Stillwater defeats Sandites 9-7, Sandites must win 3-straight games to advance to State

Photo: Scott Emigh

Photo: Scott Emigh

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Charles Page High School varsity softball team (27-8) got off to a great start at Regionals Wednesday, shutting out Claremore (12-22) 8-0, then taking a 7-2 lead over Stillwater (25-12) into the seventh inning. The Lady Pioneers wouldn't go down without a fight, however, and rallied for seven runs in the seventh to put the game away and send Sand Springs to the consolation bracket where they will now have to win all three games of a triple-header to earn their way to the State Championship. 

Neither team landed a hit till the bottom of the third when the Sandites took a 2-0 lead. Madelyn Blair reached on an error at shortstop and was joined on base by freshman Felicity Horn who singled on a full count. Both runners scored on a double from Jessica Collins, who was joined by Sydney Pennington and Makenna Skaggs to load the bases. None of the runners would score, however, as Collins was put out at home and Skaggs was put out at second on a double play.

Pennington, an Oklahoma State University committed senior with a .564 batting average, was intentionally walked three times in the game and was never allowed to hit.

Stillwater tied things up in the top of the fourth with two hits and a trio of walks. After striking out Julia Cottrill, sophomore pitcher Jacie Taber (10-6) struck Alexis Hoang with the pitch, gave up a single to Taylor Tuck, and hit Morgan Rohwer with the pitch to load the bases. She then walked in a run and gave up a single to Laikyn Anderson to tie things up at 2-2. Rohwer was forced out at home on a fielder's choice, and Sage Fluty fried out to right field to bring in the Sandites.

The Lady Sandites exploded for three more runs in the bottom of the inning after Rachel Blair drew a walk, Presnell doubled, and Madelyn Blair doubled to score both runners. Horn was walked next, Collins was put out on a fielder's choice to land Collins at first, but Pennington was walked to load the bases. Taber hit a single to bring in Horn, but a fly out from Sabrina Usher brought the inning to a close at 5-4.

Taber struck out the first two batters of the fifth inning and put out Hoang at first to bring her team back in where Elizabeth Luttrell hit her second home run of the day to make it 6-2. Rachel Blair was walked once again, and like the first time, scored on a double from her sister.

Neither team landed a hit in the sixth inning and with only one inning left to play it looked like the Sandites had it all wrapped up. Stillwater, however, managed three hits and capitalized on Sandite errors and walks to come from behind for the win. 

Anderson reached on an error by Madelyn Blair at third base, was joined by Hunter White with a single, and scored on a single from Fluty. Gracie Ore walked to load the bases, and Cottrill was walked to score White. Hoang smacked a double to bring in Fluty and Ore, then Tuck walked to reload the bases. Rohwer reached on an error by Pennington at shortstop to score courtesy runner Landry Leming, then Hoang tagged up on a fly out by Taylor Lane to take the lead. Tuck tagged up on a fly out by Anderson for the final run of the game before White grounded out to bring in the Sandites.

Sand Springs was unable to land a hit and the Pioneers secured the victory. The Pioneers went through three pitchers over the course of the game, with Lane, Rohwer, and Caitlin Fluty all seeing action. Fluty got the win on the mound, giving up two hits and no walks with one strikeout. Taber got the loss with five hits, nine runs, five earned runs, seven strikeouts, and seven walks. 

The Sandites will return to action Thursday at noon when they replay Claremore who advanced through the consolation bracket with a 10-2 win over Sapulpa (9-20). The Sandites will not only have to beat Claremore to get a rematch with Stillwater, but they'll have to beat Stillwater twice to win the Regional and advance to State. Last year the Sandites battled their way back through the Consolations with three-straight wins after an upset by Claremore, and went on to play the State Championship game where they lost 4-3.

Lady Sandite Softball says goodbye to six seniors after this season: three will play in college

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Charles Page High School softball team has had a heck of a ride this year and will graduate six seniors this Saturday. Cody Cheatham, Stella Millican, Kennedy "Goose" Salyers, Jessica Schuler, and Caley Thompson have all played their last games for the Sandites, but each has even bigger and better things in store. 

In the fast pitch season this fall the Lady Sandites had one of the best seasons in school history with a 31-9 record and lost the State Championship 4-3 to Choctaw in the finals. The team was shorthanded in the slow pitch season this spring and got off to a rough start, but finished with a winning record of 12-7 and had several quality wins over highly ranked opponents.

Cheatham played third base during the fast pitch season and scored 12 runs and 11 RBI with a .246 batting average, .318 slugging average, and .268 on-base percentage. She hit 13 singles, 3 doubles, and 1 triple.

Mallory played catcher during the fast pitch season and scored 6 runs and 26 RBI with a .351 batting average, .486 slugging average, and .415 OBP. She hit 26 singles, 12 doubles, and 1 home run.

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Millican played right field in the fast pitch season and scored 8 runs and 5 RBI with a .164 batting average, .196 slugging average, and .329 OBP. She hit 8 singles and 2 doubles. In the slow pitch season she scored 7 runs and 18 RBI with a .423 batting average, .635 slugging average, and .524 OBP. She hit 16 singles, 2 doubles, 3 triples, and 1 home run. She also pitched a 4-3 record for a 1.40 earned run average and 2.779 WHIP. Over 41 innings she struck out 1 batter with a 61% strike percentage. Millican will be playing for the Evangels at Mid-American Christian University this fall. 

Salyers played left field and pitched during the fast pitch season and scored 53 runs and 10 RBI with a .387 batting average, .556 slugging average, and .472 OBP. She hit 28 singles, 17 doubles, and 3 triples. She amassed an incredible 18-2 record on the mound with an impressive 1.64 ERA and 1.245 WHIP. Over 119 innings she struck out 70 batters with a 66% strike percentage. In the slow pitch season she scored 33 runs and 15 RBI with a .500 batting average, .771 slugging average, and .545 OBP. She hit 23 singles, 7 doubles, 3 triples, and 2 home runs. Salyers will be playing for Southwestern Oklahoma State University in the fall.

Schuler played first base during the fast pitch season and scored 38 runs and 63 RBI with a team-high .514 batting average, .897 slugging average, and .606 OBP. She hit 36 singles, 8 doubles, 11 home runs, and 4 grand slams. In the slow pitch season she scored 26 runs and 37 RBI with a .566 batting average, 1.509 slugging average, and .662 OBP. She hit 9 singles, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 14 home runs, and 1 grand slams. She also pitched an 8-4 record for a 1.13 ERA and 2.143 WHIP. Over 72 innings she struck out 2 batters with a 38% strike percentage. Schuler will be playing for Northeastern State University this fall. 

Thompson scored 10 runs during the fast pitch season with a .160 batting average, .160 slugging average, and .192 OBP with 4 singles. She will be attending Savannah College of Art and Design this fall where she will be studying visual arts and animation programs.

The Charles Page High School graduation will be held this Saturday at the Mabee Center at 7:30 PM. Doors will open for the event at 6:00 PM.

Union wins two of three in Regional Series against Sand Springs

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The No.14 ranked Charles Page High School slow pitch softball team (12-7) scored a pair of upsets at 9-2 and 9-3 over No.10 Elk City (23-15) and No.4 Union (24-6) respectively, before falling 1-0 in their second game against the Redskins. The Thursday afternoon Regional playoff was a double-elimination bracket, and Union rebounded from their first loss to the Sandites with a low-scoring game that saw only five total hits from the two teams. 

