Wilson Eagles football
|2 - 8||1 - 4||1 - 4||.200||138||354|
|2013-09-06||vs||Marietta||L||7 - 30|
|2013-09-13||@||Caddo||W||14 - 13|
|2013-09-20||@||Kingston||L||6 - 44|
|2013-09-27||@||Healdton||L||14 - 24|
|2013-10-04||vs||Velma-Alma||L||14 - 36|
|2013-10-11||vs||Ringling||L||0 - 57|
|2013-10-17||@||Empire||L||13 - 32|
|2013-10-25||vs||Bray-Doyle||W||56 - 26|
|2013-11-01||@||Walters||L||14 - 59|
|2013-11-08||vs||Rush Springs||L||0 - 33|
|Player Name||Number||Year||Height||Weight||Position (main)|
|There are no players associated with this team.|
Wilson football News
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Wilson High School Varsity Boys Football
The newspaper and community are bound inextricably one to another, with The Daily Star-Journal today continuing the work of the newspaper’s forebearers by holding up a mirror into which the community sees its reflection, good or ill, accurately.Dates and events provided herein – each footnoted and provided to the Johnson County Historical Society – are taken from a variety of sources, with most...
Timeline Ties Newspaper, Community
Jack "Miles" Ventimiglia, Associated Press | Apr 17, 2015The newspaper and community are bound inextricably one to another, with The Daily Star-Journal today continuing the work of the newspaper’s forebearers by holding up a mirror into which the community sees its reflection, good or ill, accurately. Dates and events provided herein – each footnoted and provided to the Johnson County Historical Society – are taken from a variety of sources, with most coming from the newspaper’s own pages. 1800s 1833: Martin Warren settled on land that would become Warrensburg. 1860, May 18: James D. Eads and J. Milton Bonham edited The Western Missourian, Warrensburg. The paper carried news and advertising, including about runaway slaves. 1861-1865: No one published a paper in the city during the war years. The county clerk, having lost an election to Marsh Foster, editor of the former Western Missourian, murdered Foster at the courthouse on Main Street in February 1861. 1865, April 17: The Journal opened under J.D. Eads. • July 20: Johnson County’s county records returned after being absent during the Civil War. • Sept. 20: “The first Pacific passenger train completed a trip across the state, leaving Kansas City at 3 a.m. and arriving at St. Louis at 5 p.m. on the same day.” 1867: (circa) Vigilantes who first put to death murderers then went after other people, with guards posted at The Journal office “as threats were made against that paper for counseling the vigilantes to disband.” • The newspaper reported the organization of the first teachers college in Warrensburg. 1868: The newspaper reported the organization of the first public schools in Warrensburg. 1870: George Graham Vest eulogized a dog, Drum, marking a milestone for animals. 1871: The Democrat newspaper opened in Johnson County. 1874, Oct. 4: Wallace Crossley is born. 1876, Oct. 27: The Journal and The Democrat merged as The Journal-Democrat. • David Nation, husband of Warrensburg’s nationally infamous bar basher, Carrie Nation, at one point served as a Journal-Democrat partner. 1878, Nov. 12: The Women’s Christian Temperance Union organized to address “drunkenness in our midst, notwithstanding that there are no licensed saloons,” but also expressed a belief that druggists in town sold alcohol and thus resolved to seek “suppression of the places of dubious character.” 1883, Nov. 22: Someone robbed the Hyatt and Boyle safe at Hazel Hill. • The Johnson County Star moved from Knob Noster to Warrensburg. 1886, Nov. 6: The newspaper advertised Superior cook stoves. 1892, Jan. 1: Downhome humor would spin within the pages of the Warrensburg Journal-Democrat: “Stranger: ‘You say the editor died with his boots on?’ Printer: ‘Yes, sir. You see, he knew the town so well he wouldn’t pull ’em off for fear they’d steal his socks.” 1894: Mrs. Joseph Carmack, who would become a long-term Star-Journal employee, set type by hand. 1895: The Missouri Press Association, including Warrensburg’s newspaper, met at Pertle Springs. 1896, April 18: The newspaper reported Cora Carter, a student at St. Cecelia College, Holden, visited her relatives in Warrensburg. 1897, June 7: Fire burned the Gordon House on South Normal Avenue, the paper reported. 1898: The editor/publisher of The Journal-Democrat, Maj. Henry Reed, started raising a company to serve in the Spanish-American War. 1899: Murray Reed served as the Journal-Democrat’s news staff. 1900s 1900, Nov. 18: The newspaper quipped: “The electric fan has long since ceased to put on airs.” 1901, Feb. 3: A man and wife argued about who should get up to make the fire and the man won by slapping his wife, who then took him to court where he received a $1 fine. 1902, June 29: The newspaper reported Col. H.P. Farris owned a cycle-auto. • Dec. 30: Wallace Crossley married Erma Cheatham. 1903: Wallace Crossley acquired The Star. 1905, June 15: James C. Kirkpatrick is born. • Crossley began his first term in the Missouri House. 1911: Crossley finished his tenure in the Missouri House. 1912: Negotiations to combine The Journal-Democrat and The Star got under way. • Crossley won election to the Missouri Senate. 1913: Crossley bought out his Star newspaper partner, W.C. Capp. 1914: Bill Tucker is born in Fulton, Mo. • Crossley’s newspaper started a half century-stay at 108-110 W. Culton St. 1915, April 17: The staff celebrated The Journal turning 50. • The newspaper reported that only the Dockery Gym survived a fire at the State Normal School, now the University of Central Missouri. 1916: Crossley became Missouri lieutenant governor. 1917: Crossley finished his tenure in the Missouri Senate and began serving as lieutenant governor. 1918, Feb. 6: Crossley combined the Journal-Democrat and The Star to create a single publication, The Star-Journal. 1921: Crossley became The Star-Journal’s sole owner. • Crossley finished his tenure as lieutenant governor. 1922: Crossley served as a member of the state’s constitutional convention. 1925: Mrs. Bert Thompson began writing what became a long-time Daily Star-Journal column, New Hope. 1926: The newspaper reported completion of the first concrete parts of U.S. 50 through the county. 1927, Sept. 20: In what may be the first “Backward Glances” printed in The Daily Star-Journal, the paper stated the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce planned to meet for lunch. “This is an important meeting and the committee hopes that at least 100 men will be present,” the newspaper reported. • Sept. 21: The college achieved a record enrollment of 900. • Kirkpatrick belonged to the first journalism class at Central Missouri State College. 1929: Tom Benton Hollyman moved to Warrensburg with his father, the Rev. John Hollyman, and family. • James C. Kirkpatrick, who previously worked for The Normal Student publication at the Normal School in Warrensburg, began working in November for The Daily Star Journal. He later became The Star-Journal news editor. 1930: The newspaper reported that Gas Service Co. had 100 customers in Warrensburg. 1931, Jan. 22: The newspaper began publishing “No Hard Feelings,” a serialized version of the story of World War I Medal of Honor recipient John L. Barkley, Holden. He became the most decorated American in World War I. The first column in the series states stuttering almost kept Barkley out of the war. • Feb. 6: The paper stated, “Born of high ideals and by able and efficient management, the paper has become indispensable to the reading and progressive families of Warrensburg and Johnson County.” 1932, June 7: The paper reported Warrensburg City Council would discuss having all electricians licensed. 1933: Crossley served as state relief administrator. 1934: Wallace Crossley finished his term as Missouri Press Association president. • Kirkpatrick interviewed Senate candidate Harry Truman at The Star-Journal. 1935: University of Missouri School of Journalism awarded general excellence to The Star-Journal. • “… Inside the door (to The Star-Journal) was the most bustle and urgency one could find in Warrensburg in 1935,” Tom Benton Hollyman wrote. A nationally recognized photographer, Hollyman early in his career “freelanced,” with the emphasis on “free,” for The Star-Journal. 1936, Feb. 3: The newspaper reported homes without water due to freezing temperatures. 1937, Feb. 17: The newspaper reported Warrensburg’s city marshal continued to investigate why fire claimed a 1927 Essex parked on Holden Street, on the wrong side, next to a fire hydrant. 1938, Nov. 9: The Star-Journal ran a national news story about Nazi violence against Jews, which became known as Kristallnacht; crowed at the success of the newspaper’s election night party; and reported doctors disagreed about the need for a Johnson County hospital. 1939, June: Hollyman took most of the photos for The Star-Journal’s modern publication, Photo News. In the 1939 section, Gov. Lloyd C. Stark remarked, “It is in keeping with the modern trend whereby newspapers keep their readers informed of current events not only through the medium of print, but by means of pictures.” • MU School of Journalism awarded Crossley a journalism medal of honor. 1940, April 15: The Star-Journal’s diamond jubilee, marking 75 years in business, came and went with nothing about the anniversary. The issue included information about the Rev. J.C. Hollyman, Warrensburg, being named a Presbyterian commissioner at a denominational meeting in Rochester, N.Y.; news snippets about fighting in Germany; and an advice column by Dale Carnegie, who as a younger man had attended UCM. • May 10: Robert Wadlow, 22, Alton, Ill., known as the Alton Giant for standing 8-11, visited Warrensburg. The newspaper reported he wore size 37 shoes. “Mr. Wadlow asked the tallest man in the crowd to get a silver dollar off Robert’s head. Donald Martin, a freshman at the college, surprised Mr. Wadlow and the crowd as well by standing on his tip-toes, and getting the silver dollar, which was presented to him by Robert Wadlow. Martin is 6 feet 8 inches tall and played on the basketball team at the college last year.” • June 17: The Daily Star-Journal’s 1939 Photo News, a publication devoted to community photos, took first place in the National Newspaper Contest. • July: Hollyman received recognition in print for his work on Photo News. He is described in personal terms: “fine, manly character, dependable, straightforward, enthusiastic, persistent…” The publication states further, “Tommy’s pictures have won numerous prizes for their quality and originality. Many have appeared in the rotogravure sections of metropolitan newspapers.” • Bill Tucker married Avis Green. • Kirkpatrick left The Daily Star-Journal to do publicity for a St. Louis brewery. 1941, Dec. 8: The Star-Journal’s banner headline roared “U.S. DECLARES WAR ON JAPAN.” 1942, Aug. 10: Nan Carnahan Cocke born. 1943: Wallace Crossley died. 1944, March 14: The newspaper reported that while stationed in the South Pacific, Cpl. Bert Brasington, a clarinetist and son-in-law of W.M. Foster, Warrensburg, won $50 and a case of beer, in a talent contest. • June 6: The newspaper announced, “ALLIES LAND IN NORMANDY,” making a same-day announcement of D-Day, when Allied forces invaded Europe, marking the beginning of the Allied drive on Berlin. 1945, May 8: President Harry Truman declared victory in Europe, or V-E Day. • Aug. 6: Truman announced the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Japan. • Aug. 15: The newspaper, using a 3-inch tall news headline, likely the largest headline in the paper’s history, yelled ecstatically, “JAPS SURRENDER.” Warrensburg held a noisy celebration. • Nov. 18: The Star-Journal offered this observation: “Doing business used to be more fun than a barrel of monkeys but we can hardly tell the difference anymore.” 1946, Feb. 3: The newspaper reported the college would become the location for 10 temporary federal housing units. 1947: Bill and Avis Tucker bought and began to operate The Daily Star-Journal. 1948, Oct. 1: The State Historical Society of Columbia announced plans to microfilm newspapers, including The Star-Journal. The society today has microfilmed copies of the paper available for viewing. 1949, Jan. 17: The newspaper reported polio coin boxes would be in stores so people could donate to end the disease. Since then, the disease has been wiped out in this country, and thanks in large part to the work of Rotary International and individual clubs in Warrensburg, most of the world today is polio-free. 1950, Oct. 2: The newspaper carried news of fighting in Korea, including sniper fire in Seoul. 1951: The Tuckers went for a carriage ride across their Sunrise Farm. 1952: Bill Tucker’s boyhood dream came true when he could buy horses, the Missouri Press News, a news association publication, reported. 1953: KOKO radio started. 1954, July 7: The newspaper announced community plans to integrate public schools. • Sept. 23: The football field at the college became named for Vernon Kennedy. 1955, July 1: The Daily Star-Journal published an issue touting the city’s 100th anniversary. Contents including a story about Warrensburg as a railroad town, identifying then-Mayor A.G. Taubert as the Warrensburg Standard-Herald’s editor and part owner; and noting the Christian Church in Warrensburg also had turned 100 years old. 1956, March 13: Missouri Senate members considered crowding a problem at the Warrensburg college. 1957, Feb. 17: The paper reported Warrensburg leaders considered a city manager form of government. 1958: Kirkpatrick spoke to Central Missouri State University students about his journalism career. 1959: Kirkpatrick, then of the Windsor Review, served as the MPA president. 1960, Oct. 14: Future Daily Star-Journal reporter Bill Dedman is born in Chatanooga, Tenn. • November: Kirkpatrick ran for secretary of state and lost to Warren Hearnes. • The Tuckers bought KOKO radio. 1961, April 17: The newspaper reported on the Bay of Pigs, which resulted in disaster for Cubans opposed to the Castro regime. 1962, Oct. 18: Keith Sproat joined the newspaper and would become the chief press operator. 1963, Nov. 22: The newspaper reported on President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. 1964, July 14: The youngest full-time member on The Daily Star-Journal staff, Keith Sproat, worked on a Linotype machine. • July 15: Robert C. Jones wrote for The Daily Star-Journal about the new office at 115 E. Market St.: “The new building is an elegant, svelte-looking Colonial dame with four columns in front, a recessed walkway…” • September: Rea Wilson and Jean Smith, teenage girls who had won a contest and received Daily Star-Journal press credentials, interview The Beatles in Kansas City. The girls’ report includes: “From a picture of Paul’s father, it is evident that the elder McCartney has thinning hair. … ‘It ought to be, he’s 65!’ retorted Ringo. Scratching thick black hair, Paul smiled and said, ‘Well, if it thins, it thins.’” The interview predates the release of a 1967 Beatles’ hit, “When I’m Sixty-four,” written by Paul and starting, “When I get older, losing my hair, many years from now. …” • November: Kirkpatrick ran for secretary of state and, helped by Hearnes, the new governor, won. • A bank, wanting the space to build, demolished the old Star-Journal office, 108-110 W. Culton St. • Cocke graduated with a degree in math from Arkansas Polytechnic College in Russellville. • The Tuckers built a printing plant at 135 E. Market St. 1965, Dec. 7: The Tuckers printed The Daily Star-Journal’s 100th anniversary edition. A former employee, Mrs. Joseph Carmack, recalled having once set type by hand for about $4.50 per week; President Lyndon B. Johnson wrote to The Daily Star-Journal, “A tradition of responsible journalism is a cause for pride and I hope that the years to come will add continued success to the fine record of a century”; and the issue contained history about the paper and the community. • In contrast to comments about the wonders of train travel in 1865, the biggest news of the year as of Dec. 7, 1965, involved Gemini Four orbiting Earth 62 times for a total of 1.61 million miles in 98 hours. 1966: Bill Tucker died of a heart attack and Avis Tucker took over as publisher. 1967, June 7: The Six-Day War ended with victory for Israel, the newspaper reported. 1968, Jan 31: North Vietnam began the Tet offensive, an incursion into South Vietnam, which failed, ultimately, but showed U.S. vulnerability. 1969: Avis Tucker maintained control of KOKO radio after her husband’s death. 1970, Oct. 14: The newspaper reported that hope ran high among community leaders that this area would become home to ballistic missiles, and homecoming marked the start of the college centennial, “which is as significant to the town of Warrensburg as it is to the college.” 1971, Feb. 3: The newspaper reported work continued on North Park Shopping Center on Business 50 near Route 13. 1972, June 29: The U.S. Supreme Court found the death penalty unconstitutional. 1973, Jan. 29: The newspaper reported the government rested in the Watergate case (which would end in the resignation in shame of President Nixon), and the last American killed in Vietnam before the peace declaration came from Michigan. 1974, April 21: The Warrensburg Heritage Collection, a set of six sketches by James Barkarth, went on sale to benefit the Johnson county Historical Society. 1975, Dec. 13: Continuing a long focus on community news, the newspaper reported on meetings by the Sunshine and Centennial clubs. 1976, July 2: The Daily Star-Journal published a bicentennial issue recognizing the nation’s 200th birthday. The cover asked why the town is called Warrensburg rather than Groversburg. • Dedman worked as a copy boy at the Chattanooga Times. 1977, Oct. 25: The paper, long a friend to scouting, reported on the Boy Scout Troop 400 Court of Honor. 1978, April 9: Warrensburg junior high students took first-place honors at the college science fair. • Nov. 1: Cocke, after having worked for a typesetting business in Tennessee, and as a math teacher, joined The Daily Star-Journal staff. • Dedman graduated from Baylor University. 1979, Oct. 1: Kenneth L. Amos, a Central Missouri State University graduate, began work at The Daily Star-Journal. “I am looking forward to working with a professional staff in covering the news of the area,” he said. He replaced Bruce Reynolds. 1980, Dec. 22: The Daily Star-Journal suggested in an editorial that the Reagan transition team should engage in “a big dose of silence.” 1981, Feb. 25: The Daily Star-Journal suggested the Warrensburg City Council should control “rowdyism and the frequency of fisticuffs and brawls” in downtown bars. 1981, March 20: In a letter, Kirkpatrick suggested a Warrensburg street should be named for Crossley. • April 1: The paper stated, “We remain staunch in our support,” and noted, then as now, that a levy issue for improved facilities, including a track, failed twice before and a third time might be a charm. • April 14: An article in The Daily Star-Journal introduced Dedman, then 20, to the community, with him saying of his former part-time job at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “There you don’t get a chance to know everyone in the building like you do here,” adding this about reporting, “It’s just something I felt suited for. I like writing and I like the atmosphere.” • Sept. 12: The newspaper on Sept. 4, Sept. 11 and Sept. 18, 1981, accidentally published with an 1881 date. A reader brought the error to the newspaper’s attention. • Nov. 3: The Daily Star-Journal endorsed Republicans and Democrats for national and statewide offices, including Ronald Reagan for president and Thomas Eagleton for U.S. Senate. • Nov. 18: “It is young people like Warrensburg’s David Pearce who stoke the fire of hope for a bright future in this community, the state and nation,” the newspaper wrote, and congratulated him on being named an FFA national vice president. Today, Pearce chairs the Missouri Senate Education Committee. • After less than a year on the job, Dedman quit and Cocke replaced him on the police beat. 1982, Feb. 17: Star-Journal reporter Jeff Murphy photographed country music legend Johnny Cash and his wife, June Carter Cash, performing at the University of Central Missouri. • June 17: Boys State honored The Daily Star-Journal with a plaque for the newspaper’s support. • Aug. 11: The newspaper referred to the Hancock Amendment as a “smorgasbord of flaws.” • Oct. 18: The newspaper held an open house. “Seemingly, most popular with the crowd was watching our offset web press run.” • Dec. 23: Under the direction of Amos, The Daily Star-Journal printed the paper’s first color image. • Avis Tucker became the Missouri Press Association’s first female president. 1983, Dec. 30: The newspaper stated in the year-end issue, “We renew our pledge to do our best in fulfilling our obligation to serve you as individuals and the best interests of the community.” 1984, Jan. 31: Surveys showed “a groundswell of support” for removing the city’s parking meters. • March 19: The Star-Journal crowed “A salute to champions” when the Mules and Jennies basketball teams each won an NCAA Division II crown. “Never before have teams from the same school won both the men’s and women’s title in the same year.” • March: Amos left the newspaper. • March: Cocke replaced Amos as news editor. • Dec. 13: The paper marked the county’s sesquicentennial and included a quote from the man for whom the county is named, Kentucky Col. Richard M. Johnson: “Freedom of speech and the press, the rights of conscience, the responsibility of political agents to the people and the universal education – main pillars.” 1985, May 15: The Daily Star-Journal wrote, “Every letter to the editor received is given careful consideration. Unless it is in violation of one of our guidelines, it is printed.” • June 21: An editorial challenged the sense of creating the drink, New Coke, stating “all indications are there’s considerable rebellion out there.” • Oct. 28: On the World Champion Royals: “The heart and pride with which the Royals played was something to be reckoned with, perhaps underestimated by those even closest to the players.” • Kirkpatrick retired as secretary of state. 1986, July 14: Warrensburg marked the city sesquicentennial with an editorial explaining the city received the name in 1836, but did not incorporate until 1855, so that meant the city could celebrate one date in 1986 and another in 2005. 1987, Jan. 6: “Yesterday, 4th District Congressman Ike Skelton was a messenger with especially good news for this area. He made the first official announcement that Whiteman Air Force Base has been selected as the first base in the nation to receive the new stealth bomber.” • July 15: The Supreme Court upheld a federal law that made 21 the drinking age for all states. • Nov. 16: Johnson County United Way reached the fundraising goal of $100,600. • Dedman, after working at several papers, went to work for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 1988, June 2: “Never have we been more pleased about being told we were wrong than when a group of fifth-graders did it this week.” Twenty-five Martin Warren Elementary School students wrote to say they disagreed with an editorial stating children put a low priority on reading. 1989, March 14: The newspaper reported Warrensburg advanced a plan to annex property north of Highway 50, which became the site of Wal-Mart. • April 12: “Foremost is the need for understanding by parents and some coaches that a newspaper of our size is unable to indulge in the luxury of maintaining a sports staff. Instead, one man serves the complex role…” • July 24: The Star-Journal opined that plans by TV networks to use actors to recreate news events represented bad journalism. • July 28: The Star-Journal recognized Civil War warrior Francis Cockrell, a lawyer in the Drum dog case and a U.S. Senate member, as deserving of Francis Marion Cockrell Day. • Dedman, while working at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. He exposed racial discrimination practiced by Atlanta’s leading financial institutions. 1990, March 1: The Kansas City Times folded. • March 7: The Star-Journal participated in Newspapers In Education, a project that continues to this day, which involves newspaper-based student learning. • April 24: “Rumor, gossip, half-truths and misinformed individuals who think they are ‘in the know,’ but don’t know that they don’t know, are not the stuff that responsible newspapers use in publishing news.” 1991, March 25: “Surprising (is) the number of letters we receive that merely vent personal vendettas. They make charges of a vindictive nature. That sort of letter is material for the round file.” • April 26: “While some members of public boards may not fully understand what can and cannot be discussed behind closed doors, there are those who, at times, attempt to hide some specific action under the guise of executive privilege. That poses dangers in a free society. … Some elected officials who lack conscientiousness would ransack the public store.” • Nov. 8: The Daily Star-Journal backed putting labels on food so that Americans could consider healthier diets. 1992: Avis Tucker became the Missouri Press Association’s first female Hall of Famer. 1993, Aug. 12: “Racism is an issue that must be addressed until the goal of eliminating radicalism and making consistent progress toward equality and a greater commitment to collective and individual responsibility is reached.” 1994, May 3: The Johnson County Courthouse on North Main Street and the Garden of Eden gas station, built around 1928, north of town, joined the National Register of Historic places. • May 30: Gov. Mel Carnahan signed a bill to make Warrensburg the site of a Missouri Veterans Home. • Dec. 13: Work began to revitalize downtown Warrensburg. 1995, Feb. 10: After running an unpopular editorial cartoon involving the Enola Gay, which dropped an atomic bomb on Japan, the newspaper wrote that cartoons do not necessarily reflect the editor’s opinion and, “Distasteful as it sometimes is, freedom of expression must be enforced. And we defend it.” • June 20: Recognizing Kirkpatrick’s 90th birthday, the paper wrote, “A warm outgoing person throughout his life, he has built a huge network of admiring friends in Missouri and outside state borders.” • Oct. 2: The newspaper referred to the O.J. Simpson trial as a “courtroom circus.” • Nov. 20: In a case of “then as now,” due to a budget crisis in Washington, the newspaper observed, “Polls, political commentators and the general public have been derisive of the silly antics played out by the politicians in Washington. And rightly so.” 1996, June 5: Ground broke on the Warrensburg Community Center, 445 E. Gay St. • July 12: A copper time capsule, which took six hours to chisel free from the granite cornerstone and open at the Old Johnson County Courthouse, contained 10 different newspapers published in the county in 1896. “It is noteworthy that all four of the county newspapers now published were in existence when the courthouse was built 100 years ago.” • Aug. 15: The 100-year-old time capsule, from Aug. 24, 1896, included information from The Johnson County Star and the Warrensburg Journal-Democrat, both forerunners of the Daily Star-Journal. • Oct. 25: Kirkpatrick spoke at the groundbreaking for the James Kirkpatrick Library at the University of Central Missouri. The Star-Journal headlined an editorial, “A singular honor richly deserved.” 