OKC Patriots football
|5 - 7||4 - 2||1 - 5||.417||398||456|
|2013-08-30||vs||Windsor Hills||L||14 - 38|
|2013-09-06||@||Grandfield||L||26 - 54|
|2013-09-13||@||Destiny Christian||L||40 - 74|
|2013-09-20||@||Sunrise Christian||L||28 - 32|
|2013-09-27||vs||Wright Christian||W||74 - 26|
|2013-10-03||vs||Cookson Hills Christian||W||62 - 20|
|2013-10-11||vs||Life Christian||W||46 - 0|
|2013-10-17||@||St. Mary||L||8 - 48|
|2013-10-25||@||Boise City||L||32 - 70|
|2013-11-01||vs||SeeWorth Aca.||W||2 - 0|
|2013-11-08||@||Windsor Hills||W||26 - 20|
|2013-11-15||vs||Destiny Christian||L||40 - 74|
OKC Patriots football News
Apr 5, 2014
The former Heritage Hall standout was in Oklahoma City on Saturday hosting a youth football camp at Douglass High School.
NFL receiver Wes Welker expecting big things from Denver Broncos — and Oklahoma City Thunder
By Trent Shadid, Staff Writer | Apr 5, 2014Two months removed from playing in the Super Bowl, Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker was glad to be home on Saturday. The former Heritage Hall standout was in Oklahoma City hosting a youth football camp at Douglass High School. The camp was for participants ages 7-14 who qualify for free and reduced lunch. “This is home, and I take a lot of pride in that,” Welker said. “Growing up I saw a lot of talent and a lot of kids that just didn’t have the opportunities and the chances to get to play at a school like I had. It’s good to come back and show these kids that they have a chance and they can do good things for themselves. It’s just been a really cool thing to come back and do.” Since suffering a 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl, Welker’s Broncos have been busy this offseason. The team has signed big name free agents Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, and DeMarcus Ware to help bolster the defense. Like the 32-year-old Welker, who is now winless in three Super Bowl appearances, the team is focused on doing whatever it takes to win a title next season. “I’m very excited,” said Welker, who had 778 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns last season. “All you can really ask for in the NFL is a chance, and I feel like we have a good opportunity ahead of us. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of commitment from everybody, but I feel like we’ve put ourselves in position to have a good chance.” The most vital returning piece for the Broncos is future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, who set NFL season records for passing yards and touchdowns in 2013. Despite the record-setting season, Manning still had to undergo a contract-mandated exam on his surgically repaired neck earlier this month in order to be ready for the upcoming season. “I think that was just one of those things they have to do or whatever, but I wasn’t worried about it at all,” Welker said. “He played great all year, he was healthy all year, and he does a great job of showing up and working hard every day.” The Broncos aren’t the only team Welker hopes can win a title in the near future. A huge Oklahoma City Thunder fan, Welker also gave his two cents on OKC’s chances of winning a NBA title this season. “They’ve got a really great chance,” Welker said. “I’m really excited about it actually and hopefully they can bring it home.”
Mar 31, 2014
Tune finished with 2,938 career points, passing Jerry Belton Jr. of Boynton (2,906) and finishing just behind former Oklahoma State star Bryant Reeves of Gans (2,950). Reeves is No. 9 on the list.
High schools: Arnett's Tyler Tune finishes in career scoring's top 10
By Scott Wright, Jacob Unruh and Trent Shadid, Staff Writers | Mar 31, 2014Arnett senior Tyler Tune’s high school basketball career ended one game sooner than he would’ve liked, losing to Forgan in the Class B semifinals, but the 6-foot-5 swingman managed to close his career as one of the top 10 scorers in state history. Tune finished with 2,938 career points, passing Jerry Belton Jr. of Boynton (2,906) and finishing just behind former Oklahoma State star Bryant Reeves of Gans (2,950), who is No. 9 on the list. Tune became the 11th player in state history to score more than 2,900 points. He also finished with more than 1,700 career rebounds. WESTMOORE WINS BIG CAT CLASSIC Westmoore’s softball team took home the crown for the Big Classic over the weekend, winning five games and knocking off rivals Moore and Southmoore. The Jaguars, ranked No. 5, beat No. 4 Moore in the championship game, 5-1, after upsetting No. 2 Southmoore and beating No. 9 Jenks earlier Saturday. The win against Southmoore was the first in three games against the SaberCats. Ana Ramirez homered and drove in two runs in the win against Moore. Westmoore is now 13-2 on the year. OWEN OFF TO STRONG START FOR BLANCHARD Blanchard senior Blake Owen was a strong, guiding presence at quarterback. Now, he’s that presence at shortstop as the seventh-ranked Lions are off to an 11-3 start to the baseball season. Owen said it’s his football experience that’s helping on the diamond. “It helps me be the leader a little bit,” said Owen, who has signed to play baseball at Arkansas Tech, an NCAA Division II school in the Great American Conference. “Just being a part of the team helps a lot and helps guide the other guys.” Blanchard beat both the OKC Broncos and Perkins-Tryon over the weekend with Owen driving in four runs. SALLISAW’S WILSON TOPS SOUTHMOORE’S MAREK Several Oklahoma wrestlers competed at the NHSCA Wrestling Championship over the weekend, and four earned All-American honors by placing in the top eight. The two highest Oklahoma placers at the tournament, which was held in Virginia Beach, Va., met in the senior division finals at 170 pounds where Sallisaw’s Cale Wilson defeated Southmoore’s Nathan Marek 5-2. Wilson, a two-time state champion, went 6-0 at the tournament on his way to winning the crown in the 50-man bracket. Marek, a 2012 state champion who has signed with Oklahoma, advanced to the finals with four wins before falling to Wilson. Also earning All-American status in the senior division was Edmond North’s Zach Walton, who took sixth at 160 pounds. Marek’s Southmoore teammate Jakobe Walker was fifth at 195 pounds in the sophomore division.
BASEBALL Hunter Aguirre, Westmoore (Cowley County) Garrett Benge, Yukon (Cowley County) Jordan Boyer, Deer Creek (Wichita State) Jenner Brown, Bethany (SNU) Caleb Caldwell, Edmond North (Tabor) Brian Canfield, Bishop McGuinness (Newman) Patton Collie, Deer Creek (Colorado School of Mines) Austin Cranford, Norman North (Connors State) Corey Cupp, Tuttle (SW Christian) Garrett Degelos, Southmoore...
Oklahoma high school sports signing list: Sunday, March 23
Mar 22, 2014BASEBALL Hunter Aguirre, Westmoore (Cowley County) Garrett Benge, Yukon (Cowley County) Jordan Boyer, Deer Creek (Wichita State) Jenner Brown, Bethany (SNU) Caleb Caldwell, Edmond North (Tabor) Brian Canfield, Bishop McGuinness (Newman) Patton Collie, Deer Creek (Colorado School of Mines) Austin Cranford, Norman North (Connors State) Corey Cupp, Tuttle (SW Christian) Garrett Degelos, Southmoore (Coffeyville) Jake Dyer, Westmoore (Ft. Scott CC) Caleb Eldridge, Deer Creek (OSU) Brenden Fowler, Yukon (Crowder) Josh Garbrecht, Edmond North (Redlands) Aaron Garner, Edmond North (Oklahoma Wesleyan) Colton Huggard, Southmoore (Connors St.) Ty Jackson, Southmoore (Midland) Bradley Kinsey, Norman North (Wichita State) Gavin LaValley, Carl Albert (OU) Connor Litterell, Tuttle (Cowley County) Joe Lytle, Yukon (OCU) Mitch Malherbe, Bishop McGuinness (Barton CC) Conner Mangham, Pocola (Connors St.) Mason McAlister, Yukon (Cowley County) Justin McGregor, Carl Albert (Cowley County) Tyler McIntosh, Tuttle (SW Christian) Joe Nostrand, Norman North (Frank Phillips) Blake Owen, Blanchard (Arkansas Tech) Paul Reed, Norman (Pomona College) Luke Reynolds, Edmond North (Butler County) Reed Roberts, Guthrie (Harding) Seth Sandlin, Stigler (Carl Albert) Dalton Secrist, Tuttle (SW Christian) Ryan Skalnik, Verdigris (Neosho) Will Sprayberry, Moore (NOC-Enid) Dalton Tillison, Dale (Seminole St.) Quin Walbergh, Edmond Santa Fe (OU) Reid Wall, Byng (OSU) Cameron Warren, Carl Albert (OU) Hunter Wilson, Spiro (Stephen F. Austin) Logan Wigley, Yukon (NOC-Enid) BOYS BASKETBALL Chauncey Collins, OKC Storm (TCU) Stephen Edwards, Putnam City West (Santa Clara) Omega Harris, Putnam City West (UTEP) Collin Jennings, Harrah (UMKC) Jace Kerr, Forgan (UCO) Mitch Solomon, Bixby (OSU) GIRLS BASKETBALL Jasauen Beard, Midwest City (Oral Roberts) Kaely Bond, Mount St. Mary (American) Katy Custer, Dickson (OBU) Jordan Gilbert, Carl Albert (Oral Roberts) Miranda Griffin, Ketchum (NSU) Tamara Lee, Edmond Santa Fe (Denver) Jayden Oliver, Putnam City (Oral Roberts) Chandler Roof, Weatherford (UMKC) Erika Wakefield, Heritage Hall (Tulsa) LaNesia Williams, Northeast (OU) CROSS COUNTRY/TRACK Rylee Bellmon, Perry (UCO) Deven Bond, Poteau (UCO) Maddie Brown, Jenks (UCO) Karlie Hamman, Edmond Santa Fe (William Jewell) Taylor Harrill, Cache (St. Gregory’s) Emily Hart, Edmond Santa Fe (OBU) Erin Hart, Edmond Santa Fe (OBU) Grey Howard, Edmond Memorial (Tulsa) Mikayla Howorka, Tuttle (SWOSU) Anthonio Humphrey, Douglass (Kansas) Ainsley Ibison, Broken Arrow (OC) Heather Johnson, Noble (St. Gregory’s) Abbey Mace, Norman North (OU) Kambre Major, Millwood (Missouri Baptist) Katherine Muegge, Deer Creek-Lamont (OBU) Courtney Nelson, Putnam City North (Pittsburg St.) Hayley Redwine, Norman (OU) Kevin Roddy, Duncan (Virginia) Stephen Snider, Edmond Santa Fe (William Jewell) Sheri Snyder, Deer Creek (UCO) Belle Wallace, Norman North (OU) Michaela Werner, Grove (OCU) FOOTBALL Jalen Adams, Southmoore (North Texas) Gyasi Akem, Broken Arrow (OSU) Ashton Antwine, Edmond Memorial (NEO) John Ashcraft, Southmoore (NEO) Fre’Darian Ashley, Northwest Classen (NEO) Keaton Baggs, Broken Arrow (La.-Monroe) Nick Basquine, Norman North (OU)* Trenton Ball, Carl Albert (Emporia St.) Cameron Batson, Millwood (Texas Tech) Ty-Chris Beasley, Muskogee (NWOSU) Kevin Bell, Lawton (NSU) Tyler Bess, Hollis (Langston) Tre Betts, Sand Springs (Missouri St.) Tyrone Beverly, Lawton Eisenhower (Langston) Dustin Blasingame, Carl Albert (Southwestern, Kan.) Trevor Blassingame, Guthrie (UCO) Dominic Blue, Muldrow (SWOSU) Samuel Bond, Madill, (UCO) Luke Booker, Edmond Memorial (OBU) Cameron Booty, Jenks (NEO) Tyler Bowling, Yukon (Tulsa) Rashaad Boyd, Putnam City West (Langston) Jordan Brailford, Tulsa Washington (OSU) D’Angelo Brewer, Tulsa Central (Tulsa) Anthony Bryant, Southeast (SNU) Trey Buckner, Kingfisher (OBU) Madison Bunch, Roland (SNU) Thor Burnside, Oologah (NEO) Darrius Burris, Piedmont (NEO) Tristan Butcher, Coweta (UCO) Beau Butler, Midwest City (Wesleyan University) Kai Callins, Guthrie (Emporia St.) Mason Camp, Enid (Baker) Patrick Cantrell, Beggs (NWOSU) Cody Carnes, Alex (NWOSU) Nigel Carter, Tulsa McLain (Tulsa) Zac Cater, Durant (NEO)* D.C. Chance, Commerce (NEO) Adim Chukwurah, Norman North (UCO) Montana Clark, Tuttle (NEO) Sam Clemens, Enid (Baker) Emmanuel Cole, Millwood (OBU) Drew Cook, Casady (Emporia St.) David Cornwell, Norman North (Alabama) Austin Cross, Grove (OBU) John Custar, Sharon-Mutual (OBU) Jalan Daniels, Blanchard (NEO) R.J. Dantzler, Southmoore (Panhandle St.) Cole Darnell, Edmond Memorial/OSU (OBU) Ronnie Davis, Midwest City/NEO (Kansas) Matt Day, Westmoore (ECU) Jakcob Dean, Norman (Arkansas Tech) Mike’Quan Deane, Tulsa Memorial (NEO) Robbie Decker, Elk City (Henderson St.) Rayce Denton, Heritage Hall (Arizona Christian) Quincy Dotson, Millwood (NSU) Andre Dowuona-Hammond, Yukon (OSU)* Garrett Duckworth, OCS (OBU) Malik Earl, Edmond Santa Fe (Missouri St.) Frankie Edwards, Mustang (OBU) Lawrence Evitt, Wagoner (UCO) Josh Farley, Norman (NSU) Michael Farmer, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO) T.J. Filer, Chickasha (NEO) Jared Fink, Dewey (OBU) Hadyn Ford, Wagoner (UCO) Cooper Free, Sharon-Mutual (SWOSU) Trayvon Gamble, Edmond Memorial (Langston) Max Gillett, Norman (William and Mary)* Matt Giroux, Yukon (Tabor) Diesen Gorham, Perkins (Emporia St.) Karson Green, Madill (NEO) Jesse Gregory, Tuttle (NEO) Anthony Grimes, Norman (Hastings) Aaron Guess, Prague (NWOSU) Blake Gunn, Casady (Pomona College) Noah Hammons, Westmoore (UCO) Cameron Hanan, Plainview (ECU) Justice Hansen, Edmond Santa Fe (OU) Dylan Harding, Jenks (OSU) Kieron Hardrick, Westmoore (SEOSU) Cade Harkins, McAlester (SNU) Bryan Hartfield, Midwest City (NEO) Tre Harvey, Catoosa (ECU) Hunter Hasen, Barnsdall (Langston) Dakota Haynes, Southmoore (Doane) Riley Hess, Alva (NWOSU) Tristan Hill, Mustang (Georgia Southern) Daavon Hilley, Tulsa East Central (Langston) Stephen Hocker, Enid (Emporia St.) Matt Hockett, Norman (OSU)* Craig Hofeld, Destiny Christian (OBU) Eli Hooks, Deer Creek (UCO) Ty Hooper, Alva (NWOSU) Jordan Huff, Midwest City (Southwestern, Kan.) Armando Ibarra, Tulsa Washington (Langston) Dallas Jackson, Meeker (NWOSU) Mack Jensen, Casady (OBU) Tazden Jevons, Dibble (NSU) Laquan Johnson, Del City (Langston) Louden Johnson, Wayne (ECU) Trey Johnson, Hugo (NEO) Corben Jones, Yukon/Emporia St. (SWOSU) Brandon Jones, Midwest City (NSU) Jake Jones, Verdigris (Ottawa) Johnny Jones, Douglass (UCO) Miles Jones, Edmond North (Briarcliff) Quinzell Jones, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO)* Wyatt Jones, Sulphur (ECU) Robert Jordan, Yukon (Tabor) Taber Jordan, Plainview (OBU) Drew Kaiser, Broken Arrow (Evangel) Blake Kalman, Bethany (UCO) Micah Kee, Woodward (NWOSU) Ryland Ketchum, Alex (NWOSU) Coleman Key, Broken Arrow (Colorado State) Cory Keyes, Southmoore (Missouri Southern) Connor Kinsey, Midwest City (Southwestern, Kan.) Chris Klick, Cherokee (SWOSU) JaVone Knox, Putnam City (SNU) Larry Lambeth, Millwood (Panhandle St.) Camron Large, Ada (ECU) Grant Lee, Clinton (NWOSU) Andrew Lesnick, Ponca City (NWOSU) Wiley Lester, Putnam City (NEO) Alex Lewis, Broken Arrow (OBU) Billy Lewis, Durant (NEO)* Jacob Lewis, Bishop McGuinness (Princeton) Colton Lindsey, Christian Heritage (UCO) Austin Link, Tuttle (NEO) Boyea Lockett, Tulsa Union/Illinois (OBU) Bishop Louie, Tulsa McLain (Tulsa) Jaylen Lowe, Owasso (NEO) Noble Lybrand, Bethany (ECU) Kameron Lyons, Millwood (Panhandle St.) Austin Mack, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO) Austin Madison, Oologah (SNU) Anthony Mason, Del City (NEO)* Zac Maynard, Davis/NEO (SWOSU) Bailey McKay, Claremore (SWOSU) Corneilus McKiver, Centennial (NEO) Gary McKnight Jr., Lawton MacArthur (NEO) Devin McLelland, Midwest City (Southwestern, Kan.) Ace McMahan, Ringling (SWOSU) Alfonzo McMillian, Millwood (Sam Houston St.) Jacob McMullen, Choctaw (NEO) John McQueen, Claremore (NEO) Jeffrey Mead, Tulsa Union (OU) Seth Mead, Woodward (NWOSU) Carson Meier, Tulsa Union (OU) Gage Meisinger, Claremore (OBU) Bradyn Meyer, Yukon (Baker) Chandler Miller, Bixby (Tulsa) Nick Mills, Tuttle (NEO) Jordan Mitchell, Owasso (Tulsa) Trevor Mitchem, Spiro (NEO) Michael Moana, Lawton Eisenhower (Houston) Tyler Moniz, Sequoyah-Claremore Mildren Montgomery, Douglass (Tulsa) Daniel Moore, Duncan (Henderson St.) Khalil Moore, John Marshall (NEO) Trevor Moore, Edmond North (North Texas) Zack Moore, Kingfisher (SWOSU) Cole Moos, Broken Arrow (NEO)* Luis Morales, Guthrie (Langston) Gerrell Murry, Putnam City (SWOSU) Dawson Myers, Cushing/NEO (OBU) Quentin Nails, Tulsa McLain (NEO) Landon Nault, Kingfisher (Emporia St.) Joe Neece, Cashion (Emporia St.) John Cole Neph, Owasso (OSU)* Jose Ochoa, Alex (NWOSU) Cameron Oliver, Owasso (UT-San Antonio) Brendan O’Steen, Seminole (NEO) Jacob Overton, Minco (OBU) Zak Owen, Blanchard (NEO) Cade Parker, Norman (OU)* Steven Parker, Jenks (OU) Logan Parks, Yukon (NEO) Cade Pfleider, Avla (NWOSU) Dustin Pierce, Jones (Mid-America Nazerene) Caden Pratt, McAlester (SEOSU) Christian Preston, Savanna (SEOSU) Stephen Price, Empire (SNU) Payton Prince, Norman North (Tulsa) Ryan Rackley, Sulphur (ECU) Wyatt Rathjen, Miami (NEO) Kale Reed, Comanche (SNU) Shaliamere Rentie, Beggs (NEO) Keishawn Richardson, Putnam City/NEO (West Virginia) Cole Ridgway, Norman (NSU) Wesley Rivas, Tahlequah (William Penn) Tanner Robertson, Mustang (OBU) Korie Robinson, Lawton MacArthur (NEO) Sinue Rodriguez, Sallisaw (NEO) Sam Rolle, Edmond Memorial (Hastings) Tyquae Russell, Midwest City (NEO) Caden Sander, Deer Creek (OU)* A.J. Sanders, Elk City (Panhandle St.) John Sasser, Perkins (SEOSU) David Seagle, Cascia Hall (UCO) Dallas Sealey, Lawton (Abilene Christian) Myykhail Shaw, Lawton (NEO) Isaiah Shawver, Carl Albert (Hastings) Tyler Sipe, Norman North (UCO) Akii Smith, Stilwell/NEO (North Texas) Devion Smith, John Marshall (NEO) Dillon Smith, Meeker (SEOSU) Jalen Smith, Tulsa Memorial (NEO) Janson Smith, Tulsa Union (NEO) Jarome Smith, McAlester (SEOSU) Jeremy Smith, Berryhill (Tulsa) Marguess Smith, Southeast (NEO) Myles Smith, Broken Arrow (SNU) Trey Smith, Guthrie (Langston) Nathan Sosa, Christian Heritage (OBU) Jacob Spady, Hinton (SNU) Pierce Spead, Southmoore (NEO) Evan Sprayberry, Moore (Tabor) Jordan Stafford, Hugo (UCO) Dalton Stout, Bethany (Southwestern, Kan.) Ross Stovall, Tulsa Washington (NEO) Braden Stringer, Blanchard (Arkansas Tech) Payton Striplin, Little Axe (Langston) Carter Swanson, Ardmore (Garden City CC) Trent Taber, Jenks (OSU)* Lindell Tate, Edmond North (OU)* Myles Tease, Tulsa Washington (UCO) Justin Tharp, Thomas (SWOSU) Devon Thomas, Broken Arrow (OSU) Ivan Thomas, Lawton (OSU)* Stevie Thompson, Carl Albert (Pitt St.) Devin Thornburg, Alex (NWOSU) Quintonio Tolon, Broken Arrow (NEO)* Clay Trotter, Mustang (SW Assemblies of God) Trey Tully, Plainview (OBU) Brett Tye, Jenks (Pitt St.) Houston Tyler, Southmoore (The Citadel) Nathan Voreis, Tuttle (SNU) Rowdy Votaw, Madill (NEO) Jaelon Walker, Southmoore (UCO) Malik Walker, Spiro (NEO) Cody Ward, Hartshorne (SWOSU) Khalil Warren, Del City (NEO) Michael Warren, Lawton (Iowa State) Ty Watkins, Westmoore (NEO) Caleb Webster, Claremore (NWOSU) Eric Weed, Putnam City (SNU) Jordan Weltzheimer, Edmond Memorial (Air Force) Cameron Westbrook, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO) Papi White, Seminole (Ohio) Xavier Whitehead, Mustang (Langston) Kelby Wickline, Stillwater (UT-San Antonio) Terrell Willliams, Lawton (NEO) Jonathan Willis, Tulsa Washington (Oregon St.) Dolee Wolf, Beggs (NEO) Conner Wood, Owasso (NEO) Skyler Wood, Nowata (UCO) Chantz Woodberry, Carl Albert (SWOSU) Ryan Woolman, Locust Grove (NSU) Trey Wormington, Norman North (UCO) Colton Wright, Tahlequah (SWOSU) Ty Yeates, Jenks (William Penn) Dakota Young, Lawton Eisenhower (NWOSU) GOLF Emma Allen, Tulsa Union (OCU) Lexi Armon, Owasso (NSU) Jacob Bishop, Edmond Memorial (Wichita State) Trent Evans, Edmond Memorial (Kansas State) Talor Fisher, Bethel (St. Gregory’s) Emily Folsom, Deer Creek (SWOSU) Jessica Gremling, Moore (Southwestern, Kan.) Nick Heinen, Edmond North (OSU) Matthew Henry, Pauls Valley (ECU) Madison Herron, Edmond Santa Fe (OBU) Alexander Hughes, Tulsa Edison (UCO) Sam Humphreys, Edmond North (Tulsa) Drew Ison, Edmond Santa Fe (Drake) Ashley Moore, Edmond Santa Fe (SNU) Kaylee Neff, Mustang (Redlands) Casey Paul, Owasso (Tulsa) Griffin Pierce, Edmond North (OU) Zac Schaefer, Oklahoma Christian (OC) Chad Smith, Plainview/OU (OBU) Marla Souvannasing, Tulsa Union (UCO) Ty Tamura, Edmond Memorial (OC) Cody Troutman, Edmond Santa Fe (UCO Hannah Ward, Poteau (Arkansas-Little Rock) Emilee White, Comanche (SNU) Ariel Wixson, Jenks (Rogers State) Hayden Wood, Edmond North (OSU) Daniel Echevarria, Cascia Hall (Wichita State) LACROSSE Sam Heaton, Edmond North (Lindenwood) Jake Hobbs, Edmond North (Lindenwood) Jessica Prewitt, Broken Arrow (OBU) ROWING Charlotte McMeekin, Classen SAS (Princeton) Hannah Naylor, Edmond Santa Fe (OU) Rachel Parks, Classen SAS (Tulsa) Cody Shafer, Tulsa Union (OCU) Madison Wilfong, Washington (UCO) BOYS SOCCER Truman Berghall, Jenks (OBU) Durham Chilcoat, Jenks (OBU) Clay Collier, Edmond North (OC) Josue Depaz, Putnam City West (OBU) Tyler Hatfield, Norman North (Harding) Julius James, Moore (NSU) Zac Medawattage, Edmond North (Eastern Illinois) Michael Mitrik, Jenks (Tulsa) Alex Mullet, Edmond North (Midwestern St., Iowa) Nathan Osborne, Jenks (OBU) Daniel Paugh, Heritage Hall (OCU) Tyler Ridener, Jenks (Central Arkansas) Keaton Van Eck, Norman North (Dallas) GIRLS SOCCER Reagan Ballard, Edmond