Game two against Union was far different from the first game which had twenty hits between the two teams. Senior Northeastern State University-signee Jessica Schuler (8-4) got the loss on the mound, despite giving up zero earned runs, and only two hits and two walks. 

The lone run of the game came on a sacrifice fly from Mackenzie Addis to score Jackie Self, who reached on an error in left field. The Lady Sandites stranded a total of four runners over the course of the game in their only shutout loss of the season. 

With each team holding a 2-1 tournament record, the Redskins avenged their earlier loss with a 16-2 payback for the Regional Title and a ticket to State. 

The host team took a quick 4-0 lead in the top of the first as Sammy Ibison and Lexy Dobson each singled, then scored on an error in left field that allowed Addis to reach second. Another error on the same play, this time at third base, allowed Addis to reach third. She soon after came home on a throw. Toni Weese doubled to bring in Paige Boyle, who also doubled.

Sydney Pennington hit her second homer of the day to get the Sandites on the board, but it would be the last run the girls scored till the bottom of the fourth.

Union added two more in the top of the fifth as Britton Clark doubled in Dobson and Brylee Dickinson sacrificed to bring in Addis. 

The top of the fourth is where the Redskins effectively put the win out of reach for the Sandites, racking up another six runs with four coming on errors. Kimi Presnell drew a walk for the Sandites and came in on a double by Madelyn Blair, but Union caked on three more runs in the top of the fifth. The Lady Sandites failed to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth and Union won it by mercy rule to end the season for the Sandites. 

Schuler got the loss on the mound in game two, with Stella Millican (4-3) pitching the final inning.

Photo galleries from Regionals and the rest of the season can be found at https://sanditepride.smugmug.com/2016-Slow-Pitch-Softball

Lady Sandite Softball advances in playoffs with 9-2 victory over Elk City

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The No.14 ranked Charles Page High School slow pitch softball team (11-5) breezed through its first opponent at the Regional playoff Thursday morning, handily defeating No.10 Elk City (23-14) behind the steady arm of senior pitcher Jessica Schuler (7-2), who also hit the go-ahead first inning home run.

Schuler, who is signed to play for Northeastern State University in the fall, only gave up two runs and a handful of hits in the dominating performance that was all wrapped up in the first inning.

The Elkettes scored two runs in the top of the first inning, but from there it was the Sandites’ game. Schuler’s homer, her fourteenth of the season, scored Kennedy “Goose” Salyers and Sydney Pennington for the 3-2 lead and the girls only continued to rack up the runs from there.

In the bottom of the fourth Schuler singled and courtesy runner Kellie Johnson scored a run on an error. Jessica Collins doubled and came home on a fielder’s choice. The biggest offensive output came in the bottom of the fifth as Collins singled in Jacie Taber and Kimi Presnell. Madelyn Blair singled in Johnson and Stella Millican singled in Collins for the final run of the game. 

The Lady Sandites will get a brief break while Elk City battles the No.4 Union Redskins (21-5), then Sand Springs will play take on the host team. 

The photo gallery from the first game can be found at https://sanditepride.smugmug.com/2016-Slow-Pitch-Softball/42816-Sand-Springs-vs-Elk-City

 

Destiny Johnson and Sandite Freshmen major factor in first winning season in half decade

Destiny Johnson

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Three freshman started and five saw action on the Charles Page High School ladies' basketball team this season and all were major players in pushing a turn-around program the final step into their first winning season in half a decade. 

The program pulled a complete 180 after a 2011 State Tournament-appearing team graduated several starters and won only a single game the following year. 2012-2013 wasn't much better, posting a 2-20 record.

Holly Kersgieter

In 2013, Dustin Morrow took over the program and the team went 10-14, a drastic improvement, but still a losing record. Last season the girls won the regular season but went 1-2 in the playoffs for a final record of 12-12. The eighth grade girls, however, went 28-0 for an undefeated Frontier Valley Conference Championship.

This season those girls were the difference makers, adding depth to a small but talented team that lost three players the year before. Jacie Taber, Holly Kersgieter, Destiny Johnson, Kimi Presnall, and Isabella Regalado combined for 40% of the team's points this season with Johnson coming in as the second-highest scoring player on the whole team.

Bella Regalado

"DJ" Johnson continued a new tradition of freshman excellence. For the last three years, at least one freshman has registered a 200+ point season. Sydney Pennington debuted with 376 in 2012-2013, Gloria Mutiri scored 200 last season, and Johnson finished with 212 this year. She was a major inside threat, shooting 46% on two-pointers and 67% on free throws for an average of 8 points and 3 rebounds per game. She doubled nine times, led her team in scoring four times, and set a personal-best of 15 points against Owasso. She was also named to the All-Tournament team at the Bishop Kelley Invitational.

Kimi Presnell

Jacie Taber and Kimi Presnall also made an impact on the State Runner-Up Softball team this fall, then scored 21 points each in their first year at varsity basketball. 

Isabella Regalado, daughter of Vic Regalado, the Republican nominee for Tulsa County Sheriff, scored 90 points, more than 3 PPG, and set a team-high career-high of 17 in an upset win over 5A No.4 ranked Shawnee in the championship game at the Bishop Kelley Invitational. She averaged 41% on two-pointers, 50% on free throws, and snatched about 2.5 rebounds per-game, and saw action in every game this season.

Jacie Taber

Holly Kersgieter came in fourth in team-scoring with 166 points and a career-high 14 against Shawnee. Playing in every game this season, and starting most of them, she averaged 6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 45% on two-pointers and 79% on free throws.

The depth of quality competitors allowed the Sandites to run a solid bench against their opponents and give the whole team more resting time during games. The young Sandite talent will only increase next year as the girls only graduate one starter, Cierra Scott, and inherit yet another incoming class of undefeated 8th grade girls.

Sydney Pennington finishes third straight season with 300+ points

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Charles Page High School junior Sydney Pennington finished her third-straight season as the leading scorer for the varsity basketball team and crossed the career 1,000 mark midway through the season in a 12-point loss to No.2 Muskogee. 

The 2015-2016 school year was actually Pennington's lowest-scoring season of her career, due to sharing the ball with a team of incoming freshman stars who had just gone undefeated to claim the Frontier Valley Conference title. 

That didn't stop her from running up another 300+ point season en route to an Area playoff performance.

The Oklahoma State University softball-commit doubled in 19 of 26 games this season, led her team in ten of them, and scored a season-high 22 points in three of them. Her career-high remains a 32-point game against Muskogee during her sophomore year.

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Starting all 26 games this season, Pennington averaged over 51% on both field goal attempts and free throws and made off with about 3 steals and 5 rebounds per game. With 1,106 total points over 74 starts, she's averaged just under 15 PPG and (between basketball and softball) is easily one of the most impressive athletes in school history. She was twice named Sandite of the Week.

The Lady Sandites amassed a 17-9 record, their best since the 2011 team made the State Tournament, and finished the season 5th in conference standings while ranked 11th in 6A.

Stay tuned for more highlights on CPHS athletes in the week-to-come! 

Winningest Lady Sandite Basketball season in years comes to end with Area loss to Owasso

Story and photo by: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The No.11 Lady Sandites (17-9) fell in an early hole to No. 9 Owasso (19-8) after Leiloni Culley hit a two to draw first blood. Freshman Holly Kersgieter was not far behind her, tying it up, but then Terryn Milton hit back to back baskets for a 7-2 lead that the Rams would hold for the duration of the first.