1996: The National Local Media Association named Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia Journalist of the Year. 1997, Jan. 30: The newspaper noted the price of attending college is getting harder to pay. • July 14: A settlement between the government and tobacco companies meant an icon of tobacco marketing, Joe Camel, is dead. • Dec. 26: Kirkpatrick died. In addition to the UCM library, The James Kirkpatrick State Information Center in Jefferson City is named in his honor. 1998, Jan. 8: The newspaper bemoaned that children no longer played with corn husk dolls, and hoops with a stick to make them roll – such toys replaced by “dinosaurs with laser beams and missiles.” • March 10: Voicing a continuing complaint, the newspaper wrote, “Government entities are spending taxpayers’ money and making decisions on how they will spend it. This is the public’s business. Therefore, it must be conducted in the open.” • May 26: In a case of “when will it end,” the newspaper wrote, “In the latest episode, at a high school in Springfield, Ore., a 15-year-old boy with three guns devastatingly sprayed bullets into a crowd of students in the cafeteria.” The boy, Kipland P. Kinkel, a freshman at Thurston High School, killed one student and wounded 23 others at the school, and killed his parents at home. • Sept. 17: Alabama Gov. George Wallace, died and is remembered “as one who sincerely repented his racist views and tried to make amends.” • Dec. 23: Guests gave opinions about the call to impeach President Bill “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” Clinton following his dalliance with Monica Lewisky. 1999, April 21: The paper reported on the murdered students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. 2000 2000, Dec. 13: The newspaper reported presidential contender Al Gore conceded the presidential race. The Republican-appointed majority on the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling making George Bush president; some still maintain Gore won. 2001, Sept. 11: The Daily Star-Journal reported heightened area security after terrorist attacks on East Coast sites, including the World Trade Center. 2002, Nov. 5: David Pearce won a Missouri House seat, capping a good night for Republicans, who also captured Congress. 2003, April 9: Baghdad fell, with dancing, cheering and looting. 2004, Sept. 16: Oil neared $50 per barrel. 2005, Sept. 1: After Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana, bringing death and criticism for a slow government response, Johnson Countains responded with aid. 2006: Dedman joined NBC News. 2007, March 29: Jack “Miles” Ventimiglia won the 2006 National Local Media Association Editor of the Year award.. • The News Press Gazette Co. bought The Daily Star-Journal from Avis Tucker. Longtime newspaperman and Missouri Press Hall of Fame member Bill James became The Daily Star-Journal’s publisher. 2008, April: Ventimiglia, whose work as editor resulted in his news staffs winning the Southern Illinois Editorial Association’s General Excellence award, four Missouri Gold Cups and the Kansas Press Association’s Sweepstakes award – became The Daily Star-Journal’s editor. He holds an M.A. from the University of Central Missouri. 2009: Hollyman died.2010, June 5: The Kansas City Press Club named The Daily Star-Journal Newspaper of the Year. • June 16: Cocke died. • August: The National Newspaper Association awarded first place for a news photo to The Daily Star-Journal. • Oct. 15: Keith Sproat retired as press man. • Dec. 17: Avis Tucker, 95, died. 2011, Feb. 2: The Great Blizzard of 2011 shut down the city, the post office and the newspaper. • May 2: For the only time known in the newspaper’s history, The Daily Star-Journal threw out an entire press run to cover President Obama’s announcement that Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden. • Sept. 9: The Daily Star-Journal captured the Missouri Press Association’s Gold Medal Newspaper award in the small daily circulation class. 2012, Feb. 18: Fire forced the evacuation and relocation of more than 65 Johnson County Care Center residents in downtown Warrensburg to The Daily Star-Journal; from there they went to nursing homes. No one suffered injuries. • Sept. 22: The newspaper repeated as an MPA Gold Medal Newspaper. • Nov. 8: Inland Press Association, representing newspapers nationally, awarded Ventimiglia the Editorial Excellence Sweepstakes Award for best editorial writing among newspaper of all circulation classes. 2013, July 24: The Star-Journal for the first time presented live, streaming video to the public while covering President Obama’s visit to the University of Central Missouri. • August: The Missouri Press Association named the William E. James Outstanding Young Journalists of the Year Awards for William E. James, The Daily Star-Journal’s publisher. • Sept. 7: The newspaper repeated as an MPA Gold Medal Newspaper. • Sept. 29: Bill Dedman coauthored the New York Times best seller, “Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Hugeutte Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune.” • November: James, 65, the newspaper’s publisher, died after battling lung cancer. A Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame member, James marked a lifetime of service. 2014, Sept. 27: The newspaper repeated as an MPA Gold Medal Newspaper. • After replacing James, Brad Slater served a year as publisher before taking a new job and being replaced by Joe Warren. • Dedman joined Newsday, a Long Island paper, as a senior reporter. 2015, Feb. 13: The Daily Star-Journal won the Missouri Associated Press Media Editors General Excellence award for small newspapers, continuing the award-winning tradition begun by Wallace Crossley. ——— ©2015 The Daily Star-Journal (Warrensburg, Mo.) Visit The Daily Star-Journal (Warrensburg, Mo.) at www.dailystarjournal.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC _____ Topics: t000002537,t000033768,t000040350,t000033770,t000003270,t000160437,t000008448,t000007464,t000007634,t000003416,t000007460,t000003417,t000002669,t000008386,t000003799,t000007598,t000007484,t000003183,t000002953,t000138231,t000047681,t000047680,t000047685,t000047684,t000047683,t000002776,t000049144,t000002433,t000002786,t000416230,t000143290,t000003763,t000003780,t000164130,t000037113,t000002519,t000002533,t000047705,t000047704,t000047707,c000213422,g000065614,g000362661,g000066164,g000065634,g000224911,g000065659,g000065560,g000362667,g000222692,g000065619,g000065627,g000362688,g000226232,g000219619
Bob West has moved on in his life.Thursday yhe Port Arthur News sports department for the first time since 1972 no longer had West as a full time employee.It was about a month ago when these questions were first presented to West and instead of a story it was correctly determined the best way for the answers is for Bob West to once again on a Sunday say it in his own words.So how did you get to...
Questions and Answers with Bob West on his career as News sports editor
Gabriel Pruett, Associated Press | Apr 11, 2015Bob West has moved on in his life. Thursday yhe Port Arthur News sports department for the first time since 1972 no longer had West as a full time employee. It was about a month ago when these questions were first presented to West and instead of a story it was correctly determined the best way for the answers is for Bob West to once again on a Sunday say it in his own words. So how did you get to Southeast Texas from Missouri? To make a long story short, I hated cold weather and wanted to move somewhere, anywhere away from snow and ice in the winter. I had a good friend and golfing buddy named Dave Wilson who felt the same way. We went to a guy named Al Chandler, who was the head pro at Columbia Country Club, as well as the golf coach at the University of Missouri, and asked him he if had any contacts in the South. Turns out, he’d played golf at Lamar in the 1950s. He set it up for us to attend Lamar. I never looked back. What were you first attempts at sports journalism? A part-time job at the Beaumont Enterprise in 1966, taking high school football calls on Friday night for their Louisiana edition. Did you start as sports editor or reporter? When did you become sports editor? Started full time as a reporter at the Beaumont Journal in 1967. Was also attending Lamar full time and writing for the school newspaper. Came to the PA News in August, 1971 as a reporter, mainly covering Beaumont’s six high schools. Became sports editor in June of 1972. Who was the most important person in your success at this job? That one’s easy. Bill Maddox was the managing editor in Port Arthur who hired me. Bill was the best newspaper person I’ve ever been around. What he did that was so important to my career was encourage me to take strong stands and give opinions. I would never have gotten established without Bill because a lot of folks weren’t ready for some of the things I had to say. Bill had only been here for a few months before I was hired, but he set the table for me with the stance he took on the football tab cover in August of 1971. Little Joe Washington was going to be a senior at Lincoln and was a high school All-America. Bill thought he should be on the cover of the football section but was told, “We don’t put ‘n-word’ on the cover of anything.” Bill said, “Well, that’s about to change.” Knowing how things were at that time, I feared he would get fired. But the publisher , a man named Jack Scott, gave him the green light. So Little Joe and Big Joe, who was the football coach at Lincoln, were on the cover of the tab that year. When Bill named me sports editor the next summer, I knew he’d have my back when I changed the entire approach to covering Lincoln’s teams. We both took some serious heat from readers who resented the attention being given to black athletes, but it was worth it. Why sports journalism? What drove you to this job? Just sort of fell into it. I was a pretty good athlete and sports nut as a kid. I devoured the sports section of every newspaper I could get my hands on in the small town of Centralia, Missouri. English was my best subject in high school and I got high marks in creative writing courses. For some reason I can’t explain, I enrolled in business school at Missouri and wound up hating every minute of it. I didn’t really move toward journalism until I was at Lamar. When I took the part-time job at the Enterprise, the light quickly went on that sports writing was the direction I needed to go. I started getting into all the communications courses I could take at Lamar. I learned a lot from a teacher named Bob Wilkerson. As good at this job as you are, were there ever times you almost left for a bigger paper? Why stay? I had a couple of interesting offers, including one in Mesa, Ariz., that I thought about it long and hard. But my wife was from Port Arthur and I preferred my kids attend schools that weren’t too big. A major factor in staying was that newspaper higher ups allowed me to branch out into radio and TV. My first talk show was at KTRH in Houston in 1980 -- four hours on Saturdays and four hours on Sundays with a guy named Jim Nantz. I also had the opportunity to do color on several Lamar basketball telecasts on Channel 6 in the early and mid ‘80s. My TV highlight was doing the Southland Conference championship game in 1983 with Bill Worrell. The game was shown on a network that was just getting established called ESPN. I also had a sideline writing gig with Pro Football Weekly covering the Houston Oilers. After KTRH, I did sports talk on KLVI in Beaumont for several years. The outside opportunities enabled me to feel comfortable staying at the PA News and helped me to build a treasure trove of contacts I don’t think many guys at small and medium size papers could match. I was also lucky to have good bosses who appreciated my skills and gave me a lot of flexibility and freedom to do what I wanted as long as the nuts and bolts stuff were handled. To that end, it would have been a lot tougher if I hadn’t been able to hire some guys who were outstanding in their own right in the early years. Guys like Burt Darden, Howard Roden, John Curylo, Tom Halliburton and Anthony Andro. I also should mention two of the greatest “stringers” any sports editor could ever hope to have — John DeVillier and Larry Bodin. You have seen it all. Championships. Bad times and the good. What will you take away from the sports scene in our area? The unbelievable number of guys I was exposed to in Southeast Texas who have gone on to make a name for themselves, both as players and coaches. It’s amazing, really, that from a small town in Missouri I landed in one of the most prolific areas of producing sports talent you could find anywhere. Just getting the opportunity to cover the incredible success of Lamar basketball in the late 1970s and early 1980s under Billy Tubbs and Pat Foster was extraordinary. It’s mind boggling to think during one period I was covering Bum Phillips and the Luv Ya Blue Oilers, Billy Tubbs and a Lamar basketball team that was shocking the college basketball world, an innovative high school football coach named Ronnie Thompson at TJ who was changing attitudes about the passing game in Texas and maybe the best high school basketball coach in Texas during the 1970s and 1980s — James Gamble at Lincoln. You have seen great, great athletes perform in Southeast Texas. Which ones were the best of the best? In football, I always start with Little Joe Washington. For years and years I thought he’d be the greatest I’d have the opportunity to cover. But Jamaal Charles broke Joe’s records and is proving to be one of the premier running backs to ever play in the NFL. That’s terrific bookends to a writing career. In basketball, Lincoln’s Earl Evans, to this day, is far and away the best I covered.. His senior year he was ranked second in the nation to Moses Malone among high school players. In baseball, TJ’s Xavier Hernandez and Lincoln’s Chuck McElroy, as they would go on to prove in MLB, were the top two. And I certainly need to include two golfers — Bruce Lietzke and Chris Stroud — who made their mark on the PGA Tour. Bruce won 14 times on the PGA Tour which is pretty amazing. Friendships have been made with legends like Nantz, the Phillips family and Jimmy Johnson. What has that been like for you? It’s been pretty amazing, both professionally and personally. There was nobody like Bum. I learned so much from being around him, watching him and seeing the impact he had on professional athletes and people in general. I could never repay Bum for all he did for me, what I learned from him and what he meant to me. That’s why I pushed so hard to make the Bum Phillips trophy become a reality, and for it to be a really unique, really special trophy. I was probably closer to Bum than to Wade, although Wade and I are basically the same age, my wife was in his wedding and his wife was in my wedding. I have so much respect for Wade and what he’s accomplished as a football coach. I don’t think he gets proper credit for his genius as a defensive coach. Jim Nantz, to me, is too good to be true. I got to know him when he was a senior at the University of Houston doing that sports talk show with me at KTRH. From there, his ascent to being one of the top guys in network TV sports happened with stunning swiftness. But Jim never changed. He always returns my phone calls and e-mails and has been wonderful about offering a helping hand on special projects when I ask for his assistance. He was the emcee of the very first Homecoming Roast for Jimmy Johnson. He’s been terrific about using tidbits I’ve passed along when he’s doing a telecast involving a Jamaal Charles or a Chris Stroud. I was just amazed at the effort he made to get mention of the Bum Phillips trophy on a CBS national telecast. As for Jimmy Johnson, I didn’t start getting to know him until he won the national championship at Miami and we had that first roast. One year later, he was the head coach of the Cowboys and it put me in a position to witness and write about one of the most remarkable coaching jobs in NFL history. Jimmy is maybe the shrewdest, most intelligent guy I’ve ever been around. I was never as close to him as I was to Bum, but he provided me with amazing material as a columnist. I’ll never forget him mentioning me at the final press conference before the Super Bowl when the Cowboys beat Buffalo in Atlanta. Must have been 2,500 media people in the room and he singled me out in front of them and talked about the roast we had for him in Port Arthur after the first Super Bowl win. To this day, when I need his opinion on something in the NFL, he is quick to respond. The roasts became such a big deal and raised a tremendous amount of money for the Museum of the Gulf Coast. How did they get started? When Jimmy Johnson won the national championship at the University of Miami after the 1987 season, I wrote in a column that Port Arthur needed to put on a special event to honor him. I thought the city would be quick to follow up on the suggestion. When there was nothing but silence from city hall, Richard Marler, the football coach at Stephen F. Austin High School, suggested that I put something together. I loved the roast format and phoned Jimmy, who I didn’t know very well at the time, to see if he would be interested in being honored with a roast in his hometown. He jumped at the idea and said he would use his influence, which was considerable, to help get some big names involved. In that first one, the newspaper didn’t have a role. Marler was my right-hand man on the project, we got Sam Monroe involved and formed a committee. The way the thing came together was amazing, especially since we had no budget, no operating funds, nothing that you really need to pull off something like a big roast. Jim Nantz, who was then doing college football for CBS, agreed to be the emcee. Because Jimmy was such a hot name in the coaching profession, we had people all across college football eager to be a part of it. We probably had reps from half a dozen bowls make arrangements to attend. It got so big I wound up adding a golf tournament the day before the roast. When it was over, and things had gone so well, Marler said this is something you need to do on an annual basis. It seemed like a great idea, so I pitched it to Dub Brown, who was then the editor of the Port Arthur News. I told him the newspaper needed to get behind this as a civic project, that we could call it the Port Arthur News Homecoming Roast. Dub, who was one of the those terrific, old-time newspaper guys, said he thought it was a great idea. We decided we’d donate whatever funds were raised to the Museum of the Gulf Coast, singled out Bum Phillips as the next honoree and the rest, as they say, is history. I am extremely proud of what we accomplished with those roasts, the money we were able to raise for the museum and the big names who came to Port Arthur to be a part of them. I am just elated that as I go out the door of the newspaper I’m going to have the opportunity to do another roast to honor Jamaal Charles. Why the hate for Jerry Jones every week? Hate may be a bit strong. I have strongly disliked Jerry since he fired Jimmy, then said there are 500 coaches who could have done what he did with the Cowboys. My stance might have softened a bit if he’d put Jimmy in the Ring of Honor, but that’s not ever going to happen. Jones is obviously a very savvy individual who is a genius when it comes to making money. As an NFL general manager, he’s shown over and over that he’s an abysmal failure. What is it in the last 20 years, two playoff wins? Jethro is just such a perfect foil for somebody who does a notes column on a weekly basis, especially for somebody who grew up watching the Beverly Hillbillies. Every now and then, I try to see if I can go a few weeks without mentioning him in my Sunday column. That’s a real challenge because of the things he says and does, and because he’s just so damn desperate to convince people that he’s a real football guy. I have no doubt he’d make a deal with the devil if it could get him another Super Bowl. You and Tom Halliburton worked together for many years. How special did that working relationship and friendship grow to become? Tom is one of the people I mentioned earlier who made me look good and made my job so much easier. Tom and I were together for more than 30 years, and pretty much knew what each other thought and was going to do next. I don’t even want to think what it would have been like to not have Tom as my right-hand man. Tom had the journalistic background I didn’t. He worked for a newspaper while he was still in high school in Arkansas. He got a journalism degree at the University of Texas. Tom was an excellent writer and the kind of guy who would tackle any assignment. Tom did so much for the sports section that readers would never notice. I’ll always love him for his loyalty to me and for the things he did to make our sports section so strong for so many years. Over the years is there an interview subject that really stuck with you? There were many, but I think the two I remember most were an author named George Plimpton and the comedian, Don Rickles. You have to be a bit of an old timer to remember Plimpton. He was famous for what was called “participatory journalism.” One year he went to training camp with the Detroit Lions, actually played quarterback in a pre-season game and wrote a book about the experience called “Paper Lion.” The book was later made into a movie. Plimpton also wrote a book titled “Bogey Man” about playing on the PGA Tour during the glory days of Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. He sparred with boxers Archie Moore and Sugar Ray Robinson and pitched in an exhibition game against Willie Mays and other National League stars at Yankee Stadium. All of it was done for books or magazine pieces he was writing. He was in Beaumont in 1972 for a piece he was doing on the great football player, Bubba Smith. I’d come to know Bubba pretty well, he told me about Plimpton being in town and I talked him in to bringing Plimpton to our home for dinner. Bubba, Plimpton and Tom Vance came down — Genie and I were living in Nederland at the time — and it turned into a fascinating interview. It was one of my favorite pieces ever. GOOGLE George Plimpton and you’ll be amazed at what you find. As far as Rickles, I got to interview him in his dressing room at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, and I have Walter Umphrey to thank for that. Walter was our roastee in 1991. I wanted to get somebody really funny, along with Ann Richards, to roast him. Because of his status as a “whale” in Vegas, I knew Walter had considerable clout. So I asked him if he could lean on somebody out there and arrange to get Rickles for the roast. It was a done deal within hours, which was quite a tribute to Walter. Executives with the Mirage agreed to fly Rickles in on their private jet. To have Don Rickles coming to Port Arthur was off the charts, so I made the “sacrifice” of going to Vegas to interview him in advance of the roast. It was a little intimidating to be honest, but he was delightful. He must have spent an hour with me. Then, the week of the roast, I had Walter on my radio show and Rickles agreed to join us by phone from his home in Beverly Hills. I had to pinch myself. I had watched Rickles so many times when he was on with Johnny Carson and had seen his act several times in Las Vegas. To get a one-on-one with him, to be part of bringing him to Port Arthur, was such a thrill. And it made for a terrific piece in the Port Arthur News. You took on a lot of causes. Is there one that didn’t work out the way you wanted? For years, I advocated in columns that the Beaumont Independent School District needed to come to its senses, do the right thing and name its beautiful football complex after Jerry LeVias. Jerry was such a pioneer in breaking football racial barriers in the Southwest Conference and should be front and center in Beaumont as an inspiration to all young athletes. It was disgusting to see the stadium named after a superintendent who meant nothing to the city’s history. In light of all that’s gone down in that school district the past few years, I’d think this would be the perfect time for a name change. Who cares if the other guy gets his feelings hurt. At the very least, there needs to be a statue of LeVias inside or outside the stadium. How much golf do you plan to play now and will your wife really be comfortable having you home and not at the office? I only plan to play on days ending in “y.” Golf has long been my passion away from family and job. Writing about golf opened the door for me to play many of the world’s greatest courses and with people like Jack Nicklaus, Darrell Royal and astrounaut Alan Sheppard. My game isn’t nearly as good as it once was, but I enjoy playing more than ever. I’ll pretty much be on call seven days a week. Billy Tubbs is already licking his lips thinking about getting into my wallet. As for the second part, I’m pretty sure Genie will be quite comfortable with me being around. For the 46 years we’ve been married, my hours have been long and I’ve been gone a lot. Beyond that, I know our two boxers, Bogey and Champ, will be pleased to see me on a more regular basis. What do you say to all the readers and supporters through the years? I sincerely appreciate all the readers, even those who didn’t agree with a lot of the things I wrote. It’s always nice to get an e-mail or phone call from somebody who liked something I wrote, or somebody who wanted to challenge something I wrote. I didn’t mind criticism as long as it wasn’t nasty or personal. To me, one of the purposes of writing columns is to express opinions. As most folks know, I tended to have strong opinions and I think I backed them up with a degree of expertise. I never expected or wanted everybody to agree with me. That would be pretty boring. My goal with columns was to be informative and entertaining and to give people something to think about. One of the things I’ve enjoyed most over the years is having some little old lady come up to me and say she enjoys reading my column. You would be surprised at how often that has happened. I’d also like to say how overwhelmed I’ve been with the e-mails and phone calls since my retirement was announced. They’ve come from all over and have been very humbling. ——— ©2015 The Port Arthur News (Port Arthur, Texas) Visit The Port Arthur News (Port Arthur, Texas) at panews.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC _____ Topics: t000003393,t000003183,t000046469,t000003194,t000003277,t000003270,t000160437,t000007488,t000007666,t000007466,t000007460,t000007684,t000008056,t000155475,t000040517,g000065659,g000219892,g000362661,g000065562,g000066164,g000065614
Oklahoma football notebook: Running back Daniel Brooks turns in another dominant spring game performanceApr 11, 2015
Daniel Brooks carried the ball 21 times for 154 yards Saturday, leading OU in rushing for the second straight spring game. Last year, he rushed for 67 yards on eight carries.
