Cement Bulldogs football
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Cement football News
NewsOK articles about Cement football, or articles mentioning current or former Cement football players.
Cement High School Varsity Boys Football
A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience.
Tributes: Longtime athlete and coach Gerald Benn dies at 79
BY SCOTT MUNN | Oct 20, 2014A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience: Longtime athlete and coach Gerald Benn died at age 79. He was a 6-foot-1, 203-pound offensive lineman at Sulphur High School, picked in to play in the 1953 All-State game and Oil Bowl. Benn served in the Army from 1953-57, where he played for Fort Ord (Calif.) post team. After he was discharged, Benn received a football scholarship to Oklahoma State, where he was a three-year letterman and Academic All-American. Benn spent 20 years in coaching, first at Ponca City High School and then at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. He also officiated football, basketball, baseball and softball for 30 years. Away from the ballfields, Benn liked taking fishing trips to Canada, Mexico and local lakes. A family obituary said Benn “enjoyed working with the youth of Oklahoma, association with coaches and the camaraderie with other officials.” Tony Blair Jr., 29, was killed Oct. 4 at Lawton Speedway. The track official was run over by a tractor in the infield before the final race of the season. Blair was the father of three little girls. He was a second generation official at the historic race track. Bob Schwaninger, 88, of Yukon was a native Nebraskan who followed the Cornhuskers even after moving to the Sooner state in 1960. He once received a thank you letter from former Nebraska football coach Bob Devaney for his hard-core support. Schwaninger was a volunteer for several church and community events, which included the building and maintaining of a playground for handicapped children. He served as president of the Pioneers of America, an AT&T organization that funded the building of a playground for disadvantaged kids. Schwaninger was instrumental in the design of the “beep ball,” a special softball used for the visually impaired. He was also a World War II veteran. Bob Pugh, 88, was the co-founder of the Tulsa Walking Club. The retired Texaco worker and World War II veteran walked in every Oklahoma county, all 50 states and in nine countries. Pugh walked 30 miles a week into his 70s. A former assistant scoutmaster who led youngsters on more than 4,000 miles of hikes. Ed Tippens Jr., 89, played basketball for Hammon High School. Ron Chesser of Oklahoma City was an All-State football player at Yukon High School. He spent 36 years as an football and basketball official at the high school and state college levels. Inducted into the Oklahoma Officials Association Hall of Fame. Bob Peck, 80, of Edmond was a standout pitcher for Cement High School and courted by the Oklahoma City Indians of the Texas League. He instead went into the family grocery business and later owned 16 Kentucky Fried Chicken stores. Peck collected golf balls, scorecards and baseballs from special events. He enjoyed watching younger members of the family play ball in high school and college. Sheldon Rose, 37, of Moore played high school basketball at Capitol Hill. Attended Murray State Junior College on a basketball scholarship. Clyde Yates, 88, of Tulsa loved playing golf. After retiring from the space program, he played almost daily. Scored a hole-in-one in 1998. Forrest Colston, 78, of Walters marched with the Pride of Oklahoma band on fall Saturdays at Owen Field. Randy Bodenhamer, 59, was a petroleum landman for more than 30 years. He had a life-long love of sports and played recreational softball, basketball and football. Bodenhamer coached youth sports such as T-ball, softball, volleyball and flag football. He was a behind-the-scenes worker with the Sand Springs High School football and basketball teams. Learned to drive a school bus so he could transport sports teams to games. Served on the Sand Springs Parks and Recreation board of directors. Colleen Hufford, 54, of Moore was a devoted fan of the Oklahoma City Blazers and Barons hockey teams. Hufford and husband KC sat in the north end of the Cox Center. Pall bearers included former Blazers coach Doug Sauter and star forward Marty Standish. Jack Martin, 75, of Harrah was a life-long racer, competing in everything from funny cars to drag boats. By trade, Martin worked for Gilt Edge dairy as a route supervisor. Bob McIntire, 79, of Okmulgee was a native of Claude, Texas, where he lettered in football and basketball. Bob Brousseau, 87, of Oklahoma City was a former Catholic priest who dabbled in real estate. He was also a personal trainer who gave lectures on aging and health. At age 72, he set an age division world record for the bench press at 407.75 pounds. Charles Dempsey, 77, of Oklahoma City quarterbacked and captained the 1954 Classen Comets football team. He walked on at OU, and his love of football led to officiating high school games in the 1960s and 1970s. An award-winning salesman by trade. Marty White, 35, of Bethany installed bowling lanes for the family business, Big 8 Bowling Service. The Putnam City West High graduate was a Navy veteran and musician. Mike Taylor, 49, of Tulsa played baseball from first grade through college. As a 10-year-old, Taylor played on a team that defeated Puerto Rico for a national championship. Worked at a ski resort in Crested Butte, Colo.
