed at 6-foot-5 and figure into plans to improve an offense...
Retooling Buccaneers high on tall draft picks
FRED GOODALL, Associated Press | May 17, 2014TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted three tall, physical players who were once basketball standouts with aspirations of playing in the NBA, prompting general manager Jason Licht to jokingly refer to the team as the Dunkaneers. Receiver Mike Evans, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and tackle Kevin Pamphile are all listed at 6-foot-5 and figure into plans to improve an offense that was among the worst in the NFL last season. All were basketball stars in high school. Seferian-Jenkins even tried his hand at being a two-sport athlete at Washington. Evans and Pamphile gave up their hoops dreams late in their prep careers and have only been playing football for a relatively short period of time. ___ AP NFL websites: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
May 16, 2014
Stop the pitching carnage.Now.We know just where to start.Youth baseball.No more children playing all through the year, with hardly a break between seasons. No more youngsters throwing sliders and splitters and all sorts of pitches that put too much stress on their still-developing arms. And certainly no more high schoolers dishing up 194 pitches in a single game.With baseball in the midst of...
Column: Time to start protecting our young hurlers
PAUL NEWBERRY, Associated Press | May 16, 2014Stop the pitching carnage. Now. We know just where to start. Youth baseball. No more children playing all through the year, with hardly a break between seasons. No more youngsters throwing sliders and splitters and all sorts of pitches that put too much stress on their still-developing arms. And certainly no more high schoolers dishing up 194 pitches in a single game. With baseball in the midst of what looks increasingly like an epidemic of elbow injuries and Tommy John surgeries, it's time for someone to acknowledge that a big part of the problem can surely be traced to our overworked kids. They are enduring far too much wear and tear on their immature bodies — their arms especially — in a misguided quest to make it to the big leagues. Those few who do make it often pay a heavy price. "Most of the major leaguers and minor leaguers that come into our practice with ligament problems," says Dr. James Andrews, who has performed countless Tommy John operations over his long career, "if you take a good, close look at their histories, a large part of them link back to some minor injury as a kid. "It started in youth baseball. That's the real culprit." The major league brass is so concerned that it plans to hold a summit in New York next week, bringing in experts such as Andrews to figure out why so many of the game's top hurlers have been stricken with this devastating injury, some for the second time. The Atlanta Braves probably qualify for a Tommy John BOGO, considering they've already sent three pitchers (Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Cory Gearrin) to the operating table this year, and are still hoping for the return of reliever Jonny Venters, who underwent the procedure last year. Medlen, Beachy and Venters all have two Tommy Johns on their medical charts — and none has celebrated his 30th birthday. The biggest blow yet occurred down in Miami, where Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, just 21 and perhaps the most gifted young pitcher in the game, was headed to surgery Friday to have his elbow ligament replaced. It will be at least a year before we see him on the mound again. Well, enough's enough. While it won't be of help to this generation of big leaguers, whose damage is already done, maybe those who are just getting started on their baseball careers won't have to endure so much pain. Already, Little League and other youth baseball organizations have instituted well-intentioned rules to limit pitch counts and reduce the stress on a young player's arm. But more drastic steps are needed, especially for those moving into their teenage years. That's when the best players often compete for both their high schools and elite travel teams, the games stretching from spring to summer and on through the fall, all while mom and dad are doling out big bucks to pay for private lessons on the side. Andrews recommends that all young pitchers should take at least two months off each year, and he says three or four months would be even better. Unfortunately for many of these kids, there's no such thing as an off season. "The professional ranks protect their pitchers a lot better than they do in the high schools," Andrews says. No kidding. In Rochester, Washington, prep pitcher Dylan Fosnacht threw 194 pitches over 14 scoreless innings in a district tournament game this week. It's a feat that might've been celebrated in an earlier era, but should be raising nothing but red flags in light of what's happening in the big leagues. The state high school association says the outlandish feat was within its rules. Ridiculous. The coach defended leaving his starter in the game, saying he checked with Fosnacht before every inning and he didn't seem to be tiring. Talk about passing the buck. And Fosnacht took issue with anyone who wanted to blame his coach or parents for endangering his health. Which is to be expected, since the teen became an instant social media sensation. "People need to chill," Fosnacht wrote on Twitter, which meant he could at least still raise his arm to type out a message. But Tommy John — yep, the Tommy John, the one who first had a ligament replaced in his elbow and wound up with an operation that will forever bear his name — says the problem starts at home. Like Andrews and others in the medical profession, John subscribes to the theory that many of these elbow injuries can be traced back to playing too much ball at too young an age. While he says any coach who would let a high school pitcher throw nearly 200 pitches in a game deserves to be fired, he puts ultimate blame on the parents. "The parents get built into the idea that little junior is going to get pitching lessons from the guy who pitched minor league baseball, who's going to get paid two, three grand a winter, and he comes down twice a week and works on his pitching and all this," John says. "He should be working on his strength playing basketball, playing football, playing lacrosse, playing something other than throwing a baseball. "It won't make him better. It will just increase his chances of down the road of having Tommy John surgery." ___ Paul Newberry is a national writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at email@example.com or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 ___ AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Troy Niklas is still learning to play tight end, and that's what made him so enticing to the Arizona Cardinals.The Cardinals chose the 6-foot-6, 279-pound player out of Notre Dame in the second round of Friday's NFL draft, the 52nd player taken overall."He's a guy that in our mind has just started to scratch the surface on what he can become," Arizona general manager Steve...