Memorial (UCO) Anna Beffer, Tulsa Union (OSU) Abby Bright, Edmond North (OSU)* Kayla Buster, Broken Arrow (NSU) Olivia Butler, Putnam City West (SWOSU) Karla Cabello, Puntam City North (Mid-America Christian) Lexi Carroll, Norman North (UCO) Jordan Cleveland, Moore (USAO) Anna Crawford, Mustang (OU)* Amanda Dial, Edmond Memorial (ORU) Lana Duke, Edmond Memorial (OSU)* Courtney Essary, Carl Albert (UCO) Hannah Frogge, McGuinness (UC-Santa Barbara) Melissa Giles, Broken Arrow (NSU) Caitlyn Hanslovan, Verdigris (ORU) Hannah Hover, Edmond Santa Fe (Ouachita Baptist) Morgan Kent, Sapulpa (NSU) Bri Kuestersteffen, Norman North (Alabama-Birmingham) Madi Logsdon, Tulsa Union (NSU) Mikayla Lowery, Deer Creek (OBU) Mackenzie Marquardt, Norman North (OC) Julia Mathis, Broken Arrow (NSU) Kayle Moore, Southmoore (USAO) Kali Newman, Norman North (OU) Lauren Parker, Stillwater (USAO) Hannah Robinson, Southmoore (SNU) Simone Ryan, Norman North (UCO) Sheridan Spelman, Norman North (Lindenwood) Katelin Teter, Claremore (NSU) Victoria VanHootegem, Norman North (Florida Atlantic) Sydni Wiles, Mustang (OC) Katelyn Williams, Moore (USAO) Morgan Wilson, Piedmont (USAO) Summer Witt, Verdigris (ECU) SOFTBALL Kelsey Arnold, Holland Hall (OU) K.C. Beardsley, Southmoore (Ft. Scott) Sheridan Bond, Edmond North (OC) Kelsey Bortvit, Carl Albert (USAO) Katelyn Brown, Southmoore (SNU) Kortney Brown, Duncan (Rose St.) Riley Brown, Bethany (Lipscomb) Kasey Jo Burgess, Sand Springs (OBU) Shelby Carel, Tuttle (UCO) Makenzie Carpenter, Jenks (Connors St.) Chloe Clifton, Wayne (Seminole St.) Cheyanne Coffman, Apache (Rose St.) Mallory Collins, Sand Springs (OSU) Chris Coplen, Stigler (Eastern) Bre Davis, Piedmont (UCO) Peyton Garrett, Tuttle (NWOSU) Shannon Godfrey, Tulsa Kelley (St. Gregory’s) Ashli Hafford, Blanchard (East Central) Caitlin Hall, Moore (OBU) Sable Hankins, Moore (Lamar) Macey Hatfield, Lindsay/Seminole State (OU) Morgan Heard, Carl Albert (UCO) McKayla Hendrix, Jenks (Seminole St.) Morgan Hildebrandt, Lincoln Christian (Central Christian, Kan.) Heather Jones, Norman (Oklahoma Wesleyan) Kaitlyn Kromer, Putnam City North (SWOSU) Reneé Leonard, Rush Springs (Rose St.) Brayden Lindsey, Wynnewood (Western Texas) Destinie Lookout, Westmoore (OU) Shayla Lucas, Westmoore (USAO) Jenna Lynn, Moore (OBU) McKenzie Martin, Perkins-Tryon (NOC-Tonkawa) Stephanie Martin, Kellyville (Rose St.) Lauren Mason, Cache (Rose St.) Brianna McArthur, Moore (Central Arkansas) Kierra McFadden, Bethany (Oklahoma Wesleyan) Abby Meador, Carl Albert (OCU) Lauren Miller, Blanchard (East Central) Shelby Miller, Bethel (Seminole St.) Kate Myers, Jenks (Tulsa) Alexa Nolen, Stigler (Connors St.) Madison Norkyke, Edmond North (OC) Randee O’Donnell, Tahlequah (OSU) Amy Reynolds, Putnam City North (Rose St.) Shelby Robinett, Tuttle (SW Christian) Michael Rowlen, Jones (Des Moines CC) Kecia Sharp, Mount St. Mary (Robert Morris) Michaela Smith, Norman North (UT-Dallas) Sethe Story, Heritage Hall (Austin College) Kourtney Tanner, Edmond North (UCO) Aspen Vail, Little Axe (St. Gregory’s) Katie Ventress, Bethany (Rose St.) Krista Waggoner, Carl Albert (West Virginia Wesleyan) Taylor Watham, Blanchard/Cowley (NWOSU) Jessica Watkins, Glenpool (Rose St.) Emily Watson, Deer Creek (Tulsa) Mindy Winters, Tuttle (Rose St.) MacKenzie Wright, Carl Albert (Wichita State) Lauren Zalewski, Rush Springs (Rose St.) SWIMMING Reid Hibbs, Southmoore (Towson) Jessi Hildebrand, Newcastle (Evansville) Kasey Rein, Piedmont (Evansville) TENNIS Taylor Factor, Moore (Seminole) Emily Faulkner, Casady (Harding) David Hager, Edmond North (Davidson) Annie Hayes, Edmond North (UM-St. Louis) Spencer Papa, Edmond North (Tulsa) Easton Parker, Bixby (NSU) VOLLEYBALL McKayla Benner, Norman North (SNU) Dani Chase, Yukon (SNU) Kate Decker, Edmond North (OBU) Madison McClure, Mustang (SW Assemblies of God) Kenzie McMullen, Edmond North (OCU) Micayla Payne, Southmoore (Hillsdale) Holly Randall, Edmond North (OCU) Kamille Smith, Midwest City (Bellevue) Taylor Turner, Deer Creek (ECU) WRESTLING Andrew Dixon, Edmond North (OU) Joel Dixon, Edmond North (OU) Lance Dixon, Edmond North (OU) Nathan Marek, Southmoore (OU) Derek White, Edmond North (Nebraska) *-Will walk on Know of a player who signed a letter of intent but isn't on this list? Email the information to Scott Wright at email@example.com.
Gillihan was a 115-pounder who finished third at the NCAA Tournament in 1957.
Tributes: Richard Gillihan, 77, was an All-American wrestler for Oklahoma State
By Scott Munn | Mar 20, 2014A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed a game day experience: •Richard Gillihan, 77, was a Tulsa Central High School graduate who attended Oklahoma State on a wrestling scholarship. Gillihan had a 5-1 record as a 115-pounder during the 1957 season and earned All-America status by finishing third at the NCAA Tournament. He served in the Marines and then worked in petroleum land management for Sinclair. •Radio station owner and sportscaster Charlie Jones died 10 days after celebrating his 76th birthday. Jones opened KBLP radio in Lindsay in 1991. He and his staff covered high school events for Lindsay, Blanchard and Purcell. The Comanche native was honored by the Oklahoma Interscholastic Sporting Directors for his coverage of high school athletics. J.D. Northcutt, the longtime broadcaster for Moore Lions football, said, “He made sure that south central Oklahoma had a radio voice for high school sports and coaches’ shows.” Jones also provided entertainment for the Lindsay Leopard Basketball Camps held by legendary coach Charles Heatly. •Jesse Gorbet, 16, of El Reno died from injuries suffered in an auto crash. He was a sophomore at El Reno High School, participating in football and wrestling. Gorbet also liked to 4-wheel and lift weights. He served as a pit crewman for his father Travis Gorbet, who raced dirt cars at State Fair Speedway in Oklahoma City. •Jim Smith, 91, of Oklahoma City spent 25 years as a fighter pilot or squadron commander. He flew more than 100 combat missions and received a Bronze Star and two Distinguished Flying Crosses. After retiring from the military, Smith was a founder of the Oklahoma City Running Club. He set several state records ranging from 5-kilometer races to marathons. Smith, who ran into his 70s, was added to the Oklahoma Long Distance Running Wall of Fame in 1998. He also officiated high jump competitions at the high school and college levels. •Jim Bassel died in Claremont, Calif., at age 69. The native Oklahoman marched on football Friday nights with the Lawton High School band, and then went on to complete 189 missions behind enemy lines inside reconnaissance aircraft during the Vietnam War. Bassel worked for the U.S. Forestry Service after his military discharge, and recreation time was spent swimming, biking and running. He biked from Williamsburg, Va., to Astoria, Ore., in 44 days. Bassel ran several 10-kilometer races; he also completed in marathons in San Diego and Honolulu. •Gary Bettenhausen, 72, of Monrovia, Ind., was a nationally known race car driver who made a few stops at State Fair Speedway. Bettenhausen, who raced 21 times in the Indianapolis 500, also drove open-wheel dirt cars. He participated in a U.S. Auto Club Silver Crown Series race in OKC in 1983, and then he competed in a USAC vs. NCRA Shootout in 1986 at the now-demolished fairgrounds track. The four-time USAC points champion is a member of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. •John Murphy, 91, of Tulsa was a Little League baseball coach and avid golfer. The retired American Airlines employee was a tailgunner on a B-29 Superfortress during World War II. •Paul Stringfield, 91, of Tulsa was also a tailgunner during World War II, flying combat missions on a B-26. He was an all-around athlete before and after the war, but he particularly excelled at tennis. The purchasing agent continued to play until hip surgery sidelined him for good at age 85. •David Piatt, 63, of Lookeba was a baseball player and wrestler at Classen High School. He turned down a baseball scholarship to Arizona State, instead choosing to attend Oklahoma on a wrestling scholarship. While at Classen, Piatt won the 1967 All-City Conference championship for 177 pounds. He later attended a New York Yankees tryout camp. Owned David’s Cycle and Supply, Sooner Appraisal and Cobra Welding. •Forrest Carlile spent 24 years with the Oklahoma City Fire Department, retiring in 2010 as a lieutenant. Carlile was an accomplished runner and cyclist who competed in more than 100 races. His favorite event was the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon held each April. Also participated in the Oklahoma Iron Man triathlon and the Hotter’N Hell Hundred endurance ride. Carlile ran 40 miles on his 40th birthday and 50 miles on his 50th birthday. He died at 52 after a short battle with cancer. •Ruby Alderman Henry, 95, was the former president of the Women’s Golf Association at The Oaks Country Club in Tulsa....Chip Horner of Tulsa was a dragboat racer and competitive water skier...Conner Stevens, 19, of Oklahoma City played golf at Putnam City North High School. He loved to play pick-up basketball games with his buddies.... •Darrell Burch, 82, of Chickasha ran the snack bar in the Oklahoma Department of Transportation building for 35 years. During off time, he was active with the Oklahoma City Blind Beep Ball Bombers. ...Kenneth Orr, 84, of Edmond lettered in football and basketball at Kingfisher High School before spending 27 years in the Air Force.... Ray Billingsley, 86 of Vici played basketball at Mutual High School before a career as a professor of agricultural economics.
OKC Knights and Edmond played the first ever game between two Oklahoma City-area high school lacrosse programs.
High schools: Lacrosse is catching on with Oklahoma high schools
By Mike Baldwin | Mar 13, 2014EDMOND — The OKC Knights playing Edmond on Thursday night at Cheyenne Middle School was historic. It was the first ever game between two Oklahoma City-area high school lacrosse programs. “It’s a proud moment to finally get to a point everyone has been working towards,” said defenseman Nathan Foreman, one of three Knights players who will play lacrosse in college. “It’s great to see it grow similar to cities like Dallas.” The two OKC-area teams are members of the 10-team Heartland Conference, which features five teams from the Tulsa area, plus teams from Little Rock, southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas. Lacrosse advocates are hopeful Oklahoma is on the verge of featuring 10 to 12 high school community-club teams that play for a non-OSSAA sanctioned state title. Casady, Holland Hall and another Tulsa area team have played for years. Jenks and Tulsa Kelley are in their inaugural seasons. Knights coach Dave Heaton has been instrumental in lacrosse’s growth locally. He coached Edmond before he branched off to form his own team two years ago. “The biggest advantage would be you wouldn’t have to play in a regional conference and drive five to six hours on weekends to Little Rock,” Heaton said. “The lacrosse landscape definitely is changing.” Approximately 600 kids in the Oklahoma City area participate in lacrosse, leagues starting as young as third grade. First-year volunteer Edmond coach Jordan Beech, an accounting supervisor for Frontier City, played in the Edmond program and also played one year for OU’s club team. “It’s a great alternative to spring football,” Beech said. “You actually get to lay a body on someone in lacrosse. Linebackers can work on their eyes, read defenses. Basketball players can work on motion offensive sets. If you like those sports, it translates directly into success in lacrosse.” Armed with long-shafted sticks with a small basket at the end, players pass and shoot a five-ounce rubber ball. Ten players are allowed, including the goaltender, who protects a 6-foot-by-6-foot goal. Games are divided into four 12-minute periods. The sport has a physical presence like football and hockey, point guard-like athleticism and hand-eye coordination used in baseball, golf and tennis. “It’s fast and it’s physical,” Heaton said. “It was a hidden secret in the Northeast for a long time, but lacrosse has really taken off nationally the past 10 to 15 years.” Last year, 28,000 fans in Philadelphia watched Duke win its second national title with a 16-10 win over Syracuse. High school matches in tradition-rich markets such as Virginia and Maryland routinely draw crowds of 5,000 to 7,000. The past decade the sport has exploded in markets like Dallas (15,000 kids), Austin (10,000), Denver, Minneapolis, Utah, San Francisco and San Diego. Kansas City is a key reason Missouri features 44 high schools that play for sanctioned state titles in two classes. Foreman will play at Millsaps College, an NCAA Division III school in Jackson, Miss. He fell in love with lacrosse at age eight in Pittsburgh. When the family moved to Louisiana, he experienced lacrosse at a level Oklahoma is attempting to reach. Louisiana features 20 high school lacrosse programs, including four in Shreveport, his former home before the family relocated two years ago to the Santa Fe school district. “I loved it the very first time I played it,” Foreman said. “I tried baseball, but I needed some contact. It’s the perfect sport for me. Today was such a surreal moment for all of us because it’s great to see how much the sport is growing in this area.”
Mar 1, 2014
Mark Price is a literal Oklahoman and a figurative giant. The greatest basketball player our state has produced. Price is the only Oklahoma high school-bred player ever named first-team All-NBA.
Oklahoma's greatest basketball player, Mark Price, returns to OKC as Bobcats' assistant coach
Mar 1, 2014An Oklahoma basketball giant will walk into Chesapeake Arena for the Thunder-Bobcats game Sunday night. And I don’t mean Hasheem Thabeet. Mark Price is a literal Oklahoman and a figurative giant. The greatest basketball player our state has produced. Price is the only Oklahoma high school-bred player ever named first-team All-NBA. Bobcats coach Steve Clifford says Jeff Van Gundy likes to say that people forget Price was Steve Nash before Steve Nash. Clifford hired Price last summer as a Charlotte assistant coach, with an emphasis on shooting. Who knows shooting better than Mark Price? He ranks 29th in NBA history in 3-point shooting percentage, .402, and of those above him, only Nash, Kyle Korver, Wesley Person, Dana Barros, Mike Miller, Brent Barry, Dale Ellis and Ben Gordon took more 3-pointers than did Price. Price also ranks second all-time in NBA foul shooting percentage, .9039. Nash, who hasn’t retired and conceivably could miss another couple, is the leader at .9041. Price became a world-class shooter the old-fashioned way. And the new-fashioned way. And the only way. He worked himself to that status. Nine p.m. was late for Mark Price. He’d always be home by then. No staying out late. Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and an uncanny shooter of a basketball, if he’s in the gym by the crack of dawn. Which Price was. “He had a different commitment level than the rest of us,” said Jason Gilbow, who met the Price brothers when they moved to Enid in 1979 and ended up being in the wedding party of all three. “Mark would be at home at 9 o’clock Friday night, so he could be up early the next morning shooting. He was focused as a young man.” It paid off. Price led Enid to the 1982 state championship game, with a memorable first-round upset of Wayman Tisdale-led Tulsa Washington. Price signed with Georgia Tech, became an ACC star in that golden age of college basketball and then made four NBA all-star games with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now Price is working for Michael Jordan, who owns the Bobcats and who was his longtime nemesis. North Carolina won the ACC both years that their college careers overlapped, then Jordan’s Bulls eliminated Price’s Cavs five times in the NBA playoffs from 1989 through 1994. Quite the basketball career for Price. “Mark loves being around the game, loves teaching the game to young players, really enjoys being back in it,” said Brent Price, the youngest of the Price brothers and who also played in the NBA. After retiring from the NBA, Mark Price coached on the high school level and at Georgia Tech, then took consulting or coaching jobs with a variety of NBA teams. “He’s with a coaching staff he respects,” Brent Price said. “It’s something he’s had a desire to do for quite some time. If you pressed him hard enough, there’s a deep desire to be a head coach.” The Prices came by their basketball addiction honest. Their father, Denny, was one of the greatest high school players in state history, leading Norman to the 1955 state championship, with 42 points in the title game, a record that stood until Mark tied it 27 years later. “Just having our dad, it was our lifestyle,” Brent Price said. “We were in the gym so much growing up, always had a ball in our hand. We were immersed in the sport of basketball. It was our dad’s love for the game that first got our attention.” Denny coached on the high school level, on John MacLeod’s staffs at OU and with the Phoenix Suns, then became head coach at Sam Houston State. In 1979, the Prices moved to Enid and established deep roots. “I say this without exaggeration, I think all four Price boys (counting Denny), they’re some of the greatest men Oklahoma has ever produced,” said Wade Burleson, pastor of Enid’s Immanuel Baptist Church, who presided over Denny’s funeral in 2000, after he died of a heart attack during a lunch-time basketball game. The Prices moved into Gilbow’s neighborhood back in ’79, and soon he became like a part of the family. “I feel like I grew up in their household,” Gilbow said. “Their daddy, to this day, I’d say best man I ever met.” Gilbow said that even as a teenager, Mark Price was serious. “Mark was about God, Mark was about family, Mark was about basketball and Mark was about singing,” Gilbow said. “If it wasn’t about God, family, basketball or singing, Mark didn’t have any time for it.” Yes, singing. The Price family often sang together. Around the piano at home. Denny and the boys in a quartet at church, including after they were grown and were home for Christmas. Even in death, the Prices turned to song. Denny Price’s memorial service 14 years ago ended with his sons and family friends on stage at Emmanuel Baptist, singing hymns, new and old. “Denny raised those boys right,” Gilbow said. “They didn’t have the TV on. If it wasn’t dominos or singing or basketball, they always had their door open to a group of us.” Of the Price brothers, only Brent has returned to Enid, where his mother, Ann, still lives. Middle brother Matt lives in the Tulsa area. Mark Price’s home base remains Atlanta. When the Prices moved to Enid, “we had no idea this would be what we’d call home,” Brent said. “This place became very special to us.” Mark was a 5-foot-111/2 sophomore who didn’t raise much of a stir when he first showed up for the high school basketball team. Little did they know. “He didn’t want to do nothing but shoot the basketball all day long,” Gilbow said. “He’d be outside (shooting) behind the church. Or get a key. Anyone who had a gym he could get into, he was there. Very very committed. Very very dedicated. Very serious about all of it, at an early age.” Gilbow wants people to know that Price’s lack of athletic ability is vastly overstated. First off, he’s right simply because you don’t last 13 NBA seasons, much less be a star, without some God-given talent. They went golfing one day when Price was home from Georgia Tech. A ground squirrel popped its head out of the game, and Mark threw a golf ball and plucked the squirrel on the head from 30 feet away. “He was special with his hand-eye coordination,” Gilbow said. “Phenomenal at ping-pong. Phenomenal throwing a football.” Gilbow lives in Edmond and works for the Price family, as sales manager of their Jenkins & Price Sanitary Supply company. And this weekend, he’ll get to hang out with his old pal, who showed up in his neighborhood 35 years ago, became the best man in his wedding and whose family impact is still going strong. Giants, you might say. Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.