Oklahoma football notebook: Running back Daniel Brooks turns in another dominant spring game performance
BY JASON KERSEY AND RYAN ABER | Apr 11, 2015Oklahoma junior running back Daniel Brooks only has six career carries — all of which came last season — but in spring games, he’s been dominant. Brooks carried the ball 21 times for 154 yards Saturday, leading OU in rushing for the second straight spring game. Last year, he rushed for 67 yards on eight carries. Brooks’ opportunities came with several other running backs either not playing or playing very little. Sophomore Samaje Perine, who led the Big 12 Conference in rushing last season, wore a special red jersey with blue numbers, signaling to opponents that he’s not to be tackled. Redshirt freshman Joe Mixon didn’t play as part of his suspension for an off-campus incident last summer, and junior Keith Ford is suspended indefinitely for academic and team rules reasons. MIKE STOOPS COACHES FROM BOX In his eight total years — over two stints — as Oklahoma’s defensive coordinator, Mike Stoops has always coached from the sideline. That looks like it will change for the 2015 season, as Stoops called defensive plays from the press box during Saturday’s spring game. Stoops’ erratic sideline demeanor had become a spectacle — and, to some OU fans, an embarrassing one — over the last year, most notably when he and former Sooner cornerback Julian Wilson got into a screaming match in the third quarter of last year’s Baylor loss. The Sooners have also struggled with defensive substitutions, especially against up-tempo Big 12 offenses. OU was caught with 12 defenders on the field multiple times last year, resulting in either costly penalties or timeouts. “I can see more of the field being up in the press box,” Stoops said. “Being able to see the alignments, not just the position I coach, but all 11 players is key. You get a much greater sense of anticipating what’s going to happen before it happens. “Formation recognition is such a big deal for coaches, and I just have to make sure we have the best eleven guys out there at all times.” SHEPARD ALSO LIMITED Like Perine, senior wide receiver Sterling Shepard didn’t play much either Saturday and was protected from tackling. Shepard wore a yellow jersey to keep defenders from tackling him. The former Heritage Hall standout has caught 147 career passes for 2,194 yards and 15 touchdowns. Last season, he was the team’s leading receiver despite missing most of the final six games of the season with a lingering groin injury. Shepard finished Saturday’s spring game with only one reception for minus-5 yards. HODGSON GOES LONG Senior kicker Nick Hodgson has yet to score a point for the Sooners but has plenty of game experience. Hodgson has handled kickoffs for Oklahoma for the last two years full-time and has 148 overall kickoffs the last three seasons with 97 ending in touchbacks. With Michael Hunnicutt departed and incoming kicker Austin Seibert yet to arrive, Hodgson handled the kicking duties Saturday and came up with one of the biggest plays of the first half in the process. Hodgson nailed a 47-yard field goal to end the half. “Nick’s really good,” Sooner coach Bob Stoops said. “We probably kick eight or 10 live for 12 practices and he’s missed three the whole spring. “We’ve had some windy — some pretty tough — days too, so I’m elated with what he’s doing.” Hodgson attempted a 50-yarder in the fourth quarter. The low kick had the distance but went just wide. Earlier in the game, he hit a 20-yard field goal. THOMAS FOCUSED After starting the final three games of the regular season at quarterback last season, Cody Thomas made the decision to quit baseball and focus solely on football this spring. “It was really hard to give up baseball,” Thomas said. “It’s a sport that I love but I’m definitely confident that it was the right decision, and I’m glad that I’m full-time football right now and committing myself more than I ever have, and I definitely have seen that it’s made a lot more strides for myself.” The grind of going back and forth wore Thomas down a bit at times last spring. “I’d be in between throwing the football and throwing the baseball which would jack me up a little bit with my throwing motion and all that stuff, but I’ve been really able to harp on my footwork, my release point and stuff like that that I really wouldn’t be able to if I would’ve been playing both sports.” KELLY VISITS SOONERS Five-star linebacker Caleb Kelly visited Norman for Saturday’s spring game, landing in Oklahoma only a few hours after announcing OU in his top 10. The Fresno, Calif., native, who plays at Clovis West High School, tweeted that OU was joined in his top 10 by Cal, Notre Dame, Alabama, USC, UCLA, Florida State, Oregon, Michigan and LSU, while stressing that those schools were listed in no particular order. Rivals ranks Kelly as the 12th best player in the nation for the recruiting class of 2016, and he’s the top-ranked player in the state of California. Other recruits there included Edmond Santa Fe linebacker Calvin Bundage, four-star outside linebacker Marvin Terry (Dallas South Oak Cliff), and Lone Grove running back Jeremy Lewis, who doesn’t have an OU offer as of Saturday but has offers from Nebraska, Ohio and Tulsa. SANCHEZ PICKS UP MEDIA AWARD Junior cornerback Zack Sanchez received the inaugural J.D. Runnels OU Media Cooperation Award after the spring game Saturday. Sanchez, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, rarely misses media sessions throughout the season and spring practices, and is always thoughtful, respectful and honest, even in the face of sometimes tough questioning. A group of 14 writers who regularly cover the team voted for the award Dec. 31, with Sanchez receiving six first-place votes. The award is named for Runnels, a former OU fullback who always was — and remains — very cooperative and friendly with the media. Runnels attended the spring game Saturday and was on hand in the post game when Sanchez received his plaque.
Proceeds benefit the Find A Way Foundation, a charity founded by former Sooner Corey Wilson that is dedicated to helping people cope with spinal cord injuries.
Oklahoma football: Former Sooner football players to participate in benefit basketball game
BY RYAN ABER | Apr 9, 2015The night before Oklahoma's spring football game, a large group of former OU players will come together for the Third Annual Ball-for-a-Cause charity basketball game at Norman North High School. Some players expected to participate include Frank Alexander, Ryan Broyles, Dominique Franks, Demontre Hurst, Paul Thompson, Trent Ratterree, Reggie Smith and Trent Williams. Proceeds benefit the Find A Way Foundation, a charity founded by former Sooner Corey Wilson that is dedicated to helping people cope with spinal cord injuries. Wilson was paralyzed in a February 2009 accident. The game starts at 7 p.m., with doors opening an hour earlier. Tickets are available at the door for $10. In addition to the game, the event features a silent auction, player signings and giveaways.
Apr 6, 2015
The Norman Public Schools board of education approved the promotion of Barnes to replace departed head coach Wade Standley, the school district announced Monday.
High school notebook: Norman North names Brent Barnes football coach
By Scott Wright and Jacob Unruh | Apr 6, 2015After five years as the team's offensive coordinator, Brent Barnes now finds himself as the head football coach at Norman North. The Norman Public Schools board of education approved the promotion of Barnes to replace departed head coach Wade Standley, the school district announced Monday. NPS athletic director T.D. O’Hara and the district conducted a two-month search, including applicants from inside and outside the program, and the state. Barnes' 13-year resume that includes a three-year stop at Tulsa Union, as well as stints at Yukon and in Arizona, won over the committee. “Coach Barnes has been associated with numerous successful high school programs and these experiences will benefit him greatly as he begins his journey as head football coach at Norman North,” O'Hara said. “He brings a tremendous amount of energy, enthusiasm and knowledge to the position and I look forward to him taking this football program to the next level.” Since 2008, Barnes has been on four teams that played for Class 6A state championships, winning three at Union and finishing runner-up at Norman North. His offenses have led Class 6A in passing yards in four of the last six seasons. Standley, Barnes' former boss who left in February to become the head coach at Ada, commended Norman North's hire. “I have had the opportunity to see Coach Brent Barnes model leadership, character and perseverance in many high-pressure situations as a teacher and a coach in the five years we have worked together,” Standley said. “Coach Barnes has demonstrated strong leadership skills, focus and a definitive plan for success in helping us to achieve numerous goals. I have no doubt that he will be a great fit and do a tremendous job as the head football coach at Norman North High School.” DEL CITY'S TERRY WILSON OFFERED BY INDIANA Indiana coach Kevin Wilson hasn't been shy about returning to the state where he once worked to recruit high school players. On Monday, the former Oklahoma offensive coordinator extended a scholarship offer to Del City's Terry Wilson, the sixth Division I offer for the junior quarterback. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Wilson also has offers from Houston, Arkansas State, UNLV, Memphis and New Mexico State. Wilson is the top-rated quarterback and No. 2 overall on The Oklahoman's Super 30 recruit rankings for the 2016 class. SHAWNEE WINS OWN TOURNAMENT One day after Noble threw a no-hitter, Shawnee nearly returned the favor. The Wolves shut out Noble 4-0 in Saturday’s championship of the Shawnee Showdown for their 10th straight victory. Sophomore left-hander Mitchell Stone took a perfect game into the fifth inning before allowing a two-out single. The performance capped a strong week for Stone, who pitched 13 scoreless innings. Shawnee has now thrown six shutouts during its winning streak. Noble advanced to the title game Friday when Noble’s Nathan Hayes threw a no-hitter against Class 2A power Dale. He did walk three batters and hit another, but found a way to work out of jams each time to out-duel Dale’s Dalton Long, who took a no-hitter into the fourth inning.
Mar 24, 2015
Westmoore right-hander Austin Harris never lost his composure on the mound Tuesday in the Jaguars’ 11-2 rout of Edmond North that completed a two-day sweep in District 6A-2 play.
High school notebook: Westmoore routs Edmond North behind Austin Harris
BY JACOB UNRUH AND SCOTT WRIGHT | Mar 24, 2015Westmoore right-hander Austin Harris never lost his composure on the mound Tuesday in the Jaguars’ 11-2 rout at Edmond North that completed a two-day sweep in District 6A-2 play. He easily could have in the early innings. Harris allowed the Huskies to take a 1-0 lead in the second inning before getting a double play with the bases loaded. He then allowed an RBI single in the third by Tyler Bowen for a 2-0 deficit before the Westmoore offense exploded for six runs in the fourth off Karsten Laferr. “I feel like there was a couple times where he started feeling for his pitches and things like that,” Westmoore coach Jarod Freeman said. “Once we got him some run support, he settles in and does a great job and attacks.” Harris threw a complete game, allowing 10 hits and striking out four. He primarily pitched to contact, utilizing an impressive curveball and changeup. “I’m just clearing my head and throwing,” said Harris, who has signed with Connors State. “I’m not looking for strikeouts. If they come, they come. It’s a lot easier to pitch with runs on the board.” Oklahoma signee Kyle Tyler had a two-run double in the third to take the lead. Tristan Tipps also drove in three and freshman Braxton Bohrofen drove in two. DEL CITY QB WILSON ADDS FIFTH SCHOLARSHIP OFFER The college options for Del City quarterback Terry Wilson keep spreading farther across the country. It began regionally with Arkansas State and Houston, and went east with an offer from Memphis. New Mexico State and, most recently, UNLV have led the western expansion. UNLV extended an offer to the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Wilson on Monday, his fifth scholarship overall, and third in the last two weeks. Wilson is ranked No. 2 overall and is the top quarterback on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 recruiting list for the class of 2016. He is planning a trip to Houston later this month. MOUNT ST. MARY PROMOTES PERKINS TO FOOTBALL COACH Mount St. Mary promoted assistant coach Derick Perkins to head football coach Tuesday around one month after former coach Chris Stiles resigned. Perkins has been an assistant for the Rockets the past two seasons after a four-year playing career at Southern Nazarene. “It is truly an honor and privilege to be the head football coach at Mount St. Mary, a place with so much history and potential,” Perkins said in a release from the school. “I have always been goal-oriented and I am inspired to build on the foundation that has been laid for our football program. I believe this program is on the cusp of something special and I am excited about the opportunity to be its leader.” Perkins takes over a program that has not made the playoffs in nearly three decades. Stiles went 15-25 over four seasons, guiding the Rockets to a 4-6 record last season. They were in the playoff hunt until losing the final game of the regular season against Blanchard. HARRAH’S KELLEN MANEK OFFERED BY ABILENE CHRISTIAN Cousins Kellen and Brady Manek will be bringing college recruiters to Harrah quite a bit for the next couple of basketball seasons. Brady, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, already has a scholarship offer from Oklahoma. And Kellen, a 6-7 junior, has picked up his first Division I offer, from Abilene Christian on Monday. Both players averaged around 16 points and seven rebounds per game this past season, both showing the ability to play inside and on the perimeter. They led Harrah to the Class 4A semifinals. WALLACE, YUKON GOLFERS STARTING STRONG The Yukon boys golf team is off to its best start in years behind the lead of sophomore Lane Wallace. Wallace has won both tournaments the Millers have played so far this season, leading them to a team victory Monday in the inaugural Yukon Invitational at The Greens in Oklahoma City. Wallace shot 71, while teammate Avery Acosta shot 74 to finish second. Yukon’s team total of 315 was good for a five-stroke victory over Heritage Hall. Last week at Southern Oaks Golf Club in Fort Worth, Texas, Wallace shot 69 to win the Burleson Centennial Tournament. Acosta and Tyler Thomason each placed in the top 10 there as well. EDMOND SANTA FE WINS FLORIDA TOURNAMENT Edmond Santa Fe’s baseball team is off to a 5-1 start following an impressive spring break trip to Florida that saw the Wolves bring back the championship from the Florida League Invitational. Santa Fe beat Barron Collier 4-2 in the championship game behind pitcher Cameron Kay, who threw six innings and allowed just two runs on seven hits. Ryan Sanderson went 2 for 3 with two doubles, two runs and an RBI. Kay, Sanderson and seniors Jake Martin, Tanner Kliewer and Zak Jurko were all named to the All-Tournament Team. The Wolves outscored their opponents 21-8 in the four-game tournament. They returned to Oklahoma on Monday and routed Mustang, 12-1, in the first of a two-game set that concluded Tuesday.
Mar 19, 2015
Notes and tales from around the NCAA Tournament on Thursday:___BUFFALO MOJOOne thing is for certain about Buffalo coming into the NCAA Tournament: There is no reason for the Bulls to be intimidated by any opponent, including fifth-seeded West Virginia.Buffalo played at Kentucky in its second regular-season game and led the Wildcats 38-33 at half before losing 71-52."It's like have you seen...
