CPHS Softball: Sandites go 1-5 at tough Broken Arrow tournament

After a dominant 4-0 start to the season, the Charles Page High School fast pitch softball team (4-5) hit its first slump in a 1-5 performance at the Broken Arrow Tournament this weekend. The Lady Sandites averaged ten runs and twelve hits over their first four games, but after a 5-0 shutout of Tahlequah in the first round of the tournament, things began to fall apart. 

SEE RELATED: Freshman Nataley Crawford pitches no-hitter 5-0 shutout of Tahlequah.

Sand Springs notched five hits against the defending State Champions from Westmoore (6-1), briefly led after a fourth inning home run from Makenna Skaggs, and went into overtime before losing in a walkoff. They benefited from two walks and an error but stranded seven base runners and committed four errors of their own. 

The Jaguars got the tie in the bottom of the fourth without a single hit thanks to errors at second, third, and short. Mattie Lee reached on an error in the bottom of the sixth and scored on a double from Aynslee Linduff for the victory. 

Aliyah Taff (2-3, 6-9) took the loss on the mound, throwing seven hits and two strikeouts with no walks. Hannah Harrison secured the win for Westmoore with five hits, three strikeouts, and three walks. 

Next up for the Sandites were the defending 3A State Champions from Tahlequah Sequoyah (9-0) who continued their seventeen-game win streak with their fourth shutout of the season, holding the Sandites scoreless for the first time in three years. 

The Indians outhit Sand Springs ten to five en route to an 11-0 win. Sabrina Usher went two-for-two at the plate and Felicity Horn hit a double, but the Sandites only really threatened once, in the bottom of the fourth. Trailing 7-0, Usher, Jaden Jordan, and Skaggs hit singles with no outs to load the bases. Sequoyah quickly recovered with a strikeout and pair of force outs at third to save the inning. 

Mackenzie Bechtold (1-1, 5-1) suffered her first career loss, throwing ten hits, two walks, and no strikeouts. Sequoyah went undefeated in the tournament, outscoring their foes 45-9. 

Next to top the Sandites was a tough State Semifinalist team from Yukon (7-1), by a much closer score of 5-2. The Millerettes did all of their damage in the second inning, and errors were a contributing factor. 

Both teams stranded runners in the first inning but Sand Springs left two dry in the second and Yukon brought five home. Two infield errors put the Millers in scoring position and Hannah Hurtz brought both in with a double. AJ Rayburn doubled in Hurtz, then McKenna Johnson hit a 2RBI homer before the inning came to a close. 

Jolee McNally drove in Horn on a single in the third but the Sandites stranded loaded bases and their best shot at a comeback. Madison Lee scored the final run on an error in the fifth. 

Taff got the loss for Sand Springs with six hits, one strikeout, and no walks. Kaylee Bradley got the win with five hits, two strikeouts, and three walks. 

The host team from Broken Arrow (7-0) topped the Sandites 8-3 on their way to an undefeated tournament performance, outhitting Sand Springs 11 to 6. Nataley Crawford (1-1) took the loss with two walks and one strikeout. Kailee Reese got the win with one strikeout and one walk. 

Lee scored the first run for Sand Springs on an RBI single from McNally in the top of the first then the Tigers scored on a passed ball in the second to tie it. Lee hit a sacrifice fly in the third to bring in Crawford for the lead and Usher hit a home run, but that was the end of the Sandites’ offense.

Three hits and two errors in the bottom of the third gave Broken Arrow the advantage and they added to it with five hits and two errors in the fourth. The Tigers scored two more on three hits in the fifth before time expired. 

Finally, the Sandites fell 5-1 to Southmoore (4-2) in the final game of the weekend. The Sandite bats were unusually quiet, as only Usher and Rachel Jones were able to connect. 

The Jaguars scored three runs on two hits and two errors in the top of the second. Skaggs was hit by pitch in the bottom of the inning and scored on Jones’s single, but Southmoore responded immediately with two more runs in the third and the rest of the game was uneventful for both sides. 

Taff got the loss with six hits, one walk, and two strikeouts. Abi Jones got the win with three walks and three strikeouts. 

Sand Springs will look to get back to a .500 record when they play Sapulpa (2-2, 1-1) Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. in district action.

Pool A

Broken Arrow (5-0)
Broken Arrow 3-0 Yukon
Broken Arrow 9-1 Shawnee
Broken Arrow 10-0 Skiatook
Broken Arrow 11-1 Tahlequah
Broken Arrow 8-3 Sand Springs
Tahlequah Sequoyah (5-0)
Sequoyah 8-4 Westmoore
Sequoyah 7-0 Tahlequah
Sequoyah 11-0 Sand Springs
Sequoyah 6-2 Skiatook
Sequoyah 5-2 Deer Creek
Yukon (4-1)
Yukon 11-4 Skiatook
Yukon 13-0 Tahlequah
Yukon 5-2 Sand Springs
Yukon 6-5 Shawnee
Westmoore (4-1)
Westmoore 2-1 Sand Springs
Westmoore 14-7 Shawnee
Westmoore 10-2 Tahlequah
Westmoore 18-1 Skiatook
Sand Springs (1-4)
Sand Springs 5-0 Tahlequah
Skiatook (1-4)
Skiatook 4-1 Shawnee
Shawnee (0-5)
Tahlequah (0-5)