Freshman Isabella Regalado hit a two to for the Sandites to start the second period down 11-10, but the Rams began pushing their lead as Mya Bhinhar and Rachel Skalnik hit baskets to make it 16-10. Junior Oklahoma State softball-commit Sydney Pennington hit a two to get the Sandites back into the game, but then it was Milton and Bhinhar with back-to-back baskets.

Pennington, freshman Destiny Johnson, and senior Cierra Scott ran up four from the charity stripe over the course of the second period, but that was all the Sandites would manage as Owasso increased their lead to 29-16 by half time.

Despite being in a heavy hole, the Sandites had already proven once this season their ability to rally against the Rams in their first meeting of the season when the girls exploded for a 16-5 second-quarter and ultimately won that game.

Sand Springs came into the half firing on all pistons as Gloria Mutiri hit a two and sank her “and-one” free throw, followed by a three-point basket by Cierra Scott to put the game back within single digits.

Milton sank the first Ram basket of the half, then Pennington hit a free throw and Cierra Scott forced a turnover on the corresponding possession getting in some great defensive coverage for a jump ball call. Unfortunately Sand Springs also gave up a turnover and Jordan Kunka and retook a 10-point lead.

Bhinhar added a free throw, but missed the second and Pennington rebounded it and returned it for a layup. Bhinhar retaliated with a two-pointer, but Mutiri hit one of her own then Kersgieter sank a three to make it 37-30.

Bhinhar hit the basket again, Scott added a pair from the charity stripe, then Kunka and Skalnik hit three freebies of their own before Kersgetier hit a two to finish off the period within single digits at 43-34.

Milton scored first to start the fourth, going 1-1 from the free throw line off a foul by Pennington. Kersgetier had a three-pointer fall short, but Bhinhar was right on line to retake a significant 46-34 advantage.

Sand Springs went on a run as Pennington and Scott each hit layups and Scott got the “and-one” to make it 47-39. It was Owasso’s game from there however as Pennington sent Milton to line for a 1-1 and the Lady Ram sank both. Bhinhar hit a two, Milton hit another free throw, then Culley added a basket for their biggest lead of the game at 54-39.

Kunka sent Mutiri to line for a 1-1 and the Lady Sandite sank both. The clock was too low for a realistic return by that point, however, and ultimately the Rams prevailed to State with a 58-42 victory.

Lady Sandite Basketball advances in playoffs with 46-43 win over Booker T Washington

Story and photo by: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The No.11 ranked Charles Page High School girls' basketball team (17-8) is still alive in their playoff run after a close 46-43 win over No. 13 Booker T Washington (16-10) Thursday night in Catoosa. 

The girls won their first Regional game against Union last week, guaranteeing their advancement to Area, but lost in the Regional Championship to No.4 Sapulpa (22-3), 48-40, meaning they have to take the long way to State by winning two straight at Area. Their win over Booker T puts them halfway there, now they just need to defeat No. 9 Owasso (19-7) Saturday at 1:30 PM.

Junior Sydney Pennington led the scoring effort for the Sandites with 14 points, followed by sophomore Gloria Mutiri who had a double-double with ten points and twelve rebounds. 

The Lady Sandites took an early 11-3 lead before trailing off defensively toward the end of the first quarter, at one point allowing the Hornets to snag six straight offensive rebounds, and their opponent took a 17-13 lead early in the second. 

Pennington tied things back up with a pair of layups and it was a back and forth affair from there. Rhys Anderson hit a two to take the lead back for Booker T. Sandite freshman Destiny Johnson missed a two but Mutiri rebounded and tied things up at 19-19. Anderson sank another shot, followed by Mutiri, then freshman Holly Kersgieter snatched a half court steal and hit the layup with five seconds left in the half to take the lead back for the Sandites.

Kambri Davis hit a three, followed by Taylor Sells with a two and it was the Hornets with a 26-23 lead to start the second half. Pennington, Kersgieter, and Mutiri went on a 6 point run for Sand Springs to take back the lead for a while, but the Hornets found 5 points of their own to carry a 33-31 advantage into the final stanza.

The lead exchanged hands five times in the fourth period, but Sand Springs emerged to a definitive lead off a run from Johnson who sank a field goal and three free throws to give her team a 44-39 advantage. Sells hit a two and added a free throw and it continued to come down to the wire as both teams were in the double bonus with 1:16 to play. 

Aiya El-Hassan had a chance to tie things up from the charity stripe, but missed her second shot and senior Cierra Scott was fouled on the rebound and sent to the line to score the final points of the night.

If the girls can overcome Owasso on Saturday, they'll advance to the State Championship tournament for the first time in half a decade. It won't be easy. The girls defeated the Lady Rams 51-48 earlier this season, but the last time the two teams met it was Owasso with a 53-48 victory.

Come out and support your girls Saturday afternoon at 1:30 at Catoosa High School, right up the road from the Hard Rock Casino! It's been an incredible year of State Championship appearances from Sand Springs, let's rally around our incredible athletes and send another team to the top!

Charles Page dream season falls flat with loss to Spartans

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Photo: Austin Evans

Football is more than just a sport in a small town like Sand Springs. It's an opportunity for a community to come together, forget the hardships of their week, and find common ground and unity.

Football is a way of life that continues well beyond the gridiron.

It's strange to think that I could be so enthralled by a sporting event, less than 24 hours after I sat in a room filled with grieving family saying goodbye to a loved one. But, that's what football does. It brings out the best in people--and yes, sometimes the worst. But it's an escape.

When those Friday night lights illuminate the turf, the cold crisp air whips across your face, and you and your friends huddle together for warmth, focused intently on the next play...the rest of the world fades away. You're in a moment that the movies will never manage to live up to. It's not just about the players, it's about the town.

It takes a village to raise a child, and during those games, the whole team are our children. We have their backs, we have no problem giving the refs a piece of our mind if we feel our kids were wronged. We're one community. One family.

It also helps when you're winning. 

Charles Page has been to the playoffs four years in a row now. We've won games the last two years. This time we made it to the Championship.

Once upon a time, Sand Springs went 12-0 and defeated El Reno 14-7 for a 2A state title at the Taft Stadium in Oklahoma City. That was nearly half a century ago. Since then, the Sandites have had more losing seasons than winning seasons, and have only made the playoffs 15 of those 49 years. 

The program never really turned south until 1998. That season we posted a 5-5 record, ending 3-straight seasons of playoff appearances and winning records. 

From 1999-2006, we went 21-59, and we didn't see a winning season till 2008, during Dustin Kinard's second year at head coach. That year we got our first playoff appearance since 1997. It wouldn't be a trend-setter, however.

When I was in school we went 8-22.

I remember being at the University of Oklahoma and hearing about how we were winning games back home and I couldn't believe it. Sandites didn't win games.

One night I decided to make the long trip back to Tulsa to catch a game against Booker T, and we won 21-7 at their stadium. That season finally brought a change to Sandite football. Despite being killed 35-6 in the first round of the playoffs--we had posted an 8-2 regular season record.

As we saw in 2008, however, some seasons can be isolated incidents. 

The next season wasn't quite as hot; we only went 6-4 before losing to Westmoore in the playoffs. 

In 2014, however, it became clear that this wasn't just a couple of decent seasons. It was a legitimate turnaround for a school that most teams in the state laughed at. That season saw a 63-6 rout of Nathan Hale, two shutouts, and the first post-season win since 1997.

It was 20 degrees in Midwest City, but I have never been so happy as when that overtime 2-pt conversion attempt failed, and a 1 point victory was sending Sand Springs into uncharted waters.