College football: Meet John Teeters, the Oklahoma State sprinter who has raced both Alex Ross and Tyreek Hill
Long before Alex Ross and Tyreek Hill cemented themselves as two of the top kick return men in the country this football season, the Sooner and Cowboy were known for their speed elsewhere. On the track. Just ask Oklahoma State sprinter John Teeters. He’s raced both.
College football: Meet John Teeters, the Oklahoma State sprinter who has raced both Alex Ross and Tyreek Hill
By Kyle Fredrickson | Oct 16, 2014Long before Alex Ross and Tyreek Hill cemented themselves as two of the top kick return men in the country this football season, the Sooner and Cowboy were known for their speed elsewhere. On the track. Just ask Oklahoma State sprinter John Teeters. He’s raced both. “Alex brings a lot to the table,” Teeters said. “Tyreek is just kind of a freak of nature.” Teeters, a junior who specializes in the 100- and 200-meter dash, was a former football player himself at Edmond Memorial, but his true talent was on the oval surrounding the field. He was a state champion in the 4x100-meter relay and a two-time state runner-up in the 100-meter dash. On two occasions at state meets, he lined up alongside Ross — matchups Teeters won’t soon forget. Ross, a standout at Jenks who won a state title in the 200-meter dash, was without question the largest competitor in those races. “I remember racing him senior year of high school and he was like 6-1 and 215 pounds,” Teeters said. “Racing against something that big, that fast, is just scary in itself. You don’t see that many big guys run under 11 seconds.” Even then, Teeters was able to beat Ross in one of those races. “I guess it’s kind of cool to see him go run kick returns for touchdowns,” Teeters said. “And then be like, ‘Yeah, I raced that guy and I beat him.’” After graduation, Teeters spent one season with the University of Tulsa’s track team before transferring to OSU. And last indoor season, he was introduced to the blinding speed of Hill. Teeters and Hill raced three different times, including the Big 12 championship heat in the 60-meter dash. And all three times, Hill won. “Tyreek the freak, that’s his name,” Teeters said. “Genetically, I think Tyreek is the most gifted I’ve ever seen.” Both Hill and Ross have shown that track-style speed on their combined four kick return touchdowns this season, and there’s little doubt their background as sprinters aids in their success. As Teeters explains, sprinters are very technical in their training in timing steps, making sure each is powerful and in a straight line. “It takes work,” Teeters said. But not all sprinters or kick returners have the same style of speed, and much of that difference relates to body type. Hill is listed at 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds. Ross is listed at 6-foot-1 and 221 pounds. “Usually, shorter and more stout guys like Tyreek , you’re going to get out really fast,” Teeters said. “But longer guys sometimes take maybe 20 meters to get going.” Either way, both approaches get the job done if the talent is there. And that skill set is a big reason why Hill and Ross were both recruited with the plan to utilize their skills in the return game. “(Hill) did it in junior college and he possesses that world-class speed,” said OSU receivers coach Jason Ray, Hill’s primary recruiter. “Anytime you have a kid that can run that fast, I think that you want him back there and to give him as many opportunities as possible to have the ball in his hands.” Same goes for Ross. “If anybody watched what he did in high school and how fast he was, what he’s done for two years with us … I’ve never seen him get caught one time since he’s been here,” said OU running backs coach Cale Gundy. Teeters is currently in the grind of offseason training as the upcoming indoor slate won’t begin for another few months. Until then, he can enjoy watching his teammate light up the football field until he’s able to return back to the track. But here’s the real question. Between Hill and Ross, who would win in a race? “Tyreek would smoke him,” Teeters said. “The difference is, Alex Ross is a speedster, but Tyreek runs an Olympic 200 time. That’s what makes him so special. People don’t understand how fast that guy is moving.” Teeters made sure to follow that statement with some clarification. That’s no disrespect to Ross. “Alex brings a lot to the table because he’s big and fast,” Teeters said. “That combination is rare … I wouldn’t want to line up against him in football pads.” But even Ross’ position coach agrees. Hill is in a class of his own. “If he gets a seam – there’s a guy up north at Oklahoma State that’s probably faster, but besides that, I’d want (Ross) on my team,” Cale Gundy said.
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Derek McCartney used to saunter next door to his grandfather's house as a teenager to hear riveting stories.The Colorado defensive lineman never tired of listening to tales about the Buffaloes' 1990 national championship team or Kordell Stewart's Hail Mary pass in a game dubbed the "Miracle in Michigan."Then again, McCartney has quite a storyteller for a grandpa —...
