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Warner * Muskogee

Why Pursue A Degree?

Become a cowboy today!

Higher wages, lower unemployment rates, contribute to economic development, and the opportunity to enter a new and interesting profession are just a few of the many reasons to pursue an Associate’s degree.

Why Connors? Small class sizes, affordable tuition, quality education, modern technology, advancing new programs and degrees, day, evening, and online classes available.

Academic Programs * Agriculture * Agricultural Equine * Allied Health * Applied Technology * Arts & Letters * Biological Sciences * Business Administration * Computer Information Systems * General Studies * History * Horticulture * Mathematics * Nursing * Physical Education * PreEducation * Pre-Law * Pre-Nursing * Psychology * Sociology *

Muskogee West Campus 2404 W. Shawnee Ave. Muskogee, OK 74401 (918) 684-6747

(918) 687-6747


(918) 463-2931

Warner Main Campus Rt. 1 Box 1000 Warner, OK 74469 (918) 463-2931

Muskogee Three Rivers Port Campus 2501 N. 41st Street East Muskogee, Ok 74401 (918) 684-5471

Agriculture Athletics three campuses Nursing Online &Evening Undergraduate research Two-year college Classes Over 25 degree options



A letter from Bill Huddleston

4 | Picture This

Memories…Light the Corners of Our Minds

VYPE photographers captured the shining moments of high school football, basketball, wrestling, and fast pitch softball.

14 | Football Flashback Underneath the Friday night lights, the 2012 high school football season produced record setting performances for many teams in Three Rivers.

The stands are empty and the lights have faded into memories as the 2012 high school football has ended. The big play moments once again produced plenty of excitement for players and teams in Three Rivers.

As cross country runners challenged the rolling terrain, memories of the past were erased with lifetime accomplishments and gold medals as Jessica Hembree and Sydney Lawrence show why they are the best in the state. This month’s issue announces the 2012 ALL-VYPE teams honoring the best in football, fast-pitch softball, cross country, volleyball and cheerleading.

16 | All-VYPE The best of best in high school football, fast pitch softball, volleyball, cross country and cheerleading earn the award for this season.

VYPE and State Farm present the Mr. Football Oklahoma award to honor the state’s best performance on the gridiron. The list of 10 finalists includes two players from Three Rivers, Rob Boyd and Jake Gandara. Santa VYPE is checking his list, checking it twice…and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

We’re in the Game Bill Huddleston

23 | Cross Country Gold Memories of a lifetime for cross country runners that include gold medal performances for Jessica Hembree and Sydney Lawrence.

Trinity Media Group, LLC 6737 S. 85th E. Ave • Tulsa, OK 74133 All rights reserved. Publisher: Austin Chadwick Editorial Director: Brad Heath Market Director: Bill Huddleston Graphic Design: Austin Chadwick

27 | Hometown Heroes Logan Coatney is making a difference in the lives of those he encounters in the fight against the dangers of tobacco use across our country.

Contributing Writers: Brad Heath, Lynn Jacobsen, Bill Huddleston, Craig Hall, Mike Kays, Ben Johnson, Mike Wolfe Contributing Photographers: John Hasler, Brett Rojo, Rip Stell, Bill Huddleston, Von Castor, Craig Hall-Leflore County Journal, Staci Heustis, Ben Johnson-Tahlequah Daily Press, Vickie Reece-Westville Schools, Ron Goad, David Seeley-Poteau Daily News, Darren Stephens, Shane Keeter, Ruby Dean-Captured Memories Photography, Allison Aday-Eufaula Schools, Brad Heath, Kathleen Elam, Justin Kennedy, Josh Clough, Dana Hensley, Blunck’s Studios, Michael Mayberry, Designing Moments Photography, Larry Lawrence, Wes McMurtrey, Tricia Wall, Nikki Alderson-Muldrow Schools, A.J. Huval, Diana Shores. CONTACT INFORMATION Website: Phone: 918-495.1771 Fax: 918-495.1778

Next Issue... “Heroes of the Hardwoods” – High school basketball season continues the race to the Big House with many of Oklahoma’s best basketball teams and players showing their talents on the court.