Berry Tramel jumped on the Power Lunch chat to discuss Bret Bielema's inflammatory comments, Marcus Smart's return from suspension and his Mount Rushmore of pasta. Here's the full transcript:
Berry Tramel chats NCAA pace-of-play change, Marcus Smart's return and Pastagate
staff reports | Feb 21, 2014NewsOK Sports 10:42 a.m. Plenty to talk about today. Thunder-Heat. Marcus Smart's return. Bret Bielema's uncomfortable comments. Berry Tramel will be on at 11 a.m., so get those questions in now. Berry Tramel 11:00 a.m. Hey, everybody. I'm up and running. So send in your questions and we'll get started. Billy Bob 11:00 a.m. Have you ever heard comments any more ridiculous than the one's we just heard from the Arkansas coach, or do you not agree with me that they were ridiculous? Berry Tramel 11:01 a.m. You're talking about Bret Bielema's theory that a Cal player's death is attributable to uptempo football. He might have some ground to stand on. But I don't know what it is. I thought the player died during a training run. I don't really understand the correlation. Bielema said he has a hard time getting a beleaguered player out of the game. I think that's nonsense. I see players go to the ground all the time in an obvious manuever to slow down the game. If players do that when they're NOT hurt, why can't a player do it when he is hurting? -M 11:02 a.m. Please let the OSU losing streak come to an end... Berry Tramel 11:03 a.m. It would be nice. If the Cowboys don't beat Tech on Saturday, you wonder when it will end. I mean, OSU goes to TCU on Monday night, but the way this season is going, the Frogs could win. Now, if OSU could win Saturday, then beat TCU, they've got a little momentum going for when Kansas comes to Stillwater a week from Saturday. Brant 11:03 a.m. Last night's game exemplified why the Thunder needed Westbrook back. KD played heavy minutes while Westbrook was gone and has looked tired lately. The Thunder need a fresh and focused KD for the playoffs. It would be great if KD won MVP but a Championship is the Thunder's goal. Berry Tramel 11:04 a.m. Well said. You're right. Durant is gassed. Westbrook will provide all kinds of benefits and soon. Now, that doesn't mean OKC is in position to beat Miami. The Heat showed last night that it still has the Thunder's number. Orange Boy 11:04 a.m. This new OL Coach for OSU - He has coached at some big-time schools - but has he also been fired from every one of those coaching jobs? If so, why would Gundy go with a reject? Berry Tramel 11:05 a.m. I don't know. I don't know if Connelly has been fired from more than Arizona State, but I know he was fired from ASU and was coaching high school last season. So that's a strange hire. Maybe the guy can coach. We'll have to see. But it was strange. harry man 11:05 a.m. well is OKC fans seeing parts of the thunder team that has been hidden? With a week off can really hurt a team. LA Clippers sunday...see what happens.. Berry Tramel 11:06 a.m. A week off can hurt a team, though the Thunder wasn't playing well when the break occurred. OKC needed some rest. Unfortunately, the guy who needed the most, Durant, didn't really get it. All-Star weekend is a whirlwind for all-stars. Crimson Jesus 11:06 a.m. Slow start again for the Thunder. Is that going to come back and bite them come playoff time. Seems like they've made a habit of starting slowly. Berry Tramel 11:07 a.m. Especially against the Heat. In what I consider the biggest game in Thunder history, Game 2 of the 2012 NBA Finals, Miami jumped to a 15-2 lead. Or something like that. Then held on for a tight victory. Win that game, and who knows how the rest of the series goes. Slow starts have continued to be a problem. Just Saying 11:07 a.m. I think Marcus Smart may be better off as a 10 or 12 pick rather than a 1 or 2. He may lose a few million but he will get to play with a better team. Berry Tramel 11:08 a.m. And not face as much pressure. I agree with you completely. Smart is better off at 10 or 12. However, that doesn't mean he was better off returning to school. This season has been a disaster. the key to this decision is make a decision and then make it the right one. Smart made a decision and then made it the wrong one. Galileo 11:08 a.m. Berry, about Bielema and player safety in general. I don't think the pace of the game is the problem. It's the change from a game that was designed to be played near the line of scrimmage in a "scrum" manner to the current game that is so spread out that too many hits are happening in open space by defensive back and linebackers who have a running start. What do you think about rules changes that would reduce the spreading of players all over the field? Why not do something with hash marks or zones that limit how many players can line up wide. Any ideas? Berry Tramel 11:10 a.m. You raise a good point, but you're also advocating artificial elements to change the game. That's always dicey. What we've seen are more rules for behavior -- striking, illegal contact, those kinds of things -- than rules for structure. It's a serious debate and one that won't go away. Football in many ways is under siege. Versace 11:10 a.m. Any word on new uniforms for OU football? Berry Tramel 11:11 a.m. No. But I've got to believe we'll see some tinkerings. Not with colors, but with styles, and maybe just for special occasions. Sometimes, you can't even tell who's playing anymore. Floyd 11:12 a.m. Did anyone on the Thunder look good last night? Berry Tramel 11:13 a.m. I would say Reggie Jackson and Perry Jones were the only guys who came close to their standard. I mean, even Nick Collison looked lost. I liked Jeremy Lamb's and Derek Fisher's aggressiveness, but their shots were off. Everyone was just out of sorts. But I thought Jackson stabilized things in the first quarter and was solid and aggressive throughout, even though his shot didn't fall. Brant 11:13 a.m. The Thunder don't necessarily need Perkins' defense against the Heat and the Heat have problems with Indiana's big lineup. Why not start Adams and pound the ball inside to him until the Heat show that they can stop it? Berry Tramel 11:14 a.m. That's an interesting question. The answer, I'm sure, is that Perk guards Bosh -- and does a decent job -- but no way could Adams guard Bosh. But you're right in that Adams absolutely could make the Heat pay for going small. No way does Miami want Bosh trying to keep Adams off the block. Of course, the Heat might just switch LeBron onto Adams. LeBron probably could block out Adams. Byron Houston 11:14 a.m. Does OSU make the NCAA's when it's all said and done? Berry Tramel 11:16 a.m. Not in basketball. I don't see it. The Cowboys are 4-9 in the Big 12. 16-10 overall. They've played poorly for more than a month. If OSU finishes halfway strong, 3-2 or something, to even make it a debate, then the Cowboys still are 7-11 in the Big 12 (which is a no-good to the committee) and 19-12 going into the Big 12 Tournament. I think OSU has to finish 8-10, get to 20-11, win that first-round game in Kansas City, play well in the next game against Kansas or beat Texas or OU, then take their chances. I don't think 3-2 gets it done. Galileo 11:16 a.m. True, adding artificial elements are always quite dicey. But structural alignments are at least measurable, as opposed to judgement calls on player behavior (striking and targeting). Talk about dicey. There is no easy answer but I think the combination of larger, stronger players coupled with the spreading of the field is a big factor. Berry Tramel 11:18 a.m. Oh, you're right. No doubt. I just think it's hard to put the genie back in the bottle. Few teams spread out for half a century, and when they finally did, it was only a player or two. But now, everyone is spread out. Here's an idea. How about trimming the width of the field. Go from 160 feet wide to 140 feet wide. That would make the ground easier to cover for the defense, would turn the game back closer to the scrum-based game you mentioned. In the same way that basketball actually needs a bigger court because everyone is so much bigger and faster, but maybe football needs a smaller field for the same reason. Byron Houston 11:19 a.m. So, if they don't make the Big Dance you have to assume they get rid of Ford, crazy contract or not. Say that happens, throw some names out there you think they take a look at... Berry Tramel 11:20 a.m. I don't see how you can fire Ford if the payoff is in the neighborhood of $2 million. Basketball once was a money maker at OSU. You had to have success. Now, basketball is more a sense of pride. Football carries the freight. But anyway, I have no idea where OSU would turn. I need to start researching it. dr. el prez 11:20 a.m. Berry, how many empty seats and overall indifference to the program will Mike Holder and Boone Pickens accept before addressing the potentially expensive buyout of Travis Ford? Does Ford get a free pass this season if O State fails to make the Dance, or is it a certainty he gets at least one or two more seasons beyond this one? Berry Tramel 11:22 a.m. I think Ford will be back. That contract is too stiff. Indifference to the program bothers Holder, but I don't know that Boone cares all that much. I mean, he wants to win, but people who think he'll pony up another huge check just to pay off a basketball coach, I think that's misguided. Boone gave OSU a ton of money to have a fighting chance, and OSU has used that money to produce quality football. But money to fire a basketball coach? I don't see it. Trent 11:22 a.m. NCAA sedd for the Sooners? Berry Tramel 11:23 a.m. Let's see. I'd say 5-6-7 right now. Finish strong, high side of that, with even a chance at a four with really strong wins. Finish weak, low side. OU I still think is headed for a second-place Big 12 finish, which would strength the Sooner resume. Luke 11:23 a.m. # 5 in country with talks of final 4 to NIT and disaster of a season. Ford needs to go. Agree? Berry Tramel 11:25 a.m. I think it would be best if OSU could make a change, just to erase all the negativity. But I don't see how OSU can make a change, because of the contract. So I'd work to make things better in other ways. Look for ways to reinvigorate the fan base. Look for ways to improve. Ford is actually very good with people. At least from my experience. If he's alienated the fans beyond the W-L record, then I think that's correctable. Guest 11:25 a.m. I know the Pacer are a better matchup an the Thunder would have a better chance of winning a title if Indy was the foe instead of Miami, but beating the Heat would be a lot more satisfying. Am I crazy? The Finals would be a war and I think far more competitive than last time, and sure he Thunder could come up short, but I want to see OKC Miami. Both team have won on the others home floor with the home team not playing well both times so I don't think you can take a lot ou of either matchup Berry Tramel 11:26 a.m. I don't think you can take a lot out of either matchup. But I think you can take a lot out of the last eight matchups. Seven wins by the Heat. With largely the same rosters. Certainly the same core players. So yes, you're crazy. Much better to get the right matchup than some sense of satisfaction over beating the HEat. Brant 11:26 a.m. Do you know where I could get some of that pasta from pastagate? It is getting close to lunch time and Ikard made it sound like some good grub. Berry Tramel 11:27 a.m. Ikard is pulling our leg. Banquet pasta is no way to eat. Galileo 11:27 a.m. I like the idea of narrowing the field. It accomplishes the same as my idea but it eliminates the enforcement problem. It also preserves the 100 yard gridiron length tradition. Also easy an inexpensive to implement because it doesn't require construction. Added benefit is it allows more space on the sidelines. Both OSU and OU's narrow sideline dilemma solved! Berry Tramel 11:28 a.m. Man, we are solving the world's problems right here on this chat. Two completely different problems, solved by one simple change. Of course, at a place like Kansas, where the football field is surrounded by that old track, the fans would be half a mile from the action. Not that anyone at KU would care. dennis 11:28 a.m. Favorite Heat player? Least favorite Heat? Berry Tramel 11:30 a.m. Favorite? Chris Bosh. I used to not like him because he plays with that mouthpiece during games and looks all evil. But in reality, he's a very agreeable guy to interview. Really enjoyed chatting with him last night. Least favorite? Dwyane Wade. Not all that enamored with a guy who splits with his wife (maybe for good reasons, I'm not saying one way or the other), has a big custody suit in which I assume Wade had the world's best lawyers, then writes a book about fatherhood. Spare me. Byron Houston 11:31 a.m. Mount Rushmore of Pasta? Byron Houston 11:32 a.m. Who has the better basketball program overall OU or OSU, outside of arenas. GIA vs Loyd Noble isn't even close, but that's the architects fault. Berry Tramel 11:32 a.m. I did my Rushmore list of all kinds of things yesterday. You can read it here. http://newsok.com/mount-rushmore-the-ultimate-list/article/3935593 I had my four favorite Italian joints on the list. No. 1 is Garozzo's in KC, followed by Pete's Place in Kreb, The Grotto in Scottsdale and Charlie Gitto's in St. Louis. Byron Houston 11:32 a.m. Who has the better basketball program overall OU or OSU, outside of arenas. GIA vs Loyd Noble isn't even close, but that's the architects fault. Berry Tramel 11:33 a.m. Oops, got those out of order. Sorry. But it's a good question. OU has had more sustained, consistent success. OSU has had more epic periods, thanks to Iba and Sutton. But it's close on both regards. The difference historically is that when OSU got down, it stayed down for near a quarter century. When OU was down ('60s), it didn't stay down that long. Berry Tramel 11:34 a.m. OK, super questions. I appreciate it. I've got to go now. Talk to you next week.
Feb 19, 2014
The Oklahoma City Storm, the defending homeschool national champions, will host some of the nation's top high school basketball teams over the next three days in the OKC Storm Festival. Thursday's action will include two games at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in downtown Oklahoma City. Flower Mound, Texas, will face OnPoint Academy at noon, followed by the Storm taking on Prime Prep at...
High school basketball: OKC Storm hosting nationally ranked opponents
By Scott Wright and Jacob Unruh | Feb 19, 2014The Oklahoma City Storm, the defending homeschool national champions, will host some of the nation's top high school basketball teams over the next three days in the OKC Storm Festival. Thursday's action will include two games at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in downtown Oklahoma City. Flower Mound, Texas, will face OnPoint Academy at noon, followed by the Storm taking on Prime Prep at approximately 1:30 p.m. Fans can enter through the southeast entrance of the arena. Prime Prep, the Dallas-area school started by NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, is currently ranked No. 12 in the nation by USA Today. The Storm is led by TCU signee Chauncey Collins, who is averaging 27.1 points per game this season. Festival action will continue all day Friday and Saturday, with some of the best programs in the region coming to OKC, including Sunrise Christian from Kansas and other notable Texas programs. Friday and Saturday games will be played at Church of the Harvest, located at Interstate 35 and NE 63rd St. CARL ALBERT'S WARREN SCORES 45 Carl Albert senior Cameron Warren nearly set a school record Tuesday night, scoring 45 points as the Titans rallied for a 72-66 win at Ardmore. Warren's 45 points were one shy of the record held by Carl Albert coach Jay Price. It was the fifth straight win for the fourth-ranked Titans, who are 16-5 on the season. Southmoore's Brickman to be honored Southmoore football coach Jeff Brickman has been selected to receive the Semper Fidelis Coaching Award from the U.S. Marine Corps, in conjunction with the Glazier Football Clinics. The award is given annually to high school football coaches who exemplify the Marines' standard of excellence, which constitutes integrity, responsibility, honesty, honor, courage, and commitment. Brickman is being honored for his dedication to his football players and his community in providing aid to them after the May 20, 2013, tornado. Brickman led a campaign to help those in need by working for several weeks, raising more than $90,000 in cash and gift cards, which went to benefit the 22 Southmoore football players who lost their homes, as well as 88 other families that suffered losses from the tornado. Brickman will be recognized at the Glazier Football Clinic on Friday in Tulsa.
I don’t get out much for sporting events that I’m not covering. An occasional high school football game. A gymnastic meet or two, since my oldest granddaughter loves the sport. Youth sports involving 7-year-old Riley or my 6-year-old nephew, who plays basketball and t-ball.
High school hoops: A great night at Bishop McGuinness
Berry Tramel | Feb 18, 2014I don’t get out much for sporting events that I’m not covering. An occasional high school football game. A gymnastic meet or two, since my oldest granddaughter loves the sport. Youth sports involving 7-year-old Riley or my 6-year-old nephew, who plays basketball and t-ball. But Friday night, my wife and I took all three granddaughters — Riley, 4-year-old Sadie and 2-year-old Tinley — to the McCarthy Gymnasium to watch the Bishop McGuinness boys play Ardmore. I know, doesn’t sound like the greatest Valentine’s adventure. But the Dish and I had a nice dinner on Thursday night at Legend’s in Norman, because we needed to get to McGuinness. I hadn’t seen Brian Canfield play all season. Brian’s father, Owen, is an Oklahoman editorial writer and the former Oklahoma City Associated Press sports editor. We spent a hundred nights driving back and forth to Stillwater, covering OSU football and basketball. We became great friends, and I’m Brian’s godfather. It’s an indictment of our fast-paced lives that I don’t get to more of Brian’s games. He’s a heck of a ballplayer. I last saw him play last March, in McGuinness’ Class 5A state semifinal victory over Chickasha in Tulsa. Anyway, we went to the McGuinness game and had the most delightful time. We walked into the gym and paid our admission. The girls got in free. Our tickets were $5 each. Then we went to the concession stand, because the girls hadn’t eaten. Riley wanted nachos. Sadie wanted a corn dog. Tinley wanted popcorn. We got them two drinks to share, and they came in bottles with lids. Perfect. The total tab was $8. Let me repeat. We got nachos, a corndog, popcorn and two drinks for $8. Not $28, which is what it would cost you for the same thing at some soul-less movie. I asked the woman working the concessions, “Did you mean $18?” Nope. Eight. We walked into the gym and went to the far end, where the Canfields were seated. Owen does the public address for McGuinness, but we joined Lori and two of her other (older) children, Freddie and MaryBeth. It was senior night at McGuinness, so Brian and the other McGuinness boys and girls players, plus managers and poms, were honored. McCarthy is a nice, new gym with a great setup. The first six or seven rows opposite the benches are chairback. Behind them are bleachers. We sat on the top row of the chairbacks, and there’s quite a bit of space before the bleachers start. So the girls had a great place to run around and play, right behind us. About one quarter into the boys game, the Dish said I needed to go get the girls some M&M’s. They ate well and wanted some candy. I was having a swell time, sitting with Freddie and watching basketball. Fifteen years ago, I joined Owen and his two oldest sons, Freddie and John, on a baseball tour. We drove all over Middle America, watching ballgames. In St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee and Detroit. Had an unforgettable time. Now Freddie is an Arkansas grad who is back working in OKC. I don’t get to see him enough. Anyway, here I was dispatched to an M&M’s mission, and I got a sudden thought. When I walked into McGuinness’ gym, I got a feeling about the place. This was different. This was not like anywhere we go these days. McGuinness keeps a lid on things. People do things right there. I’m not Catholic, and I’m not even a big supporter of private schools. But McGuinness does things right. So I did something I’ve never done and might not do again for awhile. I pulled out my wallet, handed Riley (remember, she’s seven) a $10 bill and told her she could go to the concession stand by herself. She would have to walk to the far end of the gym, go through the doors and out into the lobby, where the concessions were sold. I even made her mission a little difficult. I told her to get me a hot dog while she was at it. With mustard. I’m trying to think of a place where I would let her walk out of my sight, other than a house I knew extremely well. I guess at church. If she didn’t have to cross the walkway where cars drive down to our lower-level parking. Maybe at my office. Nowhere else. When we go to Mazzio’s, she’ll go to the bathroom by herself. And we watch her the whole way. But I felt 100 percent security at McGuinness. Just a place where they’ve maintained order. A place where if someone is doing something wrong, it doesn’t slide. It gets corrected. Another friend of mine has kids at McGuinness and is all worked up about the new OSSAA policy of making private schools who are successful in certain sports move up a class. He rails about the social injustice of it all. I don’t agree with the policy as it’s written; I support a different version. But he says it’s sheer jealousy, not just of athletic success but of academic and social success. To which I tell him, no, I think it’s pretty much athletic jealousy. But it ought be more widespread coveting. Gold balls tarnish. A school where kids can thrive and learn without the nonsense of so much that afflicts schools, public and private, these days, that’s priceless. Anyway, I felt the order at McGuinness and sent away Rileybird. She came back a few minutes with a bunch of change, three bags of M&M’s and mustard on my hot dog. I sent her back in the third quarter for more. The game was great. McGuinness is ranked No. 1 in 5A, and the Irish won going away. The girls loved the cheerleaders. MaryBeth took the girls down at halftime, and they got their pictures made with the McGuinness cheerleaders. The Irish mascot — some costumed guy with a big head — was not so attractive. Tinley wanted no part of him. After the game, we sauntered out onto the court, and the girls ran around like they were in an amusement park. We went to a small reception for the seniors, where the girls got to hang around the cheerleaders even more, and I chatted with McGuinness athletic director Gary Savely. I told him how impressed I was with the environment. “It’s a throwback,” Savely said. I suppose it is. But McGuinness taught me that some places remain special, and we don’t have to give up and remember the way things used to be. Sometimes, we can make things the way they used to be.
Berry Tramel jumped on to talk Thunder, Sooners and Cowboys on the Power Lunch chat today. Here's the full transcript.