Grandfather's tales lead DL Derek McCartney to CU
PAT GRAHAM, Associated Press | Sep 12, 2014BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Derek McCartney used to saunter next door to his grandfather's house as a teenager to hear riveting stories. The Colorado defensive lineman never tired of listening to tales about the Buffaloes' 1990 national championship team or Kordell Stewart's Hail Mary pass in a game dubbed the "Miracle in Michigan." Then again, McCartney has quite a storyteller for a grandpa — legendary Colorado coach Bill McCartney. Little wonder after all those yarns that the grandson had his heart set on attending Colorado. No surprise, either, that when the redshirt freshman runs into Folsom Field for the home opener Saturday night against No. 16 Arizona State, the proud grandfather will be front and center. "I'm 74 years old and in the fourth quarter of life. For me to have this opportunity, to be a part of Derek's life, is a privilege," said Bill McCartney, the all-time winningest coach at Colorado and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. "It's just thrilling for me that he's here, at Colorado, because this school was so good to me." Football simply runs in the family. Derek's father, Shannon Clavelle, was a defensive lineman for Colorado from 1992-94 before playing a few seasons in the NFL. His brother, T.C. McCartney, played at Louisiana State and now is in quality control with the Cleveland Browns. T.C. also is the son of late Colorado quarterback Sal Aunese. And then there's his grandfather, Bill, who guided the Buffaloes to national prominence. Hardly a day goes by when someone doesn't ask Derek if he's somehow related to the coach. "I like when that happens," said the 20-year-old, who has one sack and six tackles through two games. "It's really cool to have my grandfather in my life. It's really helpful for me." Go ahead and quiz Derek about Colorado football. Chances are his grandfather has covered the topic with him. Who caught Stewart's pass that day in Michigan nearly 20 years ago? Easy, Michael Westbrook. After all, his grandpa has a picture of the play and a button to push to hear the broadcast audio. "Love listening to that," said Derek, who also was close with his grandmother, Lyndi McCartney, before she died in 2013. "One of my favorite things in his house." The grandfather and grandson are close. Always have been. Derek and his mom, Kristy, along with T.C., moved next door to the longtime coach in Westminster, Colorado, when Derek was around middle-school age. Back then, Derek wasn't as close with his father as he's becoming now ("it's really cool, seeing our relationship grow," he said). His mom is one of his biggest role models and supporters. Same goes for his grandfather. He and his grandpa chat at least once a week, with Derek letting him know what's going on with football and school work. Before he even played a down for the Buffaloes, Derek was well on his way to his degree in physiology and on pace to graduate in the spring of 2016. For as much as he loves football, his biggest desire is to become a doctor. "This is a kid with high character and tremendous potential," Bill said. "It's not limited to just football." Derek grew up hearing the stories about Rashaan Salaam winning the Heisman Trophy and how Colorado beat Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl to cement the national title. But Derek's favorite story revolves around something that happened on the sideline, when running back Eric Bieniemy delivered an impromptu pep talk to a struggling defense. "The way my grandfather tells it, Eric pulled them off to the side and fired them up," said Derek, who played both defensive end and tight end in high school. "It's a story about how one guy can make a difference through leadership." Derek is hoping to be that kind of leader for the Buffaloes, a team that hasn't been to a bowl game since 2007. He sees a lot of the original coach Mac, his grandfather, in the new coach Mac — Mike MacIntyre, who's off to a 1-1 start in his second season in charge. "I never knew my grandpa as a coach. But I see a lot of similarities in the way my grandpa helped raise me and just the way that both of them encourage a lot to motivate," Derek said. "We're way more disciplined (as a team). It's going to start showing up pretty soon here."
May 25, 2014
Mark Helm, president and chief executive of Dolese Bros. Co., has worked three decades in the ready-mix and aggregates industry. His career took him to Illinois, Minnesota and Colorado, before bringing him to Oklahoma 13 years ago.
Executive Q&A: Dolese Bros. Co chief Mark Helm's career cemented in ready-mix, aggregates industry
By Paula Burkes, Business Writer | May 25, 2014As kid, Mark Helm played with toy backhoes in a sandbox and built rivers and roads in his mom’s garden after he tilled it. So it seems only natural that Helm today heads Dolese Bros. Co., the state’s largest supplier of ready-mix concrete, crushed stone, gravel and sand. “The products we supply are what we use to build everything around us,” Helm said, “from our roads to the concrete that runs the full height of the Devon Tower.” Dolese employs roughly 1,100, including about 80 at its downtown Oklahoma City offices at 13 NW 13. Helm, 53, sat down recently with The Oklahoman to talk about his life and career. This is an edited transcript: Q: Tell us about your roots. A: I grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis, where my parents still live in a retirement community. I’m the fourth of their five children. My oldest sibling, a brother, is nine years older and lives in Ohio, and my youngest, a sister, is four years younger and lives in Denver. I’ve remained closest to that sister, but we all get along; only we don’t see each other a lot. I get back about twice a year — in the spring, summer or fall, to avoid the brutal winters. My father was a carpenter and, later, a construction superintendent. When I was in high school, my mother was a cook for the school cafeteria, so I got to eat her good