Advertising: Phone: 918.869.8212 VYPE is published monthly by Trinity Media Group, LLC. Reproductions in whole or in part without permission are prohibited. VYPE is not responsible for the return of unsolicited artwork, photography or manuscripts and will not be responsible for holding fees or similar charges. All digital submissions and correspondences will become property of VYPE.




Photos By John Hasler

Photo By Vicki ReeceWestville Schools

Photo By Shane Keeter

VYPE Photographers Capture The Shining Moments From Three Rivers Sports Action

Hunter Harrison - Hilldale Derrick White - Checotah

Photo By Ruby John Hasler

Photo By Shane Keeter

Alexus Wilson - Muskogee

Jamie Marshall - Stilwell Ashley Pruitt - Westville

Photo By Von Castor

Jessi Venable Paige Gann - Muskogee

Vian Wolverines 6



J AE NC U D EM A RBYE R2 021021 2

Katie Kirkhart - Hilldale

Photo by John Hasler

Photo ByShane Keeter Photo By John Hasler

Photo By Shane Keeter

Dustin Leach - Oktaha Cody Stockton - Porter

Photo By John Hasler

Photo By John Hasler


Matt Lea - Stilwell

Photo By John Hasler

Brooke Chappell - Webbers Falls Brandie Center - Warner

Photo By John Hasler

Lateze Clayton - Wagoner

Photo By John Hasler

Photo By Von Castor

JR Singleton - Fort Gibson

Photo By AJ Huval

Jordan Sharp - Webbers Falls Quinton Ayers - Warner

Photo By Von Castor

Photo PhotoBy ByJohn Bill Huddleston Hasler

Oktaha Tigers - Tourney Champs

Marissa Girdner Tahlequah

Jacobe Smith - Muskogee D EJ CA ENM UB A ER RY 2 0 1 2





Nick Smallwood entered the 2012-2013 facing the challenge of a new position on the court and has responded accordingly for the Howe Lions. The 6-0 junior has averaged 18.0 points per game from his guard position on the floor. In addition to scoring, Smallwood has connected on 63% of his 3-point attempts while facing ever-changing defenses. “Nick reflects the character of this year’s team,” said Shane Brown, head coach of the Lions. “He’s taking the responsibility of not just getting his shots, but also stretching the defense to set up scoring chances for his teammates.”

In addition to his performance on the court, Smallwood also continues to achieve top notch scores academically where he accomplishes the same winning results through O-S-S-M, Oklahoma School of Science and Math and maintains a 3.92 GPA. Photo courtesy Craig Hall LeFlore County Journal









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VYPE caught up with Savannah Gray of Fort Gibson High School to answer questions for Triple Play. After getting her answers, we posed the questions to Savannah’s dad, Rodney Gray, for his answers and then presented the challenge to Jerry Walker, head coach of the Lady Tigers. Who has the best game plan? Fort Gibson High School junior Savannah Gray is a member of the Lady Tigers basketball team. Gray’s unforgettable sports moment came when making the second of two free throws versus Cache to help win the Class 4A State Championship in 2011. Only her closest friends and family have heard Savannah play the piano. What’s one thing she’s afraid of? Savannah says: Heights…to which dad chuckles and says “have you ever seen her jump?”

Ft. Gibson Basketball

Jerry Walker Lady Tigers’ Coach

Rodney Gray Savannah’s Dad

Savannah’s favorite subject in school?




Favorite place to eat?

China King (Buffet Broccoli Chicken)


China King

Favorite Sports Team?

OU Sooners

OU Sooners

OKC Thunder

Area 51

Disaster Zone

Work of Art (Only She Can Find It)

Favorite Athlete?

Whitney Hand

Derek Jeter

Kevi Luper

Text, Tweet, or Talk on Phone?




Reality TV show would Savannah like to win?

The Bachelor


The Bachelor

Class Clown, Class President or could be the Coach?