Cards draft TE Niklas, then DE Martin, WR Brown
BOB BAUM, Associated Press | May 9, 2014TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Troy Niklas is still learning to play tight end, and that's what made him so enticing to the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals chose the 6-foot-6, 279-pound player out of Notre Dame in the second round of Friday's NFL draft, the 52nd player taken overall. "He's a guy that in our mind has just started to scratch the surface on what he can become," Arizona general manager Steve Keim said. It is the first time the Cardinals have drafted a tight end this high since they selected Doug Marsh of Michigan with the 33rd pick in 1980. "This, to me, is a guy who could really transcend into being one of the top all-around tight ends at some point in his career," Keim said. With their two third-round picks, the Cardinals went with defensive strength and offensive speed. They used the 84th pick to select defensive end Kareem Martin of North Carolina. With the 91st pick, obtained from New Orleans when they traded down in the first round, Arizona chose wide receiver John Brown of NCAA Division II Pittsburg State of Kansas. With those selections and drafting Washington State safety Deone Bucannon in the first round, Arizona has addressed areas of need. Niklas is considered the best blocking tight end in this year's draft crop, but the Cardinals see him as more than that. "The trend is you find either the pass-catching tight end that can stretch the seam and create some mismatches," Keim said, "or you have sluggo that sits on the line of scrimmage, which is really your third tackle. It has been hard to find the tight end that is the dual threat, that can do both things and do both things well. That's what this guy is." Niklas converted from outside linebacker after his freshman season and chose to enter the NFL draft after his junior year. In his 26 games at tight end, including starts in all 13 last season, Niklas caught 37 passes for 573 yards and six touchdowns. The bulk of those catches came last season, when he had 32 receptions for 498 yards and five scores, including a 66-yard scoring play in the season opener against Temple. "I've still got a lot to learn," Niklas said, "and that's something that I didn't hide from teams." Niklas has an impressive football lineage. Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews is his uncle and current NFL players Clay and Casey Matthews are cousins. Another cousin, Jake Matthews, was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round on Thursday. Although he is primarily a blocker, Niklas has had some effective performances as a receiver. He caught six passes for 76 yards against Michigan and four for 76 yards in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against Rutgers. Keim said his team's draft board was "pretty well picked clean" but that Niklas was "a guy that we've followed for quite some time now." Niklas was a highly recruited player out of Servite High School in Anaheim, California, choosing Notre Dame over USC. He said he was thrilled to be playing in the West. "My family can come to the games. It's within driving distance," he said. "I'm unbelievably happy that I'm going there." Arizona coach Bruce Arians said that had Niklas gone back to Notre Dame for his senior season, he probably "would have been a top 10 pick, with that skill set." Niklas said the decision to leave was a difficult one. "A lot of teams need a tight end," he said. "I just had a good feeling. Everything looked so bright I just went ahead and came out." Martin played on the line in a 4-2-5 scheme at North Carolina but the Cardinals would like to use him at outside linebacker. Asked about the difficulty of such a transition, Arians said one outside linebacker is essentially a defensive end and the other linebacker just has to stand up rather than go down in a stance. "I think he's more comfortable with the hand in its dirt, so we'll see," Arians said. The 5-foot-10 Brown, a three-time Division II All-American, ran a 4.34-second 40-yard dash, third-fastest at the NFL combine. Arizona also had a private workout with him. Arians coached two other small receivers in T.Y. Hilton and Antonio Brown. "He's kind of a combination of those two guys," Arians said, "very explosive but fearless going over the middle." ___ Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Looking for a movie with a good message for and about families that the whole family will enjoy? Here are four that you should check out.