cooking — including breaded pork cutlets and hamburger, gravy and mashed potatoes — at school and at home. I was an above average student. I played offensive guard on the football team and threw the shot put in track. From the time I was 6 or 7, my parents had a place on a lake in northern Minnesota, where we fished, hunted, canoed, boated, hiked and cross-country skied. Q: And college? A: I lived at home and commuted to the University of Minnesota. I started out in architecture, but I wasn’t artsy enough. So, I switched to civil engineering, which I think was an outgrowth of going with my dad to construction projects growing up. Q: Where did you work before Dolese? A: Jobs were in short supply when I graduated from college in 1984, so I took a job with a private aggregates and ready-mix construction company in Moline, Ill., which launched my career in this industry. Within three and half years, I was back in Minnesota working for a similar company — which started out as a family business, went through numerous acquisitions, mergers and de-mergers, and today is a piece of an international company. I worked in Minneapolis from 1987 to 1994, and in business development in Denver from 1994 to 2001. In 14 years, I had 14 different bosses, and the company and its values changed a lot. Dolese recruited me for 18 months. When I finally came and saw what was going on in Oklahoma, I was glad I joined the management team 13 years ago. It’s been a good fit for me. Q: I understand Dolese is helping build storm-resistant houses. Tell us about that. A: We recently hired a salesman in masonry from Florida, where block homes are popular. So far we worked with a contractor to build one home in Moore, and held an open house to gauge public interest. The house has a concrete foundation and walls, and wood roof with hurricane straps. When my wife and I moved here, we were amazed at how few homes had storm shelters, considering this is Tornado Alley. We had a shelter installed in our garage, within weeks of buying our house. In Minnesota, tornadoes aren’t as common, but we do have them. In fact, when I was 4, we lost our house in a tornado. I remember my dad hollering at me to get down to the basement and the sound of loud noises and breaking glass. When it was over, most of the walls in our home were down and there was a board in the middle of my bed. I was glad I hadn’t been sleeping in it. Q: You mentioned a company community relations committee. Is this something new? A: Yes. The late Roger Dolese, former president and son of a co-founder of the company, was very community-oriented, but he always did it quietly. We still want to do it that way, but now we’re looking for opportunities to support the some 69 communities across Oklahoma, especially rural ones, where our employees live and work. For example, we recently hosted a “Kids Rock” program, leading a tour of our quarry outside Davis for a group of sixth-graders. The kids loved it; of course, we sent them home with rock candy. Q: Dolese has been an employee-owned company since 2003. Has that been good for employee morale? A: Very much so. The profit sharing is significant, about 20 percent of their salaries. And employees realize they are owners of the company. A lot of times I’ll hear people say “Are you sure we should do this? That’s my profit sharing you’re affecting.” And that (serious attention to business decisions) is a good thing. They know that if we’re successful, they’re successful.
Apr 5, 2014
While Cody Thomas is competing for OU’s backup quarterback job, he’s also trying to fight his way into the outfield rotation for Pete Hughes’ OU baseball team.
Oklahoma football: A look inside Cody Thomas' two-sport spring
By Jenni Carlson, Staff Writer | Apr 5, 2014NORMAN — Cody Thomas hasn’t gone to the wrong practice or shown up at the wrong stadium this spring. “Not yet,” he said. Only one more week to go. The Oklahoma freshman is the baseball-playing quarterback or the football-playing outfielder, depending on your vantage point. No matter how you see it, though, this has been an interesting spring for Thomas, who’s vying for the backup quarterback job while trying to bust into the outfield rotation. His two-sport spring culminates next weekend with football’s Red-White Game smack in the middle of baseball’s three-game series against Red River rival Texas. “I was pretty busy in high school,” Thomas said of balancing football and baseball at Heritage in Colleyville, Texas, “but this is college level and it’s a whole other deal. “I’ve become a really good time manager, I’ll say that.” He laughed. So, he’s kept his sense of humor. Standing on the field at Mitchell Park after baseball practice this past week, you could see that he’s kept his sanity, too. That’s no small thing since he’s been balancing baseball season with spring football for the past month or so. How has it worked? Thomas is on a full football scholarship, so football takes precedence whether in the fall or the spring. Football practices. Football meetings. All of those come before baseball obligations. But even with that, Thomas hasn’t missed all that many baseball commitments this spring. There have been a few practices that he missed, though the coaches have helped him get in batting practice when his schedule allows, and there have only been two games that he’s had to skip. Baseball coach Pete Hughes and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel devised a plan for Thomas before spring football began, and while a few surprises have popped up here and there, things have mostly gone as planned. “We want him to have success in both” sports, Sooner football coach Bob Stoops said, “and I know (the baseball coaches) want him to, too.” Mission accomplished, Thomas said. He thinks he’s made strides in both sports this spring. On the baseball field, he feels like he’s improved his opposite-field hitting and is better at getting his hands inside the ball. On the football field, he feels like his footwork is vastly better than when he arrived on campus last