Savannah would rather watch TV, read a book, or watch a movie?

Watch A Movie



When I’m with my friends, its: Superbad, South Park or Big Bang Theory?

Big Bang Theory

Big Bang Theory


4 out of 10 (Back To The Gym, Coach)

5 out of 10 (Father Knows Best)

Savannah’s bedroom is work of art, disaster area or Area 51?



Savannah Gray










IRONHEADS READY TO HOOP IT UP The 2012-2013 basketball season is underway and the prospects for another winning season are abundant for the Ironheads. Coach Brad Campbell enters his 33rd campaign at Eufaula with a pair of seniors providing veteran leadership as Cody Faries and Forrest Paden return along with newcomers Devon Garfield and Damien Martin making their presence known to opponents. Jordan Garner begins his realm as the head coach of the Lady Ironheads with five seniors leading the way including three returning starters who averaged double digit scoring a year ago Alyssa Banks, Cheyanna Jones and Janet Hill joining Kyla Aday and Taylor Montgomery. Support the Ironheads at home and on the road.

EUFAULA HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL 2012-2013 Dec. 18 Dec. 20 Jan. 7-12 Jan. 14 Jan. 15 Jan. 18 Jan. 21-26 Jan. 29 Feb. 1 Feb. 5 Feb. 8 Feb. 12 Feb. 14-16 Feb. 21-23 Feb. 28-Mar 2 Mar. 7-9

Kellyville Morris Henryetta Tourney Stigler Checotah Haskell Fort Gibson Old Fort Classic Beggs Kellyville Morris Checotah Haskell Class 3A District Tournament Class 3A Regional Tournament Class 3A Area Tournament Class 3A State Tournament

Home Away Away Away Home Away Away Home Away Home Away Home TBA TBA TBA OKC

IRONHEAD DUO GOES CROSS COUNTRY STATE Eufaula qualified two runners for the Class 3A Cross Country State Championships. Cole Montgomery raced his way to a top 20 performance among the boys field of runners who competed in the action held in Shawnee, OK. It was the second straight year for Montgomery, who is just a sophomore. Madison Newton, a junior, earned an entry to compete among the girls competition as the talented duo carry the pride of Eufaula High School.

IRONHEADS SELECTED TO ALL-DISTRICT Three seniors from this year’s football team earned All-District honors including wide receiver Cody Faries, defensive lineman Garrett Marshall and linebacker Michael Sinohui.



JUNE 2012





3001 S. Muskogee Tahlequah OK



Character is a combination of qualities that distinguishes one person or group from another. Yates Auto Mall celebrates achievements of local high school athletes by presenting the monthly “Character Counts Award.” Leader, hard worker, encourager…are just a few of the ways to identify a person of good character. Such words are the choices of others used to describe the actions of Maegen Blevins, a senior at Tahlequah High School, who looks for ways to improve the opportunities of others. “Character is the way you hold yourself to a higher standard,” said Blevins confidently. “You prove your character through your actions and how others around you succeed.” Blevins takes pride in simple things like always greeting others with a smile. “You never know if someone’s having a bad day or not, so just say hi and smile and hope it will make them feel better.” A member of the Lady Tigers basketball team, Blevins is also involved in S-Club, a service organization at school, as well as working 15-20 hours a week at Reasor’s, plus baby sitting for family members. “I learned it all from my mom (Dana Hensley). She’s been through a lot; yet she always showed me the importance of hard work and confidence in order to achieve anything of importance, no matter what the consequences.” “Maegen has a big heart,” said Chad Walker, girls’ basketball coach at Tahlequah. “She always strives to make everyone around her successful. Maegen will sacrifice her own desires to allow others to achieve their goals.” “That’s how I make my choices in life,” admits Blevins. “Will this help someone? Will my decision benefit everyone else?” “I like to think of it as responsibility,” said Blevins, who has maintained a 3.96 GPA. “We all have someone watching us. For me, that includes my little sister, Shelby. If I do the right thing, then others will follow my footsteps and do the right thing too.” The influence to others is obvious to those whose paths cross with the ever-smiling Blevins. “For the past several years I’ve been working with