Notes and tidbits from around the NCAA Tournament
By The Associated Press, Associated Press | Mar 19, 2015Notes and tales from around the NCAA Tournament on Thursday: ___ BUFFALO MOJO One thing is for certain about Buffalo coming into the NCAA Tournament: There is no reason for the Bulls to be intimidated by any opponent, including fifth-seeded West Virginia. Buffalo played at Kentucky in its second regular-season game and led the Wildcats 38-33 at half before losing 71-52. "It's like have you seen "Space Jam?" Buffalo's Xavier Ford said. "It's like playing against the Monstars." Beating Kentucky for a half didn't provide the Bulls a blueprint for finishing the job. "You got to do everything right against a team like that," Ford said. "No mistakes It's basketball. Any team could get beat on any given night. But a team like that you would have to be doing everything right. I don't know if anybody can answer that question." The Bulls also played at Wisconsin, and led at the half before losing by 12. "We feel like we played the best of the best," Shannon Evans said. "So going into this tournament, we know that we can hang with the best." — Ralph D. Russo ___ CAMEROON TO LAS CRUCES It was only three years ago that Pascal Siakam got serious about basketball, and now he's the second-leading scorer for New Mexico State and the Western Athletic Conference freshman of the year. The native of Douala, Cameroon, thought his future was in soccer until he attended a basketball camp on a lark. Turns out he was a natural, so he dropped soccer and turned his focus to basketball. In 2012, he moved to the United States to attend God's Academy near Dallas, where he played organized ball for the first time. "I was OK," Siakam said Thursday. "It wasn't something real serious. I was playing to have fun, and it gave me an opportunity to come to the United States and continue my education, so I just took it." Siakam knew he could get his education paid for if he were good enough at basketball. His brother James played basketball at Vanderbilt until last year. Pascal has a bright future. The 6-foot-9 forward averages 13 points, a team-best 7.7 rebounds and is one of the top big men in Division I in shooting, at 57.7 percent. "I didn't have a lot of offers," he said. "A lot of people didn't know about me. New Mexico State came, and it's been a great fit for me. There are a lot of international students there, and I felt it could be good for me." — Eric Olson ___ WELCOME HOME, DAMON Arizona assistant coach Damon Stoudamire came home for the Wildcats' NCAA Tournament opener. Stoudamire was born Portland and was a standout at Wilson High School before playing for Arizona from 1991-95. He spent eight seasons playing for the Portland Trail Blazers as a pro. Arizona senior guard T.J. McConnell credited Stoudamire, coach Sean Miller and his father with making him into the point guard he is. "I'm the luckiest guy to have him as a coach," McConnell said about Stoudamire. "Glad we have a chance to let him come back home." The second-seeded Wildcats faced No. 15 seed Texas Southern at the Moda Center, which is the Trail Blazers' home court. — Anne M. Peterson. ___ INJURED RAM Virginia Commonwealth standout guard Briante Weber is not letting a season-ending knee injury stop him from being part of the NCAA Tournament. Weber was as active as anybody during the Rams' practice at Portland's Moda Center a day before seventh-seeded VCU faced No. 10 seed Ohio State in the round of 64. He broke down team huddles and hobbled around the court on crutches, talking to coaches and giving teammates advice. The senior suffered a season-ending right knee injury in a loss to Richmond on Jan. 31, tearing his ACL, MCL and meniscus. Even without the face of its havoc-causing defense, VCU got hot in the Atlantic 10 Tournament and beat Dayton in the title game. The Rams dedicated the championship to their injured leader, who helped cut down the nets during an emotional celebration. Despite his injury, Weber wants to do everything he can to give his team a lift. "It's not easy. There's days where I get down and want to just think about myself," Weber said. "It's definitely bigger than me right now." — Antonio Gonzalez. ___ BO AND BRACKETS Bo Ryan clearly knows basketball. On Tuesday, he was named one of four finalists for the Naismith National Coach of the Year award. Don't, however, ask the Wisconsin coach for help filling out your bracket. First off, he's busy getting the top-seeded Badgers ready for their first NCAA tournament game on Friday night against Coastal Carolina. He wouldn't have much in the way of valuable advice, either. "Have I been asked? Yeah, I've had people ask, but I tell them to just talk to the secretary at the office that won it four of the last five years," Ryan said Tuesday at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisconsin. "She's better at it then all these experts." Ryan did admit to having students in a class on basketball he once taught at Division III Wisconsin-Platteville fill out brackets "for bragging rights." Ryan would grade them and tell them who won. But he's never filled out a bracket or doled out any serious guidance. "Some people did, like it was a Catholic school, 'Oh, they're going to win.' If it was an animal — a nice cute animal — they were going to pick that team. And those people have won." — Genaro C. Armas. ___ TOURNAMENT POLITICS Everyone knows that politics can be every bit as cutthroat as sports. When you combine the two? Well, you get the spat between New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas and Kansas counterpart Derek Schmidt that erupted this week. Balderas brazenly predicted that New Mexico State, the No. 15 seed in the Midwest, would not only knock off second-seeded Kansas in its tournament opener Friday, but then beat seventh-seeded Wichita State — another school from the Sunflower State — to reach the Sweet 16. The Shockers play No. 10 seed Indiana in another second-round game in Omaha, Nebraska. That certainly didn't go over well with Schmidt, who graduated from tradition-rich Kansas. Schmidt called the prediction "baseless" and said that Balderas has much to learn since taking office in January. "As a new attorney general, Mr. Balderas clearly has much to learn about Kansas basketball," Schmidt said. "I wish him all the best in pondering these philosophical matters at length during the free time he will have next week after his team has departed the tournament." — Dave Skretta. ___ HOBBLED GEORGIA Kenny Gaines sat at his locker, his left foot bundled up in a heating pad and warm towels. Yes, the injury bug that plagued Georgia much of the season has followed the Bulldogs to Charlotte for the NCAA Tournament. Gaines sprained the foot in practice and missed the regular-season finale against Auburn. He returned to the lineup against South Carolina in the Southeastern Conference Tournament, only to re-aggravate the injury and miss the semifinal loss to Arkansas. He said he's day to day, and it's unclear how effective he'll be if he plays Friday in the East Region opener against Michigan State. "It's just something that comes with the game," Gaines said. "I mean, it is what it is. You've just got to play through it. We've got a couple of more weeks in the season and I'll be able to find a little rest." Coach Mark Fox said Gaines had treatment when the team arrived at the hotel Wednesday night, then again before breakfast and once more by trying to keep the foot warm before Thursday's practice. Gaines looked OK while shooting with the team at the end of practice, working on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers and one-dribble pull-ups. His status will depend on how his foot responds, though Fox said he expected Gaines would be able to play. Gaines is the team's No. 2 scorer at 11.6 points per game. He's had a bumpy year that included missing much of the preseason due to illness, then suffering a shoulder injury in December that fortunately coincided with a two-week break and didn't keep him out of any games. In all, regular starters have combined for 20 missed games due to injury this year. "I feel like one of these days," Gaines said, "things will turn around for us." — Aaron Beard. ___ BYRDS OF A FEATHER Belmont Bruins coach Rick Byrd's father, Ben, was a former sportswriter whose career helped shape his life — eventually leading to him becoming a basketball coach. Ben Byrd worked for the Knoxville Journal as a beat writer covering Tennessee basketball and SEC football, and he'd regularly bring young Rick to college basketball and football games. As a young boy, Rick would eat it up. He'd sell programs before Tennessee men's basketball games and then scramble just before tipoff to find a seat under the press table by his father's feet, where he would settle in to watch games. "I would go sit under my dad on the edge of the court and watch great basketball games with Adolph Rupp's Kentucky teams and Pete Maravich and that kind of stuff," Byrd said. "I have to give him credit — or blame — for what I ended up doing." — Steve Reed.
DURHAM, N.C. — On the east side of Duke’s campus sits Wilson residence hall, a sprawling, reddish-brownish brick building with no air conditioning.This is where Jahlil Okafor goes to escape labels, to feed his Netflix addiction, to try to fit in while standing out for one of the No. 1-seeded teams in the NCAA tournament.There are no reminders of basketball past and not much talk of basketball...
Jahlil Okafor, on the brink of superstardom, tries to blend in
By Paul Skrbina, Associated Press | Mar 17, 2015DURHAM, N.C. — On the east side of Duke’s campus sits Wilson residence hall, a sprawling, reddish-brownish brick building with no air conditioning. This is where Jahlil Okafor goes to escape labels, to feed his Netflix addiction, to try to fit in while standing out for one of the No. 1-seeded teams in the NCAA tournament. There are no reminders of basketball past and not much talk of basketball future. No Mr. Basketball of Illinois trophy, Team USA jersey, national player of the year mementos. “I had enough shoes and stuff to bring,” he said with a shrug. This stop, Durham, N.C., is where Okafor is caught between boyhood and manhood. His transition just happens to be nationally televised. About 100 freshmen live in Wilson, most of who aren’t athletes. Okafor shares a two-room suite with his best friend and point guard, Tyus Jones. They spend their time rapping and giving each other a hard time. Missing their families. “He’s not a pig,” Jones said with a laugh. “He keeps his room nice and neat. People look at him as if he’s not human, but he’s just a 19-year-old kid.” “A 7-foot 5-year-old,” senior teammate Quinn Cook said. Okafor also is a national player of the year candidate predicted by many to be the No. 1 overall pick in the June NBA draft. He’s the first freshman in the 63-year history of the Atlantic Coast Conference to be named player of the year. He is on the brink of becoming a superstar. A very rich superstar. “Pretty much everybody here (at Duke) is the best at what they do,” Okafor said. “I do my thing on the court, but we have geniuses here starting their own businesses before they hit 20. Being talented here kind of makes you blend in.” Something that has been difficult for the kid who was 6-foot-5 in seventh grade. Here he is known by one name. “You’re ‘Jah,’ ” Duke associate head coach Jeff Capel tells Okafor, whom he said hasn’t brought up the NBA to him. “You should be a guy identified by one word, like LeBron or Kobe or Bird or Magic or Jordan. At some point in your career it should just be ‘Jah,’ and the world knows who that is.” ——— ‘He loves, loves, loves his family’ Before the basketball world began learning about “Jah,” he was playing the tuba. He was a freshman fulfilling his music course obligation and starting on the varsity basketball team at Whitney Young High School in Chicago. Chukwudi “Chucky” Okafor was there too. He’s always there. “He came to my band lessons and he was still the loudest one,” Jahlil said of his father. “I let him know you can’t do that.” Except he can. Except he does. The stage is no matter. Jahlil Okafor had a minor role in a school musical and spent the rest of his time holding a spotlight. Chucky stood up during intermission and began clapping. “Man, that’s the best stagehand I’ve ever seen,” Chucky recalls yelling. These days, Chucky is a fixture at Duke games. He stands — never sits — with other parents a few rows behind the Blue Devils bench. His son plays the leading role on a roster with seven other McDonald’s All-Americans. Chucky still is the loudest one. “The Okafors should have a reality show,” Capel said, not kidding. “VH1 or Bravo or ESPN. They are so fun. They have showered that kid with so much love and support. That’s the reason why he’s so happy.” To Chucky and Jahlil, love is a verb. Like his father, Jahlil lost his mother at a young age. Jahlil was 9, living with Dacresha “Dee” Benton in Oklahoma, when her lung collapsed after a bout with bronchitis. Jahlil ran from the house hysterical, calling 911 from a neighbor’s phone because his family’s phone didn’t work. His older sister, Jalen, was there too. Benton died March 16, 2005. She was 29. Basketball became Okafor’s refuge. The growing up began. “She’s completely my inspiration for everything I do,” Okafor said. Soon after his mother’s death, Jahlil moved to Chicago to live with Chucky, strengthening a bond the two already had shared. Jahlil’s aunt, Dr. Chinyere Okafor-Conley, helped raise him, just as she helped raise her brother after their mother died. “The first word that comes to mind about Jahlil is ‘family,’ ” said Cook, Okafor’s roommate on the road. “The connection he has is incredible to me. … I know that he loves, loves, loves his family.” Chucky, who does marketing for a traveling company, said he had some run-ins with the law as a teenager. Says Jahlil’s birth changed his perspective. Chucky also has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. “I don’t want to seem like I’m not humble or I’ve raised the best son since Jesus Christ,” Chucky said, “but a lot of this stuff doesn’t surprise me. It’s expected. “He didn’t just come to Duke as a place to stop. That’s where he’s going to get his degree. In my family, graduation is way more celebrated than Christmas, birthdays. He will be no different.” ——— ‘He’s got a ballerina’s feet’ ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas calls Okafor a Tim Duncan type — tough without being over the top. Says his will be the first name called in the draft. “His hands are phenomenal,” Bilas said. “He’s got great size and length. He’s got a ballerina’s feet.” Okafor’s defense, particularly on ball screens, has been questioned, though Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski isn’t buying it. “It’s amazing how good a job he’s done on defense as a result of the physical play on the offensive end,” Krzyzewski said. “The misconception about the ball screen is that two guys are defending it. Five guys are defending it.” Okafor is embarrassed by his struggles from the free-throw line, where he’s goes 51.1 percent, worst on the team. Okafor can’t escape the talk, the dissection. He doesn’t necessarily try. When he needs an ear, though, one person he calls on is Jabari Parker, a Simeon High School graduate about a year removed from Okafor’s shoes. “It’s bigger than basketball between me and him,” said Parker, who was picked second by the Bucks in last year’s NBA draft after spending a season at Duke. “Of course I miss playing with him. … We don’t even talk about basketball that much.” His advice for his friend? “He just has to go on his feeling,” Parker said. “It’s in his heart.” ——— ‘The biggest stars on campus’ It’s Tuesday, the day before North Carolina-Duke, Part I. Krzyzewskiville is deserted. “Looks like a war zone,” one female student said in passing. Tents are half-collapsed under the weight of snow. School is closed thanks to an ice storm. Jeffrey Ho, a sophomore from Massachusetts, has been taking turns sleeping here since the first week of January so he can get into the game. He steps over some empty cases of beer to check his tent. “You see him on campus, nobody really treats him any different than any student,” Ho saod of Okafor in particular and the school’s basketball players in general. “People don’t take photos or run up to them or do anything weird. “But when they’re on the basketball court, they’re the biggest stars on campus. It’s a very weird dichotomy — the difference between when they’re on campus and when we see them in Cameron.” In less than 24 hours, music will blast from speakers the size of small sheds on this makeshift campground next to Cameron Indoor Stadium. Students in Okafor jerseys and Christian Laettner jerseys will play beer pong on one side; others will gather for a small Bible study on another. “It’s crazy out there,” Okafor said. ——— ‘My thing, my true love’ Chucky Okafor is, along with just more than 9,300 others, sweating 40-weight motor oil, which he wipes from his head with a white towel. He’s clapping again, this time as his son is helped to the locker room to chants of “OK-A-FOR, OK-A-FOR.” Moments earlier on this mid-February night, Jahlil Okafor reaches for his left ankle with his left hand. He had just let loose a turnaround jumper and his size-17 left shoe didn’t quite stick the landing. His hands cover his eyes. He’s down for a good minute. “There’s no definite answer of what’s going to happen next,” Chucky later said. “As a parent, I enjoy being loud and supportive. I cheer on the whole squad. From a selfish standpoint, I want to make myself feel like he does better when I’m in the gym. There’s no science to that.” Jahlil re-enters with 45 seconds left in the half, with him a noticeable limp. Cameron exhales. He plays the entire second half and overtime of a 92-90 victory against North Carolina, finishing with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Twice in OT he gives the Blue Devils the lead, including for good with 1 minute, 42 seconds left. Okafor missed the next game, three days later against Clemson, but scored a career-high 30 points and grabs nine rebounds in an overtime victory against Virginia Tech a week after spraining his ankle. Okafor is averaging 17.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 66.8 percent from the field, all team highs for the 29-4 Blue Devils. That premonition Okafor had while completing a fourth-grade assignment, the one in which the teacher had everyone write down what they wanted to be when they grew up, seems one step closer. “I wrote professional basketball player,” Okafor said. “I thought everyone was going to say basketball player or football player, but I saw stuff like astronauts and chefs. That’s when I realized maybe this is my thing, my true love.” ——— ‘He’s very gifted’ He has unfolded all 83 of his inches and 270 of his pounds onto a beige, L-shaped couch tucked in the corner of a players lounge inside Cameron Indoor Stadium. A gray Duke hoodie spills over a pair of black Duke warmup pants, which spill over the walking boot choking his aching left ankle, the one he sprained the previous night. “You have Jay Williams right there,” he said, pointing to pictures decorating the walls, like he’s showing off his new home. “Mason Plumlee … I’m playing with his younger brother.” Okafor has danced with teammates after Krzyzewski’s 1,000th career victory, has been named ACC Rookie of the Week eight times, and Player of the Week once. He has stopped by assistant coach Jon Scheyer’s number-retirement ceremony in Northbrook. He spent the good part of an afternoon with another “Jah,” Capel’s son Elijah, at his birthday party, to which he didn’t go empty-handed, stopping first at a mall for a present. He’s leaving an impression. “Scary is not a bad word,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams says when describing Okafor’s game. “He’s very gifted.” An impression is being left on him. A couple of Duke posters hang on Okafor’s dorm wall. His king-size bed is here. He also has his PlayStation. “I always knew I wanted to be in the NBA and play myself in a video game,” Okafor said. “That was my goal when I was a kid. … It’s crazy to think that at the end of this season I could potentially have that opportunity.” ——— ©2015 Chicago Tribune Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC _____ Topics: t000003277,t000003278,t000003183,t000040506,t000404471,t000027855,t000003142,g000065560,g000362661,g000066164,g000065598
Mar 17, 2015
Del City’s Terry Wilson improved his scholarship offer list to four Monday when Memphis became the latest to extend an offer to the dual-threat quarterback. He isn’t the only player from the state picking up interest lately.
High school notebook: Del City's Terry Wilson among football players to receive offers
BY JACOB UNRUH | Mar 17, 2015Del City’s Terry Wilson improved his scholarship offer list to four Monday when Memphis became the latest to extend an offer to the dual-threat quarterback. No. 2 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30, Wilson now has offers from Arkansas State, Houston and new Mexico State. He isn’t the only player from the state picking up interest lately. Arkansas State offered scholarships to Harrah’s Logan Roberson, Norman North’s Quan Hogan and Lone Grove’s Jeremy Lewis. Navy also extended offers to three players: Stillwater’s Jordan Brown, Jenks’ Austin Quillen and Tulsa Edison’s Alex Criddle. Wyoming offered Hollis lineman Jace Webb, Jenks safety Dillon Stoner and Oologah’s Jimmy McKinney, who was also offered by Air Force. Edmond Santa Fe safety Calvin Bundage also got an offer from Tennessee, adding to the every-growing list for the top-ranked prospect on the Super 30. COAC ALL-CONFERENCE GIRLS TEAM ANNOUNCED The Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference recently released its Girls Basketball All-Conference team, with Southmoore senior Serithia Hawkins bringing home top honors in the conference. Hawkins, a Houston signee, was named the conference MVP. She led the SaberCats to the Class 6A state semifinals this season. Westmoore coach Andrea Guziec was named Coach of the Year after leading a young Jaguars team to a No. 4 ranking and one win from the state tournament. Westmoore’s Ashley Gomez was also named the Offensive Player of the Year, while a pair of Deer Creek stars took home two awards — Dakota Vann as Defensive Player of the Year and freshman Sydney Manning as Newcomer of the Year. Here is the full list of awards: MVP: Serithia Hawkins, Southmoore Coach of the Year: Andrea Guziec, Westmoore Offensive Player of the Year: Ashley Gomez, Westmoore Defensive Player of the Year: Dakota Vann, Deer Creek Newcomer of the Year: Sydney Manning, Deer Creek All-Conference First Team: Andee Decker, Edmond Memorial; Jo’Nah Johnson, Edmond Santa Fe; Dylan Fix, Stillwater; Jessi Murcer, Westmoore; Makayla Foy, Yukon Second Team: Paige Serup, Edmond Memorial; Tia Williams, Norman North; Kyeria Hannah, Southmoore; Kaci Richardson, Westmoore; Sydney Chastain, Westmoore Third Team: Alexis Cooper, Edmond Santa Fe; Allison Rogers, Moore; Logan Haller, Mustang; Alexa Scott, Norman North; Alyssa Jones, Southmoore Honorable Mention: Deer Creek: Abbey Renner, Shae Scheffler, Elayna Wilson; Edmond Memorial: Avery Ogle, Elise Wyatt; Edmond North: Abby Olsen, Hayli Hoffman, Sloan Hendley; Edmond Santa Fe: Rachel Shadid, Michaela Mack; Moore: Ashlie Rose, Shala Robinson, Tamera Shaver; Mustang: Addy Lawson, Madison Maxwell; Norman: Dariena Hunter, Shelby Thrailkill; Norman North: Kenna Sturgell; Southmoore: Kyra Johnston; Stillwater: Lauren Stettnisch; Westmoore: Callie Palmer, Whitney Outon; Yukon: Ashlyn Basler, Katy Fuston, Maci Exum, Shariah Anderson SUBURBAN CONFERENCE GIRLS BASKETBALL AWARDS ANNOUNCED The Suburban Conference announced its All-Conference Girls Basketball team awards Monday evening with Piedmont taking home top honors. Piedmont senior Hayden Priddy was named Player of the Year, while coach Jamie Hill was named Coach of the Year. The Wildcats made the Class 5A state semifinals last week. Shawnee took home the other top honors with freshman Monica Brooks being named Newcomer of the Year and Kelsey Simmons being named Defensive Player of the Year. Here is a look at the entire All-Conference team: Player of the Year: Hayden Priddy, Piedmont Coach of the Year: Jamie Hill, Piedmont Newcomer of the Year: Monica Brooks, Shawnee Defensive Player of the Year: Kelsey Simmons First Team: Micayla Haynes, Guthrie; Dominique Golightly, Chickasha; Shamika Smith, Carl Albert; Bre Reid, Piedmont; Moe Tramble, Shawnee Second Team: Sydney Gray, El Reno; Taylor Sylvester, Chickasha; Taleigh Davis, El Reno; Shaiann Tramble, Shawnee; Lexus Halfred, El Reno; Mina Iyaye, Piedmont Third Team: Kaley Hallmark, Carl Albert; Karen Hopkins, Western Heights; Jennifer Byrd, Noble; Kamber Smedley, Guthrie; Charissa Price, Carl Albert Honorable Mention: Carl Albert: Lanie Batten Goodman; Chickasha: Jackie Ramos; El Reno: Regan Owen; Guthrie: Sojo Love; Noble: Sarah King; Piedmont: Kayden Carver, Maddie Sperle; Western Heights: Charon Cheatham, Brittney Vince
Feb 24, 2015
A three-year starter at Carl Albert and one of the most reliable linebackers in the Oklahoma City metro area, Nathan Christmon III has accepted an invitation to be a preferred walk-on at Oklahoma State.
High school notebook: Carl Albert's Nathan Christmon to walk on at OSU
BY SCOTT WRIGHT AND JACOB UNRUH | Feb 24, 2015A three-year starter at Carl Albert and one of the most reliable linebackers in the Oklahoma City metro area, Nathan Christmon III has accepted an invitation to be a preferred walk-on at Oklahoma State. Christmon was a starter on Carl Albert’s 2012 state championship team as a sophomore, and earned Oklahoman Big All-City second-team honors as a senior. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound senior had 115 tackles and two sacks as a senior. He’s following his family legacy into college football. His father played at Pittsburg (Kan.) State under Dennis Franchione in the late 1980s, and his uncle, Drew Christmon, was a football and baseball player at Oklahoma before spending six seasons in the Detroit Tigers organization. BUNDAGE ADDS MORE OFFERS Edmond Santa Fe junior safety Calvin Bundage continues adding scholarship offers to his list. Earlier this month, Bundage had 12 Division I offers. In just a matter of weeks, he is up to 15. Houston became the latest to offer Monday, joining Louisville and Arizona State as recent additions. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have offered as well. Bundage is ranked No. 1 on The Oklahoman’s 2016 Super 30 rankings of the state’s top college recruits. Houston’s recruiting efforts in the state have picked up under new coach Tom Herman’s regime. The Cougars’ offensive coordinator, Major Applewhite, is certainly familiar with the talent Oklahoma produces from his playing and coaching days at Texas. But Herman’s staff also includes former Oklahoma defensive back Kenith Pope, who coached at OU and OSU during his career, and Choctaw native Derek Warehime, who played at Tulsa. In addition to Bundage, Houston has offered Del City quarterback Terry Wilson, and the Cougars have invited several state players to their upcoming Junior Day. MAX WARIBOKO-ALALI PICKING UP INVITES Casady junior Max Wariboko-Alali is busy on the recruiting trail with four Junior Day invites, according to Rivals.com. Wariboko-Alali has invites to Tulsa, Houston, Purdue and Iowa State. He also holds scholarship offers from Louisville, SMU, Tulsa and UCLA. His older brother, Josh, recently signed with UCLA. MOUNT ST. MARY GRAD WAGNER NAMED ALL-CONFERENCE Mount St. Mary product Justin Wagner, a junior basketball player at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Mass., was named to the All-Commonwealth Coast Conference team on Tuesday. Wagner was selected to the All-CCC third team after leading the league with 74 made 3-pointers. His 3-point percentage of 47.4 was second-best in the conference. He started all 25 games and committed just nine turnovers, averaging 10.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and a team-best 1.8 steals. The Lions were set to open play as the No. 3 seed in the CCC tournament Tuesday.