summer. And he’s gotten bigger and stronger, which helps in both sports. He arrived on campus with 200 pounds on 6-foot-5 frame. Now, he’s just under 220. He does lifting and conditioning with the football team, by the way. When the baseball team lifts and runs, he gets to cool his heels, a rarity this spring. “It’s been a balancing act between the two sports,” Thomas said, “but I’ve really enjoyed it. I look forward to doing it the next three years, four years. “I just hope to be able to get on the field in both sports.” Opportunities have been limited in baseball. Thomas has appeared in only six games this season, though you have to wonder if he might play more once spring football is over. As for football, playing time seems possible this fall. Kendal Thompson transferred, Blake Bell switched positions, and Trevor Knight struggled to finish games because of injury this past season. So, with the Sooners needing to solidify their backup quarterback spot, did Thomas ever consider sitting out baseball to try to cement a spot in the pecking order? “No, that thought hasn’t come into my mind yet,” Thomas said. “I’ve been playing baseball and football my whole entire life, and I can’t see it any different right now. “Maybe one day that will come, but right now, I’m sticking with it.” Maybe that day will be when he’s competing to be the starting quarterback or when he’s named the starting quarterback. Maybe then he will want to focus all of his attention on football. Maybe not. But for the time being, Thomas is going to keep a cleat in both sports. Teammates on both teams tell Thomas often that he’s a little crazy to do this. They know how much work one sport is, and they know that the downtime they have is usually when Thomas is doing his other sport. “Not much free time when you’re playing both,” he said. “Baseball plays on the weekend, and that’s usually when football has off.” He shrugged. “But again, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love what I’m doing.” A few minutes later, Thomas left the field for his next appointment. It was a community service event with the baseball team. He wore a baseball shirt and a backward cap. As he turned to leave, he revealed a Sugar Bowl logo on the front of the cap given to all the football players after beating Alabama. Seems the two sports are a constant part of his life right now. Two sports too difficult? Not for Cody Thomas. Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.
Feb 21, 2014
That toughness was born growing up the son of a high school football coach who now works the oil fields. It was strengthened being the youngest of three boys — Spangler's older brothers both played college football.
Oklahoma basketball: Ryan Spangler's hard-earned toughness sets tone for Sooners
BY RYAN ABER Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org | Feb 21, 2014NORMAN — The last time Ryan Spangler went against Kansas State, he came out of the game with a bloodied scratch on his neck, courtesy of a Wildcats defender. “They've got to do something to get him off the boards,” teammate Cam Clark said. “That's not going to faze him, getting scratched or elbowed. He's still going to go and that's what we need from him.” Spangler also came out of that game with 21 points and 14 rebounds, further cementing his place as the player who sets the tone for Oklahoma, especially defensively. The Sooners lost that game, though. Saturday, they get another chance at the Wildcats, hosting Kansas State at 3 p.m. at Lloyd Noble Center. If Oklahoma wins this time, there's a good chance Spangler will have plenty to do with it and there's a good chance his grit inside will come into play. “If we didn't have that, I don't know where we'd be,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger said. “Ryan's affected everyone's physicality, their toughness. That's been contagious to the rest of the team.” That toughness was born growing up the son of a high school football coach who now works the oil fields. It was strengthened being the youngest of three boys — Spangler's older brothers both played college football. “They always used to beat me up when I was younger,” Spangler said. “And when I was little, if I wasn't being tough — if I cried — they would always gripe at me and try to get me better.” And then it was honed throughout the last three years, first as a two-sport star at Bridge Creek, then as a freshman at Gonzaga, and now in Norman. In the 2011 Class 4A state title game, Spangler got a rare game against players who matched his size. Douglass' Marquis Buxton-Hill was 6-foot-9, brothers Romond and Ramond Jenkins 6-foot-6. Douglass, led by Stevie Clark, won that game but Spangler did everything he could, scoring 28 and pulling down 18 rebounds. “They started off man-on-man with Ryan and then they put two on him and by the fourth quarter they had three guys on him,” said Ryan Spangler's father Larry. “That's when I saw that he was pretty tough.” At Gonzaga, it developed thanks to daily battles in practice with 7-footers Robert Sacre and, to a lesser degree, Kelly Olynyk. “If they were going to get into the lane, I'd hit them or I was going to get dunked on all the time,” Spangler said. “It's hard to move a 280-pound man (Sacre) that's as strong as him.” Then when Spangler arrived in Norman, sitting out a year, the toughness kept right on building. He spent much of last season guarding Romero Osby in practice. “Guarding Ro, you've got to be fast guarding him but you've got to be tough too,” Spangler said. “Last year was a big steppingstone for me becoming tough and not letting anybody push me around.” In several games during Big 12 play — the game at Kansas State, the home win over Iowa State and both Bedlam wins especially — Spangler has had stretches of dominance on both ends. “Every time he goes on little spurts when he keeps getting boards and stuff, it's like an energy boost for the team,” D.J. Bennett said. “We feed off his hard work.”
Winters guided the Bronchos to three conference championships and one NAIA Tournament appearance.