Pool B

Owasso (4-1)
Owasso 3-0 Southmoore
Owasso 5-1 Coweta
Owasso 9-1 Mannford
Owasso 3-0 Deer Creek
Deer Creek (4-1)
Deer Creek 9-1 Mannford
Deer Creek 10-3 Collinsville
Deer Creek 5-0 Southmoore
Deer Creek 8-0 Broken Arrow JV
Ft. Gibson (3-2)
Ft. Gibson 2-1 Owasso
Ft. Gibson 2-1 Collinsville
Ft. Gibson 7-6 Broken Arrow JV
Collinsville (3-2)
Collinsville 6-3 Broken Arrow JV
Collinsville 13-0 Coweta
Collinsville 5-4 Mannford
Southmoore (3-2)
Southmoore 5-1 Ft. Gibson
Southmoore 6-2 Mannford
Southmoore 5-0 Coweta
Coweta (2-3)
Coweta 3-2 Broken Arrow JV
Coweta 8-0 Ft. Gibson
Mannford (0-3-1)
Mannford 2-2 Broken Arrow JV
Broken Arrow JV (0-3-1)
Broken Arrow JV 2-2 Mannford

Placement Rounds

Pool A/B
Broken Arrow 6-5 Owasso
Sequoyah 5-2 Deer Creek
Yukon 5-1 Ft. Gibson
Westmoore 8-2 Collinsville
Southmoore 5-1 Sand Springs
Skiatook 8-1 Coweta
Shawnee 11-7 Broken Arrow JV
Tahlequah 9-3 Mannford

Pool C/D
Hilldale 6-2 Edmond North
Moore 8-0 Claremore
Mustang 6-3 Jenks
Union 10-1 Sapulpa
Durant 5-4 Bixby
Pryor 4-2 Muldrow
Pocola 4-0 Midwest City
Liberty 9-7 Berryhill

Pool C

Edmond North (4-1)
Edmond 4-1 Pocola
Edmond 9-1 Liberty
Edmond 11-0 Bixby
Edmond 8-0 Union
Jenks (4-1)
Jenks 4-2 Union
Jenks 8-4 Edmond North
Jenks 9-1 Pryor
Jenks 5-4 Pocola
Moore (4-1)
Moore 3-0 Pryor
Moore 8-1 Bixby
Moore 3-2 Jenks
Moore 12-2 Liberty
Union (3-2)
Union 7-6 Pocola
Union 6-2 Moore
Union 9-3 Pryor
Bixby (3-2)
Bixby 4-3 Liberty
Bixby 4-2 Pryor
Bixby 11-1 Pocola
Pryor (1-4)
Pryor 9-2 Liberty
Pocola (1-4)
Pocola 10-2 Liberty
Liberty (0-5)

Pool D

Hilldale (5-0)
Hilldale 3-2 Mustang
Hilldale 6-3 Durant
Hilldale 14-1 Muldrow
Hilldale 11-2 Berryhill
Hilldale 12-0 Midwest City
Mustang (4-1)
Mustang 13-2 Muldrow
Mustang 8-6 Durant
Mustang 7-1 Midwest City
Mustang 8-0 Berryhill
Sapulpa (3-2)
Sapulpa 6-5 Midwest City
Sapulpa 7-2 Berryhill
Sapulpa 5-2 Muldrow
Claremore (3-2)
Claremore 5-4 Midwest City
Claremore 7-1 Sapulpa
Claremore 11-2 Berryhill
Muldrow (2-3)
Muldrow 9-5 Claremore
Muldrow 9-0 Durant
Durant (2-3)
Durant 7-4 Sapulpa
Durant 5-1 Claremore
Midwest City (1-4)
Midwest City 11-3 Berryhill
Berryhill (0-5)

Sand Springs hosts All-State wrestling, West wins both duals

Charles Page High School in Sand Springs hosted the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State Duals Wednesday night at the Ed Dubie Field House, and the Western squads defeated the East in both Large and Small classifications.

Sand Springs had one senior wrestler receive an All State commendation, but he was unable to compete due to a shoulder injury. Baker University-commit Scott Patton won thirty straight matches his senior year, finishing with a 31-2 record and 2nd Place medal at the State Tournament. Broken Arrow’s Diego Maturino filled in for Patton in the 160 pounds spot.

Overall, western athletes won fifteen matches, the east won nine, and two matches resulted in ties. The Large West squad coached by Duncan’s Bobby Cook won its dual 36-21 over the Eastern unit coached by Durant’s Jim Taylor.

The dual started with a 2-2 tie after a scoreless overtime period between David Boucher and Dominic Derr. Cameron Picklo got a payback win at 138 pounds with a 4-2 decision over State Champion Spencer Schickram, who he was pinned by at the State Tournament. Two-time State Champion Kobi Gomez won a 4-2 overtime decision against three-time State Finalist Gage Hight to tie the dual at 12-12.

The West won seven straight matches and Carson Savage clinched the dual with a fall at 195. The East evened things up a little bit with a decision at 220 and an upset at heavyweight. 6A State Runner-Up Caleb Orr pinned two-time 5A State Champion Josh Heindselman to wrap the night up.