4 movies with great messages for your family
Dylan Cannon, KSL | May 9, 2014MOVIETOWN — Looking for a movie with a good message for and about families that the whole family will enjoy? Here are four that you should check out. Monsters University (2013) In Disney Pixar's "Monsters University," Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) is a bookish, unimposing monster who has a deep desire to be the best scarer of his class despite his complete lack of ability in that regard. On the other hand, his classmate and rival, James "Sully" Sullivan (voiced by John Goodman), has the build and natural ability to be the best scarer in the world but seems intent on coasting through his classes and work. By the end of the film, the two become friends and join forces to be the record-setting duo they are in "Monsters, Inc." The themes of "Monsters University" can be applied to families. Parents can use the film to teach their children that every person (or monster) has their own unique talents and gifts that are necessary to help families achieve the greatest amount of accomplishment and cohesion and that no one's role in the family is more or less important. It's a Wonderful Life (1946) In "It's a Wonderful Life," George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) is considering suicide by jumping off a bridge due to heavy debts he is facing and an overall feeling of failure. Before he attempts to take his life, however, he is met by an angel who shows George how tragically different the world would be had his desire that he had never been born been fulfilled. Seeing all the good that he had accomplished and could yet accomplish, George discovers that it is in fact "a wonderful life." In some regards, it is almost unfortunate that "It's a Wonderful Life" has become so synonymous with Christmas. While the film is set during Christmastime, its messages about how much good even seemingly small acts can do and finding contentment and purpose are universal and relevant year-round. Remember the Titans (2000) "Remember the Titans" takes place in Virginia in 1971 where new integration laws force T.C. Williams High School to enroll black students. In part to comply with new standards, the school appoints a black man, Herman Boone (played by Denzel Washington), to be the head football coach. Striving to field the most competitive team possible, Boone selects white and black staff members and players. Old feelings die hard as the team confronts racial tensions and hatred amongst themselves, their supporters, referees, opposing teams and fan bases. Throughout the season, the team forms an unbreakable bond and becomes one of the greatest high school football teams ever assembled as well as a symbol of change in the state that once held the Capitol of the Confederacy. The overall message of "Remember the Titans" about the evils of racial hatred are important for audiences of all ages. The development of the football team has some great moments that can be applied to families, as well. Through the course of the film, the team learns how to be cohesive and strong despite having participants with greatly varying personalities and upbringings. They are able to do so because of the respect for each other instilled by coach Boone who said in a poignant moment with his team at a battlefield in Gettysburg, "I don't care if you like each other, but you will respect each other." Not all family members (especially children and teens) are always going to be best friends, but having a high level of respect and acceptance goes a long way to family happiness. Despicable Me (2010) In "Despicable Me," the simply named Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is a world-class villain. With the help of his minions, he decides to kick it up a notch and he concocts a plan to steal the moon. His plan is thwarted, however, when his shrink-ray gun is stolen by a new villainous rival named Vector (voiced by Jason Segel). After many failed attempts to retrieve the shrink-ray, Gru devises a plan to adopt three orphaned sisters to obtain the tool. After becoming their legal guardian, however, Gru begins to have a change of heart and has to decide whether his aim to become the world's greatest villain or being a dad is more important. Obviously, (hopefully) most parents do not hope to go down as the greatest criminal mastermind of all time. However, millions of parents are forced to decide everyday whether or not their career aspirations and dreams are more important than being actively involved in their children's lives. "Despicable Me" is a funny and enjoyable film about which choice will bring more happiness. What are some of your favorite family movies with good messages? Go ahead and comment below!
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Crediting his upbringing in a military family for his passion for the game, Deone Bucannon was introduced as the Arizona Cardinals' first-round draft pick in a thoughtful, insightful news conference.A big-hitting strong safety, whose thumping exploits are widely available in online videos, Bucannon was selected 27th overall on Thursday after the Cardinals traded down from...