The Charles Page Class of 2016 is the only team in the history of Sand Springs athletics to make it to the playoffs all four years.

The season started rough: two forfeitures, one cancelled game, and a defeat at the district opener mean the Sandites were 0-3 and were in a district with the top 3 teams in the division. Making the playoffs would be far from easy.

Sand Springs took it one step at a time. A 27-7 homecoming win over Claremore. A 44-10 rout of Highway 97 rival, Sapulpa. A 44-21 win over Ponca City and a 34-10 win against Muskogee. In week 9, the Sandites went up against the #1 team in the state. A team that had just slaughtered the defending state champions 52-7, and came within a field goal. 

In week 10 Sand Springs dealt the Spartans their first shutout in 7 years, 20-0 on senior night. At Stillwater, Sand Springs won their quarter-final game for the second year in a row, 49-14, then upset #1 Booker T Washington 30-23 at Sapulpa. The Hornets learned there that it's hard to beat a good team twice.

This time it was the Sandites who had to learn that lesson. 

The Class of 2016 can't focus on their 38-28 loss to the Bixby Spartans. A lot of people have been talking about how these Sandites are making history. I disagree.

The Class of '67 made history. That season is shrouded in legend. The Sandites didn't make the playoffs for another decade after that. 

The Class of '16 isn't making history.

They're building a future. 

What Charles Page seniors like Lane Lettich and Jacob Taber have done doesn't belong in the history books. It belongs in the forefront of every student's mind in the coming years. What these boys did isn't just what's possible. It's what's going to continue happening. Their torch may have been dampened tonight, but it was far from extinguished. And tonight they passed it off to the next generation.

As cool as it is to make history, it's far greater to build a future. That's what the resilience and perseverance of these great athletes has done. They showed their underclassmen that it's not your ranking or your record that matters, it's your heart. "We had a lot of heart," said junior QB Hunter Greathouse after the loss. "We put a lot into it all year...and we'll get them next season."

The Class of 2016 may have been disappointed tonight. Hell, we all were. But their great sportsmanship has paved the way and set the example for their young peers. 

These boys will go on about their lives. Some may play college ball. Most won't. They'll probably end up in the history books, and one day they may be giving a pep talk to a future team like the Class of 66 did for them earlier this week. But they accomplished a lot more tonight than they'll ever know. They proved that it doesn't matter where you came from, it matters what you're made of. 

Sandite of the Week: Hunter Greathouse

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Photo: Morgan Miller, Videographer

Hunter Greathouse is only a first-year starting quarterback, but he keeps his cool like he's been in the spot for years, and demonstrates outstanding sportsmanship and leadership both on and off the field. The junior went 7-14-0-171 in Friday's 30-23 semi-final playoff win over Booker T Washington and helped lead his team to their first Championship appearance in 49 years with 1 passing touchdown and 2 rushing. 

For the season, Greathouse is 88-164-6-1603 with 16 touchdowns by air and 5 on the ground. 

Week 12 Sandite Leaderboard

Passing 

  • Hunter Greathouse 81-150-6-1432, 15 touchdowns, long of 70. Career-best 10-18-204 @ Sapulpa.
  • Kasey Bales 2-3-0-77, long of 40.

Receiving

  • Trace Fleischman. 30-693, 6 touchdowns, long of 70. Season-best 6-141 @ Sapulpa.
  • Kasey Bales. 19-280, 3 touchdowns, long of 63. Season-best 2-75 vs Bixby.
  • Lane Lettich. 11-182, 2 touchdowns, long of 44. Season-best 2-50 @ Sapulpa.
  • Ty Fain. 9-153, 1 touchdown, long of 40. Season-best 3-53 @ Enid.

Rushing

  • Lane Lettich. 194-960, 16 touchdowns, long of 29. Season-best 23-133 @ Sapulpa.
  • Payton Scott 106-822, 8 touchdowns, long of 45. Season-best 17-200 vs Ponca City.
  • Trace Fleischman 18-116, 1 touchdown, long of 31. Season-best 7-57 vs Ponca City.

Kicking Off

  • Kasey Bales. 26-39.8 avg. Long of 60. 1 touchback, 5 in-20, 6-50+.
  • Jacob Fortune. 23-47.8 avg. Long of 60. 1 touchback, 8 in-20, 14-50+.
  • Cade Loomen. 17-52.18 avg. Long of 60. 2 touchbacks, 2 in-20. 14-50+.

Punting

  • Kasey Bales. 25-25 avg. Long of 57. 3 touchbacks, 5 in-20, 2-50+.

PAT

  • Kasey Bales. 30-34.
  • Cade Loomen. 7-7.

Field Goals

  • Kasey Bale.s 2-2. Long of 36. 

Punt Return

  • Parker Taylor. 7-141, 1 touchdown, long of 62. 

Kick Return

  • Trace Fleischman. 9-284, long of 57.
  • Kasey Bales. 9-198, long of 31.

Tackles

  • Cole Dixon. 78.
  • Delvin Jordan. 68.
  • Jacob Taber. 68.

Tackles-For-Loss

  • Jaxon Starling 19-106.
  • Delvin Jordan. 14-59.
  • Cole Dixon. 14-52
  • Jacob Taber. 10-36.

Sacks

  • Jaxon Starling. 8-76.
  • Delvin Jordan. 7-31.

Pass Break-Ups

  • Parker Taylor. 7.
  • Jason Cooper. 3.

Interceptions

  • Jason Cooper. 4-28.
  • Treyce Tolbert. 2-42.
  • Cole Dixon. 2-11, 1 touchdown.

Fumble Recovery

  • Delvin Jordan. 3-23, 1 touchdown.

Forced Fumbles

  • Jason Cooper. 1.
  • Treyce Tolbert. 1.
  • Cole Dixon. 1.

Blocked Kicks

  • Delvin Jordan. 2, 1 for safety. 

Team Offense

  • Highest scoring game: Hale, 61-8.
  • Biggest passing game: Sapulpa, 10-18-0-204.
  • Biggest run game: Ponca City, 47-381.
  • Most total offense: Ponca City, 62-497.
  • First down conversion rate: 72.52%

eam Defense

  • Lowest scoring game: Bixby, 20-0.
  • Best pass-coverage: Ponca City. 5-12-45.
  • Most interceptions: Muskogee, 3.
  • Best run coverage: Bixby, 31-18. 0.58 yards-per-carry.
  • Least total offense: Ponca City. 41-153.
  • Least yards-per-play: Claremore. 3.41.

Sandites vs Hornets: Get to know your semi-finalists

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

There's only three games left in the race for the 2015 State Championship, and all three are rematches between District 1 rivals. 

#1 Booker T Washington (10-0, 7-0) District Champions

#3 Charles Page (6-4, 5-2) *2 Forfeitures

The week 9 opponents will get their rematch at Sapulpa's George F. Collins Stadium. The last time the two teams met was a rainy run-game with barely a hundred passing yards combined between the two teams.

Since then the Sandites squashed Stillwater 49-14 thanks to a marvelous run game that saw both Lane Lettich and Payton Scott rack up over 100 yards each, complemented by QB Hunter Greathouse's perfect night passing for 181 yards.

Meanwhile, the Hornets did nearly as much damage to Choctaw in a 47-17 rout that saw Justice Hill run up 191 yards, complemented by Dakari Willis's 11-13-134 in the air. 