The Small West company coached by Anadarko’s Craig Pruitt rolled to a 30-9 advantage before the East began to battle back. Wagoner coach Micco Charboneau rallied his boys to win their final four matches for a close 30-27 defeat.

The Small West won their first two matches and never trailed in the dual. Thaddeus Long and Logan Farrell battled to a 4-4 tie in a rematch of 4A State Finals. Wesley Scott picked up a fall for the East, then viewers were treated to yet another Finals rematch. Kobe Kizarr repeated his State Championship win with a 3-0 decision against Price Perrier to kick off a five-match win streak.

Alec McDoulett won 11-4 in a battle of State Runners-Up against Abel Perez and 3A State Runner-Up Tyler Lavey knocked off State Champion Luke Ahrberg 6-4. Nathan Ulmer kicked off the Eastern rally attempt by pinning Denver Dahlenburg. Teaguen Wilson had the chance to tie the dual with a pin in the final match, but had to settle for a 4-1 decision.

Prior to the dual, awards were presented to the coaches and wrestlers of the year in each classification.

Oklahoma Wrestling Coaches Association Awards
Region 1 Coach of the Year - Brian Picklo (Mustang)
Region 2 Coach of the Year - Laddie Rupp (Cushing)
Region 3 Coach of the Year - Micco Charboneau (Wagoner)
Region 4 Coach of the Year - Michael Miller (Lawton MacArthur)
Region 5 Coach of the Year - Andy Howington (Marlow)
Region 6 Coach of the Year - Josh Cunningham (McAlester)
Region 7 Coach of the Year - Shawn Jones (Broken Arrow)
Region 8 Coach of the Year - J. Wesley Ruth (Del City)
3A Head Coach of the Year - Andy Howington (Marlow)
3A Assistant Coach of the Year - Keith Kizarr (Marlow)
4A Head Coach of the Year - Laddie Rupp (Cushing)
4A Assistant Coach of the Year - Bobby Williams (Tuttle)
5A Head Coach of the Year - Erik Ford (Piedmont)
5A Assistant Coach of the Year - Luke Brummett (Skiatook)
6A Head Coach of the Year - Shawn Jones (Broken Arrow)
6A Assistant Coach of the Year - Rod Jones (Broken Arrow)
Junior High Coach of the Year - Casy Rowell (Comanche)
Official of the Year - Danny Blackshear
3A Wrestler of the Year - Drake Barbee (Blackwell)
4A Wrestler of the Year - Thaddeus Long (McLain)
5A Wrestler of the Year - Josh Heindselman (Piedmont)
6A Wrestler of the Year - Zane Coleman (Choctaw)
Wrestler of the Year (All Classes) - Josh Heindselman (Piedmont)

Small West 30 Small East 27
113: Remington White (Walters) FALL Kaleb Harris (Sallisaw), 6-0.
120: Jaxon Miller (Comanche) 5-3 Luke Montgomery (Bristow), 9-0.
126: Logan Farrell (Tuttle) 4-4 Thaddeus Long (McLain), 12-3.
132: Wesley Scott (Pawnee) FALL Nikolas Gers (Blanchard), 12-9.
138: Kobey Kizarr (Marlow) 3-0 Price Perrier (Pawhuska), 15-9.
145: Stone Snodgrass (Kingfisher) 1-0 Alec Capehart (Sallisaw), 18-9.
152: Alec McDoulett (Little Axe) 11-4 Abel Perez (Catoosa), 21-9.
160: Tyler Lavey (Marlow) 6-4 Jacob Ahrberg (Cushing), 24-9.
170: Ethon Hamrick (Comanche) FALL Tyler Bingham (Tecumseh), 30-9.
182: Nathan Ulmer (Poteau) FALL Denver Dahlenburg (Hinton), 30-15.
195: Eriq Simpson (Cushing) FALL John Mark Holten (Anadarko), 30-21.
220: Drake Barbee (Blackwell) 7-4 Cameron Gregg (Pauls Valley), 30-24.
285: Teaguen Wilson (Perry) 4-1 Chase Merkey (Geary), 30-27.

Large West 36 Large East 21
113: David Boucher (Bartlesville) 2-2 Dominic Derr (Westmoore), 3-3.
120: Laif Jones (Bartlesville) 11-2 Jayston Cato (Carl Albert), 3-7.
126: Mitchell Lance (Piedmont) 4-0 Ty Nohelty (McAlester), 6-7.
132: Reece Witcraft (Broken Arrow) TECH Kylon Burgert (Yukon), 6-12.
138: Cameron Picklo (Mustang) 4-2 Spencer Schickram (Ponca City), 9-12.
145: Kobi Gomez (Altus) 5-2 SV Gage Hight (Glenpool), 12-12.
152: Kyle Knowles (Edmond Memorial) FALL Ja’len Hernandez (Union), 18-12.
160: Hunter Jump (Duncan) 4-2 Diego Maturino (Broken Arrow), 21-12.
170: Zane Coleman (Choctaw) FALL Mason Seth (Muskogee), 27-12.
182: Christian Maldonado (Lawton MacArthur) DECISION Abram Arechiga (Ponca City), 30-12.
195: Carson Savage (Deer Creek) FALL Braxton Kearns (Glenpool), 36-12.
220: Tony Opichka (Choctaw) DECISION Matt Woods (Lawton MacArthur), 36-15.
285: Caleb Orr (Jenks) FALL Josh Heindselman (Piedmont), 36-21.