WSU's Bucannon brings big-hitting style to Arizona
BOB BAUM, Associated Press | May 9, 2014TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Crediting his upbringing in a military family for his passion for the game, Deone Bucannon was introduced as the Arizona Cardinals' first-round draft pick in a thoughtful, insightful news conference. A big-hitting strong safety, whose thumping exploits are widely available in online videos, Bucannon was selected 27th overall on Thursday after the Cardinals traded down from the No. 20 spot, getting New Orleans' first-round pick and a third-round selection. He is the highest drafted player from Washington State since Seattle took cornerback Marcus Trufant at No. 11 in 2003. At his Friday news conference, Bucannon acknowledged pre-draft reports that he had trouble in pass coverage. "Everybody has their own opinion," he said. "Everybody thinks they know about different things. I could throw out all my stats right now, but that's not going to help anybody. That's not going to make you guys believe any more." But, he said, "In my heart, I feel I can do anything." If he works out at strong safety, Arizona would field an impressive secondary, once Tyrann Mathieu returns to free safety after recovering from major knee surgery. Patrick Peterson is at one cornerback, with recently signed free agent Antonio Cromartie at the other. Bucannon broke down in front of his family when the Cardinals called him and told him they were going to select him. Of the 20 teams that looked at him, the Cardinals were by far his favorite destination, he said. That desire had its roots in a dinner he had with general manager Steve Keim and other members of the Cardinals' top brass. "They were not only talking to me as a player, but as a person," Bucannon said. "They cared about what I did off the field. We were just talking about life. It wasn't just about football." Bucannon's passion for football went a long way toward convincing the Cardinals he should be their pick. He traced that to his family, where his father was a Marine and his mother in the Navy. "My dad told me, 'Don't play this game if you're just going through the motions," he said. "That's not why I play this game. I play this game because I love it. I love the camaraderie. I love making plays for my team." The big hits, Bucannon said, come naturally, from his start in Pop Warner football to high school, then college. Keim called him "a headhunter," and Bucannon is aware of the NFL's rules regarding nasty hits. "I'm not going to sacrifice any of what got me here, through my aggressiveness and playmaking ability, and I'm still going to do that on the field," he said. He said he was recruited by only four teams out of high school — Washington State, San Diego State, Cal Poly and Nevada. Bucannon chose Washington State, toiling in relative obscurity in faraway Pullman, Washington, for a program that was a longtime loser before finally making a bowl appearance in Mike Leach's second season as coach last year. "That's how I flew under the radar," he said. "... I'm going to use that as motivation. I'm going to go out there and show them why I'm out here on the field. I want to be a pro — not want to be, I am a pro. This is what I live to do. " ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
The 5-4 Supreme Court decision Monday upholding prayers at local government meetings pleased supporters who cheered the second endorsement of "legislative prayers" in 30 years.
Supreme Court endorsed legislative prayer for second time in 30 years
Mark A. Kellner, Deseret News | May 6, 2014WASHINGTON – The 5-4 Supreme Court decision Monday upholding prayers at local government meetings pleased supporters who cheered the second endorsement of "legislative prayers" in 30 years as a victory for freedom of speech. But opponents said the ruling could impose "second-class citizenship" on those who don't share the dominant faith of a given community. Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that government could not mandate a legislative prayer "to a generic God" to avoid offending someone in the room. He added that unless legislative prayers show a pattern of proselytizing or denigration of other faiths "a challenge based solely on the content of a prayer will not likely establish a constitutional violation." The decision caps the contentious case of Town of Greece vs. Galloway, in which two residents of the small New York town eight miles northwest of Rochester, complained that only four of 127 "guest chaplains" opening town meetings with prayer were not Christians. Residents Susan Galloway, who is Jewish, and Linda Stephens, an atheist, each objected to the imbalance, and allege they were told either to stop attending meetings or "not listen" to the prayers. A federal appeals court in New York held the prayers to be unconstitutional and the town appealed. Monday's ruling comes more than three decades after a 1983 case, Marsh v. Chambers, where the court held that the Nebraska Legislature's custom of opening meetings with prayers by a paid chaplain did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which says the state may not "establish" a religion "or prohibit the free exercise thereof." 