Berry Tramel talks Travis Ford, Lon Kruger and OU's chances of going unbeaten in football in 2014
berry tramel | Feb 13, 2014NewsOK Sports 10:14 a.m. Welcome to the Power Lunch chat. Berry Tramel will be on at 11 a.m., but it's never too early to get those questions in. Fire away. NewsOK Sports 10:45 a.m. This is a test. NewsOK Sports 10:46 a.m. OK, let's try this again. NewsOK Sports 10:47 a.m. This is Berry Tramel, seeing if my name will appear. Berry Tramel 10:48 a.m. OK, let's try it again. Berry Tramel 10:50 a.m. OK, I'm up and running. So send in your questions and we'll get started soon. dr. el prez 10:53 a.m. Berry, always enjoy talking college hoops with you. Lloyd Noble was pretty much a morgue last night despite Kruger doing a solid job and playing a fan friendly style of hoops. Hypothetically...if Capel had won say twenty-four games his last season and made the Sweet Sixteen....would Joe C have hung with him on the NCAA deal with Tiny Gallon? Berry Tramel 10:54 a.m. Oh sure. Capel got fired for lack of on-court success and lack of fan appeal. And the two are related. If the Sooners had won that second year after Blake Griffin (2010-11), Capel would have kept his job. Guest 10:54 a.m. Robert Allen had said yesterday that the new offensive line coach could be named as soon as last night. I have not heard of any announcement . Do you know of who it might be or when it would be announced? Berry Tramel 10:55 a.m. I have no idea when it will be announced. I know my cousin Jimmie in Tulsa reported that the Oregon State o-line coach is the likely hire, but I don't know anything beyond that. Guest 10:55 a.m. Hey Berry...as a died hard OSU fan I was surprised by the play of Mason Cox against UT. Wheres Ford been hiding this guy???? Hammonds and Gaskins olay without any passion...and thats poor coaching, right? Berry Tramel 10:56 a.m. Anyone who plays without passion cannot blame the coach. That's on the player. You can blame the coach for playing a guy with no passion, but Ford hasn't played them enough to warrant that charge. If you want to blame Ford for something, blame him for not using Mason Cox earlier. The guy looked like he had a little promise. GilaPete 10:56 a.m. Berry, Do you think Coach Gundy is working any better with the media after his couple of altercations with DOK? Berry Tramel 10:58 a.m. I only know of one altercation with the Oklahoman, and that was six years ago. But Gundy is not working well with any media, except the in-house people. I don't know why he wants to be at war with the media, but he obviously does and has succeeded. Max 10:58 a.m. Apparently Bell was a great receiver in high school and worked some at tight end in Norman. Now that TE is his position; have you or anyone you know ever seen him catch a pass? If so what are your thoughts? I don't doubt his ability as much as I'm curios of his style of play. Berry Tramel 10:59 a.m. If Bell has good hands, then no reason he should be a quality tight end. He shows no signs of not wanting to hit or get hit, so if he can block some, he could be a threat. Of course, the biggest key is, will his heart be in it? Quarterbacking can get in your blood. Cowboy organge 10:59 a.m. berry, u mentioned OSU's PR firm. Can you shed a little lite to us about it? Berry Tramel 11:00 a.m. OSU has hired a professional PR firm to help it through dicey situations. SI, Sutton's car crash, Marcus Smart. Good business. Mark KC 11:00 a.m. Does the SEC (Alabama) have enough power to push through this 10 second rule change for defensive substitutions? Berry Tramel 11:01 a.m. I don't think it's an SEC deal. I think most of college football will support it. HEck, OU and OSU rarely snap the ball inside 10 seconds. Baylor does some, but most schools do not. So I think it will pass with wide support. Luvee 11:02 a.m. When does Holder take a serious look at buying out Ford and making a new hire? Lack of depth and recruiting whiffs are why this team will miss the tourney again, not Cobbins injury or Smarts suspension, and it's an issue that keeps repeating itself. Berry Tramel 11:03 a.m. I don't know. The Cowboys were riding high until losing Cobbins. That's because the depth was shaky, but OSU had a big-time team when it had Cobbins and Smart. Now, it's got a ghost of a team. With that said, I wouldn't fire Ford. The contract costs too much -- he's still got five years left -- and Ford has recruited well. There is reason for optimism, though not nearly the optimism going into this season. Mark KC 11:03 a.m. Living in KC I hear from KU fans asking what is wrong in Stillwater that we can't fill Gallagher IBA arena anymore. I tell them to just be thankful the Thunder didn't end up in KC or the same would be happening in the Fieldhouse. Do you think that is true? Berry Tramel 11:05 a.m. No. I don't think that is true. I think the Thunder has hurt OSU to some degree, but a couple of other things have happened. GIA is too big. 13,611. That's too many for a school that's not located in a metro area. Plus, OSU has done a wonderful job building up its football attendance. OSU's fan base is not infinite. Many Cowboy fans have had to make a decision on which sport to buy tickets for, and they've chosen football. I think KU basketball is tradition-rich enough that it would survive challenges from the KC market. Cowboy organge 11:05 a.m. when IS ou going to get a new arena? make it about 9k and very small. Heard the Smu arena is awesome and loud but only seats 7k Berry Tramel 11:08 a.m. A new arena at OU would be nice, but I think it's unnecessary. Lloyd Noble is OK, not great. And there's not a great demand. So I think it would be a bad call. Guest 11:08 a.m. Berry, would a poorly attended Bedlam game by OSU fans send the message across to Holder that Ford needs to go? I imagine having more OU fans in Stillwater then OSU fans would not sit well. Berry Tramel 11:09 a.m. I think it would send a message. I think that would be very alarming. You know, I think fans got Gary Gibbs fired and helped get Sean Sutton fired. Fans most definitely could fire Travis Ford, if enough bolt. Shawn 11:09 a.m. I've heard many point guards referred to as the fastest in the NBA (John Wall, Ty Lawson, Westbrook, Lillard, and probably others). How would you rank the top five or so? Berry Tramel 11:10 a.m. 1. Lawson. 2. Rose. 3. Westbrook. 4. Wall. 5. I have no idea. The reason Rose (when healthy) and Westbrook are ahead of Lawson in general is strength. Lawson is as fast. But not nearly as strong. harry man 11:11 a.m. are you going to the VOVERRATED nba all-star game in new orleans? Berry Tramel 11:11 a.m. No. That's Darnell Mayberry territory. Sam 11:11 a.m. Hi Berry, love you on thunder buddies. My question is do you think OKC will try to build Adams post game over the next few years and try to feed the offense through him as an extra threat? And are we ever going to see another high scoring game from him again? Berry Tramel 11:12 a.m. We'll not see Adams have a high-scoring game this season. That's not his gig. As long as Durant and Westbrook are in the saddle, there's no reason to run an offense through a postman. He'll just be in the way. Adams can still score a bunch on putbacks and occasional postups. -M 11:13 a.m. The Thunder need to go 19-9 to once again better their winning percentage from the previous season, you think they'll do that right? Berry Tramel 11:13 a.m. Yes, I do. The only drawback would be is if Westbrook returns and there's an adjustment period. That could always happen, leading to a few losses. But OKC is 21-4 with Westbrook and 21-8 without Westbrook. I think they can go 19-9 down the stretch. Joel 11:13 a.m. Assuming OU can remain relatively healthy next year in football and Knight can come anywhere close to his performance against Alabama on a consistent basis I have them going undefeated next year. The schedule looks great with OSU and Baylor in Norman and Texas likely will struggle with a first year head coach. Your thoughts on next year and your prediction on their record? Berry Tramel 11:15 a.m. I think OU has a chance for a very good year. But I would not predict an unbeaten regular season. As good as OU played in NEw Orleans, the Sooners still had struggles at times. The schedule does break for OU, but the Sooners have to go to Lubbock and Manhattan and Dallas and Morgantown. Not easy places to play. Guest 11:15 a.m. I understand that Ford has a huge buyout in his contract. But if Ford is brought back next year isn't it a decision between Losing Fan's Money vs Losing Buyout Money? Berry Tramel 11:15 a.m. Well, I don't think fans could cancel enough tickets to offset Ford's contract. It's more of an interest issue. 8,000 empty seats in GIA speaks to the long-term health of the program, more than any ecomoic immediacy issue. Mark 11:16 a.m. With what happened last night in Norman, how do you see things going down in Stillwater this Saturday? Berry Tramel 11:16 a.m. Man, I don't know. That was a clunker of a game OU played against Tech. I'm sort of leaning toward OSU now. Foul trouble would end the discussion, however. Guest 11:16 a.m. You on the radio may be the best thing ever... more please! Berry Tramel 11:16 a.m. Better than the Fabulous Sports Babe? Bill 11:17 a.m. Do you see the Thunder making any moves before the trade dealine? Berry Tramel 11:19 a.m. No. My guess is that the Thunder stands pat. The team is playing well, it's staying under the luxury tax. I see no reason to make a move. Guest 11:19 a.m. As an OSU Alumni and Fan, I'm done supporting Travis Ford. I had high hopes that this would be the year the Ford would show that he was the right person for Stillwater, but all I have seen is the total lack of control that he has over this program and players. If he is brought back next year, it would be a real shame and a slap in the face of former players and coaches that built this program and made it one of the Top 10-15 programs in the country at one time. Berry Tramel 11:22 a.m. I still support Ford. But you're right. He seems to have lost the mainstream Cowboy fan. It's going to be tough to get them back. Caleb Lance 11:22 a.m. Really excited what Lon Kruger is doing at OU. He has been so succesfull everywhere he has gone, leading 5 teams to the tourney. This being said, since he has already done well here and taken us to the tournament, does this mean we wont have him long? and will he be off to his next challenge say a 6th school to the tournament? Berry Tramel 11:23 a.m. I would be stunned if Lon Kruger left OU for another job. He's in his 60s. I would think retirement would be the big scare for OU. Guest 11:23 a.m. If Ford is fired at the end of this year, who would be a realistic Top 5 Candidates for the position? Would OSU have a chance to go after the Wichita State Coach? Berry Tramel 11:24 a.m. I don't know. He's got a good thing going. Talking about Gregg Marshall. It's been harder to get coaches away from big-time mid-majors -- Mark Few, Shaka Smart, etc. Jack 11:24 a.m. Berry. I think with the new 4 team play off in College football expansion in the Big 12 is dead. And I think the Big 12 should have tried to get Louisville and Cincy in the fold. What do you think? Berry Tramel 11:26 a.m. The playoff should have no effect on the Big 12. Everyone is fighting the SEC hype machine, but if the Big 12 will produce a top-flight team, it should be OK. OSU would have made the four-teamer in 2011. Nobody would have made it in 2013. NO one deserved to make it. Sure, the Big 12 should have jumped on Louisville; could have added the 'Ville and stayed at 11., if need be. Guest 11:26 a.m. Would a Thunder NBA Championship have a larger impact on the state of Oklahoma then any National Championships by OSU or OU? Berry Tramel 11:26 a.m. I'm going to say yes, because the Thunder has everyone on board. A good portion of the state doesn't support either the Sooners or the Cowboys. But virtually everyone is a Thunder fan. Cameron 11:27 a.m. Do you think Westy will be ready to go when the Heat come to town? Berry Tramel 11:27 a.m. I'm going to guess yes. But I have no idea. Colton 11:27 a.m. I heard you say on WWLS that your picks for Big 12 expansion were Arkansas and LSU. Do you think there is any realistic chance the Big 12 pursues schools of that caliber? Or any chance said schools would consider joining? Berry Tramel 11:28 a.m. I think the Big 12 probably has sent out feelers. But I doubt either school would jump. It would be a longshot. Some bad stuff would have to happen in the SEC -- politics, disgust with the new 14-team format, etc. -- for them to consider. And the Big 12 would have to show stability. harry man 11:28 a.m. NIT for OSU? Berry Tramel 11:28 a.m. It could happen. osu823 11:28 a.m. Based on what we've seen with the tailspin of OSU basketball, and the talent on this team, do you think Travis Ford should be ousted as coach? Berry Tramel 11:29 a.m. No. I think OSU could use some stability. And while this team has some talent, it also has some deficiencies. I would not fire Ford. But he has to know he's on alert. Guest 11:29 a.m. With all of the talk lately of Thunder rivalies. Does anyone remember when th Lakers were considered a rival? Berry Tramel 11:29 a.m. I certainly remember it. It was fun. Two playoff series against the Lakers. But those seem long ago and far away. Guest 11:29 a.m. Would an NBA Championship all but guarantee that Durant and Westbrook would retire in Thunder uniforms? Reason for asking is that guys like LeBron, Bosh, Garnett, Malone, Barkley, Shaq all came close with their first teams, but left to other teams to get that title. Had they won with their 1st team, chances are they might have stayed longer, perhaps retired with them. Thoughts? Berry Tramel 11:31 a.m. I think the best way to keep Durant and Westbrook is to win the title. The main reason you leave is to seek a title. If you've got one, you know it can be done here. The Thunder has done everything it can to set up a good shop for its superstars. Winning the title would make the future look even brighter. harry man 11:32 a.m. derek jeter is retiring after 2014 season. love me some jeter. love the way he presents himself off on the field. made the annoucement about retiring and that's it...low key Berry Tramel 11:32 a.m. It's tough to say anything bad about Derek Jeter. Class all the way. Brad 11:32 a.m. Isn't it true that this "lack of control" narrative surround Ford and OSU basketball was non-existent until this year with Smart's outbursts? Berry Tramel 11:33 a.m. I would agree. I can't think of any of these issues in years past. More talent and depth problems. The lack of control narrative is relatively new. Guest 11:33 a.m. Are you multi tasking? Or do you have a clone on the radio rigth now? Berry Tramel 11:34 a.m. Multi-tasking. Brad 11:34 a.m. Is it fair that Travis Ford gets compared to the likes of Eddie Sutton, Tubby Smith, Rick Barnes, Lon Kruger, and Bill Self? Berry Tramel 11:35 a.m. Sure. That's his competition. That's who he's got to be compared to. And he's paid well. So yes. Very fair. Guest 11:35 a.m. Do you think the thunder will amnesty Perkins in the offseason Berry Tramel 11:36 a.m. Don't know. Depends on how the season plays out. I'm leaning toward no. Leaning toward Perk staying. Cross Timber 11:36 a.m. Here's one for you to tackle Berry...why does society/media glorify homosexuality (ie Michael Sam)? I'm not one of these homophobic people who thinks gay people are the worst thing in our society. But I also don't think that lifestyle should be glorified and put up on a pedestal (and I think the vast majority of your readers are probably with me). Thoughts? Berry Tramel 11:39 a.m. I don't know if it's being glorified, but I do think the media is asking everyone to accept it. You can be tolerant without acceptance, if you know what I mean. I think a lot of media isn't really asking for tolerance. They're asking everyone to accept it. I think there's a difference. Haze 11:39 a.m. Berry, KSTATE to Norman next year, correct? Remember great win in Manhattan this year, Lockett career game in the first half Berry Tramel 11:40 a.m. Oh, yeah, I'm mixed up. I was thinking 2011 in Manhattan, forgetting that we're in 2014. The years are going by too fast. You're right. That's another scheduling break for OU. Guest 11:40 a.m. I love the Thunder, but growing up in OK with no team I loved the Bulls with Jordan. If the current Thunder roster remained healthy the entire year, could they have challenged the Bulls 72 win season in 95'-96'? Berry Tramel 11:40 a.m. I assume not. That team won 72 games. Let's let this Thunder team win one title before we get too carried away. willie 11:40 a.m. Were the last 3 games of the Sooner football season a sign that Stoops wants to start coaching again? Berry Tramel 11:41 a.m. Stoops never stopped coaching. I would say demoting Brent Venables and firing four coaches was all the sign you needed. Guest 11:41 a.m. If the THunder win the title this year, pretty much everybody is under contract next year except Thabo and Fish. Is there a chance they could look at 70 wins next year? Berry Tramel 11:42 a.m. Again, how about making the NBA Finals before we start talking history? No reason to get too far ahead of ourselves. Jeff 11:42 a.m. I have no problem with the role Perkins plays on the team, but his salary will keep us from re signing Thabo next year and I think we need Thabo back. They have to amnesty Perkins and use the cap savings for Thabo and the draft picks and maybe add a veteran Big or shooter Berry Tramel 11:42 a.m. Thabo will not command much money. There is not a big market for defensive specialists who are almost 30 and not that good on offense. I doubt Thabo would cost more than $7 million over two years. $3.5M per year. Brad 11:43 a.m. What do you think are the chances that Michael Cobbins gets a medical redshirt from the NCAA? Berry Tramel 11:43 a.m. I haven't done the math. Has he played more than 20 percent of the season? But he already redshirted, which won't help. Guest 11:43 a.m. any news on OU stadium renovation? Berry Tramel 11:43 a.m. They're discussing things. I'll check. Berry Tramel 11:43 a.m. OK, everyone, great questions. Talk to you next week.
Feb 8, 2014
Know of a player who signed a letter of intent but isn't on this list? Email the information to Scott Wright at email@example.com.
Oklahoma high school sports signing list: Feb. 8, 2014
Feb 8, 2014BASEBALL Hunter Aguirre, Westmoore (Cowley County) Jordan Boyer, Deer Creek (Wichita State) Jenner Brown, Bethany (SNU) Caleb Caldwell, Edmond North (Tabor) Brian Canfield, Bishop McGuinness (Newman) Patton Collie, Deer Creek (Colorado School of Mines) Austin Cranford, Norman North (Connors State) Garrett Degelos, Southmoore (Coffeyville) Jake Dyer, Westmoore (Ft. Scott CC) Caleb Eldridge, Deer Creek (OSU) Josh Garbrecht, Edmond North (Redlands) Aaron Garner, Edmond North (Oklahoma Wesleyan) Colton Huggard, Southmoore (Connors St.) Ty Jackson, Southmoore (Midland) Bradley Kinsey, Norman North (Wichita State) Gavin LaValley, Carl Albert (OU) Joe Lytle, Yukon (OCU) Mitch Malherbe, Bishop McGuinness (Barton CC) Conner Mangham, Pocola (Connors St.) Justin McGregor, Carl Albert (Cowley County) Joe Nostrand, Norman North (Frank Phillips) Blake Owen, Blanchard (Arkansas Tech) Paul Reed, Norman (Pomona College) Luke Reynolds, Edmond North (Butler County) Reed Roberts, Guthrie (Harding) Dalton Tillison, Dale (Seminole St.) Quin Walbergh, Edmond Santa Fe (OU) Reid Wall, Byng (OSU) Cameron Warren, Carl Albert (OU) Hunter Wilson, Spiro (Stephen F. Austin) BOYS BASKETBALL Chauncey Collins, OKC Storm (TCU) Stephen Edwards, Putnam City West (Santa Clara) Omega Harris, Putnam City West (UTEP) Collin Jennings, Harrah (UMKC) Jace Kerr, Forgan (UCO) Mitch Solomon, Bixby (OSU) GIRLS BASKETBALL Jasauen Beard, Midwest City (Oral Roberts) Kaely Bond, Mount St. Mary (American) Katy Custer, Dickson (OBU) Jordan Gilbert, Carl Albert (Oral Roberts) Miranda Griffin, Ketchum (NSU) Tamara Lee, Edmond Santa Fe (Denver) Jayden Oliver, Putnam City (Oral Roberts) Chandler Roof, Weatherford (UMKC) Erika Wakefield, Heritage Hall (Tulsa) LaNesia Williams, Northeast (OU) CROSS COUNTRY/TRACK Karlie Hamman, Edmond Santa Fe (William Jewell) Emily Hart, Edmond Santa Fe (OBU) Erin Hart, Edmond Santa Fe (OBU) Grey Howard, Edmond Memorial (Tulsa) Ainsley Ibison, Broken Arrow (OC) Abbey Mace, Norman North (OU) Kambre Major, Millwood (Missouri Baptist) Katherine Muegge, Deer Creek-Lamont (OBU) Kevin Roddy, Duncan (Virginia) Stephen Snider, Edmond Santa Fe (William Jewell) Belle Wallace, Norman North (OU) Michaela Werner, Grove (OCU) FOOTBALL Jalen Adams, Southmoore (North Texas) Gyasi Akem, Broken Arrow (OSU) Ashton Antwine, Edmond Memorial (NEO) John Ashcraft, Southmoore (NEO) Fre'Darian Ashley, Northwest Classen (NEO) Keaton Baggs, Broken Arrow (La.