CPHS Wrestling: Carter Young wins Westmoore Open, 4 Sandites win at Owasso

Central Ninth Grade Center freshman Carter Young recently took first place at the Westmoore Open, a preseason folkstyle tournament in Moore. The defending Junior High State Champion competed at 106 pounds and breezed through the competition. In the first round he pinned Michael Vincent in 3:00, then won a 21-5 tech fall against Westmoore’s Cooper Evans before majoring Blanchard’s Braeden Williams 14-5 in the finals.

At the Joe Zamora / Skyler Holman Open in Owasso, four Sandites won junior high gold. 

Sophomore Brendon Wiseley (4-1) took third at 106 pounds in the high school division. He pinned Sian Suan in 2:40 and won a 6-0 decision against Thai Ta before falling 4-4 to Broken Arrow’s Blazik Perez in an ultimate tie-breaker. In the consolation bracket he defeated David Boucher 4-0 and won a 6-5 rematch with Ta in the finals.

Braylon Flores (3-0) breezed through the junior high division at 113 pounds, pinning all three of his foes. He took down Kaleb Pendergraft in 1:26, Braden Hurst in 3:40, and Preston Baker in 1:59.

Rhett Peak (6-3) was equally dominant at 80 pounds, majoring Mason Duke 13-0 in the first round and pinning his next three opponents. He took down Riley Kuder in 1:11, Xavier Wolfe in 1:26, and Ethan Rodriguez in 2:15.

The pin record for the day went to Mitchell Smith (8-1) who won all four of his matches by fall. He pinned Rowty Redburn in 1:01, John Tyler Dunbar in 0:40, Evan Rodriguez in 2:00, and Mac O’Brien in 0:44.

Christian Forbes (5-2) won his division with a 5-2 decision against Pacen Crittenden, a 19-3 tech fall against teammate Colton Luker, and a 6-4 decision against Parker Witcraft.

Caden Vaughn (3-1) came in runner-up at 120 pounds. He pinned Grant Bunten in 1:05 and CJ Clifton in 2:45 and majored Brock Mattioda 9-1 but fell 9-2 to Ty Moose in the finals.

Santana Naugle (3-2) took fourth place at 162 pounds. He pinned Zach Powell in 19 seconds and scored three-point decisions over Caden Osborne and Connor DiCarlo, but was pinned by Gage Hamm and Jordan Hanna.

Lady Sandite Softball will take on Mustang in the State Quarterfinals Thursday

Photo: Scott Emigh

Photo: Scott Emigh

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Charles Page High School varsity softball team (30-8) is headed to State for the second-straight year after winning their fourteenth Regional Championship last weekend. The District Runner-Up team boasts a long roster of impressive athletes, and is a mostly young team with only three seniors.

The girls will travel to Oklahoma City Thursday and will take on the Mustang Broncos (32-6-1) at 1:30 p.m. on Field 3 of the ASA Hall of Fame Softball Complex. The Sandites and Broncos have yet to meet this year, nor have the Sandites met any of the five teams to beat the Broncos this year. Mustang is, however, undefeated against teams that have beaten the Sandites. They went 1-0 against Jenks, who the Sandites are 1-1 against. They beat Union 5-3 while Sand Springs fell 4-3. They have a win and a tie with Yukon, who the Sandites are 1-1 against. 

A win against Mustang will pit the Sandites against the winner of Owasso (35-3) vs. Moore (29-6). The Sandites have met Owasso only once, on the second gameday of the season, and lost 2-1 in extra innings at the Broken Arrow tournament. Sand Springs has met Moore only once, and dealt them a 4-0 loss at the NSU tournament. The semi final game will be Friday at 2:30, also on Field 3. 

If Sand Springs makes it to the finals, they could play Southmoore (33-2), Union (31-10), Westmoore (28-9), or Yukon (27-6). The Sandites haven't played Southmoore or Westmoore this season. They've met Union once and lost, and split two games with Yukon. The finals will be Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

Last year the Sandites were 29-8 going into the State tournament and were district co-champions after splitting games with Yukon. They ended Mustang (33-9)'s five-game winning streak in the quarterfinals 14-6. In the semifinals they ended Moore (34-5)'s thirteen-game winning streak 5-3, but became the thirteenth-straight win for Choctaw (36-7) 4-3 in the Championship game. 

This year the Sandites have played one more game than last year, but otherwise have a nearly identical record overall. In district play they lost two more games than last year and were district runners-up to Yukon, who they split with. The girls have lost some slugging power in Jessica Schuler (.514 batting), Kennedy "Goose" Salyers (.387), and Kalli Mallory (.351), but have improved defensively with fourteen shutouts this season compared to eight last year. This season they win by an average score of 7-2 compared to last year's 7-3. Their batting has drastically improved from the first half of the season to the latter, as well. In their first nineteen games they surpassed ten hits six times and averaged .291 as a team. In the last nineteen games they surpassed ten hits ten times and averaged .360 as a team. 