Tributes: Former UCO basketball coach Mark Winters dies at age 85
BY SCOTT MUNN, Assistant Sports Editor, email@example.com | Feb 3, 2014A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed a game day experience: *Mark Winters, 85, spent 16 years as men's head basketball coach at the University of Central Oklahoma. He guided the Bronchos to a 239-185 record with three Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference championships and one NAIA Tournament appearance over the 1962-78 seasons. Winters was inducted into the UCO Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004. He also spent time as a basketball coach at the high school level and at Eastern Oklahoma Junior College. Funeral services are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at first Presbyterian Church in Edmond. *Leland Crissman, 86, of Duncan was a pitcher in the Cleveland Indians organization. The right-hander spent the 1947 season with the Ardmore Indians of the Sooner State League, tying for the team lead with 11 wins. Crissman threw for the Indians' farm teams in Midland, Texas (1948) and Spartanburg, S.C. (1949), before returning to Oklahoma for one more season of pro ball. He played parts of the 1950 season with the Chickasha Chiefs of the Sooner State League and the Oklahoma City Indians of the Texas League. After his playing days, he coached American Legion baseball and worked for Haliburton Services. *Stillwater resident Joan Bauer Wittner was a New York native who coached at the elementary and high school levels. She and husband Bob moved to Oklahoma in 1982 (Bob accepted a position at Oklahoma State), and Joan continued her involvement in athletics. She was a youth soccer coach; officiated youth and adult sports; and worked as a coach and volunteer coordinator for Special Olympics. Joan was a Donna Nigh Award recipient for her service as a volunteer. She died recently at age 73. *Vern Benson, 89, of Granite Quarry, N.C., spent the 1959 and 1960 baseball seasons as manager of the Tulsa Oilers. Benson guided the St. Louis Cardinals farm team to a 153-135 record and two third-place finishes in the Texas League. He then served as an assistant coach for several big league teams, including the Cardinals' 1964 world champions. In an unusual twist to Benson's career, he spent one game as manager of a bad Atlanta Braves team, in 1977. He replaced Braves owner and television magnate Ted Turner, who managed one game while regular skipper, Dave Bristol, was on a reported scouting assignment. National League president Chub Feeney told Turner rules prohibited managers from having ownership in a team. So Benson, the Braves' third-base coach, took over for Turner until Bristol returned to finish out a 61-101 season. *Archie Franz, 88, played basketball for Corn High School. He became a farmer and rancher in the area, supplementing his income by refereeing basketball games. *Seth Martin, 15, played basketball for the Cement junior high and high school teams. A devoted fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant. *Racine, Wis., native Virgil Carlson had a successful tryout with the old Milwaukee Braves — but any thoughts of playing pro baseball were dashed later that week, when he was drafted into the Navy. He was a Broken Arrow resident at the time of death at age 74. *Stanley Hardrick played football at Central High School in Oklahoma City and Cameron University in Lawton. Hardrick was a 240-pound all-district and All-Capital Conference lineman for Central, which clinched its league championship in 1966 with an 18-16 victory over Southeast. The title was the Cardinals' first of any kind since 1947. After college, Hardrick went on to become a supervisor for the City of Oklahoma City. *Tulsa native Linda Ishmael Smith, 78, was an all-conference basketball player at Jenks. She worked in speech therapy in Oklahoma, Illinois, Virginia and Wisconsin before retiring to Sarasota, Fla. *Dwight Ward, 57, of Maysville owned the D&L Tackle Shop. He also donated time to the Pauls Valley rodeo arena, helping build bleachers. *Wes Burton, 58, of Tulsa was a professional golfer and teaching pro in New York, Florida and Argentina. He spent 30 years playing on either the South American Tour or the Champions Tour. Burton qualified for the 2007 U.S. Senior Open with a record-low 64. *Yvonne Blount Chesnutt, 94, of Oklahoma City played tennis for Central High School, finishing as state runner-up in May 1937. ... Norman Schulz, 76, was a Lone Wolf native who played college football at Southwestern State. ... Patti Baker Crosby, 67, of Edmond was a Cushing High School cheerleader. ... Mary Penner, 57, of Wayne played high school basketball at Lexington. ... Jack Staiger, 83, of Tulsa owned the Staiger Tennis Center for 20 years. *Glen Richardson, 95, of Edmond was a golfer who played at Wichita State. ... Charlene Thorpe Black, 74, of Courtney coached youth softball and was an avid Ringling Blue Devils fan. ... Kevin Weedle, 58, of Denton, Texas, was a record-setting basketball player at Chattanooga High School. ... Sue Parker Wild, 66, of Fox assisted husband Ed in training bird dogs for field trials competition. *Paul Seiter, 74, played baseball and football at Moore High School. ... Elinor Russell Lehman, 91, of Commerce was a cheerleader and football queen at Kingfisher High School. ... John Hudspeth, 78, of Shawnee played baseball at Durant High School and then freshman football at OU. ... Delbert Kauk, 89, of Clinton played sandlot baseball in the 1940s for Johnniesville in western Oklahoma. BY SCOTT MUNN
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Unless Peyton Manning changes his habits, the Super Bowl-watching world will get to hear "Omaha!" again and again this Sunday.The Denver Broncos quarterback's word choice at the line of scrimmage has cast a bright light on the Midwestern city over the past few weeks. Omaha has been mentioned thousands of times on Twitter and in media stories, and been visited by everyone from...