Here is The Oklahoman high school sports staff’s first edition of the Super 30 recruit rankings for the state’s class of 2016.
The Oklahoman's Super 30 list of top football recruits for the Class of 2016
BY SCOTT WRIGHT, JACOB UNRUH AND TRENT SHADID | Feb 14, 2015Here is The Oklahoman high school sports staff’s first edition of the Super 30 recruit rankings for the state’s class of 2016. The list will be updated again in the spring, summer, preseason and midseason, with the final update prior to National Signing Day in February 2016. 1. Calvin Bundage, DB, Edmond Santa Fe, 6-3, 190 Bundage’s first year at safety went pretty well, earning 12 scholarship offers, including Arizona, Michigan, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. 2. Terry Wilson, QB, Del City, 6-3, 190 Arkansas State extended an offer early and Houston came in last month, with several more programs watching intently. 3. T.J. Fiailoa, OL, Lawton MacArthur, 6-4, 330 Utah State’s offer was just the start for the big, powerful lineman. 4. Justice Hill, RB, Tulsa Washington, 5-10, 180 The first and only commitment of the 2016 class so far, Hill is headed to Oklahoma State. 5. Max Wariboko-Alali, DB, Casady, 5-10, 170 Wariboko-Alali holds four offers from Louisville, SMU, Tulsa and UCLA, which just signed his brother Josh to a National Letter of Intent. 6. Quan Hogan, RB, Norman North, 6-1, 200 Tulsa made an early offer to Hogan, who has shown strong receiving skills out of the backfield or the slot, adding to his value. 7. Jimmy McKinney, LB, Oologah, 6-1, 220 The state class is short on linebacker talent, but Arkansas State and Stephen F. Austin have already offered McKinney. 8. Darran Williams, RB, Edmond Santa Fe, 5-11, 165 A load to tackle, Williams’ interest is gradually picking up following a breakout junior season in which he rushed for nearly 2,000 yards and 22 touchdowns. 9. Chandler Garrett, QB, Mustang, 6-5, 200 Notre Dame, Kentucky, Indiana and several others are showing interest in the reigning Oklahoman Big All-City Offensive Player of the Year. 10. Jeremy Lewis, RB, Lone Grove, 6-2, 185 One of the elite small-school talents in a year with lots of prospects in Class 4A and below. 11. Noah Jones, DE, Southmoore, 6-5, 250 Southmoore is on pace to produce several big-name recruits over the next few years, and Jones heads the 2016 SaberCat class. 12. Austin Quillen, DB, Jenks, 6-0, 190 Louisiana Tech was the first program to offer the Jenks safety. 13. Logan Roberson, OL, Harrah, 6-5, 320 The powerfully built Panther blocked for Grant Martin, the state’s leading rusher at the 11-man level last season, and Roberson should attract some big offers for himself this year. 14. Nic Roller, RB, Bixby, 6-0, 235 The first-team Oklahoman All-State selection is hearing from OU, OSU and other big programs around the region. 15. Luther Harris, OL, Heritage Hall, 6-6, 370 Harris is a monster up front, but recruiters have concerns about him being too heavy. He first caught recruiting attention as a defensive tackle before moving full-time to offensive tackle. 16. Micah Wilson, QB, Lincoln Christian, 6-3, 200 Another member of the state’s strong quarterback class, Wilson is drawing a wide variety of interest, from places like Tulsa, Texas Tech, Northwestern, Duke, Harvard and others. 17. Tariq Bitson, WR, Tulsa Washington, 6-3, 190 Multiple receivers in the class are on the verge of breaking through to the elite level, and Bitson is right there with the best of them. 18. Corey Tipsword, OL/DL, Norman North, 6-4, 315 Tipsword is strictly a defensive player at Norman North, but college coaches think he could be a stout offensive lineman, too. 19. Jordan Brown, WR, Stillwater, 6-3, 195 Brown is starting to turn heads for the Pioneers. Georgia was showing interest early and he was recently invited to LSU’s Junior Day. 20. Jamall Shaw, RB, Broken Arrow, 6-0, 195 Shaw became the motor in the Tigers’ offense last season and has the size and speed to push him up this list. 21. Tyler Banta, OL, Carl Albert, 6-5, 285 Carl Albert coach Gary Rose regularly produces well-coached offensive linemen, and Banta is next in line, with invites to junior days at OU and Kansas State, among others. 22. Rowdy Frederick, OL, Broken Arrow, 6-5, 320 Tulsa extended an early offer to the Tigers’ big blocker. 23. Dreyvon Christon, DB, Putnam City, 5-11, 175 A fast and physical cornerback who plays bigger than his listed size. 24. Terrell Love, RB, Heritage Hall, 5-9, 220 Nicknamed “Tank,” Love is a powerful runner who has recently been in contact with SMU, Kansas and Tulsa. 25. Patrick McKaufman, QB, Douglass, 6-6, 185 McKaufman is skinny, but his long, athletic frame catches some eyes; also heading into his fourth year as a starter. 26. Mason Fine, QB, Locust Grove, 6-0, 170 The state’s single-season record holder for passing yards and touchdowns has a D-I arm, but his size will raise some questions from bigger programs. 27. Tyler Adkins, RB, Tulsa Union, 5-9, 185 Yet another gifted running back in the class, Adkins combines power and quickness. 28. Walker Reed, OL, Norman North, 6-6, 300 The prototypical build for an offensive tackle, Reed’s recruiting ceiling is high. 29. DeShawn Lookout, WR, Westmoore, 6-3, 190 Lookout’s future might be in baseball — he’s committed to OU — but he’s also got a football offer from Arkansas State. 30. Scotty Gilkey, QB, Broken Arrow, 6-4, 210 Gilkey has three offers already, though he was demoted to second string last season.
Air Force football recruiting: Signing day listBrent BriggemanThe Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)Because of the appointment process involved with entry into the Air Force Academy, and the fact that athletes are still recruitable to other teams while at the prep school, signatures collected by Air Force on national signing day are not technically binding and, subsequently, not released to the...
Air Force football recruiting: Signing day list
Brent Briggeman, Associated Press | Feb 5, 2015Air Force football recruiting: Signing day list Brent Briggeman The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Because of the appointment process involved with entry into the Air Force Academy, and the fact that athletes are still recruitable to other teams while at the prep school, signatures collected by Air Force on national signing day are not technically binding and, subsequently, not released to the media. #BoltBrotherhood Tweets The following is an unofficial list compiled by The Gazette's Brent Briggeman of players who are expected to commit to the Falcons on Wednesday. The list was gathered through social media, recruiting sites and other sources. It will be updated throughout the day on Wednesday as more information becomes available. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any needed changes to the information listed. Other Air Force recruiting coverage: 2015 Air Force signing day recruits (with video links below each profile) Tyler Adams DT 6-3 240 Goodyear, Ariz. (Estrella Foothills) Recorded 13 tackles for loss -- including four sacks in nine games as a senior; lists 40 time at 5.0 and vertical at 29 inches. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1662743/highlights/180136384 Yaquarri Adams DB 6-0 170 Lithonia, Ga. (Arabia) One of the latest commitments in the class, as he announced his intentions on Tuesday night. He lists a 470-pound squat. Goes by the name Dre. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwRW-wYHpIc Justin Agner QB 6-1 200 Woodstock, Ga. Also held an offer from Navy. Threw for 2,071 yards and 14 touchdowns and ran for 402 yards and nine scores. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Igiv_ss0_Ns Miles Alexander RB/CB 5-10 183 Overland Park, Kan. (Blue Valley Northwest) A burner with 4.44 speed. Ran for more than 1,300 yards as a junior. A native of Kansas City area, with its jazz-rich background, and is named after legend Miles Davis. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1489984/highlights/206703382 Garrett Amy WR 5-8 170 Dallas, Texas (Dallas Jesuit) Caught 61 passes for 1,346 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1793217/highlights/209758375 Eric Autry K/P 6-3 175 Lilburn, Ga. (Parkview) A kicker who can move a little, boasting a 4.85 40. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/3370174/highlights Sam Barry QB/DB 6-2 190 Colleyville, Texas (Grapevine) One of just three members of this Air Force class to receive a three-star rating (his from 247Sports.com). Held an offer from Northern Colorado. Runs a 4.64 40. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/776201/highlights/99489377 Streator Bates TE 6-3 220 Phoenix, Ariz (Brophy Prep) Caught 28 passes for 337 yards and five TDs. Doubled up as kicker, booting a 47-yard field goal. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2584364/highlights/220478391 Ryan Brand QB 5-10 190 Detroit, Mich. (U. of Detroit Jesuit HS) Three-star recruit according to several sites. Was invited by Trent Dilfer to the Elite 11, though his only other offer was Indiana State. "I would bet on Ryan Brand," Dilfer told USA Today. "I would stake my reputation on that kid. He'll do it. He will make it. He plays big. He eats up a lot of space physically, emotionally and mentally. When you're around him, you feel him. I just love this kid." http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1550176/highlights/168961375 Curran Brandt LB 6-1 205 San Mateo, Calif. (Aragon) Made 76 tackles with seven sacks, three interceptions and two forced fumbles. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/817620/highlights/167785376 Tommy Bruns OLB 6-3 205 Kings Mill, Ohio (Kings) Was a finalist for the National Football Foundation That's My Boy Award, given for success in football, academics and school/community activities. Led team to an 11-1 mark in 2014. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1578770/highlights/143125378 Jaylen Burgess RB 5-11 210 Maryville, Tenn. Had an offer from Army and was at West Point when Air Force won there in November. Rushed fore more than 1,000 yards in helping his team repeat at 6A champions. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1473615/highlights/161772375 Harris Cannon FB 6-2 210 Oviedo, Fla. Bruiser who could play tight end or fullback. Runs a 4.80 40. Had considered walking on at Central Florida. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1694755/highlights/204382377 Nick Capella OL 6-6 273 Ventura, Calif. (St. Bonaventure) Named the Marmonte League Offensive Lineman of the Year. Also carries a 3.51 GPA, scored a 28 on the ACT and is a member of the National Honor Society. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1598432/highlights/206789379 Eric Carrera SS 6-1 200 St. Louis, Mo. (Christian Brothers) Displays size, speed and ball-hawk skills that helped Christian Brothers to a perfect 15-0 season and a state title. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/540170/highlights/175545378 Cameron Castleberry WR 6-3 175 Keller, Texas (Fossil Ridge) Runs a 4.7 40 with a 28-inch vertical. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1914957/highlights/209688381 Campbell Clarkson OL 6-4 245 Houston, Texas (St. Thomas) Rare combination of 500-pound squat, 28-inch vertical and 4.99 40 with a frame that large. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/650778/highlights/207556387 Ronald Cleveland WR 5-9 165 Franklin Tenn. (Battle Ground Academy) Has family history in the Army, Navy and Air Force and held an offer from Navy. Will be used as a slot receiver and kick returner. "Any way to get me on the field and let me try to do something with the ball," he told The Tennessean. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/313855/highlights/214416375 Dalton Collins LB 6-1 200 St. Petersburg, Fla. (Admiral Farragut) Played quarterback and linebacker in high school. Runs a 4.67 40 and has a 33-inch vertical. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1097552/highlights/184333375 Blake Davis OL 6-2 270 Conyers, Ga. (Rockdale County) Played center and defensive tackle in high school. Also had an offer from Charleston Southern. Benches 340 pounds, squats 550 and runs a 5.1 40. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/923121/highlights/175448383 Lesley Dalger WR 6-5 205 Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Westminster Acad.) Caught 31 passes for 482 yards and a touchdown, including 10 for 170 in his team's lone loss. Has a 38-inch vertical to go with that tall frame. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/3945947/highlights/163626380 Malik Dawkins DB 6-0 175 Conyers, Ga. (Rockdale County) Could profile as a tall cornerback for the Falcons with a 4.48 40 and a 38-inch vertical. Is a sprinter for the track team. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/3188837/highlights/168200376 Luke Dekker DT/C 6-3 240 Albuquerque, N.M. (La Cueva) Brother of former Falcons tight end Travis Dekker. Scored a 26 on the ACT and carries a 3.69 GPA. Moved to center as a senior and earned first-team all-state honors. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2997949/highlights/215589378 Cole Delgado OL 6-5 240 Phoenix, Ariz. (Pinnacle) The offensive tackle is one eight players in this Air Force recruiting class listed at at least 6-foot-5. Also plays first base for his school's baseball team. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2678101/highlights/185622375 Ryan DeLung OL 6-4 275 Glendale, Ariz. (Mountain Ridge) Honor student benches 365 pounds, squats 525, runs a 4.99 40 and, according to 247Sports.com, had an offer from Nevada. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2774873/highlights/77106400 Michael DeVries DL 6-2 250 Lafayette (Centaurus) The in-state two-way lineman runs a 4.84 40, according to his hudle.com profile, and plays basketball. Credited style of d-line coach Tim Cross for helping draw him to the academy. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/412936/highlights/105788377 Steve Dinneen OLB 6-5 220 Mountain View, Calif. (Saint Francis) Piled up 41 solo tackles and 14 sacks in 13 games and was named his league's top defensive lineman. Also had an offer San Diego. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1171374/highlights Dylan Draper OLB 6-4 208 Colorado Springs (Discovery Canyon) The Gazette's 3A-A Football Player of the Year after guiding the Thunder to an 11-1 record with 167 tackles, 17 sacks, four interceptions, four fumble recoveries and four blocked punts. He also had 367 receiving yards with two touchdowns. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1586740/highlights/211097382 Cade Erwin S 5-11 180 Flower Mound, Texas (Marcus) The free safety had initially committed to North Texas and also had offers from Southern Methodist, Eastern Michigan and Texas State. Averaged about eight tackles a game last year with two interceptions. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/911068/highlights/163558377 Cole Fagan LB 6-1 220 St. Petersburg, Fla. (Admiral Farragut) Runs a 4.86 40 with a 29.5-inch vertical, 350-pound bench press and 545 squat. Also a star wrestler, going 46-3 last year. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1398310/highlights/170142375 Blake Fall DB 6-0 190 Newhall, Calif. (Hart) The safety picked off three passes and defended four others in eight games according to MaxPreps. He also caught six touchdown passes. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2223330/highlights/175510383 Kyle Floyd S 6-3 205 Humble, Texas Held offers from Army and Cornell. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1624629/highlights/87772375 Matt Gaiter OL 6-4 250 Littleton (Chatfield) The in-state lineman held offers from Northern Colorado and South Dakota State. Was also recruited by Colorado State and Wyoming. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/961164/highlights/198865380 Gavin Graham DB 6-2 200 Austin, Texas (Anderson) Brother of Air Force basketball player Hayden Graham gave up basketball after his junior year, bulked up by 20 pounds and earned the D1 offer he sought. The only problem, his dad said, was paying for all the food that helped him put on that extra weight. "I'd be full because we just ate two hours ago and he'd want to eat again," said William Graham, a six-year starter for the Detroit Lions. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/805484/highlights/199275385 Parker Hammond OL 6-4 240 Colorado Springs (Pine Creek) Local recruit part of the dominant Pine Creek squad that has won back-to-back state titles and dominated Colorado Springs 4A for the better part of a decade. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2736321/highlights/177799377 Tristyn Hanson LB 6-1 212 Lakeville, Minn. (Lakeville North) Held offers from Illinois State and North Dakota. Runs a 4.68 40 and carries a 3.9 GPA. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/489427/highlights/175727380 Ben Harris DE 6-6 230 Peculiar, Mo. (Raymore-Peculiar) A three-sport athlete (football, basketball, baseball) has 4.99 40 speed to go with a large frame. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1181294/highlights/163748387 Alex Heil OL 6-2 250 Cleveland, Ohio. (Benedictine) Helped his team amass 4,200 rushing yards and a state title. He played guard, tackle and started the final four games at defensive tackle after a teammate was injured. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/672585/highlights/171453386 Danny Highland DE 6-3 240 Loveland (Thompson Valley) The in-state two-way lineman had offers from Chadron State and Cornell and interest from Wyoming, according to the Denver Post. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1800113/highlights/97020377 Elijah Hill K/P 6-3 195 Tumwater, Wash. Averaged 40.8 yards per punt as a senior. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1413322/highlights/164467379 Zach Honnold OLB 5-11 203 Clermont, Fla. (East Ridge HS) Made 75 tackles with three sacks as a senior. Falcons likely to look at him at the spur position, the hybrid defensive back/linebacker spot. "At one point it was Dartmouth and Valparaiso, but as soon as I stepped on [Air Force's] campus, there was no other choice," Honnold told the Orlando Sentinel. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1395129/highlights/171437379 Noah Hoxie OLB 6-2 215 Knoxville, Tenn. (Knoxville West) Physical tools include a 4.6 40, 31-inch vertical and 295-pound bench press, according to his hudl.com profile. Had offers from Army, Princeton and Yale, among others. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1351714/highlights/170778377 Braden Hucks ATH 5-11 185 San Angelo, Texas (San Angelo Central) District MVP threw for 3,070 yards and 32 touchdowns and ran for 1,339 yards and 22 touchdowns. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1601972/highlights/210893375 Jamie Hudson QB 6-1 210 Austin, Texas (Vandegrifft) Threw for 3,315 yards, 36 touchdowns and just four interceptions while rushing for 1,215 yards and 15 touchdowns, leading his team to the Class 5A, Division I semifinals. Was one of 25 finalists for the Mr. Texas football award. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/534034/highlights/207967400 RJ Jackson TE 6-4 215 Beloit, Kan. Versatile athlete who played fullback, tight end, defensive end and linebacker, throws the shot put, runs on relay teams and has logged a 52-second 400-meter time in track and plays basketball. Had an offer from Wyoming. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/931254/rj-jackson Ryan Jacobs K 6-2 172 Arlington, Texas (Lamar) All-state academic first-team honors, all-state honorable mention as a kicker. Hit 11-of-14 field goals, with two of the three misfires coming as the result of blocks. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/676764/highlights/105811400 Jalen Johnson RB 5-9 165 Avondale, Ariz. (Westview) Ran for 2,615 yards and 37 touchdowns over the past two years. Also caught 24 passes and returned kicks. Had an offer from Army. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1248238/highlights/205752375 Dominieke Jones DB 6-1 170 South Jordan, Utah (Bingham) Had 53 tackles, three interceptions and eight passes defended. Had offers from Army, Wyoming and Jacksonville State. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1637947/highlights/160857375 James Jones IV DB 6-1 180 Denver (Mullen) The in-state defensive back with 4.5 speed reportedly had offers from Army, Navy, Eastern Washington and Hawaii, among others. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1546520/james-jones-iv Garrett Kauppila SS 6-2 195 Rocklin, Ga. Safety picked off a pair of passes this past season, runs a 4.61 40 and claims to never have had a GPA under 4.0. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/147960/highlights/164478375 Josiah Klingenberg DE 6-3 240 Fort Worth, Texas (All Saints) Made 17 tackles for a loss and 4.5 sacks over the past two years. Also throws the discus and runs the 200 and 400 in track. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/372938/highlights/163764378 Griffin Landrum OL 6-1 283 Cumming, Ga. (South Forsyth) Had 93 pancake blocks as a senior. Held an offer from Army. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1731008/highlights/172981376 Patrick Lee DT 6-3 248 Kennesaw, Ga. (Mount Paran) Runs a 4.87 40 with a 29-inch vertical. Helped his team to a state championship as a senior. Two-time all-region, 165 tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 18 sacks. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/933547/highlights/162256375 Jacob Littlefield LB 6-0 200 Las Vegas, Nev. NevadaPrepReport.com calls Littlefield one of the most productive and active defenders in the state, crediting him with 200 tackles, eight sacks and two interceptions over the past two years. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/622556/highlights/199089375 Jake Matkovich WR 6-5 175 Milwaukee, Wisc. (Marquette Univ. HS) Was the Al Toon Award winner, given to the best receiver in Wisconsin after setting state records with 1,725 yards and 22 touchdowns. Had offers from Drake, Northern Iowa and Valparaiso. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1562086/highlights/206764381 Nick Maxey OL/LS 6-0 240 Phoenix, Ariz. (Pinnacle) Long-snapper had an offer from Cornell. No. 4 by Prokicker and No. 7 by Khol's in national long snapper ratings. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/867932/highlights/85553401 Drew McAdams DB 6-1 185 Coppell, Texas The football and lacrosse player made 69 tackles as a senior for a 6-5 squad. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1295821/drew-mcadams Sean McKinney OL/DL 6-2 265 Davidson, NC (Cox Mill) Late addition signed and committed on Wednesday. Levi McQuinn OLB 6-0 201 Fort Myers, Fla. Had an offer from James Madison. Being looked at for the spur position. Also an all-state wrestler and carrying a 4.4 GPA. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1635099/highlights/18913373 Malik Miller RB 5-10 200 Griffin, Ga. Runs a 4.52 40 with a 37.5-inch vertical, according to his hudl.com profile. Initially committed to Furman. Full stats are not available, but he had 1,579 rushing yards and 26 total touchdowns through 10 games as a senior, all victories for his team. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1259833/highlights/172307378 Stone Miller DE 6-4 245 Mason, Mich. Two-way lineman earned all-state honors with 98 tackles and nine sacks for an 8-4 team. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2993489/highlights/167717382 Chris Musselman LB 6-1 210 San Tan Valley, Ariz. (Poston Butte) Runs a 4.57 40. He is the first player from his high school program to commit to a Division I program. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1459105/highlights/160963376 Torre Parker Jr. ATH 5-10 180 Wildwood, Fla. Versatile player who runs a 4.66 40. He often played quarterback in high school, but might fit in elsewhere for the Falcons. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1222384/highlights/179591375 Carson Pearlman LB 6-2 215 Fort Myers, Fla. (Evangelical Christian) Versatile player who caught 10 touchdown passes this year and starred on defense with 118 tackles. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/936977/highlights/176475377 Jared Pulu OLB 6-4 225 Federal Way, Wash. Missed five games with an injury, but returned to help his team make a deep playoff run. The youngest of four brothers, including Andru, who played at Washington and had a free-agent look with the Seattle Seahawks. "There's no doubt he's the best," Andru told the Seattle Times. Jared reportedly had interest from Boise State, Colorado and Army. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1513147/highlights/107979382 Josh Rice OL 6-1 290 Lake Nona, Fla. Had at least 11 offers, including Army, Navy, Marshall, Georgia Southern and Georgia State. Benches 385 pounds, squats 545 and runs a 5.55 40. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/877132/highlights/214371386 Nick Searcy OL 6-2 270 Woodstock, Ga. (Etowah) The center and competitive weightlifter had offers from Coastal Carolina and Davidson. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1371301/highlights/167613381 Matt Smith ATH 6-1 237 Bakersfield, Calif. (Bakersfield Christian) Ran for more than 6,000 yards in high school will naturally get a look at running back. However, he is versatile enough to fit in elsewhere, too. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/430795/highlights/139941377 Dailen Sutton DB 6-1 170 Dallas, Texas (Bishop Dunne) Runs a 4.52 40 and has a 32.4-inch vertical. Had offers from Miami of Ohio, S.F. Austin and Yale. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1407975/highlights/172397376 Corey Taylor II RB 5-10 200 Tulsa, Okla. (Holland Hall School) Reports a 4.5 40, 37.2-inch vertical, 350-pound bench press and 450 squat. Ran for 1,233 yards and nine touchdowns, while adding 57 tackles and three sacks as a senior. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/631268/highlights/204318380 Lorenzo Thomas LB 6-2 220 Tulsa, Okla. (Union) Runs a 4.76 40. From the same Oklahoma powerhouse as former Falcons QB Kale Pearson. Had offers from Penn and Tulsa. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1597188/highlights/175167377 Nolan Thompson WR 6-4 190 Huntington Beach, Calif. Caught 40 passes for 682 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games as a senior. Father played in backfield for UCLA, brother played as San Jose State. Had an offer from Navy http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1564786/highlights/160530375 Sam Turner TE 6-3 203 Fort Myers, Fla. Spent his junior year solely as a blocking tight end, but said he worked on his route-running in the offseason and amassed 300 receiving yards as a senior. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2583808/highlights/195416388 Samuel Valleroy TE 6-3 255 Guyton, Ga. (South Effingham) A local magazine reported that Valleroy has wanted to be an aerospace engineer since the seventh grade and is thrilled to have the opportunity to play at a program that offers that major. He also had an offer from Army http://www.hudl.com/athlete/510262/highlights/91057375 Tyler Vaught ATH 6-1 170 Maryville, Tenn. Played a little at receiver as a junior before guiding team to unbeaten state championship run as a senior. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1473492/highlights Jonathan Vogt OL 6-4 277 Canutillo, Texas Tackle had an offer from New Mexico State. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1931244/highlights/214817378 Bryce VonZurmuehlen S 6-0 180 Coppell, Texas Second-team all-district cornerback. Picked off a pass and blocked a kick as a senior. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1295823/bryce-vonzurmuehlen Ethan Walton LB 6-1 220 Lilburn, Ga. (Parkview) Led his team with 85 tackles as a senior. Runs a 4.69 40. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2634994/highlights/199495392 Jacob Welborn DL 6-5 270 Dripping Springs, Texas Runs a 5.2 40, benches 295 pounds and squats 375 according to his hudl.com profile. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/2644058/highlights Mitchell Williams OL 6-4 275 Bentonville, Ark. Earned all-state honors after helping his team to back-to-back state titles. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/410625/highlights/118577376 Parker Wilson RB 5-11 215 Coppell, Texas Starred at fullback in a prolific rushing offense. http://www.ncsasports.org/football-recruiting/tx/coppell/coppell-high-school/parker-wilson Arion Worthman QB 6-0 205 Normal, Ill. (University) A rarity with 4.43 speed while weighing in over 200 pounds, with those numbers from his hudl.com profile. Held six offers, including Army, Illinois State and several Ivy League programs http://www.hudl.com/athlete/673541/highlights/185741376 Daniel Zivney K 5-11 190 College Station, Texas (A&M Consolidated) First-team all district as a receiver and punter. Ran a 4.47 40 at a combine in Jan. 2014. http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1434051/highlights/118800378 ——— ©2015 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Visit The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) at www.gazette.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC _____ Topics: t000046469,t000003183,t000048049,t000002953,t000044134,t000047707,t000138183,t000047682,t000047680,t000015426,t000015427,t000391285,t000391277,t000003195,t000158122,t000007139,t000007067,t000003194,t000007087,t000007133,t000007085,t000007089,t000007151,t000040517,g000362661,g000065562,g000066164,g000065596,g000065577,g000211818,g000065594,g000065566,g000222672,g000224461,g000225379,g000065627,g000220552
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Stanford coach David Shaw, a wide receiver in his playing days with the Cardinal, was effusive in his praise of the three receivers who signed with the Cardinal on Wednesday.Parade's first team All-Americans JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Trenton Irwin topped the 22-player recruiting class for Stanford. Jay Tyler, who scored 127 touchdowns during his high school career in...