Oklahoma State University committed senior Sydney Pennington (6-0) is undefeated on the mound this season, but spends most of her time at short stop where she has had a hand in 5 double plays this season. She currently holds a .549 batting average on 102 at bats this season, with 26 singles, 19 doubles, 1 triple, 10 home runs, 38 RBI (runs batted in), and 45 runs. Coaches frequently won't even allow their teams to pitch to her, and she has been walked 31 times this season--usually intentionally. She has not been struck out once. She gets on base more than 65% of the time and has 2 stolen bases this season. She has not been caught stealing. At the mound she is equally dangerous with a 1.41 ERA (earned run average) and 1.135 WHIP (walks + hits per innings pitched) on 39.6 innings pitched. She has faced 160 batters this season and has given up 23 hits, 18 walks, 9 runs, and 8 earned runs with 29 strikeouts. She throws 61% strikes and has only thrown 6 wild pitches and hit 4 batters this season. 

Sophomore first baseman Elizabeth Luttrell has been in on 2 double plays this season and is sitting at a .426 batting average on 54 at-bats, with 15 singles, 5 doubles, 3 home runs, 18 RBI, and 19 runs.

Sophomore pitcher, shortstop, and third baseman Madelyn Blair (13-2) holds an impressive record on the mound and has been in on 4 double plays this season. She currently holds a .342 batting average on 117 at-bats with 30 singles, 10 doubles, 4 sacrifices, 32 RBI, and 11 runs. She has stolen 1 base and been caught stealing 1 time. At the mound she holds a 1.41 ERA and 1.198 WHIP on 74.3 innings pitched. She has faced 314 batters this season and has given up 55 hits, 17 walks, 23 runs, 15 earned runs, with 53 strikeouts. She throws 69% strikes and has only thrown 2 wild pitches and hit 17 batters this season.

Freshman courtesy runner Makenna Skaggs has racked up the runs for our pitchers this season while seeing limited action at the plate. She holds a .333 batting average on 12 at-bats with 4 singles, 2 RBI, and 21 runs.

Freshman catcher Sabrina Usher holds a .327 batting average on 104 at-bats this season with 17 singles, 16 doubles, 1 home run, 2 sacrifices, 25 RBI, and 25 runs. She has stolen 1 base, been caught stealing once, and been picked off once. 

Senior outfielder Jessica Collins has seen a lot of action in center field this season and has made numerous wild catches to prevent base hits, and has been involved in 1 double play. She currently holds a .324 batting average on 111 at bats this season with 29 singles, 7 doubles, 18 sacrifices, 22 RBI, and 38 runs. She has stolen 5 bases and only been caught stealing once. 

Freshman outfielder Felicity Horn holds a .297 batting average on 101 at-bats this season, with 22 singles, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 4 sacrifices, 14 RBI, and 32 runs. She has stolen 1 base and been caught stealing once. 

Sophomore pitcher and left fielder Jacie Taber (11-6) holds a .292 batting average on 113 at-bats this season, with 23 singles, 9 doubles, 1 home run, 5 sacrifices, 20 RBI, and 19 runs. She has stolen 3 bases and been caught stealing twice. She holds a 1.38 ERA on the mound with a 1.134 WHIP on 112 innings pitched. She has faced 467 batters this season and has given up only 66 hits, 34 walks, 36 runs, 22 earned runs, with 98 strikeouts. She throws 66% strikes and has only thrown 5 wild pitches and hit 27 batters.

Sophomore second baseman Kimi Presnell has been in on 7 double plays this season and holds a .280 batting average on 107 at-bats, with 24 singles, 6 doubles, 4 sacrifices, 16 RBI, and 22 runs. She has stolen 11 bases and only been caught stealing twice. 

Sophomore third baseman Cameron Clemons has been in on 1 double play this season and holds a .274 batting average on 73 at-bats, with 15 singles, 5 doubles, 9 sacrifices, 17 RBI, and 16 runs. 

Senior outfielder Rachel Blair holds a .176 batting average on 74 at-bats this season, with 11 singles, 2 doubles, 6 sacrifices, 5 RBI and 12 runs. 

Jensen Arnold has seen limited play this season and currently holds a .500 batting average on 10 at-bats with 1 single, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 3 RBI, and 4 runs.

Freshman first baseman Rachel Jones hasn't seen much action this season, but has been in on one double play. She holds a .000 batting average on 4 at-bats. 

Week Four 6A-II rankings and predictions; a look at this weekend's games

Photo: Morgan Miller

Photo: Morgan Miller

By: Sandite Pride Editorial Board

No. 1 Bixby Spartans (Last week No. 1) vs. 6A No. 4 Westmoore Jaguars

The 6A-II back-to-back defending State Champions (1-2) bit off the second-toughest pre-conference schedule in the division and paid the price, starting with an 0-2 record. They also reaped the reward of experience and dolled out that experience on the Putnam City Pirates (2-1) Friday night. The Pirates stood little chance and what few scores they managed were the result of opportunistic slips in the Spartan defense. The whole of their offense was ineffective against the Spartans and the Bixby tide rolled to a 56-20 victory. Bixby held Putnam to a mere six first-downs and 187 yards against twenty-nine first downs and 473 yards of total offense. QB Tanner Griffin connected on 31 of 44 passes for 303 yards and four touchdowns and the run game was alive and well with Tucker Pawley who needed only two quarters to run 28 times for 167 yards and four touchdowns.