Maegan Blevins as she is a participant in the Educational Talent Search TRIO Program which I direct at Tahlequah High School,” said Diane Walker. “I’ve been working with hundreds of students over the past two decades & Maegan is one that stands out because of her positivity and genuiness. She is the type of young lady that leads by example and because of that she has gained the respect of her peers and the adults around her. Maegan takes care of herself and her business and plays by the rules. By listening to others, being kind and helpful, and always standing by her friends and family, Maegan is the kind of person everyone wants to have in their life.” “Maegan was a student in the Health Careers Certification Class that I teach at Indian Capital Technology Center,” recalled Andrea McElmurry. “Maegan demonstrated tremendous self-motivation and hard work required in order to complete this endeavor. She has always approached the difficult tasks with motivation to accomplish what needs to be done. The most remarkable attribute that I feel that Maegan possesses is her ability to work with a focus on the goal and a willingness to do whatever is needed to accomplish a job. Maegan also demonstrates the ability to remain positive in tough situations and motivate others to stay focused as well. Because of this, she is capable of doing great things with her life.” “I want to go to college at Arkansas,” Blevins said with expectation. “I’ve dreamed of going into medicine, to become a pediatrician. I love helping little kids.” “That’s Maegen,” said Walker. “She spells the word influence. I’d be proud if my own kids grow up to be just like her. Her smile makes you feel better, no matter what’s going on around you.” Life is filled with choices and the decisions made will determine a person’s ability to achieve success. And, with past performance an accurate way to best predict the future, success for others is just around the corner especially when traveled down the street with Maegen Blevins, where smiles are always free.





Presented by


High school basketball season tips off another season to the cheer of local fans screaming…“We’re Number 1”… As part of the excitement of the three point shot, slam dunk and full court pressure defense, VYPE Three Rivers presents VYPE FAB FIVE as we rank the top five boys and girls teams in the race to the “Big House” in March.

The VYPE Fab Five basketball poll may well see some changes as the season continues and local teams settle the question of which teams are the best choice for a solid gold “championship season.” You can be a part of the VYPE Fab Five rankings by submitting your vote by email:






Roland—The “Running Rangers” once again feature an uptempo style offense and pressure defense highlighting the talents of VYPE Top 100 selection Seth Youngblood, Brooks Robertson, Corey Whisenant and Austin Cantrell to provide plenty of problems for their opponents..


Fort Gibson—The Lady Tigers are proving they’ve reloaded with sights on another run to the state tournament. VYPE Top 100 selection Savannah Gray along with Brooke Palmer and Ally Glover have the Lady Tigers on the prowl.


Oktaha—The Tigers have plenty of offense including VYPE Top 100 selection Blake Pittman and Dustin Leach on the perimeter while the front line trio of Devon Fry, Caleb Shoemake and Christian McIntosh provide plenty of muscle on the boards.



Stilwell—The Indians have plenty of “big” reasons to expect victories including the presence of 6-8 Matt Lea and 6-5 Brody Clay along with guard play from Chase Littlejohn, Windrunner Eagle and A.J. Deason for coach Ron Dunaway’s squad.

Oktaha—In search for a 23rd consecutive 20-plus win season, the Lady Tigers continue their search of gold in Class 2A riding the talents of VYPE Top 100 selection Jaylie Roper, Lanessa Grayson, Shelby Gamble and Makayla Baldridge giving coach Chester Pittman plenty of options for success.


Muskogee—The Lady Roughers look to complete “unfinished business” with VYPE Top 100 nominees Kelsey McClure and Alexus Wilson leading the attack.


Muldrow—Coach Jana Armer’s squad returns just one starter, Halee Sharp, along with other skilled performers to make the upcoming season one of excitement for the Lady Bulldogs.


Spiro—With VYPE Top 100 selection Philicea Mack topping the list, the lineup includes Sarika Willis and Kanisha Hutchinson as the Bulldogs are ready to present opponents plenty of problems.