-Monroe) Nick Basquine, Norman North (OU)* Trenton Ball, Carl Albert (Emporia St.) Cameron Batson, Millwood (Texas Tech) Ty-Chris Beasley, Muskogee (NWOSU) Kevin Bell, Lawton (NSU) Tyler Bess, Hollis (Langston) Tre Betts, Sand Springs (Missouri St.) Tyrone Beverly, Lawton Eisenhower (Langston) Trevor Blassingame, Guthrie (UCO) Dominic Blue, Muldrow (SWOSU) Samuel Bond, Madill, (UCO) Cameron Booty, Jenks (NEO) Tyler Bowling, Yukon (Tulsa) Rashaad Boyd, Putnam City West (Langston) Jordan Brailford, Tulsa Washington (OSU) D'Angelo Brewer, Tulsa Central (Tulsa) Anthony Bryant, Southeast (SNU) Trey Buckner, Kingfisher (OBU) Madison Bunch, Roland (SNU) Thor Burnside, Oologah (NEO) Darrius Burris, Piedmont (NEO) Tristan Butcher, Coweta (UCO) Beau Butler, Midwest City (Wesleyan University) Kai Callins, Guthrie (Emporia St.) Mason Camp, Enid (Baker) Patrick Cantrell, Beggs (NWOSU) Cody Carnes, Alex (NWOSU) Nigel Carter, Tulsa McLain (Tulsa) Zac Cater, Durant (NEO)* D.C. Chance, Commerce (NEO) Adim Chukwurah, Norman North (UCO) Montana Clark, Tuttle (NEO) Sam Clemens, Enid (Baker) Emmanuel Cole, Millwood (OBU) Drew Cook, Casady (Emporia St.) David Cornwell, Norman North (Alabama) John Custar, Sharon-Mutual (OBU) Jalan Daniels, Blanchard (NEO) R.J. Dantzler, Southmoore (Panhandle St.) Cole Darnell, Edmond Memorial/OSU (OBU) Ronnie Davis, Midwest City/NEO (Kansas) Matt Day, Westmoore (ECU) Jakcob Dean, Norman (Arkansas Tech) Mike'Quan Deane, Tulsa Memorial (NEO) Robbie Decker, Elk City (Henderson St.) Quincy Dotson, Millwood (NSU) Andre Dowuona-Hammond, Yukon (OSU)* Malik Earl, Edmond Santa Fe (Missouri St.) Frankie Edwards, Mustang (OBU) Lawrence Evitt, Wagoner (UCO) Josh Farley, Norman (NSU) Michael Farmer, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO) T.J. Filer, Chickasha (NEO) Hadyn Ford, Wagoner (UCO) Cooper Free, Sharon-Mutual (SWOSU) Trayvon Gamble, Edmond Memorial (Langston) Max Gillett, Norman (William and Mary)* Matt Giroux, Yukon (Tabor) Janari Glover, Millwood (Western Illinois) Diesen Gorham, Perkins (Emporia St.) Karson Green, Madill (NEO) Jessie Gregory, Tuttle (NEO) Anthony Grimes, Norman (Hastings) Aaron Guess, Prague (NWOSU) Blake Gunn, Casady (Pomona College) Noah Hammons, Westmoore (UCO) Cameron Hanan, Plainview (ECU) Justice Hansen, Edmond Santa Fe (OU) Dylan Harding, Jenks (OSU) Kieron Hardrick, Westmoore (SEOSU) Cade Harkins, McAlester (SNU) Bryan Hartfield, Midwest City (NEO) Tre Harvey, Catoosa (ECU) Hunter Hasen, Barnsdall (Langston) Dakota Haynes, Southmoore (Doane) Riley Hess, Alva (NWOSU) Tristan Hill, Mustang (Georgia Southern) Daavon Hilley, Tulsa East Central (Langston) Stephen Hocker, Enid (Emporia St.) Matt Hockett, Norman (OSU)* Eli Hooks, Deer Creek (UCO) Ty Hooper, Alva (NWOSU) Jordan Huff, Midwest City (Southwestern, Kan.) Armando Ibarra, Tulsa Washington (Langston) Dallas Jackson, Meeker (NWOSU) Mack Jensen, Casady (OBU) Tazden Jevons, Dibble (NSU) Laquan Johnson, Del City (Langston) Louden Johnson, Wayne (ECU) Trey Johnson, Hugo (NEO) Corben Jones, Yukon/Emporia St. (SWOSU) Brandon Jones, Midwest City (NSU) Johnny Jones, Douglass (UCO) Miles Jones, Edmond North (Briarcliff) Quinzell Jones, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO)* Wyatt Jones, Sulphur (ECU) Robert Jordan, Yukon (Tabor) Taber Jordan, Plainview (OBU) Blake Kalman, Bethany (UCO) Micah Kee, Woodward (NWOSU) Ryland Ketchum, Alex (NWOSU) Coleman Key, Broken Arrow (Colorado State) Cory Keyes, Southmoore (Missouri Southern) Connor Kinsey, Midwest City (Southwestern, Kan.) Chris Klick, Cherokee (SWOSU) JaVone Knox, Putnam City (SNU) Larry Lambeth, Millwood (Panhandle St.) Camron Large, Ada (ECU) Grant Lee, Clinton (NWOSU) Andrew Lesnick, Ponca City (NWOSU) Wiley Lester, Putnam City (NEO) Alex Lewis, Broken Arrow (OBU) Billy Lewis, Durant (NEO)* Jacob Lewis, Bishop McGuinness (Princeton) Colton Lindsey, Christian Heritage (UCO) Austin Link, Tuttle (NEO) Boyea Lockett, Tulsa Union/Illinois (OBU) Bishop Louie, Tulsa McLain (Tulsa) Jaylen Lowe, Owasso (NEO) Noble Lybrand, Bethany (ECU) Kameron Lyons, Millwood (Panhandle St.) Austin Mack, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO) Austin Madison, Oologah (SNU) Anthony Mason, Del City (NEO)* Zac Maynard, Davis/NEO (SWOSU) Bailey McKay, Claremore (SWOSU) Corneilus McKiver, Centennial (NEO) Gary McKnight Jr., Lawton MacArthur (NEO) Devin McLelland, Midwest City (Southwestern, Kan.) Ace McMahan, Ringling (SWOSU) Alfonzo McMillian, Millwood (Sam Houston St.) Jacob McMullen, Choctaw (NEO) John McQueen, Claremore (NEO) Jeffrey Mead, Tulsa Union (OU) Seth Mead, Woodward (NWOSU) Carson Meier, Tulsa Union (OU) Gage Meisinger, Claremore (OBU) Bradyn Meyer, Yukon (Baker) Chandler Miller, Bixby (Tulsa) Nick Mills, Tuttle (NEO) Jordan Mitchell, Owasso (Tulsa) Trevor Mitchem, Spiro (NEO) Michael Moana, Lawton Eisenhower (Houston) Tyler Moniz, Sequoyah-Claremore Mildren Montgomery, Douglass (Tulsa) Daniel Moore, Duncan (Henderson St.) Khalil Moore, John Marshall (NEO) Trevor Moore, Edmond North (North Texas) Zack Moore, Kingfisher (SWOSU) Cole Moos, Broken Arrow (NEO)* Luis Morales, Guthrie (Langston) Dawson Myers, Cushing/NEO (OBU) Quentin Nails, Tulsa McLain (NEO) Landon Nault, Kingfisher (Emporia St.) Joe Neece, Cashion (Emporia St.) John Cole Neph, Owasso (OSU)* Jose Ochoa, Alex (NWOSU) Cameron Oliver, Owasso (UT-San Antonio) Brendan O'Steen, Seminole (NEO) Jacob Overton, Minco (OBU) Zak Owen, Blanchard (NEO) Cade Parker, Norman (OU)* Steven Parker, Jenks (OU) Logan Parks, Yukon (NEO) Cade Pfleider, Avla (NWOSU) Caden Pratt, McAlester (SEOSU) Christian Preston, Savanna (SEOSU) Stephen Price, Empire (SNU) Payton Prince, Norman North (Tulsa) Ryan Rackley, Sulphur (ECU) Wyatt Rathjen, Miami (NEO) Kale Reed, Comanche (SNU) Shaliamere Rentie, Beggs (NEO) Keishawn Richardson, Putnam City/NEO (West Virginia) Cole Ridgway, Norman (NSU) Korie Robinson, Lawton MacArthur (NEO) Sinue Rodriguez, Sallisaw (NEO) Sam Rolle, Edmond Memorial (Hastings) Tyquae Russell, Midwest City (NEO) Caden Sander, Deer Creek (OU)* A.J. Sanders, Elk City (Panhandle St.) John Sasser, Perkins (SEOSU) David Seagle, Cascia Hall (UCO) Dallas Sealey, Lawton (Abilene Christian) Myykhail Shaw, Lawton (NEO) Isaiah Shawver, Carl Albert (Hastings) Tyler Sipe, Norman North (UCO) Akii Smith, Stilwell/NEO (North Texas) Devion Smith, John Marshall (NEO) Dillon Smith, Meeker (SEOSU) Jalen Smith, Tulsa Memorial (NEO) Janson Smith, Tulsa Union (NEO) Jarome Smith, McAlester (SEOSU) Jeremy Smith, Berryhill (Tulsa) Marguess Smith, Southeast (NEO) Myles Smith, Broken Arrow (SNU) Trey Smith, Guthrie (Langston) Nathan Sosa, Christian Heritage (OBU) Jacob Spady, Hinton (SNU) Pierce Spead, Southmoore (NEO) Jordan Stafford, Hugo (UCO) Dalton Stout, Bethany (Southwestern, Kan.) Ross Stovall, Tulsa Washington (NEO) Braden Stringer, Blanchard (Arkansas Tech) Payton Striplin, Little Axe (Langston) Carter Swanson, Ardmore (Garden City CC) Trent Taber, Jenks (OSU)* Lindell Tate, Edmond North (OU)* Myles Tease, Tulsa Washington (UCO) Justin Tharp, Thomas (SWOSU) Devon Thomas, Broken Arrow (OSU) Ivan Thomas, Lawton (OSU)* Stevie Thompson, Carl Albert (Pitt St.) Devin Thornburg, Alex (NWOSU) Quintonio Tolon, Broken Arrow (NEO)* Clay Trotter, Mustang (SW Assemblies of God) Trey Tully, Plainview (OBU) Houston Tyler, Southmoore (The Citadel) Rowdy Votaw, Madill (NEO) Jaelon Walker, Southmoore (UCO) Malik Walker, Spiro (NEO) Cody Ward, Hartshorne (SWOSU) Khalil Warren, Del City (NEO) Michael Warren, Lawton (Iowa State) Ty Watkins, Westmoore (NEO) Caleb Webster, Claremore (NWOSU) Eric Weed, Putnam City (SNU) Jordan Weltzheimer, Edmond Memorial (Air Force) Cameron Westbrook, Edmond Santa Fe (NEO) Papi White, Seminole (Ohio) Xavier Whitehead, Mustang (Langston) Kelby Wickline, Stillwater (UT-San Antonio) Terrell Williams, Lawton (NEO) Jonathan Willis, Tulsa Washington (Oregon St.) Dolee Wolf, Beggs (NEO) Conner Wood, Owasso (NEO) Skyler Wood, Nowata (UCO) Chantz Woodberry, Carl Albert (SWOSU) Ryan Woolman, Locust Grove (NSU) Trey Wormington, Norman North (UCO) Colton Wright, Tahlequah (SWOSU) Dakota Young, Lawton Eisenhower (NWOSU) GOLF Emma Allen, Tulsa Union (OCU) Lexi Armon, Owasso (NSU) Jacob Bishop, Edmond Memorial (Wichita State) Trent Evans, Edmond Memorial (Kansas State) Talor Fisher, Bethel (Arizona Christian) Emily Folsom, Deer Creek (SWOSU) Nick Heinen, Edmond North (OSU) Matthew Henry, Pauls Valley (ECU) Madison Herron, Edmond Santa Fe (OBU) Alexander Hughes, Tulsa Edison (UCO) Sam Humphreys, Edmond North (Tulsa) Drew Ison, Edmond Santa Fe (Drake) Ashley Moore, Edmond Santa Fe (SNU) Kaylee Neff, Mustang (Redlands) Casey Paul, Owasso (Tulsa) Griffin Pierce, Edmond North (OU) Zac Schaefer, Oklahoma Christian (OC) Marla Souvannasing, Tulsa Union (UCO) Ty Tamura, Edmond Memorial (OC) Cody Troutman, Edmond Santa Fe (UCO Hannah Ward, Poteau (Arkansas-Little Rock) Emilee White, Comanche (SNU) Ariel Wixson, Jenks (Rogers State) Hayden Wood, Edmond North (OSU) Daniel Echevarria, Cascia Hall (Wichita State) LACROSSE Sam Heaton, Edmond North (Lindenwood) Jake Hobbs, Edmond North (Lindenwood) ROWING Charlotte McMeekin, Classen SAS (Princeton) Hannah Naylor, Edmond Memorial (OU) Rachel Parks, Classen SAS (Tulsa) Cody Shafer, Tulsa Union (OCU) Madison Wilfong, Washington (UCO) BOYS SOCCER Clay Collier, Edmond North (OC) Josue Depaz, Putnam City West (OBU) Tyler Hatfield, Norman North (Harding) Zac Medawattage, Edmond North (Eastern Illinois) Alex Mullet, Edmond North (Midwestern St., Iowa) Keaton Van Eck, Norman North (Dallas) GIRLS SOCCER Anna Beffer, Tulsa Union (OSU) Abby Bright, Edmond North (OSU)* Olivia Butler, Putnam City West (SWOSU) Lexi Carroll, Norman North (UCO) Amanda Dial, Edmond Memorial (ORU) Lana Duke, Edmond Memorial (OSU)* Courtney Essary, Carl Albert (UCO) Hannah Frogge, McGuinness (UC-Santa Barbara) Hannah Hover, Edmond Santa Fe (Ouachita Baptist) Bri Kuestersteffen, Norman North (Alabama-Birmingham) Mikayla Lowery, Deer Creek (OBU) Mackenzie Marquardt, Norman North (OC) Kayle Moore, Southmoore (USAO) Kali Newman, Norman North (OU) Hannah Robinson, Southmoore (SNU) Simone Ryan, Norman North (UCO) Sheridan Spelman, Norman North (Lindenwood) Victoria VanHootegem, Norman North (Florida Atlantic) SOFTBALL Kelsey Arnold, Holland Hall (OU) K.C. Beardsley, Southmoore (Ft. Scott) Sheridan Bond, Edmond North (OC) Kelsey Bortvit, Carl Albert (USAO) Katelyn Brown, Southmoore (SNU) Riley Brown, Bethany (Lipscomb) Kasey Jo Burgess, Sand Springs (OBU) Shelby Carel, Tuttle (UCO) Mallory Collins, Sand Springs (OSU) Bre Davis, Piedmont (UCO) Ashli Hafford, Blanchard (East Central) Macey Hatfield, Lindsay/Seminole State (OU) Morgan Heard, Carl Albert (UCO) Morgan Hildebrandt, Lincoln Christian (Central Christian, Kan.) Heather Jones, Norman (Oklahoma Wesleyan) Kaitlyn Kromer, Putnam City North (SWOSU) Destinie Lookout, Westmoore (OU) Shayla Lucas, Westmoore (USAO) Kierra McFadden, Bethany (Oklahoma Wesleyan) Abby Meador, Carl Albert (OCU) Lauren Miller, Blanchard (East Central) Kate Myers, Jenks (Tulsa) Madison Norkyke, Edmond North (OC) Randee O'Donnell, Tahlequah (OSU) Amy Reynolds, Putnam City North (Rose St.) Shelby Robinett, Tuttle (SW Christian) Michael Rowlen, Jones (Des Moines CC) Kecia Sharp, Mount St. Mary (Robert Morris) Michaela Smith, Norman North (UT-Dallas) Kourtney Tanner, Edmond North (UCO) Katie Ventress, Bethany (Rose St.) Krista Waggoner, Carl Albert (West Virginia Wesleyan) Taylor Watham, Blanchard/Cowley (NWOSU) Emily Watson, Deer Creek (Tulsa) MacKenzie Wright, Carl Albert (Wichita State) SWIMMING Reid Hibbs, Southmoore (Towson) Jessi Hildebrand, Newcastle (Evansville) Kasey Rein, Piedmont (Evansville) TENNIS Emily Faulkner, Casady (Harding) David Hager, Edmond North (Davidson) Annie Hayes, Edmond North (UM-St. Louis) Spencer Papa, Edmond North (Tulsa) Easton Parker, Bixby (NSU) VOLLEYBALL McKayla Benner, Norman North (SNU) Dani Chase, Yukon (SNU) Kate Decker, Edmond North (OBU) Madison McClure, Mustang (SW Assemblies of God) Kenzie McMullen, Edmond North (OCU) Micayla Payne, Southmoore (Hillsdale) Holly Randall, Edmond North (OCU) Kamille Smith, Midwest City (Bellevue) Taylor Turner, Deer Creek (ECU) WRESTLING Andrew Dixon, Edmond North (OU) Joel Dixon, Edmond North (OU) Lance Dixon, Edmond North (OU) Nathan Marek, Southmoore (OU) Derek White, Edmond North (Nebraska) *-Will walk on Know of a player who signed a letter of intent but isn't on this list? Email the information to Scott Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I conducted an online chat on Friday morning, but I had a noon appointment and had to cut it off at the scheduled 11:30. I usually go over if we’ve got extra questions, and we had extra questions. So I saved the questions and am posting them with their answers now.
More chat questions: Does the Thunder care what you think?
Berry Tramel | Feb 7, 2014I conducted an online chat on Friday morning, but I had a noon appointment and had to cut it off at the scheduled 11:30. I usually go over if we’ve got extra questions, and we had extra questions. So I saved the questions and am posting them with their answers now. Guest: “Can you relate to the Thunder’s team officials or coach, what your readers are asking questions about the team, and are they receptive to such questions whether simple or complex for them?” I would say they are as receptive to your questions as they are to ours. You don’t get a whole lot out of Thunderville unless you’re talking to Nick Collison, Kendrick Perkins or sometimes Derek Fisher. Guest: “What do you think is the real story on Deondre Clark — going to LSU and it slipped out, or is OU still in the mix?” Slipped out. It’s clear that Clark signed with LSU but wanted some kind of drama. I suppose that’s what he got. Mike: “Can you explain Gundy’s paranoia. He must think people are knocking his door down trying to figure out what OSU is doing football wise. Won’t let QBs talk. Gundy himself is not talking to the media. Had his recruiting press conference on Thursday and basically lied about the reason. If there is a school that needs as much good pub as possible, it’s OSU. If I’m the media, I just don’t go to Stillwater anymore. Your thoughts?” Oh, it’s not that bad yet. You still need to go to Stillwater. Most press conferences also include some availability to assistant coaches and players. But the whole thing is so needless. There’s no reason for Gundy to be at war with the media. He’s been a media darling for literally 30 years. And now he’s alienated the media, at a place that historically has had to fight for a decent share of the marketplace. Not smart. Guest: “‘Ibaka is in the conversation, but (Suns guard Goran) Dragic is the one guy that should be on the team. If I had to pick between him and Ibaka, I would have gone with Dragic.’ Do you agree with Barkley?” Oh, probably not. But I have no big complaint. I don’t understand why the all-star roster is limited to 12. Seems like 15 would be a good number. One per team, though not required that every team have a representative. I think Ibaka is terribly underrated. But Dragic is having a great year, too. David: “What do you think about the disparity in salary between Texas OC Joe Wickline ($535,000) and the DC Vance Bedford ($760,000)? Salaries reported yesterday by ESPN. Do you think Texas is doing the right thing regarding the Wickline buyout, and wouldn’t Holder and OSU not be legally required to contest such a possible loss of $600,000?” Well, I don’t really understand the question “legally required.” If you’re asking me if Texas is trying to pull a fast one, the answer is yes. Shawn Watson, Charlie Strong’s assistant head coach and the real offensive coordinator, is set to make $650,000. Guest: “Were you rooting for the Broncos or the Seahawks? Any wager on it?” Betting is silly. I don’t bet. I sort of wanted the Seahawks to win, for this reason. I’ve never really wanted an NFL team to win the Super Bowl because it won a certain free-agent derby. That’s what we have in the NBA, and it’s lousy. We don’t have that in baseball. One guy can’t swing a franchise. It appeared that Peyton Manning might be able to do that, getting Denver to the Super Bowl. I don’t want the NFL to ever get to that point. Guest: “Any news on Russell Westbrook coming back?” Nope. I assume it’s still after the All-Star Game. Which is still 13 days away. The Thunder plays next Thursday at the Lakers, then gets a week off before hosting Miami. D: “What would you say about OU and OSU recruiting? Successful?” Sure. Both signed 25-27 future all-pros. I think it’s fabulous. Guest: “What was your trip all about to New York?” Convention of the international order of bird watchers. We meet every three weeks. Spongebob squarep…: “Do you think the Gundy issue with the media goes to him not wanting to play as tough a non conference schedule? I could see how Gundy would not want that published. A lot of media ran with that during his last courting to Tennessee and last contract negotiation.” I have no idea what he’s upset about. He might be just trying to prove who swings the biggest stick. D: “How long do you see the slump/rebound when Westbrook returns taking?” I don’t know if there will be a slump, but I do think there will be an adjustment period. Especially if Westbrook had returned when the Thunder was playing at a high level. But let’s be honest. The last three games, the Thunder has slipped a little. At Washington, home against short-handed Memphis and Minnesota. I think Westbrook won’t interrupt things much, and then the Thunder will be in a higher gear quickly. Paul: “Do you think the big twelve will ever get back to 12 teams or more?” Not any time soon. No good candidates. And no good reason to expand. We’ll see how the new college football playoff goes. If something occurs to make the Big 12 feel the need to expand, they could get interested in the likes of Brigham Young, I suppose. But for now, no. Jack: “So I thought Tech denied (Baker) Mayfield’s transfer? Does this just mean he has to sit out a year?” No. It means he loses a year’s eligibility. In other words, he’s eligible in 2015 and will be a junior. It’s a raw deal. A totally raw deal. D: “Will Thabo be back in OKC next year?” I’m going to guess yes. Defensive specialists generally don’t get much on the free-agent market. So it’s not like some team will spend $5 million or so on Thabo. I think OKC would like him back, because his perimeter defense remains strong. I could see the Thunder giving Thabo $3 million a year for three years. Guest: “If Brooks knows how to play his bigs, why did he lose six consecutive times to the Heat?” He was being loyal and stubborn. But he might have lost anyway. And the only ones that really count are the Finals. Regular-season games are interesting but not terribly relevant. They reveal matchup advantages, but not much beyond that. Miami was a better team two years ago, whether Brooks went small or not. Jack: “So with Bell moving to TE, who is the backup QB next year?” I am writing about this for Saturday’s paper. It’s a two-man derby. Cody Thomas or Justice Hansen. And if Knight is hurt bad, good-bye to tight end. Blake Bell will be back. Guest: “What does Brooks need to do better against the Heat, aside from their last win?” How about make his 3-pointers? Or close out on Miami’s shooters? Or get back in transition? Oh, wait. He’s not playing. If Brooks will just go small more often, he’s done his duty. The rest is up to the squad. Guest: “Which should osu fans be more excited about, (Mason) Rudolp(h) or tyreek hill?” The odds are greater that Hill will make the bigger impact. But if Rudolph is the quarterback, then he’s the answer. My guess: Rudolph doesn’t start the season but does finish the season. Guest: “So Gundy lies. Please let us know what you are talking about and give us some examples to back up your statement.” Gundy said Bill Young’s future is up to Bill. Two weeks later, Young is fired. After an August practice, Gundy said no one was injured but was asked about the ambulance that arrived at practice and carried away someone. Gundy said there was no ambulance, even though everyone saw it. Gundy said he would not be hiring an offensive coordinator; two or three days later, Dana Holgorsen was hired. Gundy said Zac Robinson would start because Bobby Reid was injured; then Gundy admitted Reid was fine. Do you want me to go on? Jack: “Do you see any potential trade deadline deals with the Thunder?” No. I think they’re standing pat. But you never know. Guest: “Why is Brooks not like playing from the post and loves mostly jumpers? Is he a small type player like he was?” Who plays from the post? Minnesota? Charlotte? Who else? The Thunder does not like mostly jumpers. The Thunder likes to attack the basket. The Thunder has an incredibly efficient offense. To ask for more is being a little silly. Midwestokie: “General thoughts on the OU’s 2014 class? Who is the headliner of the class when you look at immediate playing time, need, readiness etc?” I don’t know. I guess the running backs will play immediately. Mixon and Perine. OU needs tailbacks. Guest: “What is still lacking to make Adams a premier center?” Defense. Guarding the pick’n roll, primarily, but also the post. Adams will be a very good player. But he’s got to defend better. Guest: “The Seahawks team is not the high salary team and still won the championship, even with a college coach. Can the Thunder do the same?” The Thunder is a small market team, but it’s not a small salary team. The Thunder is paying Durant and Westbrook (and Ibaka) a ton of money. The Thunder is skirting with the luxury tax. Jared: “What’s your thoughts on Jeremy Lamb’s play this year, his development and his future role/ceiling?” I love how Lamb is playing. He’s one of the keys to the Thunder surge. I doubt he’ll ever be a star, but he’s a very solid player with a bright future. Mike: “Final 4 in football playoff next year is, OU, FSU, Alabama, USC my prediction.” I think the first three are contenders. I don’t know about Southern Cal. In fact, I’m pretty sure the Trojans won’t be in it. Jack: “Is Travis Ford done?” No way. First off, his team’s in a slump. His program’s not unraveling. Second, there’s plenty of time for rallying. Third, his contract will keep him safe. Ford has another 6-7 years on his contract. OSU can’t afford to fire him. RK: “Been meaning to ask someone about this for quite awhile. Your thoughts on the Big 12 Baseball Tourney moving to T-town in 2015?” I think it’s an OK move. It had lost momentum in OKC. Truth is, OKC might have outgrown the Big 12 Baseball Tournament. Maybe it’s time for Tulsa to have a turn. We’ve got a lot going on in OKC. NCAA championships. NCAA regionals. The NBA. The Big 12 baseball tournament sort of got lost. Oklahoma Man: “Why would any average high school student decide which college to attend based on a Sports Illustrated article. Have you been out in the cold to long?” No one bases any decision on any one thing. But OSU no doubt had to conduct some damage control after the SI series. And all those parents who send their daughters to OSU from Dallas and Houston are going to want to know what the heck is going on. Guest: “Do you think PJIII will be a starter next season and who will he replace?” Heck no. He plays Durant’s position. I guess if OKC lost Thabo, the Thunder could be looking for a perimeter starter, but you can’t ask Durant or Jones to cover 2-guards on a regular basis. So no. No starts in Jones’ future. Guest: “I know you like Brooks, does he have a weakness in your opinion?” Oh sure. I don’t think his X’s and O’s are as strong as some coaches’. But those great tacticians sometimes can’t motivate players. Let me ask you this. In six years, have you ever seen the Thunder not play hard? Ever seen the Thunder loaf? Ever seen the Thunder disrespect the game? Westbrook on occasion has gotten mad, but he’s gotten over it. Perkins can have a dicey disposition. But Brooks has handled all that extremely well. Lawton: “The quarterback with the most college starts on next year’s OU team will be Baker Mayfield. With Travis Knight’s history of injuries, and with more a QB- running game, wouldn’t it be in OU’s best interest to get involved in the Mayfield’s appeal to the NCAA to not sit out a year?” Hey, that’s an excellent idea. I don’t know on what grounds he’ll appeal, but it couldn’t hurt. You’re right. OU’s deep QB well suddenly has gone shallow, with Bell moving to tight end and Thompson transferring. Bebe: “Any chance OU will move Orlando Brown to tailback?” I don’t know anything about it. He seems a little large to be playing tailback, doesn’t he? Sam P.: “Thunder roster stands as is for the rest of the season. Chemistry is good. Results have been good. Players developing nicely. Russ will be back soon.” I think you’re right.