Westmoore (3-0) received a nice bump in the 6A-I rankings after upsetting in-town rival No. 3 Southmoore 34-28 in overtime in week two for their second ranked win after beating rival No. 10 Moore (2-1) 51-41 in week one. This past Friday they handled unranked Edmond North (0-3) 21-7. Their offense was slow and only scored one touchdown with five drives ending on downs. The defense saved the game with a pick six and a forced fumble, and the third touchdown came on a punt return.

The Pick: Bixby 38, Westmoore 34

No. 2 Booker T. Washington Hornets (2) vs No. 15 Ponca City Wildcats (15)

Booker T Washington (2-2) has had two close ones and two blow outs this season. They lost a close one to 6A-I No. 8 Edmond Santa Fe (2-1) when the Wolves were still ranked No. 3, and followed it up with a close 21-14 win over Midwest City (1-2) in week two. The next week they played the number two team in the country and it might as well have been a college team. IMG Academy (4-0) features 29 NCAA Division One-commits and the Ascenders topped the Hornets 49-7. This past weekend it was time for the Hornets to bring the rain, powering through 5A Shawnee (1-2) 43-6.

Ponca City (1-2) took a bye week after netting their first win 9-0 over 5A Guthrie. The first two weeks weren't nearly as pretty as Edmond Memorial and Enid both hung 42 points on the Wildcats. Enid was somewhat close at 42-31, but Edmond was a 42-6 blowout.

The pick: BTW 54, Ponca 9

No. 3 Muskogee Roughers (3) vs No. 11 Bartlesville Bruins (9)

The Muskogee Roughers (3-0) are the only undefeated team remaining in the division and look to continue that streak into district play. They've only notched one win against a ranked opponent, 16-12 over Midwest City, but scored blowouts in the following games. After topping McAlester (1-2) 51-13, they did even worse to Bentonville West (0-3). The Wolverines are the bottom-ranked team in Arkansas Class 7A, and the Roughers had little difficulty in a 62-13 victory. 

The Bruins (1-2) are in a rebuilding year after graduating most of their top performers in last year's powerful season. They won a close one 27-24 over McAlester in week one and were blown out 59-14 and 27-7 by 6A-I No. 7 Owasso (1-2) and 4A No. 4 Cascia Hall (2-1), respectively. 

The Pick: Muskogee 43, Bartlesville 18

No. 4 Midwest City Bombers (4) vs No. 5 Lawton Wolverines (7)

The marquee matchup of the week in 6A-II, the Bombers (1-2) and Wolverines (1-2) will kick off district play with much to prove. The Bombers have held their top-five ranking thanks to strength of schedule after falling 16-12 to Muskogee and 21-14 to Booker T. Last week they notched their first win 28-21 over 5A No. 6 Del City (2-1) while the Wolverines got in the win column with a 1000+ yard total offensive beat down on 5A Eisenhower (0-3). Lawton has also had a tough season thus far with some of the top dogs in 5A. They dropped a 56-41 shootout with 5A No. 3 Carl Albert (3-0) and 5A No. 1 Lawton MacArthur (3-0).

Lawton's pass game has been average at best, but Tre Curry is already at 589 yards rushing with only 79 carries for 6 touchdowns. The Bombers, however, are well prepared for the run game after holding Booker T to under 100 yards on the ground. 

The Pick: No consensus. Scott Emigh calls it 24-21 to MWC, Virgil Noah calls it 27-21 to Lawton.

No. 6 Sand Springs Sandites (6) vs No. 14 Sapulpa Chieftains (14)

One of the greatest rivalries in Oklahoma football is renewed this Friday in Sand Springs. The Chieftains (0-3) lead the Highway 97 Rivalry 44-42-3, but the Sandites have won the past two years by substantial margins, including a brutal 44-10 beat-down last season. The series is tied at 8-8 since 2000.

The Sandites are coming into the game with a lot to prove after dropping their first two games and barely winning the third. Last years' State Runners-Up scheduled a big dog in 5A Arkansas State Champions Pulaski Academy and were handily defeated 56-21. In week two they were unable to shut down the Choctaw air raid and gave up a 45-41 come-from-behind upset. They struggled offensively against Putnam West, but key defensive and special teams plays gave them the close 29-24 win.

The Pick: Sand Springs 46, Sapulpa 22

No. 7 Putnam City Pirates (8) vs No. 9 Choctaw Yellowjackets (5) 

After scoring a surprising upset over the Sandites (1-2) in week two, the Yellowjackets were in-turn upset in week three. 6A-I Putnam City North (1-2) lost both in-town rivalry games 16-7 to Putnam City and 16-5 to Putnam City West, but got in the win column with a huge upset 17-14 over Choctaw. 

Choctaw relied on its powerful air-raid offense to win close 90+ point shootouts with Sapulpa and Sand Springs, but when it met Ryan Laverty's newly established Panther defense, they were useless without a substantial ground game. The Panthers forced seven turnovers, including six interceptions for the win.