While the stadium is technically neutral territory, it can be noted that Sand Springs has a long history of battling it out on the Cheiftain turf due to their long-standing rivalry with Sapulpa. 

While the hornets have a 10-win streak going into the game, the Sandites' win at Stillwater was only the second time since 1997 that they've won in the post season, and with all their starting lineup in tact, the Minutemen will be out to prove that they have what it takes to be a major contender for the first time in the current century. 

The two teams have met only 12 times till now; the Hornets lead the series 8-4.

The first time the teams met was during a mediocre 1986 season in which the Sandites went only 2-8. However, the 42-21 loss was the most points anyone had scored on the Hornets all season. 

The next meeting in 1987 saw a narrow 15-12 Sandite win on their way to the semi finals.

The Hornets walked away with the next three wins before Sand Springs managed to edge them out 15-14 in 1991 to clinch a playoff berth. 

The next year, the Hornets put the biggest beat down of the series on Sand Springs in a 48-7 rout. The most Sand Springs has ever beaten the Hornets by was 21-7 in 2012.

The highest scoring game of the series came in 2006 when the Hornets handled the Sandites 62-28.

For the current class of seniors, the series is an even split. 2012 saw a 21-7 Sandite upset at SE Williams Stadium, followed by a 42-38 home shoot out that the Sandites came out on top of. 

The Hornets walked away with the next two, however, spoiling a Sandite Halloween Senior Night in 2014 in a come-from-behind 42-35 victory, then kicking a tie-breaking field goal this year with 14 seconds left.

This will be the first time the two teams have met twice in one season. 

The pick: CPHS 35, BTW 24

Playoff roundup and Week 12 rankings

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

If there was any doubt that District 1 teams were the only real contenders for the title, it's been laid to rest after solid beatdowns in the first round of the playoffs this weekend. 

#1 Booker T Washington (10-0, 7-0) District 1 Champions

#9 Choctaw (5-6, 2-5) District 2

No surprise here, OSU-commit Justice Hill exploded for 189 yards and five touchdowns in a home quarterfinal performance. The yellowjackets never really had much of a chance against the #1 rungame in the state. 

The pick: BTW 52, Choctaw 17.

Results: BTW 47, Choctaw 17. 

#3 Charles Page (6-4, 5-2) District 1

#8 Stillwater (5-6, 3-3) District 2

It was more-or-less granted that Sand Springs would win, but the real surprise here is just how badly they beat the Pioneers. It wasn't so much the Pioneer's faults--they actually completed more passes than in their last game and had a standard night. It was the Sandites who showed up better than ever and completely out-athleted the home team. The Sandite secondary held the Pioneers to zero first downs in the first quarter and only five per-quarter to follow, not to mention 10 tackles-for-loss and a blocked kick that resulted in a safety. Hunter Greathouse had his first perfect night passing, completing all 11 of his throws for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns. Lane Lettich and Payton Scott combined for 234 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground.

The pick: CPHS 27, Stillwater 3

Results: CPHS 49, Stillwater 14. 


#4 Bixby (7-4, 4-3) District 1

#5 Lawton (8-2, 6-0) District 2 Champions

The only game that was expected to be close this week was anything but close. The Spartans have had a rough time these last few weeks, getting hammered by Booker T, barely squeezing past Muskogee in overtime, and being shut out by Sand Springs. They put a stop to that streak Saturday at Lawton, handing the wolverines their first loss of the season by a large margin. Bixby completed 20 first downs and held Lawton to a staggering low 4 while doubling the wolverines' total yardage.

The pick: Bixby 35, Lawton 28

Results: Bixby 36, Lawton 6.

#2 Bartlesville (10-1, 6-1) District 1

#6 Midwest City (6-4, 4-2) District 2

Midwest City made probably the biggest effort at upsetting it's District 1 opponent, and were it not for a 1-yard line fumble to end a 79 yard drive, it may have been a lot closer. As it were, the Bombers failed to stop Colton Penrod's aerial assault that ended up tallying 279 yards and 4 touchdowns.

The pick: Bartlesville 42, MWC 35

Results: Bville 35, MWC 14.

The rest of the rankings

  • #7 Muskogee
  • #10 Ponca City
  • #11 Sapulpa
  • #12 Eisenhower
  • #13 Putnam City West
  • #14 Enid
  • #15 Claremore

My Record

  • Week 1: 10-2 (.833)
  • Week 2: 12-2 (.857)
  • Week 3: 6-3 (.666)
  • Week 4: 6-2 (.750)
  • Week 5: 5-3 (.625)
  • Week 6: 8-0 (1.00)
  • Week 7: 8-0 (1.00)
  • Week 8: 7-1 (.875)
  • Week 9: 6-2 (.750)
  • Week 10: 6-1 (.857)
  • Week 11: 4-0 (1.00) 
  • Overall: 78-16 (.829)

Sandite All-Stars: Your leaders in Defense

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

It's been a tremendous season for the Sandites. While they're technically 5-4, on the field they're 7-2, not even including the Guthrie game that we were leading 18-7 when it was called off due to lightning. Two of our losses come from forfeitures (due to an ineligible player) that were actually wins of 61-8 and 33-7. So while the books say otherwise--we all know that realistically Sand Springs is 8-2, which (were it official) would make it our best record since 1997.

Not to mention we beat Booker T in total yardage of 232-217 and we're the only team to score first on them all season. We're also one of only two teams to lead them at any point all season. We also dealt Bixby their first shut out in seven years.

It's well known that Sand Springs has the best secondary in the state, but just how good are they? This season, our defense has 60 tackles for loss totaling 282 yards and 11 interceptions for 223 yards!

Our opponents only average 72 rushing yards and 113 passing yards per game for an average of 11 points!

So who are the incredible players that have made all this impossible?

The following stats include both forfeitures and the Guthrie game. Whether officially recognized or not, they did happen.

Total Tackles

Senior Cole Dixon leads the team with 70 tackles, followed closely by junior Delvin Jordan with 60, and senior Jacob Taber with 59.

Here's where the rest of the team sits:

  • Jaxon Starling, 33
  • Parker Taylor, 31
  • Jason Cooper, 27
  • Nathan Simonton, 25
  • Cruz Desjarlais, 25
  • Brett Freeman, 21
  • Gage Fain, 20
  • Treyce Tolbert, 18
  • Malachi Walton, 11
  • Dalton Morgan, 11
  • Kris Edwards, 6
  • Danny Ropp, 5
  • Cody Motes, 3
  • Josh Taber, 3
  • Kameron Carpenter, 2
  • Tyler Delozier, 2
  • Hunter Willis, 1
  • Jacob Fortune, 1
  • Gino Lopez, 1
  • Austin McNatt, 1
  • Tyler Brown, 1
  • Jerry Lyons, 1
  • Jake Ward, 1
  • Chase Burris, 1
  • Miron Krotzer, 1
  • Lydon Lundy, 1
  • Jeffrey Whinery, 1
  • Ben Norte, 1

Tackles For Loss/Sacks

Senior Jaxon Starling leads the team with 16 tackles-for-loss in 8 games totaling 97 yards. He had a season-high 5 TFLs against Enid for 18 yards, but drove back Bixby 41 yards with 4. 7 of those were sacks totaling 71 yards.