Manning's 'Omaha' shouts may be good for business
ERIC OLSON, Associated Press | Jan 29, 2014OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Unless Peyton Manning changes his habits, the Super Bowl-watching world will get to hear "Omaha!" again and again this Sunday. The Denver Broncos quarterback's word choice at the line of scrimmage has cast a bright light on the Midwestern city over the past few weeks. Omaha has been mentioned thousands of times on Twitter and in media stories, and been visited by everyone from ESPN to the NFL Network. Will the city be able to turn all of that into a long-term economic boon? Don't count on it. For now, locals are just enjoying the unlikely ride. "I don't think because a football player shouts your city's name that a corporation is going to up and move here," said Jeff Beals, who closely tracks the city's economic development as vice president of World Group Commercial Real Estate. "The city gets the same benefit as a corporate entity gets from having its name on a billboard. It cements the name in people's heads." The city knows the spotlight will fade after Sunday's game between the Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks, so the efforts to cash in are fairly modest. Omaha Steaks is selling an $80 "Omaha, Omaha" variety package of meats for Super Bowl partiers. An ice cream parlor is serving a new flavor, "Omaha, Omaha," which has an orange-vanilla base mixed with blue malt balls — Broncos colors. A local business has sold about 1,000 "Omaha," T-shirts at $20 apiece, with about half sold to out-of-town customers. A Minnesota sports novelty business is hawking "Omaha" pennants. The Omaha zoo chimed in by naming one of its newborns after Manning: Peyton the penguin may be around long after the latest buzz goes away for the city best known as home of billionaire Warren Buffett and the College World Series. No Omaha corporation is believed to have looked into buying ad time on Super Bowl Sunday. An in-game ad costs $4 million for 30 seconds. Omaha-based giants ConAgra, Mutual of Omaha and Union Pacific Railroad didn't ignore "Omaha!" mania. They and other companies sent a gift basket to Manning full of Omaha-made products. They pledged to donate $800 to Manning's Peyback Foundation for at-risk youth for every time he said "Omaha" in the AFC championship game against New England — 31 times netted $24,800. They announced Tuesday that each "Omaha" in the Super Bowl would result in a $1,500 donation. Las Vegas sports books are taking bets on how many times Manning will shout "Omaha," with the over-under set at 27½. Here's another number: $619 million. According to Universal Information Services, which monitors the breadth and impact of print, broadcast and social media exposure for about 700 clients, that's the "publicity value" the "Omaha!" hubbub has garnered through more than 5,600 stories. Universal's Todd Murphy said the free advertising number is based on a formula that takes into account the potential number of people exposed to the message through broadcast, print and web traffic, Murphy said. "A pebble dropped in the water, and it didn't come from a marketing team or million-dollar investment in image building. No one could have planned for this," Murphy said. Cathy Evans, a school librarian from Duluth, Ga., was looking at her Twitter timeline when she saw Omaha Steaks and First National Bank of Omaha were co-sponsoring a contest challenging participants to guess how many times Manning uttered "Omaha" against New England in the AFC championship game. Evans, who said she envisions Omaha as a friendly city with "buildings in the middle of nowhere," guessed 31 because her birthday is on Jan. 31. She won a $1,000 gift card from Omaha Steaks. Omaha boosters will tell you the city is the birthplace of Fred Astaire, of actors Marlon Brando and Henry Fonda, baseball and tennis greats Bob Gibson and Andy Roddick and civil rights leader Malcolm X. Screenwriter and director Alexander Payne is an Omaha native who has earned an Oscar nomination for best picture with "Nebraska." After Manning's famous snap count went viral, ESPN did a video feature with local high school basketball players, Omaha Steaks workers and Mayor Jean Stothert imitating the "Omaha, Omaha" call. A major television network profiled Omaha but mistakenly showed Nebraska's State Capitol Building in Lincoln, 50 miles away. A national sportscaster wrongly called Omaha the home of the Little League World Series. Beals, born and raised here, acknowledged there is an inferiority complex among some residents who believe Omaha is generally considered a sleepy cow town, but not as much as there used to be. He also said some Omahans, true to their stoic Midwestern nature, love living here and don't care what other people think, if anything, about their hometown. The people interested in raising the city's profile, however, are counting on Manning to keep spreading the word as long as the buzz can last. Omaha Steaks, for one, is looking at approaching Manning to serve as a pitchman. "I could imagine the commercials," Beals said.