'Legislative prayer' victory Daniel Blomberg, legal counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which supported the Town of Greece in the case, applauded the latest ruling. "Both the majority opinion and the dissenting opinion affirm legislative prayer is constitutional," he said. "At a very high level, today's opinion is a unanimous victory for legislative prayer, a time-honored tradition of allowing government to reflect the beliefs of its citizens." Blomberg said those who opposed the Town of Greece's prayer policy "want you to create this majoritarian definition of prayer that has to be the way everyone prays. It was an attack on the diverse policy the Town of Greece has: they invited everyone to pray and never refused anyone from participating." He said opponents were "asking for government-mandated type of prayers, and the court soundly rejected that." In referencing "legislative prayer," the ruling says nothing concerning other controversial public prayers that have landed in court, such as those offered at public school football games or public high school graduations. But Blomberg said that the reasoning in Monday's ruling about the role of faith in public life could impact another controversial case, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. In that case, the Green family, which owns the national craft store chain, is seeking exemption from a government contraceptive mandate, which the family says is against its religious beliefs. "What the Green family is asking is for the (Supreme) Court to recognize the same thing it did in (the) Town of Greece (case), that the government should not be hostile to religion, and recognize that religion is a fundamental part of what citizens are," Blomberg said. Minority religions ignored? But not all religious freedom advocates liked the court's latest legislative prayer ruling. Douglas Laycock, a law professor at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and who argued the case for Galloway and Stephens before the high court, said the ruling doesn't bode well for minority religions. "The local majority can do anything it wants ... that's what this opinion says," he said. Laycock, who worked with Americans United for the Separation of Church and State in representing Galloway and Stephens, said it would be better "not to have prayer in the public part of government meetings." By sanctioning "legislative prayer" at the council meetings, Laycock said, "it's a green light for local majorities to impose their religious practices on anyone who wants to participate in civic affairs." Justice Elena Kagan, who led the dissenting bloc, apparently agreed with Laycock's concern about the content of the prayers. "I think the Town of Greece’s prayer practices violate that norm of religious equality — the breathtakingly generous constitutional idea that our public institutions belong no less to the Buddhist or Hindu than to the Methodist or Episcopalian," she wrote. She chided the town's practice that led to more than a decade of "prayers steeped in only one faith, addressed toward members of the public, commenced meetings to discuss local affairs and distribute government benefits. In my view, that practice does not square with the First Amendment’s promise that every citizen, irrespective of her religion, owns an equal share in her government." But Kennedy, in the majority opinion, dismissed concerns such as those voiced by Laycock and Kagan, noting the sectarian prayers heard in Congress during America's earlier years. "The decidedly Christian nature of these prayers must not be dismissed as the relic of a time when our nation was less pluralistic than it is today," the justice wrote. "Congress continues to permit its appointed and visiting chaplains to express themselves in a religious idiom. It acknowledges our growing diversity not by proscribing sectarian content but by welcoming ministers of many creeds." Kennedy also stated the purpose and practical boundaries for such orations: "Prayer that is solemn and respectful in tone, that invites lawmakers to reflect upon shared ideals and common ends before they embark on the fractious business of governing, serves that legitimate function." Religious reaction While many Christian groups including the Alliance Defending Freedom, Liberty Counsel and the Faith and Freedom Coalition applauded the move, some strict separationists demurred. K. Hollyn Hollman, an attorney for the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, which supported the Americans United case, told the Deseret News her group would be happier with a moment of silence at a town council meeting. "I don't think it is good for religion to mix specific worship practices in participatory government meetings," she said. "You shouldn't have to participate in an act of worship in order to attend a local government meeting." But Southern Baptist pastor Russell D. Moore, president of Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said the court did the right thing. "This is a victory for all of those who believe in the freedom of speech, including religious speech, as a prized part of our God-given religious liberty." Harsh Voruganti the Hindu American Foundation's associate director of public policy, asserted the "decision is inconsistent with previous Supreme Court decisions preventing government endorsement of specific religious beliefs. Unfortunately, this decision may open the door to government sanctioned sectarian prayers." The ruling may also open the door to further litigation, according to historian John Ragosta, a fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and author of the 2013 book, "Religious Freedom: Jefferson's Legacy, America's Creed." He said the main part of the decision "is fairly sensible in a lot of ways: If we can have legislative prayer, government cannot be telling people how to pray. The government should not be in the business of telling people what to say in their prayers. There's a lot of merit to that." However, Ragosta said, the decision "doesn't really resolve a lot of issues" regarding the content of such prayers, and he predicted the matter may come before the high court again. But law professor Laycock disagrees, saying, "It appears to be a final curtain on any attempt to require some sensitivity to religious minorities in anything that can be called legislative."