SUPER BOWL — Wes Welker was an Oklahoma legend before playing a down at Texas Tech. Now he's got former presidents rooting for him to finally win a Super Bowl.
Wes Welker: The Oklahoma City everyman with the big helmet is still something Super
BY BERRY TRAMEL | Feb 2, 2014EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — When Wes Welker made his Denver Broncos debut last Sept. 5, he caught nine passes from Peyton Manning and scored two touchdowns. When long-time Denver tackle Ryan Clady suffered a season-ending injury on Sept. 15, the Broncos needed a new offensive captain. It voted for Welker, who had played all of two games with the franchise. When former President Bill Clinton was interviewed Friday night in Brooklyn at the Thunder-Nets NBA game and asked for a Super Bowl pick, he mentioned two players. Peyton Manning and Wes Welker. As Super Bowl XLVIII arrives Sunday night, with the Broncos playing the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium for world supremacy, Welker is 32 years old and bigger in status than ever before. Not stature; he's still the same 5-foot-9 Everyman who leaves you wondering how he's carved an all-star career in a behemoth sport. But the little guy who long ago became an Oklahoma City folk hero still is going strong. Still an NFL lightning rod, be it his beard or his Old Spice commercials or his oversized helmet or his one-sided feud (not Welker's side) with Patriots coach Bill Belichick. “Very fortunate, very blessed to have this opportunity again,” Welker said of his third Super Bowl, “and that's all you really ask for.” Well, a victory would be nice, too. A Super Bowl championship and maybe the Pro Football Hall of Fame, that's all that's missing from Welker's career. He's got 841 NFL receptions, 24th-best in league history. But two Super Bowl disappointments with the Patriots have kept Welker from the ultimate prize. You never know the future. This could be Welker's final chance. “Whatever happens, happens,” Welker said. “You can't sit there and think in your mind, this or that or whatever. Whatever happens, happens and you just go out there and try to play the best you can. It's a lot of hard work, and you have to have some luck along the way to get to this point ... You don't take these moments for granted that's for sure.” Welker suffered two concussions this season and has missed three games. That led to the new helmet that caused him much grief but has kept his head relatively secure. Welker caused a stir at Super Bowl Media Day after he was asked if he would play in the Super Bowl with a concussion: “What do you think? I mean, you want to be out there. The Super Bowl, this is what you dream about. You're going to be there, I don't care what it takes, you're going to be out there in this game.” That's the same kind of ornery spirit Oklahomans have seen since Welker was a high school star at Heritage Hall in the 1990s. Despite his size, Welker was a do-everything player. In 2000, historian Ray Soldan, a half-century follower of high school football for the Oklahoman declared Welker the best Oklahoma prep player ever. At the time, Welker had yet to catch a pass even for Texas Tech. Welker's story has been oft-told. He got the last scholarship at Tech and became a star. He went undrafted by the NFL, then was cut by the San Diego Chargers. He hooked on with the Miami Dolphins, played three seasons, then was traded to the Patriots when Miami worried about paying Welker too much. “A lot of times, just coming into the league, especially on draft day, you just want a job,” Welker said. “Then as you get a job, you want to accomplish things, you want to go to the playoffs, you want to go to the Super Bowl and then you want to win a Super Bowl. So, coming from humble beginnings to get to this point is definitely a blessing.” All along, Welker has maintained his Oklahoma City roots. His family still lives in OKC. Last summer, Wes Welker Sports Bar & Grill opened in the Quail Springs area of north OKC. Welker's foundation for several years as provided grants to schools and youth programs in financial need. Welker can (and did, during Super Bowl) talk Thunder basketball; he's shown up at a variety of NBA arenas with Thunder apparel. He gave a shout-out to LifeChurch during Super Bowl Media Day. His favorite band is Oklahoma's Kings of Leon. “That's home for me,” Welker said. “That's where I grew up. I definitely have a big respect for my hometown and being from there. I just love it there.” But he doesn't plan on returning anytime soon. Too much football still to be played. Some players like to cap their careers on top. Welker was asked if a Super Bowl title might make him consider retirement. “Of course, it would be a good way to end it, but I am still having fun,” Welker said. “I am still enjoying the game. I feel good, and as long as I am out there having fun, I will continue to play.” And it's not like the Broncos don't want him. That captaincy thing was no small deal. “I don't care who you are, coming to a new team, new teammates, that doesn't happen very easily,” Denver coach John Fox said. “It says a lot to the kind of guy he is, both on and off the field. I think he is an unbelievable competitor and very gritty, and that became obvious to his teammates very early on — how he goes about his business on and off the field and preparation. He has been a tremendous addition, and we are sure glad to have him.” Oklahoma City feels the same way. Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at email@example.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.
For 15 years, Wes Welker has played football for teams in Lubbock, Texas; suburban Boston and now Denver. But Welker’s favorite basketball team is the Oklahoma City Thunder. The 1999 Heritage Hall High School graduate loves the Thunder and during Super Bowl week was asked about the Thunder and the hot stretch of OKC superstar Kevin Durant.
Super Bowl 48: Wes Welker talks Kevin Durant
Berry Tramel | Jan 31, 2014For 15 years, Wes Welker has played football for teams in Lubbock, Texas; suburban Boston and now Denver. But Welker’s favorite basketball team is the Oklahoma City Thunder. The 1999 Heritage Hall High School graduate loves the Thunder and during Super Bowl week was asked about the Thunder and the hot stretch of OKC superstar Kevin Durant. “It’s been pretty phenomenal just watching him out there,” Welker said. “They had (Russell) Westbrook go down, and so your key players have got to step up, and he’s definitely stepped up in a major way. It’s been really fun to watch and he’s great for Oklahoma City, not just as a player, but as a person. They definitely appreciate him there.” Can Welker, who has had his share of hot streaks, relate to the “zone” in which Durant seems to be in? “Yeah, I think every athlete at some point or another has been in the zone like that,” Welker said. “Just having to carry over from game to game like he has is pretty incredible. I look forward to him keeping that going throughout the year.” I wrote about Welker for the Friday Oklahoman. You can read that column here. But Welker had a lot to say about a variety of subjects. I’m going to write more about Welker for the Sunday paper, but there’s plenty of stuff that won’t make, either, so I thought I would share it. On his Super Bowl experience being an advantage. Welker has played in two Super Bowls. The entire Seahawk roster has played in a combined zero: “Maybe a little bit. Just trying to give some guys insight of what this week is like, the media obligations and the traveling to practice and not being at the facility through the week and different things like that. It’s definitely different and something that you kind of have to get used to.” On the Seahawks’ defense biggest strength: “Their whole defense is a big strength. That’s why they’re the No. 1 defense. Obviously their back end and defensive backfield is definitely up there. They do a great job across the board of playing pretty sound defense and staying on top of it. So we’re definitely going to have our hands full.” On the Bronco receivers, five of whom caught at least 10 touchdown passes this season: “I think everybody has their own opinion and everything, but this is one of the best groups I’ve ever played with. It’s the NFL. There’s a lot of good receiving groups. Every team is going to have good receiving groups in the NFL.” On his many concussions: “I think they do a good job of the protocols and different things like that these days. But we’re football players, we’re competitors and you want to be out there playing. You want to be out there on the field and giving your best for your team. It’s kind of a tough issue sometimes and you just go out there and deal with it and try to keep yourself safe, but at the same time, given the chance to go compete, you go compete.” On what Welker does the Saturday night before a big game: “I think basically just relaxing and going over my gameplan and being on to of all that. Making sure that I’m just ready to go. Make sure I’m getting my massages and stretched out and ready to go for Sunday.” On if he’s slept the night before previous Super Bowls: “Yeah, I have. I think just knowing the past, going through the week and preparation and everything else, you’re ready to get some sleep and make sure you’re ready to go for Sunday.” On his plans for Sunday morning: “My plan for Sunday morning is just like any other game. Just focusing and getting ready for the game and treating it like any other regular season game.” On his pre-game rituals: Welker said he likes to arrive at the stadium early, four hours before kickoff. Listen to the Kings of Leon and get his mind ready for the game. On how he’s handled Super Bowl hoopla, which for Welker has meant five straight days, Sunday through Thursday, of media sessions: “You try to make it as normal as possible. Just try and focus on the game, focus on the week and the gameplan and just getting ready for it. You deal with it how you can.” On Denver coach John Fox: “He’s one of those guys, he’s very inspirational, a very motivational type guy. The energy he brings to the team and everything like that. The guy can talk to anybody. You sit down at lunch and he can just sit there and talk and talk and talk. I mean, he’s that way with everyone. Just a great man, a great individual. I’m glad he’s our coach and our leader.” On Fox’s heart problems, which kept him away from the Broncos for four games this season: “I wouldn’t say he was different at all. He came back feeling healthier than he was before. So obviously, he’s our guy and he brings that energy and at the time we were just worried about his health and making sure that he was all good. We just told him, we’ll take care of everything on our end and you just get right and get back when you’re ready.” On playing with Hall of Fame quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady: “It’s kind of by design. There’s just not too many quarterbacks I’d actually play with. So, when it came down to it, it was two options. This has been a good one.” On what people don’t know about Manning: “He’s actually a very genuine person. A great teammate, he loves hanging out with the guys and being around the guys, camaraderie and everything else. He enjoys it. It makes you enjoy it as well.” On his relationship with Brady: “We just text after the game and stuff like that, but he’s a good friend of mine and we wish nothing but the best for each other.” On if it was bitter or sweet to beat the Patriots in the AFC title game: “I think a little bit of both. Obviously playing there and everything like that, you make a lot of relationships and a lot of friends and you wish the best for them. But, at the same time you’re excited about the opportunity you have in front of you.” On the impact of the weather, which doesn’t figure to be as severe as previously feared: “I feel good about it. I played in this for six years so I have a good idea of what to expect and what to be ready for, different things like that. It really didn’t feel too bad out there just walking over here to this boat and things like that. I’m looking forward to it, this is what football is supposed to be.” On throwing the ball in bad weather: “I’ve seen a lot of games where they’ve been able to throw for a lot of yards in bad weather. I don’t see that being a problem for us. I just see us going out there and executing our plays and not worrying about the weather or anything else. Just have the mindset that we’re going to move the ball and score touchdowns.” On his most memorable cold weather game: “Really there are so many to choose from. I remember we played the Jets one time in 2007 later in the year, low scoring game. It was tough. We had another one in Buffalo where we had 70 mile per hour winds. They had to take a rope and pull the field goal post back upright so that we could kick extra points and field goals and different things like that. I remember the receivers, we would just rotate and we would be throwing each other jackets. There would only be one receiver in the game because we really couldn’t throw the ball. Just basically, ‘Here you take my jacket, now you get over here and get warm, I’ll go in this play.’ We would rotate three of us the whole game.”
Jan 27, 2014
It’s a busy time of year on the football recruiting trail, and here are a few updates on some names you might know.
Recruiting roundup: Items on Landon Nault, Will Sunderland and an OKC trio
Scott Wright | Jan 27, 2014[img]2226073[/img] It’s a busy time of year on the football recruiting trail, and here are a few updates on some names you might know. Kingfisher star Landon Nault commits to Emporia State Kingfisher running back Landon Nault verbally committed to Emporia (Kan.) State, according to coachesaid.com. Nault, who was a national finalist for the Wendy’s High School Heisman, rushed for 2,304 yards and 45 touchdowns as a senior, concluding his career with over 8,000 yards from scrimmage and 132 TDs. Arkansas offers Midwest City’s Sunderland Already established as one of the top prospects in the state’s 2015 recruiting class, Midwest City safety Will Sunderland’s offer list expanded to the SEC on Monday with an offer from Arkansas. Sunderland, a first-team Oklahoman All-State selection, had 98 tackles and five interceptions as a junior. The 6-foot-3, 194-pounder already has offers from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Tulsa, with several other programs showing interest. OKC trio staying in state Three Oklahoma City football standouts have decided to state in state for college. Douglass linebacker Johnny Jones verbally committed to Central Oklahoma on Monday, choosing the Bronchos over Division I FCS Morgan State, among other opportunities. Jones was a Little All-City first-team selection and had 74 tackles, six sacks and five interceptions as a senior. Southeast linemen Marguess Smith and Anthony Bryant also made their college choices. Smith, a standout on the defensive line, committed to Northeaster Oklahoma A&M after a senior season that included 131 tackles (24 for loss) and eight sacks as a defensive tackle. Bryant, who played defensive end and tight end, had 57 tackles and five sacks as a senior. He committed to Southern Nazarene. – Scott Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @ScottWrightOK
Jan 27, 2014
The All-State football game is not until Aug. 1, but the East coaches might as well start preparing their run defense game plan.
High schools: Star running backs highlight coaches' All-State team
BY SCOTT WRIGHT AND JACOB UNRUH, Staff Writers | Jan 27, 2014The All-State football game is not until Aug. 1, but the East coaches might as well start preparing their run defense game plan. The West lineup, as announced by the Oklahoma Coaches Association on Monday, includes six 2,000-yard rushers. All five running backs on the roster, and Bishop McGuinness quarterback Jacob Lewis, all surpassed the 2,000-yard mark this season. The group includes the state's leading rusher, Braden Stringer of Blanchard, The Oklahoman's All-State Offensive Player of the Year; Landon Nault of Kingfisher; and Class 6A's most productive back, Michael Warren of Lawton. KINGFISHER STAR LANDON NAULT COMMITS TO EMPORIA STATE Kingfisher's Nault verbally committed to Emporia (Kan.) State, according to coachesaid.com. Nault, who was a national finalist for the Wendy's High School Heisman, rushed for 2,304 yards and 45 touchdowns as a senior, concluding his career with more than 8,000 yards from scrimmage and 132 TDs. ARKANSAS OFFERS MIDWEST CITY'S SUNDERLAND Already established as one of the top prospects in the state's 2015 recruiting class, Midwest City safety Will Sunderland's offer list expanded to the SEC on Monday with an offer from Arkansas. Sunderland, a first-team Oklahoman All-State selection, had 98 tackles and five interceptions as a junior. The 6-foot-3, 194-pounder already has offers from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Tulsa, with several other programs showing interest. OKC TRIO STAYING IN STATE Three Oklahoma City football standouts have decided to stay in state for college. Douglass linebacker Johnny Jones verbally committed to Central Oklahoma on Monday, choosing the NCAA Division II Bronchos over Division I FCS Morgan State (Md.), among other opportunities. Jones was a Little All-City first-team selection. He had 74 tackles, six sacks and five interceptions as a senior. Southeast linemen Marguess Smith and Anthony Bryant made their college choices. Smith, a defensive tackle, committed to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College. As a senior, he had 131 tackles (24 for loss) and eight sacks. Bryant, who played defensive end and tight end, had 57 tackles and five sacks as a senior. He committed to Southern Nazarene in Bethany. SOUTHMOORE TO WEAR PURPLE FOR RETT SYNDROME The Southmoore basketball teams will wear purple jerseys on Feb. 4 to help raise awareness for Rett syndrome. The school has been raising charitable funds for the International Rett syndrome Foundation as part of a challenge by the school's speech, debate and mock trial club. The basketball teams will wear jerseys donated by Downing Wellhead Inc. Rett syndrome is a genetic neurological disorder occurring almost exclusively in females and becomes apparent after 6-18 months of early normal development. The resulting regression leads to lifelong impairments, including lost speech, seizures, scoliosis, irregular breathing patterns and difficulty swallowing. More than half lose their ability to walk. More details can be found at www.facebook.com/GoPurpleGame and donations cane be made to the IRSF at www.rettsyndrome.org/gopurplesouthmoore. NEWCASTLE'S SANDERS SUSPENDED INDEFINITELY First-year Newcastle girls basketball coach Brett Sanders has been suspended indefinitely following his second ejection from a game this season. Sanders was ejected from both a high school game and a middle school game, immediately earning a suspension until he appears before the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board of directors for reinstatement. Rule 13, Section 3 of the OSSAA rule book says, “Any coach who is ejected from a contest a second time for the same or related activity shall be suspended from coaching until reinstated by the OSSAA Board of Directors.” Newcastle High is ranked No. 15 in Class 4A with a 12-3 record. The next OSSAA board meeting is scheduled Feb. 12. Sanders said he will ask for his reinstatement at that time.
Jan 22, 2014
The emails are in, and lots to talk about. The Thunder riding high (this week) and the Thunder struggling (last week). Sugar Bowl leftovers. Mike Gundy. Lots on the table. Let’s get to it. OU FOOTBALL Tom: “Frankly, I am glad for both the kid and the university (Kendal) Thompson is leaving OU. I had season tickets during the era that his dad (and others) was caught up in all of the...