Other Sandites with tackles for loss are:

  • Cole Dixon 13-49 (2-10 sacks)
  • Delvin Jordan 10-45 (7-31)
  • Jacob Taber 8-33 (1-1)
  • Gage Fain 5-12 (1-5)
  • Brett Freeman 2-15 (1-12)
  • Kris Edwards 2-10 (2-10)
  • Nathan Simonton 1-10 (1-10)
  • Treyce Tolbert 1-6 (1-6)
  • Cruz Desjarlais 1-3
  • Dalton Morgan 1-2 (1-2)

Pass Defense

Jason Cooper leads the Sandite secondary on interceptions with 4 catches and 28 return yards, as well as 3 breakups. 

  • Cole Dixon, 2 interceptions for 11 yards and 1 touchdown, as well as 2 breakups
  • Treyce Tolbert, 2-42
  • Tyler Delozier, 1-52, 1 BU
  • Kameron Carpenter, 1-65
  • Austin McNatt, 1-25 
  • Cruz Desjarlais, 6 BU
  • Paker Taylor, 5 BU
  • Malachi Walton, 2 BU
  • Brett Freeman, 1 BU
  • Delvin Jordan, 1 BU

Fumbles

Delvin Jordan has been the most effective Sandite when it comes to fumbles, recovering 3 for 23 yards and 1 touchdown.

  • Cole Dixon has 1 forced fumble, and 1 recovery for 1 yard
  • Treyce Tolbert has 1 forced, and 1 recovery
  • Jason Cooper has 1 forced
  • Gage Fain has 1 recovery for 8 yards
  • Brett Freeman has 1 recovery for 7 yards
  • Nathan Simonton has 1 recovery for 5 yards
  • Dalton Morgan has 1 recovery for 3 yards
  • Parker Taylor has 1 recovery

#3 Sand Springs (5-4, 5-2) will enter the playoffs for the fourth-consecutive season tonight at #8 Stillwater (5-5, 3-3) and is the favorite to win. 

 

 

Sandite All-Stars: Your leaders in Special Teams

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

It's been a tremendous season for the Sandites. While they're technically 5-4, on the field they're 7-2, not even including the Guthrie game that we were leading 18-7 when it was called off due to lightning. Two of our losses come from forfeitures (due to an ineligible player) that were actually wins of 61-8 and 33-7. So while the books say otherwise--we all know that realistically Sand Springs is 8-2, which (were it official) would make it our best record since 1997.

Not to mention we beat Booker T in total yardage of 232-217 and we're the only team to score first on them all season. We're also one of only two teams to lead them at any point all season. We also dealt Bixby their first shut out in seven years.

So who are the incredible players that have made all this impossible?

The following stats include both forfeitures and the Guthrie game. Whether officially recognized or not, they did happen.

Kicking

Sand Springs has tried out three kickers at this spot but it seems like junior Kasey Bales is the one who stuck. Bales has kicked off 18 times this season, averaging 39.3 yards. He's had 1 touchback, 4 inside the 20, and 5 that were 50+. 

Senior Jacob Fortune has done the brunt of the kicking this season, but hasn't appeared in the last two games. He sits at 23 kicks for an average of 47.8. He's had 1 touchback, 8 inside the 20, and 14 that were 50+.

Cade Loomen hasn't been seen since week 4, but in that time kicked off 17 times for an average of 52.18 with 2 touchbacks, 2 inside the 20, and 14 that were 50+.

Punting

Bales is the primary Sandite punter this season, and has 23 punts for an average of 25 yards. His long is 57 against Bixby. He has 3 touchbacks, 4 in the 20, and 3 that were 50+

Fortune kicked one punt against Hale for 45 yards..

PATs and Field Goals

Bales leads the team in total PATS, connecting for 25 of 29. He's kicked the only two field goals of the season, one from 29 yards and one from 36 yards. He also nailed a season-best 38-yard goal against Booker T, but it was negated due to an illegal procedure. Sand Springs had only 10 men on the field. 

Loomen is a perfect 7-for-7 on PATs.

Kick Returns

Senior Trace Fleischman is the leader with 6 returns for 212 yards. He averages 35 and has longs of 57 against both Guthrie and Muskogee. 

Bales is close behind with 9 returns for 193 yards and a best of 31 against Bartlesville.

Punt Returns

Senior Parker Taylor leads on punt returns with 4 for 128 and a long of 62 against Hale for a touchdown. 

Sophomore Bryson Denton has 1 return against Hale for 40 yards and a touchdown. 

Bales has 1 return for 3 yards.


#3 Sand Springs (5-4, 5-2) will enter the playoffs for the fourth-consecutive season tonight at #8 Stillwater (5-5, 3-3) and is the favorite to win. 

Week 11 Rankings and Playoff Predictions

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The quarterfinals are upon us and with the top four teams all being from the same district, the predictions are all pretty easy. 

Bracket 1

#1 Booker T Washington (9-0, 7-0) District 1

#9 Choctaw (5-5, 2-4) District 2

Get ready for a swarm, because it's Hornets vs Yellowjackets and everybody's a loser in that situation. My hatred for flying pests aside, Booker T shouldn't find Choctaw to be anything more than a pesky gnat. Between Dakari Willis and Justice Hill, Booker T won't be a one-sting-wonder in this game. 

The pick: BTW 52, Choctaw 17.

Location: Booker T, Friday @ 7:00

#3 Charles Page (5-4, 5-2) District 1

#8 Stillwater (5-5, 3-3) District 2

The Pioneers might have a home field advantage, but considering Sand Springs hold numerous records in Pioneer Stadium, I don't think the Sandites are sweating it. Stillwater managed to complete only one pass in their last game against Eisenhower, and considering Sand Springs held Bixby to negative rushing yards in their last game, I'd say Stilly's in for a beat down. Keep your eyes on Cole Dixon in this game if you can keep up with him.

The pick: CPHS 27, Stillwater 3.

Location: Stillwater, Friday @ 7:00

Bracket 2

#4 Bixby (6-4, 4-3) District 1

#5 Lawton (8-1, 6-0) District 2

If there's a single game I'm unsure about, it's this one. Lawton has the better record and a third-straight undefeated district championship, but they still haven't taken on any tough competitors to weigh them against. Lawton's only opponent worth its salt is MacArthur, who beat them. Then again, Bixby's been falling further and further behind the team we thought they were going into the season. All the potential is still there, but they're not living up to it. If the Spartans manage to wake up in this game, they still have everything it takes to make another run at the title. But if I had to pick an upset, this would be it. 

The pick: Bixby 35, Lawton 28.

Location: Lawton, Saturday @ 2:00

#2 Bartlesville (9-1, 6-1) District 1

#6 Midwest City (6-3, 4-2) District 2

Theoretically, this should be a blow out. But the bombers are resilient and gave Sand Springs a lot of grief in the playoffs last year. Still, it should be Colton Penrod dropping bombs this weekend.

The pick: Bartlesville 42, MWC 35. 

Location: Bartlesville, Friday @ 7:30

My Record

  • Week 1: 10-2 (.833)
  • Week 2: 12-2 (.857)
  • Week 3: 6-3 (.666)
  • Week 4: 6-2 (.750)
  • Week 5: 5-3 (.625)
  • Week 6: 8-0 (1.00)
  • Week 7: 8-0 (1.00)
  • Week 8: 7-1 (.875)
  • Week 9: 6-2 (.750)
  • Week 10: 6-1 (.857)
  • Overall: 74-16 (.822)

*All round one playoff games will be free to past and present service members in honor of Veterans Day. From the bottoms of our hearts, we thank you for your service. 

Week 10 Roundup

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The last week of regular-season football was no less exciting than the rest of the season, and the rankings haven't changed much going into the playoffs.