Receivers top Stanford's recruiting list
Associated Press | Feb 4, 2015STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Stanford coach David Shaw, a wide receiver in his playing days with the Cardinal, was effusive in his praise of the three receivers who signed with the Cardinal on Wednesday. Parade's first team All-Americans JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Trenton Irwin topped the 22-player recruiting class for Stanford. Jay Tyler, who scored 127 touchdowns during his high school career in Louisiana, also signed. "He has ridiculous catch range," Shaw said of Arcega-Whiteside. "Guys can be pushing him or bumping him and anything close to him, he'll get." Shaw called Irwin "a special route runner. I told him he was the best route runner in the nation in high school. He's a guy you can't cover." The Cardinal also picked up safety Justin Reid, whose older brother, Eric, plays for the San Francisco 49ers. Former 49ers and Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, now at Michigan, unsuccessfully recruited Eric to Stanford, who chose to remain in state and attended LSU. "I'm not surprised," Shaw said. "We knew we had a good chance. But he and his brother are great students. He came on a visit and had a blast." Shaw called Justin underrated as a safety. Ben Edwards, one of the top-rated safeties in the nation out of Florida, also chose Stanford. Two players — fullback Houston Heimuli and linebacker Gabe Reid — signed but will go on Mormon missions before enrolling in 2017. Linebacker Sean Barton will enroll with this class after originally signing in 2013 and going on his mission. Defensive tackle Wesley Annan and defensive end Dylan Jackson may be on the field as freshmen. Shaw acknowledged Stanford is "not deep there" and recruited the position out of need. "I'm impressed with how mature this class is," Shaw said. "There are guys who are physically ready for college football. There's a chance for these guys to play." Brian Chaffin, a center out of North Carolina, was the first to send in his signed letter, which arrived in the Stanford football offices shortly after 5 a.m. "He's a ringleader," Shaw said of Chaffin. "He's vocal, he's outgoing and talks to everybody. He was in the middle of everything with the other recruits." Overall, the Cardinal signed 11 offensive players, four of them linemen, 10 defensive players and a punter. ___ STANFORD Top 25 Class: Rivals ranks Stanford 19th, Scout has them No. 25. Best in class: Trenton Irwin, WR, Hart, Valencia, California. Best of the rest: Nick Wilson, OG, Milton (Ga.) High Late addition: Quenton Meeks, CB, Del Norte, San Diego One that got away: Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, committed to Norte Dame on signing day.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia leaned on its Florida connections and landed some familiar names in its 2015 football recruiting class.Six of the 21 recruits signed by the Mountaineers on Wednesday are from the Sunshine State.That includes offensive lineman Jah'Shaun Seider of Glades Central High School in Belle Glade. He's the younger brother of WVU running backs coach JaJuan Seider.Two...
WVU leans on Florida connections for football signings
By JOHN RABY, Associated Press | Feb 4, 2015CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia leaned on its Florida connections and landed some familiar names in its 2015 football recruiting class. Six of the 21 recruits signed by the Mountaineers on Wednesday are from the Sunshine State. That includes offensive lineman Jah'Shaun Seider of Glades Central High School in Belle Glade. He's the younger brother of WVU running backs coach JaJuan Seider. Two other recruits are from south Florida's Miramar High School, where WVU assistant coach Damon Cogdell was a longtime head coach. Tight end-fullback recruit Stone Wolfley of nearby Morgantown High is the son of Dale Wolfley, an offensive lineman on the 1988 West Virginia team that lost to eventual national champion Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. While second-team All-American receiver Kevin White is gone, the Mountaineers signed his brother, Ka'Raun White, out of Pennsylvania's Lackawanna Community College. Five quarterbacks will participate in spring practice for the chance to go after the starting job of the departed Clint Trickett. "It's all about competition," coach Dana Holgorsen said. "If you want guys to get better, then they have to have guys to compete against. I think all five are going to be eager to compete." Among them is David Sills V, who earned some notoriety at age 13 when, according to his father, he received a nonbinding offer from Lane Kiffin at Southern California. Sills was a seventh-grader in Delaware in February 2010. His father, David Sills IV, had talked to Kiffin on the phone after the coach told the younger Sills he'd like to have him come to USC. Kiffin was fired during the 2013 season and is now the offensive coordinator at Alabama. Sills missed most of last season with a broken ankle at Eastern Christian Academy in Elkton, Maryland. He is among three recruits already enrolled in classes at WVU, along with Michigan transfers Kyle Bosch and Michael Ferns. ___ Top 25 Class: No. Best in class: DB Rasul Douglas, 6-2, 197, Nassau (N.Y.) CC. Best of the rest: DB Tyrek Cole and WR Jovon Durante, teammates at Miramar High. Late addition: DE Xavier Pegues of Itawamba (Miss.) CC. One that got away: WR-DB Shaquery Wilson signed with Georgia one week after flipping his commitment to West Virginia.
Wyoming's 2015 football recruiting class in alphabetical order, with position, height, weight and previous school:Josh Allen, qb, 6-5, 210, Reedley College, Calif.Skylor Clinton, de, 6-2, 225, Prescott (Ariz.) High SchoolDameko Doddles, wr, 6-2, 205, Douglass HS, Oklahoma City, Okla.Tavita Faaiu, de, 6-3, 245, City College of San FranciscoDavion Freeman, cb, 5-9, 175, Del City (Okla.)...
Wyoming's 2015 football signing list
By The Associated Press, Associated Press | Feb 4, 2015Wyoming's 2015 football recruiting class in alphabetical order, with position, height, weight and previous school: Josh Allen, qb, 6-5, 210, Reedley College, Calif. Skylor Clinton, de, 6-2, 225, Prescott (Ariz.) High School Dameko Doddles, wr, 6-2, 205, Douglass HS, Oklahoma City, Okla. Tavita Faaiu, de, 6-3, 245, City College of San Francisco Davion Freeman, cb, 5-9, 175, Del City (Okla.) HS Youhanna Ghaifan, dt, 6-4, 255, Central Catholic HS, Grand Island, Neb. Carl Granderson, de, 6-5, 185, Grant HS, Sacramento, Calif. Josh Harshman, lb, 6-3, 200, Natrona Co. HS Antonio Hull, cb, 5-10, 185, Diamond Bar (Calif.) HS Christian Irving, lb, 5-11, 195, American Heritage HS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Kaden Jackson, ol, 6-2, 265, Kingfisher (Okla.) HS Kevin Jackson, s, 6-3, 185, Nazareth Academy, LaGrange Park, Ill. C.J. Johnson, wr, 6-2, 180, Bellevue (Neb.) West HS Harry Momoh, lb, 5-11, 200, Hopkins HS, Minnetonka, Minn. Justice Murphy, wr, 6-0, 180, Evergreen HS, Vancouver, Wash. Kellen Overstreet, rb, 5-11, 200, Penney HS, Hamilton, Mo. Joseph Parker, wr, 5-10, 175, Cherry Creek HS, Castle Rock, Colo. James Price, wr, 6-2, 180, Camas (Wash.) HS Kevin Prosser, lb, 6-2, 205, Overland HS, Aurora, Colo. Zach Wallace, ol, 6-7, 265, Lake Zurich (Ill.) HS Jaylon Watson, lb, 6-0, 215, Broken Bow (Okla.) HS Logan Wilson, s, 6-1, 185, Natrona Co. HS Andrew Wingard, s, 6-0, 175, Ralston Valley HS, Arvada Colo.
Indiana signed 22 recruits Wednesday, but their most important additions may already be on campus.Running back Jordan Howard and receiver Marqui Hawkins enrolled in school in January after transferring from Alabama-Birmingham. They will be eligible immediately because the Blazers dropped their football program.Howard finished seventh in the Football Bowl Subdivision in yards rushing per game...
Indiana signs 22 recruits, adds 2 transfers in 2015 class
By MICHAEL MAROT, Associated Press | Feb 4, 2015Indiana signed 22 recruits Wednesday, but their most important additions may already be on campus. Running back Jordan Howard and receiver Marqui Hawkins enrolled in school in January after transferring from Alabama-Birmingham. They will be eligible immediately because the Blazers dropped their football program. Howard finished seventh in the Football Bowl Subdivision in yards rushing per game and is the likely replacement for Tevin Coleman, a first-team All-American. At 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Hawkins is a big, sure-handed receiver. Coach Kevin Wilson also improved his depth at quarterback, signing six players who played the position in high school. But the only projected to be there in college is Austin King, who threw for more than 4,400 yards in his final two seasons at Alpharetta High School in Georgia.
Feb 1, 2015
A chart recently went viral on the Internet showing that 42 of the 47 athletes coach Urban Meyer has recruited to Ohio State played multiple sports in high school. While there has been a shift in recent years from a parental perspective and from specialty trainers, Meyer’s idea that a multi-sport athlete tends to excel when he hones his focus on football in college is not new.
Football recruiting: Urban Meyer isn't the only one who prefers multi-sport athletes
BY SCOTT WRIGHT, Staff Writer | Feb 1, 2015A chart that recently went viral on the Internet showing that 42 of the 47 athletes coach Urban Meyer has recruited to Ohio State played multiple sports in high school has brought great attention to an ever-present question on high school campuses. Play all the sports you want, or narrow your focus on the one you want to play at the next level? When a three-time national championship-winning coach gives a glimpse of his personal recruiting strategies, it carries a lot of weight. While there has been a shift in recent years from a parental perspective, and from specialty trainers offering athletes the ability to emphasize one sport year-round, Meyer’s idea that a multi-sport athlete tends to excel when he hones his focus on football in college is not new. “Our goal from an evaluator standpoint was that you wanted to see them do something competitive with your own eyes,” said former Oklahoma State coach Pat Jones, who coached at the college level from 1975-1994. “So that might have to be another sport. In states where you didn’t have spring football, you’d have to go watch a kid play baseball or run track. “And it helps a kid to stay on his toes and keep on edge from a competitive standpoint year-round.” Training opportunities are more abundant and specific than they’ve ever been. And many athletes are choosing that route, hoping to sharpen their skills to be at their maximum level when college recruiters come around. And the benefits of such training are greater than they’ve ever been. College coaches aren’t turned off by a one-sport star, but a multi-sport player has more than one platform to present his skills. The story of Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops’ first encounter with running back DeMarco Murray has been told over and over, with Stoops’ interest being sparked by seeing a young Murray dunk a basketball. Jones recalls nearly giving up on his recruitment of defensive back Chris Rockins in 1980 until he saw that Rockins had long-jumped 24 feet during track season. Sam Bradford is Oklahoma’s patron saint of multi-sport athletes. He excelled at football, basketball, golf and hockey in high school at Putnam City North, but was considered a middle-of-the-pack recruit as a Big 12 quarterback. No one was predicting a Heisman Trophy and No. 1 overall NFL Draft choice in his future, but when he put the other sports aside, he flourished as a football player. One caveat exists in the multi-sport benefit theory — the athlete actually needs to be playing the other sports. “Basketball helps a football player’s feet, and track helps his explosiveness,” former PC North coach Bob Wilson said. “But if you’re gonna go ride the pine and you’re not gonna be able to contribute to that team, maybe you need to be in the weight room.” And amid all the debate, there’s something to be said for a child having the opportunity to enjoy the high school experience. “High school is such precious time for these guys and girls,” Tulsa defensive coordinator Bill Young said. “They need to play what they want to play. There’s plenty of time to lift weights and go to camps. But they really need to be able to enjoy those few years they’ve got in front of them as a high school student.”
Here’s what some well-known football coaches had to say about football players competing in other sports at the high school level.
What they're saying about multi-sport athletes and recruiting
BY SCOTT WRIGHT | Feb 1, 2015Here’s what some well-known football coaches had to say about football players competing in other sports at the high school level: Tulsa defensive coordinator Bill Young: “I had the pleasure of coaching Kelly Gregg at Oklahoma. I’ve never seen a player who used his hands as well as Kelly did, and you know it came from wrestling all those years. Barry Holleyman was a great basketball player at Putnam City North and I think that really helped his feet and agility as a defensive lineman at OU. It’s one of the first questions I ask when I recruit a kid — ‘What other sports does he play?’ I’ve always like multi-sport athletes. I think it helps them from a competitive standpoint.” Douglass coach Willis Alexander: “Playing other sports throughout the year teaches a kid to always compete. It keeps them at a competitive level all the time. High school sports is about teaching life lessons, and real life is everyday competition. You’ve got some parents who want their kids to specialize in one sport, and you’ve got some who just want to do whatever they want to do, and get good at whatever it is.” Former Putnam City North coach Bob Wilson: “I’m not sure how much it helps you when you get to the next level. When you get to that point and those kids decide they’re gonna play that particular sport, the weight programs are so strong and there’s a full-time weight coach. When you get to that level, the kid has to come in and dedicate to it and be working all the time. The consistency of doing all those things and staying competitive during high school is a good thing. I don’t know how much playing different sports in high school helps, but I think it’s important that they try to contribute if they can. Texas wide receivers coach Jay Norvell: “I love to see them play more sports. Kids that don't specialize, kids that play a lot of sports, improve more in college because now they're just focusing on one thing, and you can really see them make a huge jump. I expect him in this first year of college to make a huge jump of understanding how to play football at this level.” Former Oklahoma State coach Pat Jones: “Sometimes you can determine more about a kid athletically when he’s playing another sport, as far as flexibility and body control and all that kind of stuff. It’s almost more like watching a combine. From a competitive standpoint, you can tell some things from how they competed, how their body language was with their teammates and coaches.”
Jan 24, 2015
Even as the Chicago Cubs lost one game after another, Ernie Banks never lost hope.That was the charm of "Mr. Cub."Banks, the Hall of Fame slugger and two-time MVP who always maintained his boundless enthusiasm for baseball despite decades of playing on miserable teams, died Friday night. He was 83.The Cubs announced Banks' death, but did not provide a cause.Banks hit 512 home runs during his...
Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks dies at 83
By MIKE FITZPATRICK, Associated Press | Jan 24, 2015Even as the Chicago Cubs lost one game after another, Ernie Banks never lost hope. That was the charm of "Mr. Cub." Banks, the Hall of Fame slugger and two-time MVP who always maintained his boundless enthusiasm for baseball despite decades of playing on miserable teams, died Friday night. He was 83. The Cubs announced Banks' death, but did not provide a cause. Banks hit 512 home runs during his 19-year career and was fond of saying, "It's a great day for baseball. Let's play two." In fact, that sunny finish to his famous catchphrase adorns his statue outside Wrigley Field. "His joyous outlook will never be forgotten by fans of the Cubs and all those who love baseball," Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. And on a cold winter night Friday in Chicago, the ballpark marquee carried the sad news for the entire town to see: Ernie Banks. "Mr. Cub." 1931-2015. "Words cannot express how important Ernie Banks will always be to the Chicago Cubs, the city of Chicago and Major League Baseball. He was one of the greatest players of all time," Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said in a statement. "He was a pioneer in the major leagues. And more importantly, he was the warmest and most sincere person I've ever known." "Approachable, ever optimistic and kind hearted, Ernie Banks is and always will be Mr. Cub. My family and I grieve the loss of such a great and good-hearted man, but we look forward to celebrating Ernie's life in the days ahead." In a statement Saturday, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama expressed their condolences "to the family of Ernie Banks, and to every Chicagoan and baseball fan who loved him." The president said Banks became known as much for his optimism and love of the game as his home runs and back-to-back National League MVPs. "As a Hall-of-Famer, Ernie was an incredible ambassador for baseball, and for the city of Chicago," President Obama said. "He was beloved by baseball fans everywhere, including Michelle, who, when she was a girl, used to sit with her dad and watch him play on TV. And in 2013, it was my honor to present Ernie with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. "Somewhere, the sun is shining, the air is fresh, his team's behind him, and Mr. Class — "Mr. Cub" — is ready to play two." Though he was an 11-time All-Star from 1953-71, Banks never reached the postseason. The Cubs, who haven't won the World Series since 1908, finished below .500 in all but six of his seasons and remain without a pennant since 1945. Still, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977, the first year he was eligible, and was selected to baseball's All-Century team in 1999. "After hitting his 500th home run, Ernie summed up his feelings by saying: 'The riches of the game are in the thrills, not the money.'" Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said in a statement. "That was the essence of Ernie Banks. There was no one who adored the Cubs and the city of Chicago more than Ernie." Banks' infectious smile and non-stop good humor despite his team's dismal record endeared him to Chicago fans, who voted him the best player in franchise history. One famous admirer, actor Bill Murray, named his son Homer Banks Murray. In 2013, Banks was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom — by Obama, a noted White Sox fan,. The award is one of the nation's highest civilian honors. "Ernie Banks was more than a baseball player. He was one of Chicago's greatest ambassadors. He loved this city as much as he loved — and lived for — the game of baseball," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "This year, during every Cubs game, you can bet that No. 14 will be watching over his team. And if we're lucky, it'll be a beautiful day for not just one ballgame, but two." Banks' No. 14 was the first number retired by the Cubs, and it hangs on a flag from the left-field foul pole at the old ballpark. "I'd like to get to the last game of the World Series at Wrigley Field and hit three homers," he once said. "That was what I always wanted to do." But even without an opportunity to play on the October stage, Banks left an indelible mark that still resonates with fans and athletes from all sports. "Ernie Banks... We are going to all miss you. #Legend," quarterback Russell Wilson tweeted as he and the Seattle Seahawks were getting ready to defend their Super Bowl title. Banks was playing for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues when the Cubs discovered him in 1953, and purchased his contract for $10,000. He made his major league debut at shortstop on Sept. 17 that year, and three days later hit his first home run. Tall and thin, Banks didn't look like a typical power hitter. He looked even less so as he stood at the plate, holding his bat high and wiggling it as he waited for pitches. But he had strong wrists and a smooth, quick stroke, and he made hitting balls out of the park look effortless. When he switched to a lighter bat before the 1955 season, his power quickly became apparent. He hit 44 homers that season, including three against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Aug. 4. His five grand slams that year established a major league record that stood for more than 30 years before Don Mattingly hit six in 1987. Banks' best season came in 1958, when he hit .313 with 47 homers and 129 RBIs. Though the Cubs went 72-82 and finished sixth in the National League, Banks edged Willie Mays and Hank Aaron for his first MVP award. He was the first player from a losing team to win the NL MVP. Banks won the MVP again in 1959, becoming the first NL player to win it in consecutive years, even though the Cubs had another dismal year. Banks batted .304 with 45 homers and a league-leading 143 RBIs. He led the NL in homers again in 1960 with 41, his fourth straight season with 40 or more. His 248 homers from 1955-60 were the most in the majors, topping even Aaron and Mays. "Mr Cub. What you have done for the game of baseball the city of Chicago and everyone you have ever touched will never be forgotten. RIP," tweeted Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Though Banks didn't break the 40-homer barrier again after 1960, he topped the 100-RBI mark three more times, including 1969, his last full season. Then 38, he hit .253 with 23 home runs and 106 RBIs, and was chosen an All-Star for an 11th time. On May 12, 1970, he hit his 500th home run at Wrigley Field, becoming only the eighth player at the time to reach the plateau. Banks retired after the 1971 season. He owned most of the Cubs' career slugging records, some of which still stand today. Known mostly for his power at the plate, Banks was a solid fielder, too. He is best known as a shortstop, where he won a Gold Glove in 1960, but he switched to first base in 1962. He played 1,259 games at first and 1,125 games at shortstop. Born and raised in Dallas, Banks would be bribed to play catch by his father, who always wanted him to be a baseball player. Banks grew to love the game and was a standout in high school, along with participating in football, basketball and track and field. He joined a barnstorming Negro Leagues team at 17 and was spotted by Cool Papa Bell, who signed him to the Monarchs in 1950. Banks played one season before going into the Army. He returned to Kansas City after he was discharged, playing one more season before joining the Cubs. "He was one of the great crossover baseball players of his day," the Rev. Jesse Jackson said. "His personality was a racial bridge builder. He treated all people with dignity and respect. He never stopped reaching out to bridge the racial chasms."
Jan 14, 2015
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Of the four quarterbacks still playing on championship weekend, Seattle's Russell Wilson is the outlier in terms of style.Tom Brady, Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers all have their quarterbacking foundations built around being pocket passers first. Luck and Rodgers — when healthy — both bring an element of mobility, but it's not their forte.Wilson? Well, good luck defining the...
In weekend of traditional passers, Russell Wilson stands out
By TIM BOOTH, Associated Press | Jan 14, 2015RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Of the four quarterbacks still playing on championship weekend, Seattle's Russell Wilson is the outlier in terms of style. Tom Brady, Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers all have their quarterbacking foundations built around being pocket passers first. Luck and Rodgers — when healthy — both bring an element of mobility, but it's not their forte. Wilson? Well, good luck defining the way he operates. "He doesn't fit the mold of anything I thought previously would be a franchise quarterback. I think he still gets a lot of hate and discredit because we don't throw the ball that often. However, what he's asked to do in this offense he does it extremely well," Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin said. Headed into Sunday's NFC championship game against Green Bay, Wilson's postseason achievements can't be disputed even if he doesn't fit any preconceived notions. After six playoff games — five of them victories — Wilson has the highest passer rating in NFL history with a minimum of 150 attempts. Wilson's mark of 109.6 is at the top. He's one of five players in league history with a playoff passer rating of 100 or above. The others are: Rodgers, Bart Starr, Kurt Warner and Drew Brees. "I think one of the things that definitely allows me to play well is the guys around me. I've got great guys around me, guys that want to work every day, guys that are devoted to being successful and no matter what it takes," Wilson said. "I think that when you're in those moments, you either live for them or you fall off." Last week saw Wilson at his finest. He needed just 22 pass attempts to throw for 268 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged more than 12 yards per pass attempt and threw two of the finest touch passes of his career. He dropped a 16-yard TD into the arms of Baldwin, letting go of the pass before Baldwin even made his break. Then in the second quarter, Wilson stayed in the pocket and tossed a deep ball to Jermaine Kearse for a 63-yard touchdown that gave the Seahawks a 14-7 lead. "For the most part he knows how to put touch on the ball and a lot of quarterbacks don't know how to do that," said Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon, who is part of Seattle's radio broadcast team. "He knows how to make all the different throws. That ball to Jermaine Kearse is the best touch you'll ever see." Wilson's performance against Carolina also countered a season where his best games were not at home. In the regular season, Wilson threw six touchdowns and six interceptions at home versus 14 TDs and one interception on the road. The three touchdown passes were a new playoff best and the 268 yards passing his second-best. Wilson's timing was crisp and his throws came in rhythm. "He gets the advantage that he gives us and kind of the variety of ways that we throw the football," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "It really adds to it, and he's just kind of taken off with it, and it's a beautiful part of our game as it starts to emerge." There's also the matter of how Wilson plays when it matters most. He already owns 14 career comebacks in 54 regular-season and playoff games combined. "Whenever I talk to him, that's all he talks about, is living for those situations. I don't know if it all started back in high school or whatever but he just loves the big time of a game. He wants the ball in his hands. I think he would rather be behind sometimes and have the ball in his hands and be able to go down the field and win the football game," Moon said. "With this team it's not always like that, but he's had as many comebacks as anyone in the game the short time he's been in the game. He loves that. He loves those moments. Has he been successful on every one of them? No. Did Michael Jordan hit every game-winning shot? No. But he wins more of them than he loses and that's because he likes it and he lives for it." ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Jan 13, 2015
On Monday night, when the Yukon School Board voted to approve Sauser’s promotion to head coach, replacing Bill Young, who left to become the defensive line coach at SMU but has since been hired as the defensive coordinator at Tulsa.
Yukon football: New Millers coach Brian Sauser turned around two programs in Iowa
BY SCOTT WRIGHT, Staff Writer | Jan 13, 2015YUKON — Yukon athletic director David Fisher knew that Bill Young wasn’t going to be a long-term solution as the Millers’ head football coach. So when Fisher and Young hired Brian Sauser as the team’s offensive coordinator 10 months ago, Sauser was viewed as someone who could potentially take over the team someday. “Someday” arrived Monday night, when the Yukon School Board voted to approve Sauser’s promotion to head coach, replacing Young, who left to become the defensive line coach at SMU but has since been hired as the defensive coordinator at Tulsa. “We knew the colleges would keep calling for Coach Young,” Fisher said. “One of the most important components of a successful program is consistency. We went from Todd Wilson two years ago, to Bill Young last season. With Coach Sauser having already installed his offense, this allows us to maintain some consistency of philosophy and terminology within the program.” However, Fisher didn’t simply promote Sauser for the purpose of consistency. Sauser is a mostly unfamiliar name around Oklahoma, but was a successful head coach in Iowa, being named the Mississippi Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2012 and 2013 in his last two years at Iowa City West High School. Iowa City West was 0-9 in 2008, his first season, and won the conference title in each of his final three seasons there with a 28-6 overall record. His offense averaged 44.3 points per game over those three seasons. Prior to that, he helped Muscatine (Iowa) High School to six playoff appearances in seven seasons — four as offensive coordinator and three as head coach. The school had been to the playoffs just once in its history before his arrival. He is also certified to teach special education, and has served in administrative roles, two qualities that made him appealing at Yukon as well. He will serve as assistant athletic director, and his wife works in the school district as a special education teacher. “He turned two programs around in Iowa, and is valuable to us as a football coach and assistant athletic director,” Fisher said. “We’re thankful to have him.” Sauser was attracted to this region of the country last year because of the deeper commitment to high school football. “There’s some really good high school football in Iowa,” Sauser said. “I’ve had 13 players go on to play Division I football. But at the same time, when you’re not from here, you look at Oklahoma and other southern states differently. It’s a whole different level commitment-wise.” Yukon overcame a 1-3 start to finish 4-6, missing the playoffs via the district points tiebreaker in its first season in Class 6A-I, which puts them ahead of where Sauser’s Iowa programs were when he took them over. “Yukon has been in the middle range — certainly not at the bottom, and trying to take that next step toward the top,” Sauser said. “Our goal is to win a state championship, just like everyone else. “The last six weeks since football season ended, the intensity of our players in the weight room has been incredible. They’re really frustrated with the way things ended and ready to make themselves better. It’s hard to believe what has taken place in the last 12 months to get me in this position. It’s a unique and outstanding opportunity for me.”
Jan 6, 2015
Mason Rudolph’s emergence as OSU’s starting quarterback raises questions about Walsh’s future moving forward. Walsh’s father, John Walsh, says “He’s locked in, 100 percent.”
Oklahoma State football: All signs point to quarterback J.W. Walsh remaining a Cowboy
By Kyle Fredrickson, Staff Writer | Jan 6, 2015About an hour before kickoff at the Cactus Bowl on Friday night, J.W. Walsh was snagging balls and slinging passes alongside Mason Rudolph during warmups. One: a former third-stringer in pads, about to lead Oklahoma State to a 30-22 win against Washington. The other: a former starter in sweats, likely thankful to simply jog without a limp. Was this the final game these Oklahoma State quarterbacks would be teammates? Entering next season, Rudolph is seemingly locked into the starting role after closing the year with consecutive upset victories. Walsh is set to receive his diploma this spring. If he enrolled in a graduate program that OSU doesn’t offer at another Division-I football school this fall, he would be immediately eligible to play. It’s the same NCAA rule that allowed former N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson jump to Wisconsin without sitting out a year in 2011. That’s naturally led to questions about Walsh’s future with the team. Walsh hasn’t spoken with reporters since suffering a season-ending right foot injury Sept. 6 against Missouri State. But ask those around Walsh, pay attention to the social media clues and the answer seems clear. All signs point to Walsh remaining a Cowboy. “He’s locked in, 100 percent,” said John Walsh, J.W.’s father and head football coach at Denton Guyer High School (Texas). “Working toward helping Oklahoma State win a Big 12 championship. Period.” The feeling is apparently mutual with OSU coach Mike Gundy. He addressed Walsh’s status in the week leading up the bowl game. “His role is very important to our team,” Gundy said. “We all have to have players that can make plays on Saturdays in order to have success. But there's also a role for young men that want to be a part of a team and compete. There's a trust factor. They're tough. They understand the system. They love Oklahoma State football. He falls in that category. We're looking forward to him getting healthy and competing again.” This season has been yet another injury-marked chapter of Walsh’s Cowboy career. He missed three games in 2012 with a knee issue. He started in just five games in 2013 through competition with Clint Chelf and Wes Lunt. And two weeks into this season, Walsh was out once again. “It’s been up-and-down because of the injuries for him and the Walsh clan,” John Walsh said. “We understand it’s part of the game.” Since Walsh was a 2011 mid-year enrollee, he’s been praised by teammates and coaches for work ethic. Gundy went as far to say that he “pushes everybody on the team because he works harder than anybody. He always had.” But unfortunately for Walsh, much of that leadership has taken place in the locker room, and this season specifically, in the weight room. Because Walsh was forced off his feet immediately following surgery, he changed his workout focus to specific muscle groups. “He looks like a linebacker now, he spent so much time in the weight room working on his upper body while his foot improved,” Gundy said. Added John Walsh: “I think it’s a mixture of spending more time in there in the fall and hitting that age of 22 and kind of getting that grown-man muscle on you.” Those comments might have fans wondering what Walsh’s role will be next year — possibly outside quarterback. Gundy says Walsh, “understands defense,” and his measurables stack up with departing senior star linebacker Josh Furman: Furman: 6-foot-2 and 202 pounds Walsh: 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds Or maybe running back. Remember this Walsh rush against Florida State in the opener? . . Gundy won’t face those questions until his next press conference, which might not take place for another month around signing day (Feb. 4). However, defensive tackle James Castleman’s play on offense against UW shows Gundy is willing to swap personnel if the situation fits. But consider this: Three different quarterbacks started for OSU this season. Two in 2013. Three in 2012. Walsh likely won’t get the starting nod week one next season when the Cowboys travel to face Central Michigan. But if the quarterback instability trend continues, he could find himself right back in the mix. Also, with a medical redshirt likely on the way, Walsh might still have two years of eligibility left. Regardless of what happens next, John Walsh said he’s “a huge Cowboy fan.” For reasons that go well beyond just football. “It’s obviously a little disappointing it happened so early and he had to miss so much,” John Walsh said. “I’ve always been thankful for how the program has treated him back, starting with coach Gundy … We’ve been extremely happy through it all. Not many folks can say that, I think, when you go down a couple times with injuries.” These Twitter posts suggest he still feels right at home. . Great win! Coach Gundy you are still the man! Proud to be in the same QB room as Mason Rudolph! — JW Walsh (@john_walsh4) December 7, 2014 . Iron sharpens Iron, so one cowboy sharpens another! Very proud. pic.twitter.com/uNbOTL7MCu — Michael Yurcich (@myurcich) January 3, 2015 . “Just the way the program is run up there, and how he loves it, it just makes us feel real appreciative of what he has,” John Walsh said.
Oklahoma State football: Recent improvement paired with new crop of competition might provide needed offensive line depthJan 4, 2015
Entering the 2015 season, offensive line coach Bob Connelly will have a large group he recruited competing with players who have clearly bought into his system
Oklahoma State football: Recent improvement paired with new crop of competition might provide needed offensive line depth
By Kyle Fredrickson, Staff Writer | Jan 4, 2015From October to November, the crux of Oklahoma State’s five-game losing streak was a reflected in two statistical categories: rushing and sacks allowed. The Cowboys’ averaged just three yards per carry and quarterback Daxx Garman was sacked 19 times. Those numbers highlighted OSU’s woeful offensive line play and it had right tackle Zach Crabtree — who missed three of those losses with injury — searching for answers. “We knew we could be something,” he said. “We knew we could be a lot better than we were playing.” In consecutive victories, it seems Crabtree and the Cowboys have found their solution. Against a Washington defensive front that includes three All-Americans, Desmond Roland ran for a season-high 127 yards. His production forced the Huskies to respect the run and allowed the Cowboy offense to flourish in ways it hadn’t in months with 473 total yards. “Credit the offensive line,” quarterback Mason Rudolph said. “We ran the ball so well early, they were kind of on their heels … we were able to keep them guessing whether it was pass or run.” It even aided the OSU defense. “The offense was able to use some of the clock, but also move the ball and score,” coach Mike Gundy said. “Allow (the defense) to make some adjustments and reset.” That improvement up front stemmed from a variety of factors. Rudolph’s mobility and knack for keeping plays alive has alleviated pressure. Zac Veatch’s move from guard to blocking tight end, Crabtree’s return and continued improvement across the unit has also helped. “It just took time,” Crabtree said, “and eventually, it clicked.” Moving forward is where it gets even more interesting. The Cowboys return Veatch and all but one player (senior left guard Chris Grisbhy) from the group that started against Washington. But OSU has loaded up with offensive linemen for its 2015 recruiting class because it was seen as such a significant need. The Cowboys added junior college transfer tackles Brandon Pertile (Mesa CC, Ariz.) and Matt Kellerman (Butler CC, Kan.) as mid-year enrollees in December, along with UAB transfer Victor Salako, another tackle. The Cowboys also have verbal commitments from three high school offensive linemen — Vaimoe Sekona (Crespi Carmelite, Calif.), Josh Jones (George Bush, Texas) and Johnny Wilson (Midland Christian, Texas) — and have their eyes on even more, including uncommitted four-star prospect Jalin Barnett (Lawton). Does addition of more than six newcomers seem a bit excessive considering where the unit stands after the Cactus Bowl victory? Maybe. But entering 2015, offensive line coach Bob Connelly will have a large group he recruited competing with players that clearly bought into his system. It should provide much-needed depth, especially from the transfers. It all has Crabtree looking forward to the future. He thinks it’s plenty bright for the offensive line. “There’s a little bit in the air that, ‘You know what? We’re here. We’re coming back. Oklahoma State football is going to get back to what it was,’” Crabtree said. “To end it how we did these last two games, there’s a lot of momentum for the future.”
Dec 26, 2014
OU coach Bob Stoops reported that doctors and trainers believed Romar to be fine but ordered X-rays as a precaution.
Oklahoma football notebook: Matt Romar leaves practice in ambulance
By Jason Kersey, Erik Horne and Berry Tramel | Dec 26, 2014OU defensive tackle Matt Romar suffered an apparent neck injury near the end of practice Friday. Romar was wheeled off Kroy Crofoot Field at First Academy High School in Orlando, Fla., and placed in an ambulance. OU coach Bob Stoops reported that doctors and trainers believed Romar to be fine but ordered X-rays as a precaution. Romar, a promising redshirt freshman from Port Arthur (Texas) Memorial, had nine tackles this season with one sack. STRIKER: NO FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS OU linebacker Eric Striker said he didn’t see former Sooner Tony Jefferson’s recent advice on staying in school. Jefferson declared for the NFL Draft after his junior season, then went undrafted. But Striker appreciates it. “I mean, yeah, Tony’s been there,” Striker said. “And a lot of guys have been there. And you see the draft from last year. A lot of juniors didn’t get picked up. So you’ve got to be real conscious. This is a big life decision you’re making, you know what I mean? “For Tony to come out and say that, not just here at Oklahoma but at every university, juniors should think about that. Because he was in a bad situation. And it sucked for him. The fact that he said that, I have to take that into account. That’s him reaching out to us, just being truthful and honest. I appreciate him for that.” Striker said his decision won’t be based on financial considerations. “Nah, nah,” Striker said. “No, my family can take care of themselves. I don’t have any kids. I’m not in that type of situation. I enjoy college life. Like I said, the NFL is a dream. When it comes down to it, I’ve got to make the best decision for me.” MCSHAY: BOWL FILLED WITH NFL TALENT The OU-Clemson matchup might not have the luster of the College Football Playoff games, but it'll still have its share of NFL caliber talent. ESPN college football analyst Todd McShay ranked college football's remaining bowl games based on NFL talent. He leads with the Rose Bowl between Oregon and Florida State, which features 16 players who could be drafted in 2015. Checking in at No. 7 is the Russell Athletic Bowl, where McShay says “you should keep an eye on the line of scrimmage,” and that there are four players on each team that currently have draftable grades: “The Sooners have a pair of second-round offensive tackles in Daryl Williams and Tyrus Thompson. Williams is the higher-graded of the two and is more consistent and powerful, while Thompson is a more natural athlete who needs to remove some inconsistencies from his game. “The entire Oklahoma O-line will have its hands full with the Clemson D-line, starting with DE/OLB Vic Beasley. He's a difference-maker as a pass-rusher whose first-step quickness and closing speed are near elite.” ANDREWS ADAPTING TO TIGHT END OU freshman Mark Andrews signed with the Sooners as a four-star wide receiver prospect, but has been working at tight end while redshirting this season. The 6-foot-6, 236-pounder from Scottsdale, Ariz., was the 25th-ranked wide receiver — and the 176th-ranked overall player — in the 2014 recruiting class, according to Rivals. Senior Blake Bell, who switched to tight end from quarterback during the last offseason, said he’s been impressed with Andrews’ progress. “From what I saw in the very beginning to now, he’s definitely getting a lot better blocking and (with) technique,” Bell said. “He’s got four more years, so that’s going to help him a lot. Coach (Jay) Boulware will do a great job of teaching him all that stuff.” NO DGB IN FLORIDA Quarterback transfer Baker Mayfield is with the Sooners on the bowl trip, but wide receiver transfer Dorial Green-Beckham is not. The reason? NCAA rules. Ineligible players cannot travel, but since Mayfield transferred from Texas Tech in January, he has completed two full semesters. Thus when the fall semester ended, he was eligible to travel, though he cannot play in the bowl game. But since Green-Beckham transferred from Missouri in the summer, he’s completed just one semester at OU and thus could not be part of the traveling party. SANCHEZ WAXES NOSTALGIC OU cornerback Zack Sanchez grew sentimental as he talked about playing one final game with some of his senior teammates. “Some of the guys that I’ve been around with since I’ve got here, like Rashod (Favors) and Julian (Wilson), and this is the last time we’ll be together as teammates,” Sanchez. “This has been a special week for us. Me and Shod went to see a movie last night. Spending the week with him, he’s been like the big brother to me since I’ve stepped foot on campus. It’s been good to spend this last week with the guys, away from home and playing football.” Sanchez and Favors both are from Fort Worth, Texas. CLEMSON TO WEAR STICKERS Clemson helmets will be adorned with two special stickers for the game. The Russell Athletic Bowl will provide a sticker. The second sticker will commemorate the 75-year anniversary of Clemson’s first bowl game, a 6-3 victory in the Cotton Bowl over Boston College and legendary coach Frank Leahy.