Tramel emails: Thunder lineup changes & benefits of Kendal Thompson leaving
Berry Tramel | Jan 22, 2014[img]2325560[/img] The emails are in, and lots to talk about. The Thunder riding high (this week) and the Thunder struggling (last week). Sugar Bowl leftovers. Mike Gundy. Lots on the table. Let’s get to it. OU FOOTBALL Tom: “Frankly, I am glad for both the kid and the university (Kendal) Thompson is leaving OU. I had season tickets during the era that his dad (and others) was caught up in all of the drugs, shootings and alleged rape. It never made sense to me that this was a good fit to bring back the spectacle of that era. I realize that is not fair to the son, but the reality is that what would have been portrayed would have brought back the disgrace of the OU program of a past era. If there was any doubt at all, the comments of Charles Thompson in the middle of the season solidified my opinion.” You’re probably right. It’s probably best for all concerns. I thought Kendal, from all reports, handled everything great. And Charles handled it as well as anyone could. He’s a father first. So that was going to have some sticky points. But it’s probably best that Kendal is moving on. Dan: “Please, could we get a few more stories about the Sugar Bowl, 23 is not quite enough!” OU fans would read 123. Jim: “If I recall, you were the only sports writer to pick OU over Alabama. Congratulations.” I picked Bama 27-17. But on game day, I did write a column about how many double-digit underdogs in BCS games manage to pull the upset. THUNDER UP Chris: “Durant is crazy. Couple of years ago, he used to be a scorer. Has turned into a shooter, too.” I don’t know. I always thought Durant was a primo shooter. I know he’s gotten better, but I think he’s gotten better at degree of difficulty. Just straight shooting, I think Durant was a phenom shooter even at Texas. Steve: “While I know this is what you do, it must be very special to witness what KD is currently doing from up close. After last night’s performance, he is bringing back memories of MJ in his prime. As for the defense, I, too get frustrated with Perk and Thabo’s inability to make offensive contributions with any form of consistency. However, without their defense last night the Thunder are down a game to Portland in the division AND the season series is lost.” It’s an amazing run, no doubt about it. And it’s a very good question. Do we appreciate what we are seeing? Do we appreciate what fell in our lap six years ago? I hope so. I think so. Not to sadden the mood, but it won’t last forever. Jim: “I have watched basketball since I was 12 years old (now 75). Watched the Rochester Royals, at the Edgerton Park arena in Rochester, because we were in a PAL league and we could stay and watch the games after playing. Well, we were just kids with no coaches, etc. Anyway, I have seen some great scorers, Cousy, Wanzer, Wilt, McAdoo and later Kareem (on TV) and others, but Durant tops them all! I am not a big fan of present day pro basketball. I usually only watch the last quarter if any, but the last quarter of this (Warriors) game was something else.” I have no idea who Wanzer is. But I know the Rochester Royals, who moved to Cincinnati, and then to Kansas City, and now are in Sacramento. I had never even thought about the Buffalo/Rochester connection. Upstate New York has had three NBA franchises, all three have scooted out of the region. The Buffalo Braves went to San Diego and became the Clippers. The Syracuse Nationals went to Philadelphia and became the 76ers, after the Warriors from Philly to San Francisco. Kevin: “Why do Rocket fans boo D-Fish when he touches the ball?” The Lakers traded Fisher to Houston two years ago and he declined to report, instead negotiating a buyout of his contract, which allowed him to sign with the Thunder. Fisher wanted no part of the then-rebuilding Rockets. Kent: “The curse of Kelvin Sampson returns. Rockets score 19 points in a half. Looked like OU-Mizzou in the 2003 Big 12 finals in Dallas. No one much remembers that game, but it was wild. The Sooners led 37-18 at halftime and eventually led 46-24 with 15:05 left in the game. And then OU won 49-47. The Sooners scored three points those final 15 minutes, all on foul shots. Missouri’s Rickey Paulding missed a driving shot with four seconds left that would have tied the game. That’s the only game that came to mind when I watched the Rockets’ 19-point second half. Joel: “On the discussion about the starting lineup, there were a couple of comments you made I thought were interesting: 1) Perkins should keep starting, even for minimum minutes, due to team chemistry; and 2) You like Thabo but wish he’d play better. So here’s my question: Why is Brooks so rigid about how he starts the game and the second half? I can understand chemistry (I guess), although it can’t be lost on the players that the Thunder have issues with how they start games and second halves and that can’t help team chemistry. In my opinion, Brooks is a very loyal person, and truly values his players. That’s why they like him. But I’m afraid this is going to wear thin if they don’t win it all. I’m just hoping, for his sake, that he’s not playing the Doug Collins role vs. Phil Jackson and that he’s never able to get them over the top.” The starting lineup has worked. That’s why Brooks sticks with it. It combines offense and defense. It allows some solid offensive players to come off the bench and give the B team a boost. This lineup will wear thin when it doesn’t work. Otherwise, it would be nuts to switch. Mike: “Things are never as good as they seem and never as bad as they seem. Notice the Heat have quietly lost three straight. It’s good to remember that what happens in January stays in January. It’s all practice until April.” Great points. When the Thunder struggles, losing at Salt Lake and Denver and Memphis, or when the Thunder wins four straight and Durant goes crazy, it’s still January. Mike: “If the Thunder don’t get Perkins and Sefolosha off the floor, they are going nowhere. Sefolosha can’t hit the broadside of a barn and Perkins is very consistent in committing fouls. The Thunder will never win a championship if these issues are not corrected. Get rid of those two and try to get Gasol from the Lakers. If the Thunder had a scoring center and would make their offensive game plan to score in the paint when possible, they would be unbeatable. Most good championship caliber teams have a scoring center.” Leading the NBA right now in paint points are 1. Detroit, and 2. Philadelphia. Minnesota is fifth. Memphis is sixth. Sacramento is eighth. New Orleans is 10th. The Thunder is 11th. Miami gets no scoring from the center position. Bosh doesn’t play center and gets most of his points outside. Ibaka scores more inside than does Bosh. In fact, most of the recent NBA champions did NOT have scoring centers. Miami, Dallas, Boston. Only the Lakers. Mitch: “Truth must be told here and that is both Thabo and Perkins are liabilities. Their so-called defensive prowess is overwhelmed by extremely limited offense. With Westbrook out, it shows. Forty percent of the lineup is an offensive backwater. Yes, there is no need to have four or five go-to guys with KD and Westbrook, but that does not mean you want extremely bad offensive players at all times. Perkins’ value is declining faster than the Nellie Johnstone Well #1 at Caney Creek. I’m not saying the solution is easy. But the first step is to identify the problem. I really cannot articulate a great reason for starting Sefolosha. Defense is often hard to measure but results are evident. These two deadwoods are part of the problem and not the solution.” This was written last week, when the Thunder was coming off that loss to the Grizzlies. And it’s been obviously renounced with the Thunder’s recent play. But you know what this kind of thinking represents? Football mentality. The idea that every loss is cataclysmic and is a sign that something is very wrong. It’s not even true in football, with 12 games a year. It’s absolutely nonsense in the NBA, which plays 82 regular-season games. You know what a five-game losing streak in the NBA represents (not that the Thunder ever has a five-game losing streak)? One NFL game. One. The Thunder has plenty of scoring with Durant and Westbrook. Heck, in recent games, the Thunder has had plenty of scoring with just Durant. The Thunder needs Thabo and Perk — or someone like them — for defense, and that’s shown in recent games. Jim: “The Thunder are built to win track meets. Without Westbrook, that option is gone. They have the talent but are not coached to run disciplined plays. Reggie does better when running the second unit because much of that time Durant is out of the lineup. When he plays with Durant, he defers to the detriment of his own skills to score. As much as I like the coach, he will not win with them without all the pieces in place for every game. Too much risk, if I owned the team. San Antonio has less talent but they do what they are coached to do and that solid coaching has them in contention every year. Presti comes out of that franchise. He needs to make a change if he wants to get the most out of what he has.” Let me get this straight. You say OKC won’t win the NBA without Westbrook. I agree. You say the Thunder should can Scotty Brooks so it can hire a coach as good as Gregg Popovich. I agree. The only coach as good as Gregg Popovich that I know of is Gregg Popovich. So if you can talk Pop into coming into OKC, sign me up. MIKE GUNDY Bob: “I read your article on Gundy and Wickline very carefully. How interesting! I am wondering, if on the larger scene at OSU, Gundy has issues with Holder and then that just sifts down? I will be very interested to see how the Cowboys do at football next season. They will lose in Norman for sure. I wish Gundy would admit that the OU game is not just another game for the fan base.” You might be onto something about Gundy/Holder, but I think they have mended fences to some degree. I don’t know that for sure. Frank: “I have read and enjoyed your articles for years and rarely disagree and even then it was just opinion. I have to say, though, lately you have become focused on bashing Gundy from saying things like you don’t fit the profile of someone he would come after to this latest article. He was jealous of Wickline and wanted to fire him. BS, Berry. Fire the best line coach in the country? Don’t buy it. How bout a story on Bob, Mikey and Brent?” I wrote about Mike Stoops and Venables when it happened. Two years ago. Is that the best you’ve got? And by the way, I didn’t bash Gundy this time. I just said he wanted to fire Wickline. Maybe he had good reason. But I know he wanted to fire him. Jerry: “If you do a history on the quarterback selections made by Gundy, you will find that every excellent quarterback, from the beginning of Gundy’s head coaching career, was an afterthought, NOT the initial selection. Everyone one! Can he really pick a winner from the beginning? Many of his initial picks were not just bad, they were awful.” Well, I wouldn’t say they were an afterthought. But it’s often been a circus. The Donovan Woods/Bobby Reid waltz, the Reid/Zac Robinson waltz, the decision to start Alex Cate against Colorado in 2009. The switches of the last two seasons. It hasn’t been smooth. Mike: “Ouch! The article on Wickline hurt my OSU Orange Pride. I hope there is nothing to it. I will be devastated if there are problems with Mike Gundy, his coaching staff and Mike Holder. I want to believe we have turned the corner and there are brighter days ahead. OSU is dear to my heart. In other words, I bleed orange. I am a 1978 alum, therefore I have been through a lot. As they used to say in the Civil War, ‘I have seen the Elephant.’ Maybe, just maybe, OSU can gain some respect for where we have come from and where we want to go.” What are you talking about? Of course OSU has gained some respect. The Cowboys’ national brand is soaring. OSU had a rough end to the 2013 season, but these are not the times that try men’s souls. 0-10-1 tries your soul much more than losing Bedlam or a tight Cotton Bowl. COLLEGE BASKETBALL Tommy: “You are so correct there are few venues like The Phog in collegiate basketball. Many of the old homes had been replaced except for Kansas and Duke. However, I would say both programs thrive in their unique old stadiums. I think it is safe to say as long as Bill Self is coaching, The Phog will remain. I think the appreciation that is so mutual of Bill Self for the history of, and the current status of, KU basketball is just so prevalent. I really think as much as any coach, he has embraced the university in total although he graduated from a rival university in the same league. He has really bought into KU and the fans, alumni, and administration have responded in kind. It is so refreshing even for someone like Cindy Self to be so involved in the community, charitable foundations along with her husband. It is quite a change from the image of the Roy Williams family that really never thought Kansas, Lawrence or KU was quite up to the class of North Carolina. The down home attitude and total class of Bill Self just fits. I hope he never goes pro. It would be such a loss not only to KU but to the game.” Well, there’s a lot there. I never detected that Roy Williams didn’t fit at KU. In fact, I think Jayhawk fans were mortified when he left. I remember what the Kansas City Star’s Joe Posnanski wrote when Williams departed. Something along the lines of, we thought he was more than a basketball coach. But no doubt, Self has embraced the Jayhawk tradition. Stang: “OSU women’s coach Jim Littell has moved the program into national prominence, but I see no support. Why is there no radio coverage for the program? You can’t get 105 FM in either OKC or Tulsa. Surely this adversely affects recruiting. And very limited TV coverage as well.” It’s a great point. You would think with all the sports radio options in OKC and Tulsa now, OSU could sign a contract with someone that would include women’s hoops. And the television situation is abysmal, too. I thought OSU signed a deal with Fox Sports? It appears to have had little effect. John: “Enjoyed your article on Allen Fieldhouse. I agree it’s a classic venue, however fan support did take a dive when the team was down many years ago. My brother is a KU graduate and I remember going to OSU game at Allen in 1980 on Saturday afternoon when he was a student and I was in high school at John Marshall — it was maybe half filled and OSU won easily behind Leroy Combs and Lorenza Andrews (Self was a year away). KU had Darnell Valentine. Flip side is I also saw OU play there in ‘93 or ‘94 (Jeff Webster was top OU player) and it was filled to capacity and was rocking. Needless to say, KU won easily. It’s a great place. Might sound crazy but I wish OU would retrofit McCasland to about 8,500 capacity. If they did, it wouldn’t be far off from Allen.” Well, OU can’t retrofit the Fieldhouse. It only seated 4,100 in its heyday. So that’s a non-starter. But you’re right. KU had its dips back in the day. Even then, though, Allen Fieldhouse was a great place. Timothy: “Call it the Kansas roll.You are scrapping with them and all of a sudden in a few minutes of time you are down 17. Then they tend to let up in the middle and you can get within eight or nine and then they finish you off. It would have been a leg up on the rest of the conference if we could’ve hit the 3. We have lost two conference games on the road by a total of five points. Kansas usually hits a skid of mediocrity in or about mid-conference season. That doesn’t always mean they lose them, but they can be had.” I don’t know. As far as OSU is concerned, the Cowboys trail KU by two full games, and KU has played the tougher schedule. The Jayhawks already have been to Ames and Norman. If the Cowboys win out, they still need KU to lose somewhere else, just to have a tie. And winning out is very difficult, since OSU plays at Ames, Austin, Norman and Waco. COLLEGE FOOTBALL Ed: “Really enjoyed what you wrote about the flip flops in college football, dating back to the heydays of Harvard and Yale. Right down my alley. I well remember when Santa Clara was a power. Saw us (OU) play them here in 1949. Yep, times and fortunes change. I’m not quite old enough to remember it, but if you dig deep enough, you can see that the University of Chicago once put quite a whipping’ on Texas. Nobody stays on top of the mountain forever. Thanks for a trip down memory lane.” Minnesota is my favorite example. And Kansas State, too. Heck, nobody remembers this, but Florida State didn’t even play football until 1948, and Florida was an afterthought until the ‘80s and not even a national power until Spurrier in the ‘90s. Blake: “Is there anyway OU considers leaving the Big 12 at this point? It sure seems to me the Big 12 needs to be proactive to expand at least two more schools soon if they are to thrive competitively long term.” No. Contracts are much more iron-clad than they used to be. The Big 12 is going to have to pull itself up. Chris: “Bobby Petrino, with his track record and issues, he stills gets another chance. Both at Western Kentucky and Louisville. Why wouldn’t someone, somewhere take a chance on Mark Mangino? Based upon my understanding, while Mangino was not a joy to work with, the allegations were grossly overstated and not established by the majority of players. I also know that he had a horrible relationship with the AD (who is now gone). All of his negatives don’t seem to be worse or as bad as Petrino. They were not NCAA allegations and the man won a ton of games at KANSAS! They won an Orange Bowl for goodness sakes, and yet he seems to be outcast as a leper, yet others with issues similar continue to get opportunities because they win. I’m not a Mangino fan or a Mangino detractor, just curious as to why it seems no one at any level will touch him.” Chris: I just think at that time there was a wave of alleged mistreatment of players. With all the talk about exploitation of players, scandal of player abuse was a hot-button issue. Meanwhile, coaches lying or cheating and screwing around is nothing new. I do think things are relaxing on Mangino. Becoming offensive coordinator at Iowa State is a great step. Steve: “I was lucky enough to be in New Orleans this year for the OU game. I felt we had a good chance to win but probably still less than 50-50. I have been around OU a long time and it seems when even their fans become doubters is when OU will show us who OU football really is. But speaking of history, I would put Alabama, Notre Dame and OU in the all-time top five programs. I was wondering how many times a college football team has beaten both Alabama and Notre Dame in the same year. And for OU this year, neither game was at home.” I know Southern Cal beat both Bama and Notre Dame in 1970 and 1978. Tennessee beat both in 1999 and 2001. PRO FOOTBALL Billy: “Am I the only human being who realizes that (Richard) Sherman was beaten on that play, (Michael) Crabtree got behind him and if Kap (Colin Kaepernick) makes a back corner pass instead of the short underneath pass, the whole scenario changes.” I don’t know. Sherman is so good, he goads QBs into those throws. And if a play requires a perfect pass for completion, better throw it somewhere else. Tiki: “The NFL is rigged. You and I both know holding could be called on half the plays in football, or a nit-picky foul in basketball. There has rarely been a level playing field where big money is involved.” Big money is the very reason games AREN’T rigged. The risk is too great. If it is found that sports organizers have rigged games, the sport goes poof. Maybe an isolated official (Tim Donaghy) or upset ballplayer (Black Sox) rigs a game, but nothing orchestrated. There’s too much money in it already. Ben: “How in the world did OU not sign Wes Welker out of high school? Ranks up there with letting Barry Sanders go. Really, Wes was all-state everything?? No offer from OU?” Sometimes you miss. Tom Brady was a sixth-round draft pick.
The United Soccer Leagues announced Friday that each and every one of their Pro league games will be streamed live on their YouTube channel.
All USL PRO games to be streamed live
Chris Brannick | Jan 17, 2014The United Soccer Leagues announced Friday that each and every one of their Pro league games will be streamed live on their YouTube channel. Now, if we can just get a schedule. Oklahoma City Energy FC will make its debut in the league in mid to late March. We still don’t know when their first game will be but we do know now that if you don’t make it to the games, you can still watch them on your computer, laptop or mobile device. Search for OKC Energy FC on YouTube to find the team-specific channel. The USL channel can be found there as well. The channel consists of not just the live streaming of games each week but also, USL Pro Weekly and USL Pro Goal of the Week along with other highlights. Nicholas Murray hosts the weekly show recapping games and talking about other big news in the league. Jay Preble, who works for USL, said they hoped to release the schedule after the new year. The league’s twitter account responded to fans questions about the games by saying they hoped to release it earlier than they did last season, which was Jan. 24. Energy FC said they would be okay with playing their first two or three games on the road because of the ongoing construction to the field at Pribil Stadium. The team is renovating Bishop McGuinness high school’s football field.
The emails are in, on a variety of subjects. Cotton Bowl, Bob Stoops, Charlie Strong. Let’s get to the good stuff. COTTON BOWL Brian: “I thought of a what-if scenario that seemed intriguing and wanted to see if I could get your thoughts.
Emails: What if Todd Monken had stayed at OSU?
Berry Tramel | Jan 10, 2014The emails are in, on a variety of subjects. Cotton Bowl, Bob Stoops, Charlie Strong. Let’s get to the good stuff. COTTON BOWL Brian: “I thought of a what-if scenario that seemed intriguing and wanted to see if I could get your thoughts. What if Todd Monken had stayed at OSU for one more year? With the way Monken commanded the offense, does OSU probably go undefeated and have a great shot to play FSU in the championship game? After the season, is it likely that Monken is then up for better jobs like Louisville (since Strong just left)? I propose the answer to both is yes. I guess I’m assuming that the ‘greenness’ of Mike Yurcich led to some of the downfalls.” Well, I think Yurcich certainly didn’t have great gameplans for West Virginia or OU, the Cowboys’ two losses. But Yurcich did have great gameplans for Texas and Baylor, so I guess you never know. OSU clearly would have been better off had Monken stayed. But here’s one thing to ponder: 12-0 Oklahoma State or 12-1 Auburn? Would the pollsters have gone with OSU? I don’t know. Maybe. Probably. But not certainly. Tim: “I know a win is a win and a loss is a loss. OSU was trying to win (at the end of the Cotton Bowl) instead of going into overtime, and it cost us. We barely lost to the second or third team in the SEC while playing poorly in the red zone. We will get our comeuppance at the beginning of next year. Did we achieve everything that we set out to do? No. Is the bar raised at OSU? Yes. We don’t have that many 10-win seasons and top-10 rankings in our past. In years past we would have taken this season in a heart beat. We beat all the Texas schools again. One play from beating OU and winning the conference, so It is not a disaster.” No, not a disaster, but a disappointment. OSU had the league’s best team but didn’t win the Big 12 and also created a monster in its arch-rival. Then had a chance to beat a top-10 SEC team and just didn’t get it done. Disappointing all the way around. Jeff: “I thought your piece on Gundy (and SI) was well done. However, I see college coaches, especially Big 12, as the 21st century professional golfer; robotic, unnecessarily and pre-maturely polished, boring, and I could go on. But you get the point. There are no John Daleys, Palmers, Players. Why are college coaches so afraid to show any personality, feeling or frailty? You’re right. Football coaches are half robots, half control freaks. Give me basketball coaches anytime. I don’t know why it’s developed that way. Didn’t use to be. Timothy: “I thought Gundy was funny. However, does this mean he knows something of the internal investigation? If not, he might have to eat crow if something does turn up. Mainly grades and it seems a few of our other athletes have been doing a little pot. That doesn’t bode well for us. I was always taught not to burn bridges. He may have thrown down the gauntlet, in which SI may pick up and make our lives miserable.” I doubt it. I never thought OSU had anything to worry about with the SI stuff. It was all so old. I think Gundy was just literally talking off the top of his head. Nothing pre-planned. He kept it inside a long time about SI. I don’t blame him for popping SI a little bit. Spencer: “Don’t you think it’s a little bit early for Gundy to be popping off about Sports Illustrated? The last I checked, OSU had hired an outside firm to conduct an independent investigation into very serious allegations. Apparently, from what I’ve heard and read, that report won’t be finalized/made public until after national signing day. If Sports Illustrated got it all wrong, seems to me the school would want to make that clear before signing day. OSU fans and their coach can laugh at Sports Illustrated all they want, but I have a feeling they won’t be laughing about much when their own school signs its name to a report that confirms some of what Sports Illustrated reported. I should add that by bashing Sports Illustrated, Gundy is bashing his own former players and former ‘Cowboys’ — people OSU recruited and ‘developed.’ To me, not much of a laughing matter for the head coach of a major program.” I don’t think Gundy was laughing. He had a smile on his face. Sort of a make-my-day smile. People in the press conference were laughing. Not Gundy. He was dead serious. He’s PO’d at Sports Illustrated, and it’s hard to blame him. Jimmy: “Just want to vent. The game set us Cowboys back at least two years on total recruiting in my opinion ( little brother to the Sooners).” Probably right. Massive missed opportunity. OSU had a chance to win a title and keep OU down. Instead, OSU didn’t win the title and gave OU a chance to leap back into the national spotlight. I think I was accurate that Bedlam Saturday when I wrote that it was a cataclysmic defeat for OSU. Joe: “The Cotton Bowl loss, everyone is claiming on the officials, but they called as good a game as they possibly can. Here is my concern: Those officials were from the Mid-America Conference, and this year the same as the past, the game is too fast for them. They remind me of Wylie Coyote and Roadrunner. Beep-beep and the offense is gone.” Well, they were from the Big Ten (maybe Joe knew that), but he’s got a point. The game did seem to get away from them. I actually thought the pass interference penalty on Patmon was the right call. But they let things get away from them. Mike: “Thanks for doing double duty and being easy on the grading for the Pokes. Had to take a few days to cool off. Kind of like Darth Vader on the bridge of the Star Destroyer when the Millennium Falcon launches off into hyperspace. Stunned. Watching four hours of ‘what the crap’ ages a guy, and I’m nearing 60. Man, it ain’t easy being an OSU fan. My additional thoughts on some additions: Head Coaching: D- at best. The lack of calls on the fourth down past the 50. And no plan for an onside/squib kick when kicking off from the 50? Really? Not after this year of QB carousel. This game had all the trademarks of using extra practices for next year and just hoping for the best in the Cotton Bowl. And this ‘my hire’ for offensive coordinator. Much room for improvement in both areas. Defense Coaching: C- at best. Great effort to hold them close but Mauk was a pain to watch. Running QB in the game and continuing man to man coverage?? Holy moly. Uniforms. F-. Was that PennState out there? In a hotbed of recruiting for OSU and a Nike contract, 77 players from Texas on OSU’s team, and you come out in all white with the Paterno Pots on? How about the black pants with orange helmets, gray pants with gray helmets, grey pants with orange helmets, black pants with black helmets? Did they give the equipment guys the month off? And please lose the white helmet with black stripe. I was OSU when OSU wasn’t cool. I remember the ‘70s, Tony Pounds, Phil Cutchin, Floyd Gass, etc. But lose it. Ugly as sin. Almost as bad at the other OSU with the wide red stripe. Making me go back to black and white TV. Referees. F. Not the controversial calls at all. Poor for both teams. Seemed lost from the start. Saw too many blocks in the back on kicks not called, etc. And, if you’re going to let the DBs pop the receivers, please be consistent throughout the game.” Great points. I’ve got to write about the uniforms. Mike’s exactly right. Skinner: “My thoughts for a head coach that hired the aggressive agent and interviewed around before getting the long term contract. Tread lightly. Have heard third hand that coaching is a topic in the suite for the head of football operations, er, chief donor. Even Pat Jones was fired eventually. Reality is that 9-3 is the new 7-5 or 6-6. Especially with the head coach’s thoughts on scheduling. Remembering back to Switzer and some ‘clunker’ years that weren’t really all that bad. Cowboy Nation is looking at Gundy the way Gundy looks out on the field. There ain’t much smilin’ going on. Give me a team of over-achievers in Rustoleum Stadium every time. We might go 5-7 or 7-5, but it will be integrity through and through.” Hey, be careful. You don’t really want 5-7 and Lewis Field back. The truth is, OSU had a disappointing year — and went 10-3. Sure, the Cowboys should have beaten West Virginia, would have beaten OU and could have beaten Missouri. But a disappointing 10-3 is not a reason to retreat, it’s a reason to advance. Bob: “If Coach Gundy can’t see the writing on the scoreboard after the Cotton Bowl, what is it going to take? Missouri never won a Big 12 anything, correct? The level of competition in the SEC either made Mizzou tougher than thy were in the Big 12 or made them think they were tougher. The coach at Missouri hasn’t changed. The facilities haven’t changed. Only the conference has changed, and the teams Mizzou competes against during the conference season. If Gundy doesn’t embrace playing a tougher non-conference schedule, he is going to get what he always got, namely a team that thinks it’s better than it is when it comes to Big 12, bowl selection and national title championship time.” Hey, I’m against Gundy’s scheduling philosophy, but that had nothing to do with the Cotton Bowl. I would say it had a lot to do with losing to West Virginia, but not Missouri. The Tigers ended up fifth in the AP poll. They were a very good team and OSU played Mizzou tough. The Tigers just made the winning play at the end. Just as easily could have been OSU. Kent: “Cotton Bowl observations. 