#1 Booker T Washington (9-0, 7-0) District 1

#7 Muskogee (3-7, 3-4) District 1

The Roughers never really had much of a chance to stop the Hornets from a perfect season--not after Bixby, Bartlesville, and Sand Springs failed to. But they certainly played with heart. Without lead running back Molijah Gilbert, the Roughers resorted to an aerial offense and senior quarterback Quintahj Cherry managed to surpass the 2000 yard mark for the season. It was nowhere near enough to overcome OSU-commit Justice Hill, however. The soon-to-be Cowboy ran up 135 yards and 3 touchdowns on just 9 carries before retiring to the bench after the first half. 

The pick: BTW 56, Muskogee 14

Results: BTW 46, Muskogee 21

#2 Bartlesville (9-1, 6-1) District 1

#15 Claremore (2-8, 0-7) District 1

The Zebras actually managed to lead the Bruins, briefly. Then Colton Penrod dropped touchdown bombs of 65, 65, and 55 on his way to a 237 yard finish. The run game was strong as well as Jarron Hilger picked up 124 rushing yards and scored on the first Bruin drive. 

The pick: Bville 48, Claremore 13

Results: Bville 56, Claremore 22

#3 Charles Page (5-4, 5-2) District 1

#4 Bixby (6-4, 4-3) District 1

Sand Springs got their payback against the Spartans for last season. Bixby was dealt their first shutout in seven years and was held to negative rushing yards by the top defense in the state which ran up 5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss. 

The pick: CPHS 41, Bixby 35

Results: CPHS 20, Bixby 0

#5 Lawton (8-1, 6-0) District 2

#9 Choctaw (5-5, 2-4) District 2

The Wolverines were without their leading defensive player, and it showed, but they were still able to hold off the Yellowjackets for their third consecutive undefeated district championship. 

The pick: Lawton 48, Choctaw 24

Results: Lawton 33, Choctaw 25

#6 Midwest City (6-3, 4-2) District 2

Midwest City elected not to play a fourth non-district game and took a week off before the playoffs.

#8 Stillwater (5-5, 3-3) District 2

#12 Eisenhower (1-9, 1-5) District 2

The Eagles didn't fail to impress, but they did fail to bump the Pioneers down from the #2 seed. It was a battle royale at Pioneer Stadium as Ike tied things up 21-21 late in the fourth quarter, but quarterback Jace Brownlee ran in a 61 yard touchdown on the ensuing drive to take the final lead. 

The pick: Stilly 35, Ike 21.

Results: Stilly 33, Ike 27.

#10 Ponca City (3-6, 2-5) District 1

#11 Sapulpa (2-7, 1-6) District 1

The Chieftains had a rough start this year, but managed to work their way up a few spots due to some solid late-season performances. This loss came down to the first ever field goal miss of Sapulpa kicker Paige McCracken, but considering what Sapulpa had to overcome from last year, they should all be proud.

The pick: Ponca 35, Sapulpa 21

Results: Ponca 30, Sapulpa 28.

#13 Putnam City West (4-6, 2-4) District 2

#14 Enid (2-8, 2-4) District 2

The Patriots' post-season dreams came to an end, but they still won three more games than anyone thought they would. It looks like the losing-streak for PCW may finally be reaching its end, so District 2 better keep a wary eye going into next season. Enid narrowly pulled off the upset to avoid the bottom ranking in the division.

The pick: PCW 47, Enid 35

Results: Enid 49, PCW 42

My Record

  • Week 1: 10-2 (.833)
  • Week 2: 12-2 (.857)
  • Week 3: 6-3 (.666)
  • Week 4: 6-2 (.750)
  • Week 5: 5-3 (.625)
  • Week 6: 8-0 (1.00)
  • Week 7: 8-0 (1.00)
  • Week 8: 7-1 (.875)
  • Week 9: 6-2 (.750)
  • Week 10: 6-1 (.857)
  • Overall: 74-16 (.822)

Sandites are now on their longest playoff streak ever

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Sand Springs varsity football team has had some great years, but they've always been fairly spaced out. 

The program started in 1919 under head coach Ivan Grover and went 6-2-1 in its first year. It's now in its 97th year and since then it's seen the playoffs 17 years and amassed a 13-20 post-season record and won its lone State Championship in 1966.

Since 2000, Sand Springs has seen the playoffs four years and won its first playoff game since 1997 last year at Midwest City.

A 5-2 district record this year has clinched Sand Springs a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive year, the fifth year since head coach Dustin Kinard took over the program in 2007. 

The program has seen a lot of improvements during Kinard's tenure. His first year on the job was also the first season at the newly remodeled Memorial Stadium. In 2008 he led his team to their first winning record and first playoff appearance since 1997. 

There were a few rough years after that; Sand Springs went 8-22 from 2009-2011, but since then it's been one of the better programs in the state. 

2012 saw the team's first 6-0 start since 1997, and in 2014 the Sandites beat the Midwest City Bombers by a single point in an frigid overtime win to advance to the semi-finals.

Overall, Kinard has a 45-49 record at Sand Springs, but it should turn into a winning record within a season or two if things continue the way they have been. In his 9th season, Kinard is currently the second-longest tenured coach in Sandite history, behind LD Baines who coached from 1983-1996.

The last few seasons have seen lots of notable achievements and 2015 was no different. This season marked the Sandites' fourth-consecutive winning record and fourth-consecutive playoffs appearance. Sand Springs handed Bixby their first shutout in seven years.

The biggest loss for the Sandites this season was by 17 points. The last time Sand Springs made it through a season without a loss larger than 21 points was in 1997. A 53 point win over Hale (that was later forfeited) gave Sand Springs their third consecutive season with a 50+ point win. So far Sand Springs has only allowed 111 points this season, the team's best defensive record since 1997.

A 4-0 record at home also gave Sand Springs their first perfect season at home since 1997. 

There's never been a better time to be a Sandite!

Join the Minutemen this Friday as they travel to #7 Stillwater (5-5). Kick off is at 7:00 PM at Pioneer Stadium.

 

*this article has been corrected at 8:34 AM Monday 11/9/15. It previously reflected the Stillwater game as scheduled for Saturday.  

*OSSAA has changed kickoff from 7:30 PM Friday to 7:00 PM. Article has been corrected to reflect this change.

Sandites shut out Spartans 20-0 on path to playoffs

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

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The #3 Charles Page (5-4, 5-2) varsity football team had a huge night, handing the #4 Bixby Spartans (6-4, 4-3) their first shutout in seven years in a dominating 20-0 showdown at Memorial Stadium Friday night.

The team as a whole put up one of their best performances of the season, but several players in particular stole the show. Junior quarterback Hunter Greathouse was 5-8-0-109 in the first half that included a 63-yard touchdown pass to Kasey Bales.

Jaxon Starling, Jacob Taber, and Delvin Jordan tied for a team-high six tackles each. Starling had four tackles-for-loss totaling 41 yards, including 3 sacks. Jordan had three tackles-for-loss totaling 12 yards, including one 12-yard sack, as well as a fumble recovery. Taber had one tackle-for-loss.

The whole Sandite defense was incredible. Parker Taylor also picked up a fumble recovery and Cruz Desjarlais had three pass break-ups.

The game was clear Sandite domination from the get-go. The second play of the first Spartan drive resulted in a fumble recovered by the Sandites less than thirty seconds into the game.

The home team used a mere seven plays to move the ball 70 yards, ending in a 30 yard touchdown run by Payton Scott. Kasey Bales missed the first PAT of the night, but Sand Springs had taken an early 6-0 lead with 8:28 left in the first quarter.