Jan 28, 2014
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie was born and raised in New Jersey, but his football allegiance is to the Dallas Cowboys. He played catcher on his high school baseball team and has been a lifelong Mets fan, though his friends and foes alike probably would agree he governs like a linebacker.In case you missed the highlights of his exploits on the political playing field, here's how the...
Gov. Christie on defense as NJ hosts Super Bowl
ANGELA DELLI SANTI, Associated Press | Jan 28, 2014TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie was born and raised in New Jersey, but his football allegiance is to the Dallas Cowboys. He played catcher on his high school baseball team and has been a lifelong Mets fan, though his friends and foes alike probably would agree he governs like a linebacker. In case you missed the highlights of his exploits on the political playing field, here's how the tough-talking Republican governor, caught up in the first scandal of his administration, got to where he is today as New Jersey finds itself in the spotlight as host of Sunday's Super Bowl. ___ FIGHTING CORRUPTION Christie's first attempt at elected office didn't go well. He was a one-term county officeholder before being voted out of office. But he found a different and more noticeable way to burst onto the state political scene: He became a prolific fundraiser for George W. Bush in 2000. Once elected president, Bush rewarded Christie by making him his surprise pick to be U.S. attorney for New Jersey, the state's top federal law enforcement official, starting in 2002. The former corporate lawyer quickly made a name for himself as a corruption-buster, winning convictions of more than 130 public officials over seven years. He reveled in talking about putting away politicians on the take, even for seemingly minor offenses. "The longer we vote them in," he said in a 2008 speech, "the more bulletproof they feel, and the more entitled they feel to become corrupt." ____ OVERCOMING THE ODDS There was speculation Christie would run for governor in 2005, but he decided to keep his job as U.S. attorney. By the time the 2009 gubernatorial election rolled around, however, the state's Republican powerbrokers were lined up behind him. Still, Christie was the underdog to Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat who spent tens of millions of his own money on his campaigns in a state where Democrats enjoy home-field advantage. Christie hammered away at discontent with Corzine, who had raised taxes. He was the first Republican elected statewide in New Jersey in 12 years and came into office pledging "to pick Trenton up and turn it upside down." ____ TALKING TOUGH Once in office, Christie introduced himself to the state anew by holding frequent town hall-style meetings where he showed himself adept at calling audibles and going off-script. At one forum, a teacher complained that Christie was not being fair to public schools. As he denied that, he noticed the educator rolling her eyes. Then he went off: "I stood here and very respectfully listened to you," he told her. "If you want to put on a show and giggle every time I talk, I have no interest in answering your question." The mostly Republican crowd cheered. As he built a reputation for bluntness, he also showed he could get difficult things done, forging agreement with the Democrat-controlled Legislature on bills to make public workers pay more for pension and health care benefits and eliminate lifetime tenure protections for teachers. ____ AIMING HIGHER The Grand Old Party, and the country, took notice. "Big Boy," as Bush called him, created such buzz that some deep-pocketed donors were urging him to run for president in 2012. The closest Christie would come — after repeatedly stating his disinterest in seeking his party's nomination — was making Mitt Romney's short list for VP. Christie would give the keynote address at his party's nominating convention, a speech that was televised in prime time, adding to his national exposure. Though he said he wasn't ready to be president, Christie told Oprah Winfrey in 2012: "I'll be much more ready four years from now." Adding to speculation that he would indeed jump into the 2016 presidential campaign, Christie had gastric banding surgery a year ago to help him lose weight, addressing what some believed to be his biggest liability in seeking national office. ____ BUILDING A BRAND Willing Democrats in the Legislature helped Christie demonstrate his skill at bipartisanship, providing a stark contrast to the perennial gridlock in Washington. Superstorm Sandy, the state's worst-ever natural disaster, helped cement his reputation as a leader. His job approval rating soared as he tirelessly traveled the state to comfort victims and rally devastated communities afraid they would never be the same. It was hardly noticed that he was unable to usher in a tax cut during his first term, or that he lost a court battle over gay marriage, which became legal in his state last year. With his popularity in the stratosphere, no big-name Democrat was willing to challenge him during his run for a second term. He swamped a relatively little-known state senator, Democrat Barbara Buono, by 22 points, securing endorsements from more than 50 elected Democrats and winning about half the Hispanic vote. _____ HITTING THE BRAKES Documents released Jan. 8 revealed that aides to the governor were involved in blocking local-access lanes to the busy George Washington Bridge, apparently to cause delays to punish a Democratic mayor in a community at the foot of the span leading to New York City. The governor issued a public apology while denying any personal knowledge or involvement in the political vendetta. Four of his top aides or associates resigned or were fired. Now a state legislative committee and federal prosecutors are investigating. The scandal threatens to undermine Christie's second term and upend any ambitions to run for president. ___ Mulvihill reported from Haddonfield, N.J. Follow Angela Delli Santi on Twitter: http://twitter.com/AngeDelliSanti