Putnam City (2-1) already proved themselves against the Putnam North defense, then steamrolled El Reno 52-6 in week two. They suffered their first loss last week to the top-ranked Spartans, but still managed to score 20 points on big home-run plays. The Pirates have a versatile offense, transitioning smoothly to the ground after the Putnam North pass-defense held them to 90 yards, but managed to throw well against both El Reno and Bixby. 

The Pick: Choctaw 33, Putnam 32. 

No. 8 Putnam City West Patriots (11) vs No. 13 Enid Plainsmen (10)

The Patriots (2-1) gave the Sandites a run for their money last weekend, falling 29-24, but still hold solid wins over 5A Duncan 43-14 and 16-5 over in-town rival Putnam North (1-2). QB Trey Gooch was 16-25-1-172 passing against the Sandites and also carried 14 times for 72 yards and was in on every touchdown. 

The Plainsmen (1-2) won a 42-31 shootout with Ponca City in week two, but were edged out by Guthrie 22-19 in week one and were utterly floored 44-14 by 5A No. 7 Bishop McGuinness (2-1) last week. 

The Pick: PCW 26, Enid 17.

No. 10 Stillwater Pioneers (13) vs No. 12 Deer Creek Antlers (12)

The Pioneers (2-1) made a big statement last week with a 34-26 upset of 6A-I No. 9 Mustang (2-1). The Broncos had previously won 42-20 over Yukon and 44-3 over Norman, so if Stillwater's victory is any indicator of their season to come, they could be a serious contender for at least the district title, if not the State Championship. 

The Antlers (0-3) had strength of schedule boosting their ranking the first two weeks, but after losing 48-31 to unranked Edmond Memorial, they're going to have to put in work against Stillwater to prove themselves at the 6A level. That Memorial is a rival and rivalry games are often unpredictable lends the Antlers some credibility still, but going into districts 0-3 doesn't look good for the team's first year out of 5A. 

The Pick: Stillwater 37, Deer Creek 19

Editorial: How the 6A split saved 6A football

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Oklahoma high school football experienced a dramatic and controversial change in the fall of 2013 when the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) announced a split in Class 6A. The 16 highest-enrollment schools would be separated from the lower 16 and each division would play for their own State Title.

The reason for the decision was simple. Population. The current enrollment of Broken Arrow High School is 4,872. The enrollment of Booker T Washington? 1,317. The difference between the top of 6A and the bottom of 6A is greater than the top of 5A and the smallest schools in the State. Schools like BA, Union, Jenks, and Owasso have four times the talent pool to draw from. While the majority of the Hornet starters play both sides of the ball and never get a break, the Redskins have a roster larger than some colleges and have backups for their backups.

Class 6A was created in 1992 and the inaugural Championship was won by Norman. Jenks won it in ’93, Midwest City went back-to-back from ’94-95, and nobody but Jenks or Union has won it since. More often than not, the State Championship game has simply been a rematch between the Backyard Bowl rivals. Since the inception of 6A, Jenks leads the series with 14 titles to Union’s 7, and only 2 other teams have ever won.

Clearly population isn’t the only deciding factor, otherwise Broken Arrow would have won it every year. But there’s no denying the significance it plays. 6A teams were judged by their ability to turn a winning record, not by their ability to win State Titles. That was irrelevant. Nobody won State Titles but Jenks and Union.

In the 22 seasons that Sand Springs played the 6A division, they earned a total record of 98-131 and only managed 7 winning seasons with 7 playoff appearances. In five of those years they were eliminated by top-four-enrollment schools. The other years it was by top-ten schools. Since the 6A split, the Sandites have gone 15-11, made the playoffs both years, and actually won playoff games for the first time since 1997. In 2015, the Sandites made their first State Final appearance since 1966.

While the problems with the 6A split were clear—increased travel, “easier” brackets—the solution has proved to be a game-changer for the 16 schools who now feel like they actually have a legitimate chance. The culture around Sand Springs football has changed, and it’s not an isolated event.

The Class 6A-II conversation begins with two-time reigning State Champions, the Bixby Spartans. Bixby was an annual contender in Class 5A without fail. They weren’t part of the inaugural class of 6A. They didn’t move over until 2010. Prior to that, they had six-straight winning seasons with ten-straight playoff appearances. In their first year of 6A they finished the regular season 5-5, their worst record since 2003, and were eliminated in round one by Jenks. For the next two years they posted losing records and didn’t make the playoffs again till the 6A split. In a single year, the 6A powerhouses had killed the football culture at Bixby. They were lucky that they only had to live through it for four years before the split. In 2014, the Spartans were once again playing teams at their size, and they went 12-1 for their first ever State Title. Their only loss? A season-opening non-conference game against Jenks. Jenks won that one 66-20. The Spartans defended their title in 2015 and are currently ranked number one in 2016. After two straight winning seasons and State Titles, the Spartans challenged Jenks in their season opener and nearly won it, 38-34.