1. It’s a nice story about Glen Spencer, but like Bedlam, OSU can’t stop a team at the end. OSU’s defense is not very good. 2. Yurcich appears over matched. 3. I told the guy I watched the game with, when I saw that ref, I said, ‘Big Ten. Bad and will be bad calls on both sides.’ 4. I would suggest a new punter and kicker. 5. James Franklin isn’t good and Missouri receivers dropped 10 passes. 6. Third and fourth and short, to be in the shotgun is dumb.” Let’s see. Lots to chew on. 1. OSU’s defense actually is very good. Was very good all season. But the Cowboys did cave on two major drives to end the season. 2. Yurcich did not finish strong, no doubt about it. I’d love to know the full story. Was the offense fully his? Did Gundy get involved? Did Gundy have to get involved? This is worth watching. 3. The Big Ten called the Big Bowl. Which means the Cotton Bowl got the second-best Big Ten unit. That’s not good. 4. New kicker/punter couldn’t hurt. The Cowboys fell far from Quinn Sharp. 5. I was stunned at how bad James Franklin was. At one point, he had completed four of 16 passes. And Missouri still led. 6. I agree. Going under center would help. David: “The Cowboys did not play to win, but played not to lose. In the big games, a little bit of river boat mentality is needed. It is a universal problem of how to approach 3rd-and-one. The defense always stations McArthur, Patton, Texas Ags’ 13th man and the little Dutch boy that held his finger in the dike, squarely in the middle of the line.” Well, play-action passes are what the NFL loves. But the NFL has quarterbacks who can throw accurately about 99 percent of the time. College teams rarely have that luxury. I would go under center, to make the defenses defend the sneak. And I don’t like slow-developing sweeps. I like rollouts, fling pitches off a counter, hard-hitting off-tackle runs. That’s what I like. Brian: “What a seismic shift in the narrative for OU/OSU football since the Justin Gilbert non-interception. Credit OU for taking advantage of the opportunities about as well as possible. A Blake Bell TD pass then a game for the ages vs. Bama, all the sudden OU is ‘back’ and now in Title talk for 2014. And OSU is back in the familiar territory we’ve been trying to climb out of since basically our whole existence. Crazy, if Gilbert secures the ball, and everything is tilted completely different for both programs. Feels like we’re back to square zero. It’s actually fascinating.” Well, fascinating is not the word most OSU fans would use. Demoralizing maybe. BOB STOOPS Blake: “I actually do not think Stoops will stay in the profession past 60ish for a few reasons: 1. The good ones in all professions leave on their own terms. The great ones die young. If I knew why I would write a book. 2. He is an old school coach and in a quiet moment over a drink I think he would say college athletics has lost its way. 3. His health is good but his dad’s genes and profession have potentially given he and his brothers a short shelf life. 4. His roots are up North and it makes you wonder if he longs for his homeland. It actually would not surprise me if he finishes his career at OU. 1. Not all the good ones leave on their own terms. 2. He is an old school coach, but I don’t think he thinks college athletics has lost its way. He keeps taking big raises that put his salary past $4.5 million. 3. He worries about his health, no doubt about it. 4. He has no desire to go back North. None at all. He hates cold weather. But it also wouldn’t surprise me if he finished his career at OU.. Tom: “I think someone — Stoops — needs a basic 101 course in diplomacy. Goodness, why in the world would someone attack the past players for some comments, especially those that were a year old. Frankly, some of the comments I read, especially about sub par recruiting, were reflective of a lot more people than just prior players. What is there to gain? I would think a more diplomatic statement could have been made like awareness of the current situation or something and not make a total frontal attack on them. This makes about as much sense to me as the constant banter between the ‘Bud Boys’ and ‘Barry Boys.’ A lot of those older players I am sure make contributions both in terms of donations and indirect positive things that may be said about the program to high school coaches in their community. To me that is a fight that need not be made.” Oh, you may be right. But Stoops was asked about it, and he answered. Here’s what he thought of the year-old criticism. He thought it was bush league. He thought it was disloyal. Some of the comments were talking about talent, but some of the comments were from old players who said OU had lost its toughness or its mental edge. That’s what rankled Stoops, I believe. I think he was fired up about it. Can’t say that I blame him. The ’84-85 Sooners weren’t great because they had some kind of great intestinal fortitude. They were great because Tony Casillas played nose guard and Brian Bosworth played linebacker. That’s why they were great. Jeff: “I am sure you don’t need hucksters like me suggesting articles for you to write, but … Grand Slams are talked about frequently in the golf and tennis world and you will recall back in 2001 Tiger Woods held all four major trophies at once but not in the same year and the term ‘Tiger Slam’ was born. Not sure if he would do it, but if you could get Stoops to take a picture with all of the BCS trophies and the national title and call it a Stoops Slam. I think it would be pretty cool and being the only coach who has achieved this accomplishment it might become a term in the sports world, at least until football season rolls around and we get all consumed with the sport again.” I don’t know if it would catch on or not. Probably not. But it’s got a thousand times better chance of catching on than of Stoops posing for the photo. Reminds me of a great story. His first year, we got Stoops and Bob Simmons to meet us out at Frontier City for a photo shoot. We were doing a Western theme for our football magazine. They dressed up in Western gear and really had a good time. It took a little prodding to get Stoops to go all in, but he eventually did. The next year, we did an aerospace theme, and the coaches came out to the Omniplex and its great air museum. We called the theme ‘Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines,’ in reference to the new throw-it-around offenses. Stoops would pose next to a vintage airplane, but he wouldn’t touch the clothing. You got me once, he said. Never again. I’m told that some of his pals in the office ribbed him good about the Frontier City pose. CHARLIE STRONG & TEXAS Royse: “When I read about the new Texas head football coach, I’m reminded of Oklahoma’s John Blake. I was thinking about the problems Blake apparently had communicating with the media.” Not even close. Blake and Strong don’t have the same media problem. Blake didn’t mind the media at all. He just wasn’t capable of presenting himself well. Strong is completely capable of it. He just doesn’t like to do it. John: “Texas had a chance to hire a proven head football coach, and they got a coach whose tenure has been built on one QB. Without him, Louisville will collapse next year. Well, Texas has to make all the same mistakes as OU. OU possessed a coaching superiority over Texas during the Brown administration. That level of superiority continues to exist.” I think Charlie Strong’s track record goes deeper than Teddy Bridgewater. But it is a good point. It’s the same point about Kevin Sumlin. When he’s had Case Keenum or Johnny Manziel, Sumlin has been a big winner. When Sumlin hasn’t had an elite quarterback, he’s slipped. But isn’t the ability to have an elite quarterback a feather in a coach’s cap? Jay: “Having grown up in my teen years in Irving, I can attest to the hot seat that job brings whenever UT falls short of high expectations. OU has nothing on those fans, and I’m not just talking about the money people, but the rank and file as well. You did a masterful job of documenting the less than stellar championship record really from the onslaught of OU’s wishbone. At the same time, I agree the Big 12 needs Texas and Oklahoma to be Texas and Oklahoma. Nationally relevant. If they give Strong a chance and he brings in a top-flight Staff, it will happen faster than people may think. As Coach Jones says, ‘They get the best players in the country but they don’t know what to do with them when they get them on the campus.’ That changes now. Plus, Mack whiffed on some really gifted high school athletes who went elsewhere. That stops now. They may not get all the best guys, but it won’t be because they can’t judge talent. And, when you add Charlie’s link to the Florida stables, wow! Should be a lot of fun in the next few years.” I think Strong will do a good job. I don’t know that he’s a magic elixir. But no doubt about it, the Big 12 needs Texas to be good. Jim: “Using ’86-year-old’ as a way to describe Red McCombs, kind of seems like it was a derogatory term because of his age, that he is not thinking right because of his age. Why put in 86 years old, why not just say he is a donor that is on the wrong side of the question?” Because everyone assumes McCombs’ bigotry is coming out. Which it might be. But it also might be some old guy that’s losing it. BOWL TALK Joe: “I know it’s early, but how about these scenarios. The Pac-12 (Stanford, USC or Oregon), the Big 12 (OU, Texas or Baylor), the Big Ten (MichiganState or OhioState), the SEC (Auburn, Alabama, or LSU) and the ACC champ (FSU) are all undefeated, who gets left out? What if the second place team in the SEC has only one loss and is ranked higher in the polls than one or more of the conference champions? Or how about the same as previous except the SEC champ is ranked No. 4 with one loss. Do they get in ahead of a fifth-ranked, undefeated conference champion? And none of the above includes a resurgent Notre Dame! Also, does it matter who the champion is? For instance would OU get in if they were the Big 12 champion while Baylor might be left out because they aren’t a blueblood or don’t have the big name of another conference’s school? I love the fact that we will be getting a playoff, but the same gripes are going to start up about who should be in and who shouldn’t. Would an eight-team playoff solve the problem or would we still get those kinds of gripes?. One would hope with eight teams, possible arguments for additional teams would be watered down enough not to matter.” Man, you like to borrow trouble. Yes, there are going to be teams crying foul. The fifth team — be it a one-loss SEC team or a conference champ from elsewhere — is going to gripe. But the bitchers, we always have among us. Let’s give the four-team playoff a chance. The two-team BCS actually did a decent job most years. I see no reason why the four-team playoff won’t work as well. Joel: Great game, Florida State-Auburn. Folks are already comparing to the Texas-USC 2006 game as the best BCS title game ever. There are obvious reasons (great comeback, late score in the same end zone, dynamic QB, last game SEC didn’t win, etc.). But I think 2006 is a cut above for the following reasons: 1) The teams – USC and Texas were both undefeated and the clear 1 and 2 teams in the country. No debate about strength of schedule (FSU) or discussion of best one-loss team (Auburn). Not to mention Auburn’s miracle finishes to even be in the discussion. 2) Texas was the clear underdog; FSU the clear favorite 3) USC had not one but TWO Heisman trophy winners 4) USC was going for a three-peat (repeat BCS) and was in the discussion of the greatest teams of all time 5) USC was riding a 34 game winning streak 6) Texas had to stop USC on fourth down to get the ball and then convert two fourth downs on their winning drive 7) Winston was great in the clutch, but so was Vince Young, plus he had nearly 500 yards total offense. It was, however, a great sendoff for the BCS! It was a great game, but I’m in agreement. It wasn’t as good as Texas-USC. I really haven’t heard anyone claim otherwise. Jim: “After watching OSU play until midnight, are you still in favor of instant replay in baseball? And this was without no coach challenges. Baseball night games, bring your breakfast!” There is no way baseball games can be any longer. They’re already going into the wee hours. I don’t know why the Cotton Bowl was so long. Lots of video review. Injuries. Insufferably long timeouts. It was a marathon. Craig: “While an OSU win over Missouri would have been an ideal complement to OU’s Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama in derailing the SEC ego trip, the 2013 bowl season has shown some cracks in the SEC armor. Sure, Mississippi and MississippiState had solid post-season victories, but what about the other bowl victors from the SEC? An impressive Duke kept pace with Texas A&M most of the night. At best, LSU’s New Years Day win over a so-so Iowa team was lackluster. South Carolina’s bowl performance outshined LSU’s, but still had a fight on their hands well into the last quarter. Missouri had to scratch and claw to the very end for a victory over an OSU squad whose offense sputtered for more than three quarters.” So that’s what it’s come to. Trying to minimize the SEC’s bowl victories? The truth is, Florida State and OU helped dent the armor. But the SEC went 7-3 in bowl games. It remains the best conference, by quite a long shot. Ed: “That’s an interesting idea about Jimbo’s fake punt changing things in college football. Might be, because coaches are great copycats of whatever works. And the game is always evolving. My wife sometimes teases me, since I’m forever begging for OU to quick kick when we’re in a tight spot. I guess I have run it into the ground, and she got tired of hearing it. But I remember quick kicks fondly–and not just Joe Washington’s against Texas, which was a great one. I remember Wahoo McDaniel doing it, and Billy Pricer. Maybe we’ll go back to the triple-threat back and the statue of liberty. Until the defenses wake up.” I was thinking of a quick kick just the other day. I thought there was a place a team could really use it. Maybe OSU in the Cotton Bowl. But here’s the problem. In high-scoring, offense-advantaged games like we now have, the quick kick has lost its place. Possession is paramount. Field position is not as important as it once was. Chris: “Why hasn’t the BCS released a final BCS poll? All I can find is the poll before the BCS games. Shouldn’t there be one for after as well? I know AP and coaches have one, but there should be a final BCS. This is baffling me beyond reason. Please tell me they don’t just leave it from Dec. 8. That doesn’t make sense. Had Auburn won the football game, they would never see their new No. 1 ranking in a BCS poll? Help me find the logic here.” This is a fascinating question, which we’ll get to soon. But think of the imagery Chris created. Had Auburn won, it would never see its name atop the BCS. That’s beautiful. That’s exactly the mindset of college football. Even when you stage a national championship game, there remains a root of thinking that nothing is justified until a poll comes out with a team listed at No. 1. When you have a playoff, and the BCS is absolutely a two-team playoff, why do you need a poll afterwards? The BCS exists to match two teams for the title game. That’s it’s only reason for existence. The BCS is a two-team playoff. The NCAA basketball committee doesn’t re-seed teams after the tournament. Its job is done. Same with the BCS. Mark: “I didn’t see the Sugar Bowl performance coming and didn’t think the Sooners had much of a chance. And even at halftime was waiting for the other shoe to drop. It seemed to me that the Sooners lost their ‘swagger’ in that awful Orange Bowl performance against USC and never seemed to establish that inevitable sense of doom among their opponents. Maybe it was the 1-2 punch of the K-State loss combined with the USC debacle. Hopefully the Sugar Bowl will turn things around for the Sooners. I hope the swagger is back.” Maybe it is. But I’ve got to believe OU had swagger in 2008. Swagger helps win football games, but victory and defeat are not the ultimate test of swagger. OU FOOTBALL Frick: “A prediction: Quarterback depth chart will be Trevor Knight, Cody Thomas and Justice Hansen. Blake will move to another position and Kendal will transfer.” I don’t think Thompson is transferring. He says he’s not. Tom: “The only thing I really do hope is the OU staff does not become complacent in the recruiting process and instead builds upon the success to improve personnel going forward. The only complaint I have had (probably too repeatedly) is the lack of success in recruiting for the past few years. If the recruiting comes back to the era where they were getting Adrian Peterson and others, the sky could be the limit over the next few years.” I think OU recruiting is looking up. Stoops made the staff changes last year because of recruiting. That will start to pay off this year and even more so next year. And now with the Alabama ammunition, no reason why the Sooners’ recruiting shouldn’t pick up. Craig: “What in the world happened to Alex Ross? Is he transferring or did he just get injured or was he in the doghouse?” Doghouse, seems to me. Jeff: “I find itstrange that so many Sooners are declaring this the biggest win in history. It’s the best game I have seen OU play but certainly not the biggest win. Subtle distinction but should be noted.” Absolutely. And I wouldn’t even say it’s the best game I have seen OU play. The Sooners have taken apart Nebraska teams that were ranked 1 or 2. The Sooners dominated Florida State all night in Miami 13 years ago. They won at Ohio State in 1977 when the Buckeyes were ranked fourth. They’ve beaten solid Texas teams by 50 points. Let’s celebrate the victory, but let’s not get carried away. Bill: “The Sooners are not back because they were never away. Good now has a chance to be great because of the return of Mike Stoops, the most valuable player in the Sugar Bowl. A great coordinator and associate head coach, the power behind the throne.” To quote Trevor Knight, “To come down here and show the Sooners are back, it’s something special.” The Sooners absolutely were away. They were away from the national spotlight and they were away from utmost national respect and they were away from any kind of excitement about the program. And over the course of three games, they got it all back. Sixto: “Regarding Trevor Knight. I think if this kid continues to work hard and focus, the sky is the limit for him. I remember Vince Young’s breakout performance in that Rose Bowl against Michigan. Before that, everyone knew VY had immense potential, but up until that game he had shown only flashes of it and a whole lot of inconsistency. During that Rose Bowl, that potential was finally realized as he put it all together. And we all know what happened the following year. At the risk of sounding overly optimistic, I think there is a parallel here and TK’s incredible performance against Alabama will be a springboard to much greater accomplishments in 2014 (barring injury, of course). What do you think?” Well, I think everyone ought to slow down. Johnny Manziel last year, Vince Young this year. Knight is getting quite the comparisons. But it is an interesting point. The major difference: Vince Young had shown flashes before the Rose Bowl, and was considered a primo prospect to begin with. But you’re right. He took off after that trip to Pasadena. Blake: “Much has been said about the new coaches at OU helping recruitment. It just dawned on me their preparation leading up to and in-game coaching may have helped them in the trenches both sides of the ball.” Oh, probably so. But it’s not like the OU offensive line blew Alabama off the ball. And it’s not like OU’s line of the last couple of years was full of holes. I mean, Landry Jones was a statue and never missed a play over four years. The D-line played excellent, but again, I think OU took down Bama with a great scheme. I’d give most of the new-coach props to Mike Stoops. HOOP DREAMS Carolyn: “Why doesn’t Lon (Kruger) play Tyler Neal more?” I assume it has to do with defense. Neal has been a solid offensive player. But he might be a little limited defensively. Gary: “The Thunder can’t throw the ball in the ocean from the beach. It seems that since Reggie Jackson had the 27-point game, he has went cold. Should they trade a pick for Andre Miller, get another guard?” No. The Thunder is going to have to live with the current malaise. OKC might make a trade, but if it happens, it won’t be to shore up the roster in Westbrook’s void. It will be for a playoff run. Which includes Westbrook. Tom: “I was totally amazed at the lack of the crowd for the first conference game and with the winning record of OU coming into the game. The band even appeared anemic to say the least. I realize the game was on the early venue, but we had a game or two like that almost every season when I had season tickets. I will admit the crowd might be a little late, but by at least half way through the first half the place was rocking. It was just disappointing to me. Although a KU fan from almost birth, I really came to appreciate and like the OU basketball program while living there and certainly want it to get back to the level I was fortunate enough to enjoy.” I think the crowd was very good for OU-KU. Starting at 6 p.m. Wednesday is a killer for any school. And OU back in the day did NOT start games that early. This 6 p.m. stuff is a new ESPN deal that really grew legs last year. The Big 12 has got to stop that. Games as late as 8 or 8:30? OK. But as early as 6 p.m.? No way. HALL OF FAME Jason: “I think I’m in the minority of my opinion, but I feel that if your stats are Hall of Fame worthy, the steroids issue should not hinder you in any way in getting into the Hall. Baseball is entertainment for the fans and the Hall is a museum for the fans. It is followed because of the fans and the use of steroids was because of the fans. The fans wanted more home runs. Well, the players responded using something that was not against the rules of baseball. Today, however, it is against the rules. I know that steroids are illegal in the U.S. without a doctor’s prescription. If the players went through the process of receiving them from a doctor, I don’t see anything wrong with that. However, if a player went another route they were idiots. If a doctor is prescribing them you can be assured, usually, that the product is good. Otherwise you have no idea. Using steroids for recovery and muscle growth in my mind isn’t a bad thing if the player knows the risk and virtually all of them did. The athletes are paid well to be spectacular. Having the ability to do something that used to be superhuman makes a fan enjoy the game even more. I think that guys like Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, etc. should be allowed into the Hall. If you want to make a separate wing for them so be it, but I don’t think that a widely used product in a sport should deter you from Hall interest. People keeping them out are being hypocritical because if they were in the same position, I bet most would have used them. People want to succeed and when you’re at the highest level where there is so much money on the line people do things to survive that you usually wouldn’t.” Here’s the problem. While you’re right that we all celebrated all the great home run stuff of 10-15 years ago, what we now realize is the price to pay. Which is the removal of meaning from current stats. The home run records, the hitting records, heck, even the pitching records, don’t mean much now. Because we know they were tainted. Baseball has always thrived on comparisons. Between contemporaries and between players from different eras. Can’t really do that any more. And that’s because of those guys. That’s why I say they tainted baseball. And while everyone in America celebrated by McGwire and Sosa, by 2001 and the summer of Bonds, most people had clued in, and the fans weren’t as excited. I would say the fans do NOT celebrate the steroid users. NFL Steve: “I know Brandon Weeden was benched at Cleveland. What, if any, is his future there or anywhere in the NFL?” Good question. I doubt he’s in Cleveland much longer. He could catch on somewhere else as a backup. The Browns appear ready to find another QB or go back to the injured Brian Hoyer.
Jan 1, 2014
There are some cities where you can escape New Year’s Eve, if that’s your desire. Which is usually my desire. But New Orleans is not one of them. The Big Easy is a New Year’s Eve kind of town. If you didn’t know it earlier, you knew it at midnight.
New Orleans travelblog: New Year's Eve
Berry Tramel | Jan 1, 2014[img]2307762[/img] There are some cities where you can escape New Year’s Eve, if that’s your desire. Which is usually my desire. But New Orleans is not one of them. The Big Easy is a New Year’s Eve kind of town. If you didn’t know it earlier, you knew it at midnight. Our room at the Marriott Convention Center looks out on the Mississippi River, though most of the water is blocked by the massive convention center itself. At midnight, we started hearing the small explosions and looked out the window to see fireworks going up all over the Mississippi banks. It was pretty cool. And long-lasting. Fireworks went on until almost 1 a.m. Of course, we long knew it was New Year’s Eve. The hotel lobby told you, as much as anything. Our hotel is filled with high school bands who will play at the Sugar Bowl. I guess a bunch of the musicians are 16 and 17, but they seemed about 14. Around 7 p.m., we went downstairs, and they were everywhere. Hundreds of them, all dressed up like they were going to a ball. Many of them with masquerade masks. Nobody asked me, but seems like a recipe for disaster. A bunch of 15-year-olds out in New Orleans on New Year’s Eve, with not nearly enough chaperones to look after everyone. I guess everything went fine — I’ve heard no reports — but what a potential nightmare. The good news: I guess their curfew was 11 p.m., because that’s about when we walked back into the hotel, and there were again hundreds of teenagers, trying to get on the elevators. We just walked upstairs to the second floor, pushed the down button and caught an empty elevator on its way back down. So outside of enduring a ride up to the 10th floor with frequent stops and hearing a thousand “I love yous” and a bunch of squealing, we made it fine. We stayed away from Bourbon Street, naturally, but photographer Sarah Phipps and videographer Damon Fontenot ventured over and gave us an early-evening report. Jam packed. A wedding party marching down the street. Various OU and Alabama players out and about. Our plan was much better. Johnny Damon (Fontenot) had video work to edit and wasn’t able to make dinner until late. So we hatched a great plan. We wanted to go back to Mulate’s, the great Cajun place down the street. The place that had a two-hour wait on Saturday but we got into Sunday. So I went by around 7 p.m. to put our name in, and lo and behold, there was no wait. So we left with the confidence that we could get back in later. And we walked back over to the Courtyard, a block away, where we spent the first four nights of the trip. Sarah was staying there, so we still had a link to the place. Remember us watching NFL’s Red Zone on Sunday using the Courtyard lobby’s Dish Network? Well, that same television had NBATV, which meant the Thunder-Portland game was on. So we went over and watched virtually the entire game, until the Thunder blew it at the end, and then walked over and met Johnny Damon at Mulate’s. Actually also had dinner with three television guys — Steve McGehee of OKC channel 9, Andrew Carter of Fox 23-Tulsa and Cayden McFarland of Tulsa’s KJRH-channel 2. And Mulate’s was great again. Earlier in the day, we ate lunch at the Ernst Cafe, which opened in 1902 and sits right across the street from Manning’s, a sports bar owned by New Orleans icon Archie Manning. The Ernst Cafe was solid — I had a shrimp po-boy — and neat. Sort of a shotgun neighborhood bar. Looks out onto a pedestrian mall that seems to be a popular destination even for locals. Other than that, the day was all work, including a trip back to the Saints headquarters to interview some Sooners. Uneventful trip. I know, not an exciting New Year’s Eve. Bunch of work, bunch of football, watching some NBA, eating. Hanging out with the Dish. But that’s close to a perfect day for me. As long as I could avoid the New Orleans merriment, it was mission accomplished.