Bixby never even reached Sand Springs territory before having the punt the ball away, and Sand Springs wasted no time in finding the endzone once again. Greathouse connected to Bales on a screen and the versatile receiver went 63 yards for the touchdown, then kicked his own point-after for a 13-0 lead with 2:39 in the quarter.

The following Bixby drive was pushed back for a loss of seven yards thanks to a two-yard tackle-for-loss by Jordan and a five-yard sack by Gage Fain, and the Spartans were once again forced to punt.

Lane Lettich took the handoff at the Sandite 41 and got behind the incredible Sand Springs O-line as they knifed through the would-be Spartan phalanx for a gain of six yards. Payton Scott found a hole on the next play and the home team was sitting pretty at 3rd and 1 at the 50 as the first quarter came to a close.

Ten plays later, Greathouse found his way into the endzone on a 1-yard quarterback sneak for his second touchdown of the night. Bales put up the extra point, and Sand Springs had a 20-0 lead with 7:39 left in the half. Now Sand Springs had to defend that lead for another 31 minutes.

Not much happened in the remainder of the first half, but the Spartans found their rallying cry at half-time and came out with all pistons firing for the third quarter.

It was the secondary’s time to shine as they prevented a fourth-down conversion attempt in their redzone early in the quarter, then got no rest as they were up against a Spartan possession that lasted more than four minutes and came down to the wire.

Bixby was first and goal at the Sandite 6 when Taber picked up a nice 4-yard TFL, then Jordan recovered a fumble to give the D a brief rest.

It wouldn’t last long, however. Four plays later, the Spartans were back at it with a 39-yard pass from Tucker Pawley to Conner Walker that put them right back at the Sandite 7. A pass attempt fell incomplete, then #33 Cole Dixon collided with #33 Nic Roller and proved himself the tougher of the two with a tackle-for-loss as the third period expired.

Next, Delvin Jordan sacked Tanner Griffin for a loss of 9, then Starling put the quarterback right back on the ground for a loss of 5 to hand the ball back over to the offense.

The remainder of the fourth quarter was a back and forth game of tug-a-war and once again Bixby threatened with 1st and 10 at the 11 with under a minute to play, but the game was finally wrapped up as Roller fumbled near the goal-line and Taylor recovered it to give the Sandites final-possession.   

Despite the loss, several Bixby players put up impressive efforts. Griffin connected on 10 of 14 for 144 yards in the fourth quarter alone, for 218 overall.

Nic Roller is the #5 rusher in 6A with 1394 yards this season and 4425 career. Sand Springs held him to a meager 47 yards on 20 carries. The only other time this season he’s been held to such a low out-put was against Ponca when he only carried one time for twenty yards due to an injury.

This was the 24th meeting of the two teams, and Sand Springs was bloodthirsty after the Spartans beat them twice last season. This was only the second shutout of the series, the last time being 19-0 in 1997, also by Sand Springs. The series is split now with both teams sitting at 12 wins.

This win gave Sand Springs their first undefeated season at home in over a decade and their fourth consecutive winning record.

Next week Sand Springs will travel to #9 Stillwater (5-5, 4-2) for their fourth-consecutive playoff appearance. Sand Springs has a 10-28-1 record against the Pioneers. 

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Week 10 Rankings and Predictions

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

#1 Booker T Washington (8-0, 6-0) District 1

#7 Muskogee (3-6, 3-3) District 1

Don't expect any surprises here. Muskogee's a far better team than they've been in recent years, but after being knocked out of playoff contention there's little likelihood that they'll find the motivation to upset the #1 undefeated team. Expect OSU-commit Justice Hill to rush for a couple hundred yards as usual and Dakari Willis will probably look to stretch his arm out a bit before the playoffs.

The pick: BTW 56, Muskogee 14

#2 Bartlesville (8-1, 5-1) District 1

#13 Claremore (2-7, 0-6) District 1

Bartlesville consistently gives up points, but also consistently scores substantially more. It'll be a blow out, but I doubt it'll be a shut out. The Zebras have had a rough time this season with injuries, but they've still got heart and won't go down without a fight. Between Colton Penrod and Jarron Hilger, however, it should be a clear Bruin victory.

The pick: Bville 48, Claremore 13.

#3 Charles Page (4-4, 4-2) District 1

#4 Bixby (6-3, 4-2) District 1

Bixby has fallen quite a bit from their early season performance and barely edged by Muskogee last week in overtime while Sand Springs was close to upsetting top-ranked Booker T. On paper, this should be a clear pick. However, there's a lot of bad blood between the Sandites and Spartans after Bixby injured several Sand Springs players last year and beat them twice--once in the regular season and once in the semifinals. Muskogee's players hadn't even made it home yet before Twitter was blowing up with Sandite tweets calling out Bixby last week. The playoffs are locked up for both teams, but they'll be battling for the #3 seed so it should be a shootout, just like last year's 34-31 week 10 game. Bixby has one of the best runningbacks in the state in Nic Roller and Sand Springs has the best defense so it should be a great matchup.

The pick: Sand Springs 41, Bixby 35.

#5 Lawton (7-1, 5-0) District 2

#11 Choctaw (5-4, 2-3) District 2

The Wolverines wrapped up a district championship last week against Midwest City and their only loss was a rivalry matchup against the undefeated #1 team in 5A. Choctaw is coming to do battle, however, as they need a win to hold onto a playoff berth. 

The pick: Lawton 48, Choctaw 24

#6 Midwest City (6-3, 4-2) District 2

Midwest City elected not to play a fourth non-district game and is taking a week off before the playoffs.

#8 Putnam City West (4-5, 2-3) District 2

#14 Enid (2-7, 1-4) District 2

It's down to the wire for PCW. The Patriots are already experiencing their best record since 2000, but after a big time upset by Eisenhower last week it still remains to be seen if they'll clinch their first playoff appearance since 1996. On paper, it should be locked up. But if Enid overcomes PCW like Ike did, then Choctaw will take the bottom seed in the playoffs.

The pick: PCW 47, Enid 35

#9 Stillwater (4-5, 3-2) District 2

#15 Eisenhower (1-8, 1-4) District 2

It's too late for Ike to reach the playoffs, but it's not too late for them to bump Stillwater down to the bottom seed and at least move up from the bottom rank of the division. The Eagles will be flying high after their 50-28 dominating upset @ PCW last week.

The pick: Stilly 38, Ike 35

#10 Ponca City (2-6, 1-5) District 1

#12 Sapulpa (2-6, 1-5) District 1

The Chieftains pulled off a narrow 1 point win last week against Claremore in the lowest scoring game of the season for 6A-II, but it was their first win since week 2 and it was an upset. Expect Dae Williams to cross the 1500 season rushing mark. Ponca doesn't have any huge stars like Williams, but they have a better talent-spread among the players. Keep your eyes on QB Conner Larson and the RB/WR combo of the Arita brothers. 

The pick: Ponca 35, Sapulpa 21

My Record

  • Week 1: 10-2 (.833)
  • Week 2: 12-2 (.857)
  • Week 3: 6-3 (.666)
  • Week 4: 6-2 (.750)
  • Week 5: 5-3 (.625)
  • Week 6: 8-0 (1.00)
  • Week 7: 8-0 (1.00)
  • Week 8: 7-1 (.875)
  • Week 9: 6-2 (.750)
  • Overall: 68-15 (.819)