Booker T Washington has always had a culture of winning, with eight State Championships including two recently in 2008 and 2010 at the 5A level. The Hornets only had to play two seasons of 6A football, both ending in first round devastating playoff defeats at the hands of the Big Four. As soon as 6A split, they were back in it with a 7-game winning streak and a 10-2 season in 2014. Last year they went undefeated in the regular season and earned the number one rank before Sand Springs defeated them in the semi-finals. This year the Hornets are laying the foundation to take their program to the next level with College Hall of Fame member Brad Calip taking over as Head Coach and former University of Tulsa Head Coach Bill Blankenship volunteering with the quarterbacks and offensive coaching. The Hornets have stepped up their pre-conference scheduling with 6A No. 5 Edmond Santa Fe and Florida-based private school IMG Academy which is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation with an entire roster of division-I commits.

Bartlesville was part of the first class of 6A, and went 0-10 in the first two years. They didn’t post a winning record till 2002, when they were doubled down on by Union 54-27 in the first round of the playoffs. Their next winning record wouldn’t come till 2008, and that was only due to a forfeiture by Jenks due to OSSAA sanctions. In 2009 they gave it a real run and even defeated Owasso, but still couldn’t fend off Jenks, BA, and Southmoore. In 2010 they had another winning record at 7-4. Their losses were to the Big Four. Since the 6A split they’ve made the playoffs both years and finished last season with only two losses. They held the No. 1 rank briefly after defeating Bixby, before falling to BTW two weeks later.

The success stories continue from there. The evidence is undeniable, the 6A split has saved 6A football. While critics of the sixteen-team bracket call it a JV division, the reality is that the top teams in 6A-II never could compete with the Big Four when they were in 6A, but now they could. Bixby nearly defeated 6A No. 1 Jenks in a pre-conference battle. BTW almost defeated 6A No. 5 Edmond Santa Fe. Sand Springs has begun scheduling real opponents like Arkansas State Champion Pulaski Academy, instead of their past habit of lighting up Nathan Hale, who has lost 37-straight games. Muskogee has brought in 5A State Championship coach Rafe Watkins from Guthrie and is now a real contender for the first time in years. Putnam City West is confidently rebuilding their program after a decade of losing seasons. Sapulpa brought on former Sand Springs Defensive Coordinator Robert Borgstadt as head coach to rebuild their ailing program.

Success breeds success. Is the 16-team bracket the best way to go? Who knows? Maybe one day there will be a full 32 schools the size of BA and we can re-institute the 32-team standard. Maybe we should split all the other classes into 16-team divisions as well. Or maybe we should call Bixby and Jenks Division Champions instead of State Champions and have them play each other for the true 6A State Championship. There’s many things we could try; some could work, and some won’t. But the fact is, 6A football is more competitive than it has ever been, and almost every school in the Class is now vying to be the next big deal. The Big Four monopoly hasn’t been broken, but at least 16 teams now feel like they have a real shot.

Oklahoma routs Iowa 41-29 to remain undefeated after day one

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Oklahoma Outlaws are sitting pretty after day one at the Junior Greco-Roman Dual Nationals. The host team destroyed Georgia in round one 68-2, pushed past a scrappy Pennsylvania team 38-30 in the semis, and handled Iowa with surprising ease in the Pool D finals Wednesday night to advance to the Gold/Silver Pool Thursday morning.

Team Iowa entered the dual as the top seed in the Pool, but that didn't deter an ambitious Oklahoma team. The Outlaws are the defending National Champions in Freestyle, and they're clearly on a warpath to add Greco to the resume this year. 

The dual started off with a 14-3 tech fall from Brik Filippo, the State Champ from Tuttle, over Nelson Brands. Iowa rebounded with a 22-9 tech fall by Matt Malcomb over Payton Scott of Sand Springs, but Jaryn Curry got the Outlaws back on track with a huge upset. The State Champion from Choctaw came down hard on No. 9 nationally ranked Fargo All-American Colton Clingenpeel for a 10-0 tech fall.

Brandon Haas returned the favor with an 8-0 upset over State Champ Nick Mahan of Lawton MacArthur, but Oklahoma swept the next three straight matches. State Champ Dan Baker of Sulphur teched Bailey Chyma 18-8, State Champ Bear Hughes of Coweta pinned Isaac Bartel in 1:25, and Tanner Hawkins of Weatherford pinned Caleb Ring in 4:50 for a 23-9 lead.

Iowa broke the streak as No. 11 Carter Isley took out State Runner-Up Gage Johnson of Norman North with an 8-0 decision at heavy weight, but Oklahoma continued to push the lead in the lower weights. 

Crescent's Alex Fields picked up a 16-4 tech fall over Cobe Siebrecht and MacArthur's State Champ Wyatt Adams pinned Carter Weeks in 1:53 before Iowa found another win. Drew Bennett pinned Alec McDoulett in 4:35, but Fargo National Champ Dalton Duffield of Westmoore clinched the dual with an 11-0 tech fall over Brenden Baker. Sallisaw State Champ Jett Taylor tacked on the exclamation point with a 0:45 pin of Dante Tacchia to make the score 41-19 and the Okies forfeited the last two weights to finish 41-29.

The Outlaws will return to action Thursday morning against California, Florida, and Minnesota Blue before the placement match. California placed second in Pool C after falling to Michigan Blue in a close 34-33 knockdown drag-out. Florida placed second in Pool B after going down 42-25 to Illinois. Minnesota Blue is the top-seeded favorite and didn't even blink as they bulldozed through the A Pool by a minimum of 38 points per dual.