A brutal hit while having a punt blocked sidelined San Diego's Mike Scifres with a broken left collarbone.In came placekicker Nick Novak, charged with one of the most important roles in special teams. He hadn't punted since high school and barely practices it as a pro.Yet he was more than comfortable with the challenge."I can do it," Novak said after punts of 27, 33, 45, 51, 46 and 38 yards in...
Placekickers who punt, punters who place-kick
By BARRY WILNER, Associated Press | Dec 24, 2014A brutal hit while having a punt blocked sidelined San Diego's Mike Scifres with a broken left collarbone. In came placekicker Nick Novak, charged with one of the most important roles in special teams. He hadn't punted since high school and barely practices it as a pro. Yet he was more than comfortable with the challenge. "I can do it," Novak said after punts of 27, 33, 45, 51, 46 and 38 yards in the loss to New England on Dec. 7. "I can't do it on Mike's level, but I feel I can certainly get the job done. The pressure's not there, because I'm sure the expectation is, just catch it and kick it and get it out. ... If you mess up, 'Well, he doesn't punt.' If he does well, it's more of a 'Wow' kind of thing. "There really was no pressure there." Ah, but usually there is tons of pressure on a placekicker replacing a punter in a game, and vice versa. The only similarities between the jobs are that both players make a living with their foot, and their specialties are critical to field position and scoring. Because there are so many differences in the mechanics of each job, rarely do the kickers and punters practice the other's role. "Punting's very linear, and your swing is more straight up and through the ball," explained Minnesota field goal kicker Blair Walsh. "Kicking, you're coming around it a little bit more and you're worried about a plant." Still, as a pro, Walsh has studied what the Vikings' Jeff Locke and other NFL punters do, and believes he could handle the assignment. He even spends some time on Fridays working on punting. "You could use the similarities between the two, whether it's locking your foot out or having an explosive motion through it," he said, adding that "overdoing it" must be avoided. "There's definitely similarities you could carry over to each position to make you successful at both," Walsh said. "I've been around it long enough where I've seen a lot of good punters do the right technique, so you sort of emulate it a little bit in your mind. "But I think the biggest thing would just be getting used to the live rush coming at you." Indeed, the rush to get to the punter is a sprint, entirely different and probably more dangerous than attempts to block field goals. While NFL coaching staffs and personnel people try to account for all situations, an in-game injury or illness to a placekicker or punter often falls outside their preparation. San Diego was extremely fortunate that Novak was so successful; the Chargers have a similar history because Scifres did the placement work in the 2011 opener when Nick Kaeding injured his knee. That's also how Novak wound up in San Diego. Generally, though, it's a desperate spot when one of those guys goes down in a game. "I was 70 percent in college, which is plenty enough to get you cut in the NFL," Saints punter Thomas Morstead said of his placekicking. "But I'd be a very serviceable backup, I would think, if they need me in a pinch. "I can kick it a long ways, but whether it goes between the sticks, you know. ..." There's the rub. "They're so different, but I'm going to say it's probably more difficult filling in as a field goal kicker just because there's not much room for error," Jets punter Ryan Quigley said. "Punting, you've got the whole field to work with. It's like, when you're punting, you can just say, 'OK, we're going to punt it down the middle and hopefully it stays in bounds and you get a good 40 yards out of it.'" Punters and placekickers find good reasons not to practice the other guy's art. San Francisco's Phil Dawson, now in his 16th season making field goals and extra points, works on punting occasionally. He notes "the more I do it, the worse I get." But he points out with a sharp jab that punter Andy Lee trying Dawson's specialty "would be worse." Some teams even had other players as the backup punter or placekicker. On the Saints, it's second-string quarterback Luke McCown behind Morstead. For Philadelphia, wide receiver Riley Cooper backs up placekicker Cody Parkey. Perhaps the patron saint of replacement kickers is Craig Hentrich, who punted for 16 NFL seasons. Hentrich was a standout at both jobs at Notre Dame, won a Super Bowl as a punter with Green Bay and played in another with Tennessee. He went 3 for 3 on field goals of 49, 34 and 33 yards in the 2003 opener after placekicker Joe Nedney suffered a season-ending knee injury. Hentrich hadn't made a field goal since 1995. "I've seen some punters, actually, step in and have good games kicking when the kicker went down. The most noticeable I've ever seen is ... Hentrich," Saints placekicker Shayne Graham said. "But he was also a respected kicker at Notre Dame in college because he did both, so he had the background for it." Nobody does both in the NFL anymore, except in a pinch. So if Quigley gets called on to replace Folk during Sunday's finale, what's his philosophy? "Shoot, I'd tell them to back it up and put me out there from anywhere," he said with a laugh. "Nah, that's the way I think because I'd just crank it and use my leg strength. But who knows where it's going? ___ AP Pro Football Writers Teresa M. Walker, Dave Campbell and Rob Maaddi, and Sports Writers Janie McCauley, Joe Kay, Dennis Waszak Jr., Bernie Wilson and Brett Martel contributed to this story. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Dec 21, 2014
Here’s a look at what our staff considers some of the top games, moments and surprises of the 2014 season.
A look back at the best of the 2014 Oklahoma high school football season
BY SCOTT WRIGHT, JACOB UNRUH AND TRENT SHADID | Dec 21, 2014Another high school football season has come to a close, and The Oklahoman will be announcing its All-State and All-City teams throughout the day Monday on NewsOK.com. To go with that, here’s a look at what our staff considers some of the top games, moments and surprises of the 2014 season: Best moment Scott Wright: Mustang’s playoff win at Broken Arrow. Sure, it wasn’t a championship, and it wasn’t even a win over one of the two teams that every Class 6A team desperately wants to beat — Jenks and Tulsa Union. But it was big. In 6A-I, it was the only win by an OKC-area team over a Tulsa-area team in 29 attempts. And it set the tone for what Mustang is trying to build at the largest high school outside of the four Tulsa-area mammoths. Jacob Unruh: Heritage Hall coach Andy Bogert winning one last championship in his final game before retirement. The win capped an impressive and impactful career with the Chargers that included four total gold balls. He also leaves as the school's all-time wins leader. Trent Shadid: Bixby and Lawton MacArthur winning state titles. Bixby (6A-II) and Lawton MacArthur (5A) finally brought home long-awaited championships this season, ending the state’s longest winless streaks in title games. The Spartans’ 35-21 win over Lawton gave them their first crown in eight trips, and the Highlanders’ 39-12 rout of Skiatook was their first championship win in seven tries. Best game Scott Wright: I wish I had been in the stadium for Lawton MacArthur’s 50-49 overtime victory against McAlester in the Class 5A semifinals. Considering the circumstances, I think it’s clearly the game of the year. As for the best one I witnessed, Heritage Hall’s 53-42 win over Locust Grove is the topper. Locust Grove QB Mason Fine and WR Jason Pirtle were setting ridiculous records, but Heritage Hall rallied from 11 down for the win. Jacob Unruh: There were a few games I didn't see in person this season that could top this list, but nothing tops the Class 5A playoff opening weekend for me in which I saw two equally fun games. First, Lawton MacArthur nearly exited in the first round despite a huge lead against Carl Albert. The Titans' rally only fell short thanks to a personal foul late in the game. The next night, fourth-seeded Del City upset Deer Creek on a last-minute drive by junior quarterback Terry Wilson. Doesn't get much better than that in one week. Trent Shadid: Westmoore 48, Norman North 41. In this Week 3 non-district contest, the Jaguars and Timberwolves combined to score 33 points in the final three minutes. OSU signee John Kolar kept Norman North in the game with 355 passing yards, but Westmoore QB Bryson Lee gave the Jaguars a win by scoring his fifth touchdown of the game with 42 seconds remaining. Biggest surprise Scott Wright: Only two repeat performances. The 2013 season was unique in that all eight state champions were undefeated. Seven of them began 2014 as the preseason No. 1 in their respective classes. Yet only two — Jenks and Davis — were still standing atop their respective classes at the end of the year. Only four of the eight reigning champs even reached the finals. Jacob Unruh: There were plenty of surprises this season, but Alex upsetting Laverne in the Class B championship stands out. Kyler Thornburg had an incredible night helping his team end what was the state's longest winning streak. Trent Shadid: Thomas’ 28-0 win over Cashion in the Class A title game. It wasn’t a complete surprise to see Thomas beat Cashion to win the Class A state title. But the way the Terriers’ defense dominated an offense averaging 50 points per game was a shocker. The shutout loss was the Wildcats’ first since Week 1 of 2011.
BATESVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Lyon College will play its first football game in more than 60 years on Aug. 29, 2015.Lyon is restarting its football program that was discontinued in 1951.The first game will be at home against Tabor College followed by a second home game on Sept. 5 against Lindsey Wilson College. All homes games will be played at Batesville High School.Other home games will be Oct. 3...
Lyon College release first football schedule
Associated Press | Dec 4, 2014BATESVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Lyon College will play its first football game in more than 60 years on Aug. 29, 2015. Lyon is restarting its football program that was discontinued in 1951. The first game will be at home against Tabor College followed by a second home game on Sept. 5 against Lindsey Wilson College. All homes games will be played at Batesville High School. Other home games will be Oct. 3 against Bacone College; Oct. 24 against Oklahoma Panhandle State; Oct. 31 against Langston University; and the regular season finale on Nov. 14 against Wayland Baptist University. Road games will be at Hendrix College; South Dakota School of Mines and Technology; Southwestern Assemblies of God University; Arizona Christian University; and Texas College.
Nov 28, 2014
Houston quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick finally shaved the bushy and overgrown beard he'd been sporting the entire season this week.And on the day he debuted his closely trimmed facial hair, he scolded reporters for not telling him how terrible his old look was."I'm kind of mad you guys didn't tell me I looked like that," he said. "I finally had time to look in the mirror and thought it was...
Fitzpatrick gets trim _ and job back
By The Associated Press, Associated Press | Nov 28, 2014Houston quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick finally shaved the bushy and overgrown beard he'd been sporting the entire season this week. And on the day he debuted his closely trimmed facial hair, he scolded reporters for not telling him how terrible his old look was. "I'm kind of mad you guys didn't tell me I looked like that," he said. "I finally had time to look in the mirror and thought it was disgusting and decided to trim it down a little bit." He said getting rid of the wild look was not an easy task. "We had to chop it down piece by piece," he said. "It was definitely a significant amount of time to take it off." He said a bonus of the change is that his young daughters aren't scared of him anymore. One of his sons remarked that he had "the longest neck in the world." Fitzpatrick, who was benched two games ago, will return to the starting lineup Sunday at Tennessee with Ryan Mallett out with a season-ending chest injury. Some wondered if he decided to get a new look to go with his fresh start on the field? "It was more just me getting tired with having to pick corn out of it," Fitzpatrick joked. "When I eat pancakes in the morning with the syrup and stuff, it would be there for days. My wife asks me, 'Did you have pancakes this morning?' (I say) 'No, it was four days ago.' No more of those questions, which will be good." I KNOW THAT GUY: Zach Mettenberger had an up-close view of Odell Beckham Jr. and his great hands at LSU. For the record, the Titans quarterback wasn't surprised by that three-fingered grab Beckham made Sunday night for the Giants. "Him and Jarvis (Landry) used to have some pretty cool ones at practice," Mettenberger said of his former teammates. "I knew he could do that." That was a loaded offense at LSU with Beckham, Landry, Mettenberger and Alfred Blue, who has been filling in for Arian Foster with the Texans. Mettenberger said it's cool to see them all having success now knowing they were all together a year ago. But for all the great catches Beckham made at LSU, Mettenberger said he hadn't seen anything like what the wide receiver did for Eli Manning. "He's a really special athlete," Mettenberger said. "Once in a generation really." Another Manning was very impressed, too. Peyton Manning studies film like he's cramming for the bar exam. He has a mental rolodex of all the plays and calls and games he's ever experienced or witnessed. And he's as big a student of the game as anybody in the NFL. He said of all the receptions etched in his memory bank, none beats Beckham's. "That's as fine a catch as I've seen," Manning said, before deadpanning: "I was watching it on TV and it's just what Newman graduates do. It's what happens." The Mannings and Beckham all attended Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans. MORE BECKHAM: Dallas cornerback Brandon Carr isn't the type to shy away from anything reporters want to ask him. But he hasn't taken kindly to questions about Beckham's spectacular catch, even if the Cowboys got a 31-28 win over the Giants last weekend. Carr was on the wrong side of history on the play, captured in the many images and the viral video stumbling to the ground as Beckham holds the ball in the fingertips of his fully outstretched right hand. "I don't really get into the hoopla with the media and whatever y'all be talking about," Carr said. "We won the game. In this league, you play long enough, you're on both sides of the fence. You're making plays, you get plays made on you." By the third question two days after the catch, Carr was on edge. "I won't address it anymore," he said. "If you all ask me, I'll just go lift weights in like three seconds." Coach Jason Garrett believes Carr will have the same short memory for Beckham's catch that he's had throughout a seven-year career. "He's a good football player," Garrett said. "The guys who are mentally strong enough to keep coming back and handle success themselves, but also handle the adversities that happen, are the ones that are the best players." RUNNING RUSSELL: Before the big NFC West showdown on Thanksgiving night won easily by Seattle, 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was comparing mobile, running Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to Barry Sanders. That's just how hard Wilson can be to stop when he keeps the ball himself. "When Wilson has the ball in his hand, he's like defending Barry Sanders with his quickness and speed and elusiveness," Fangio said. "He's a tough assignment. He's got more rushing yards than most of the running backs in the league." "Vic coached against Barry, too, back in the day," Carroll said. "I don't know if there's been a player that made a defensive coach or coordinator cringe more and tense up more. Because he could score from anywhere on the field. I think he's one of the great open-field guys that ever played this game. "I don't know if Russell's ready for that right now. Every now and then he gets out and makes a few yards and tries to get out of bounds without getting hit. That's not at all like Barry Sanders." Wilson ran for a team-high 73 yards on 10 carries in last week's 19-3 win against Arizona, averaging 7.3 yards per carry. Marshawn Lynch managed just 39 yards on 15 carries. ___ AP Pro Football Writers Barry Wilner and Arnie Stapleton and Sports Writers Janie McCauley, Schuyler Dixon and Teresa M. Walker contributed to this notebook. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
Nov 26, 2014
Will Johnson didn’t expect to hear from a program like Oklahoma for a long time. But after a whirlwind recruitment that went from initial contact to visit to commit in the span of less than a week, the 6-foot, 180-pound Johnson plans on being in Norman by January to get to work on earning a place in the Sooners’ secondary.
Oklahoma football: Sooners turn to junior college recruiting to shore up secondary
BY RYAN ABER, Staff Writer | Nov 26, 2014NORMAN — Will Johnson didn’t expect to hear from a program like Oklahoma for a long time. He thought it would come eventually, but the junior college cornerback from Baltimore expected to have to wait until even after signing day to get his chance. “Maybe after they didn’t get the guy that they really wanted,” Johnson said. “Maybe I’d be the fallback kind of guy.” But after a whirlwind recruitment that went from initial contact to visit to commit in the span of less than a week, the 6-foot, 180-pound Johnson plans on being in Norman by January to get to work on earning a place in the Sooners’ secondary. Oklahoma has struggled in the back end defensively and loses senior cornerback Julian Wilson and safety Quentin Hayes after this season. While Sooners’ coaches say they are confident in the young defenders coming up behind them, OU clearly needs an upgrade in the secondary. “It isn’t any indication that we’re not happy with the guys we have,” Sooner coach Bob Stoops said of the pursuit of junior college defensive backs. “We’re thin back there. We need more guys. In our league, the way people play, you’re gonna play five or six DBs a lot. We just need more guys back there.” At corner, the Sooners will return Zack Sanchez and Jordan Thomas next season. Sanchez has been a starter the last two seasons and Thomas — a true freshman — took over for Wilson after he suffered a broken thumb against Baylor. Outside of that, things are plenty uncertain. Junior Cortez Johnson, who started two games last season, finally dressed out again a couple weeks ago and then played a bit against Kansas. But Johnson doesn’t look like he’ll be a factor moving forward. Sophomore Dakota Austin looked like he might be a starter this season after playing in five games last year but has appeared in just four games. Stanvon Taylor played in 13 games, starting one, as a true freshman, but has been on the fringe of the Sooners’ rotation this year. Will Johnson is one of three defensive back commitments for the Sooners, joining high school cornerback P.J. Mbanasor of Pflugerville (Texas) Hendrickson and Midwest City safety Will Sunderland. Johnson will have three years to play in Norman. Out of high school in Baltimore — Johnson has known OU defensive end Charles Tapper for several years — he went to prep school in Atlanta before landing at Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y. There, he’s been focused on growth both as a player and a person. He had a sub-2.00 grade-point average coming out of high school, then barely missed qualifying out of prep school when his test scores fell just short. “It just came together — my weight, school work and recruiting,” Johnson said of his time at Monroe. And he said he won’t get complacent once he gets to a Division I campus. “A lot of guys, their mindset will change because they’ll feel like they’ve made it getting to another level,” Johnson said. “Going through this long journey, you can’t stop until you meet that goal. Failing so many times, you know it can happen again. Johnson doesn’t mind being seen as a last resort kind of player. “I didn’t mind being last on a guy’s recruiting board,” Johnson said. “I’m one of those guys who feeds off of being at the bottom. Being an underdog my whole life, it’s my life. I’m used to coming from the bottom anyway. “I’m a humble guy. I’m always going to stay grounded.”
Nov 21, 2014
Wood guided the Buffs to touchdowns on all eight offensive series he played, putting the game away early.
McAlester football: Dalton Wood accounts for five TDs as McAlester rips Del City
By Scott Wright | Nov 21, 2014DEL CITY — Dalton Wood’s future might be as a college tight end, but he’s still focused on the work he has left to do as a high school quarterback. Verbally committed to Oklahoma, the McAlester quarterback had three passing touchdowns and rushed for two more, while leading the third-ranked Buffaloes to a 56-8 rout of No. 9 Del City in the Class 5A quarterfinals Friday night at Kalsu Stadium. Wood guided the Buffs to touchdowns on all eight offensive series he played, putting the game away early. “We knew with bigger games against better teams, you can’t start slow,” the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Wood said. “You’ve got to get after them, and that’s when teams start quitting. “We knew Del City had some good athletes, so we knew we had to get on them. That’s when stuff goes right for you and wrong for them.” Contributing to the fast start, McAlester attempted four onside kicks in the first half, recovering two of them — one to start the game and one after taking a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter. But the primary goal of the onside kicks was to limit Del City kick returner Davion Freeman’s opportunities for big plays. He returned a kickoff for a touchdown in the Eagles’ upset of Deer Creek last week. “He’s a Division I kid back there,” McAlester coach Bryan Pratt said. “If you squib it, you give it to them about the 40, so I figured we might as well try it. Our kicker is really good at it.” Because of the two onside recoveries, McAlester promptly found itself leading 21-0 less than six minutes into the game, when Del City had run just four offensive plays. “I don’t think in all my years coaching that I’ve ever seen that, so give credit to them for trying it,” Del City coach Nick Warehime said. “We have about five guys back there who can really go, and they kept it away from them. “Our kids were ready to play. They were just a better team than us today.” Wood was sharp from the start, completing seven of his first nine passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns. He finished 15-of-26 for 287 yards and three scores, adding 70 rushing yards on seven attempts, with two touchdowns, playing only one series in the second half. On the other side, Del City junior quarterback Terry Wilson was 13-of-27 for 104 yards, scoring the Eagles’ only touchdown with an 8-yard rush in the third quarter. He was intercepted twice and had multiple on-point passes dropped by receivers. Del City concluded the season at 6-6. McAlester (11-1), making its fourth consecutive 5A semifinal appearance, advances to face top-ranked Lawton MacArthur, which defeated Collinsville 35-14 Friday night. The site of the game has not been officially announced, but is likely to be held at Choctaw. It will be a rematch of last year’s semifinal, which McAlester won 56-20.