Muldrow—Quickness and aggressive defense make the Bulldogs tough to handle. VYPE Top 100 nominee Nate Hamilton and Gherrold Kimbrew give opponents plenty of problems for Coach Randy Martin’s squad. Keys—The Cougars are talented featuring the play of Trevor Eubanks and Payton Ragsdale in search of a repeat trip to the “Big House” in Class 3A.

Outside Looking In Checotah—Porter—Heavener Sequoyah Tahlequah—Howe

Outside Looking In Tahlequah—Roland—Sequoyah Tahlequah Hulbert—Eufaula

Basketball teams in Three Rivers Territory…are built TOUGH… Just like the Ford F-150 truck from Stuteville Ford in Tahlequah

LOCATIONS: Ardmore Bartlesville Broken Arrow Central Tulsa Durant McAleste McAlester Midtown Tulsa Muskogee Okmulgee Sand Springs South Tulsa Tahlequah

Call Toll Free








Success comes in many different shapes and sizes… especially in the career of a high school football coach whose future is often decided through the lives of 15-16-17-and-18 year old young people. And for Stigler head football coach Chris Risenhoover, any success he’s achieved during a 22 year career is the result of the players he’s coached. “It’s pretty simple for me,” said Risenhoover, “success is putting everything you have into a goal and making sure that you do everything you can to achieve it. I’ve had a lot of people help me along the way. My teammates, my coaches and for sure my players are more of the reason for my success. ”

Risenhoover’s exposure to success started at home. “I remember watching my dad (Marvin) and his teams during the ‘70s at Haskell,” recalled Risenhoover. “Whether it was in the games in the backyard or on Friday nights, Dad taught me and my brothers that you had to make a total commitment if you wanted to be a winner.” The elder Risenhoover had his own successful run as head football coach at Haskell High School. “Dad taught all of us about competitiveness and effort,” said Risenhoover. “We learned from him how much this game we play means to so many people, the players, fans and the entire community. And, dad made sure we knew how much effort is required to achieve victories.” “Charlie Cooper was another influence on me as a player,” Risenhoover said recalling his high school playing days as a wide receiver at Tahlequah High School. “He showed all of us that by believing in one another plus effort, we could accomplish anything.

Coach Cooper’s passion for his player’s success radiated through our team and our community. I think that’s why so many of his players have followed his footsteps into coaching. I know I did.”

“The relationships you make with players last for a lifetime,” smiled Risenhoover when thinking of his collegiate days at Northeastern State in Tahlequah. “It’s really a small world and you’re continually running into each other when you least expect it. Coach (Tom) Eckert recruited me to play there and it seems like all the time I’m running into a player from our teams there. We were successful, making the playoffs and everything. And, we were a family that still has concern for each other’s success.”

Risenhoover’s coaching trail includes 11 seasons as the offensive coordinator at Owasso, three years at his alma mater high school in Tahlequah along with 4 years at Miami and the past four seasons directing the winning record of the Stigler Panthers. “You learn in this business, it’s not far from the outhouse to the penthouse and vice versa,” Risenhoover chuckled. “It helps to be good to start with, do things right and work hard every day, and then be a little lucky.”

Among his 22 years of coaching, the 2012 campaign was no doubt the most challenging for Risenhoover and his players following the deaths of two starters, Cory Casinger and Gordon Parsons. “We lost two great personalities, two great athletes that were excited about this season,” said Risenhoover. “I believe they were a part of our success this season. It seemed like every player on the team played at a little higher focus level because of those two kids.”

“There was a lot of love in our locker room,” nodded Risenhoover. “From the players, to the coaches, and our community, we had each other to turn to for support. Everyone just wrapped our arms around each other and battled through it. Our senior class is very close and they’re a great group of kids that carried a special spirit to practice everyday and how they played every Friday night.” “I’m still amazed at the commitment of these kids and the people in our community,” Risenhoover

Photo By John Hasler

admits. “They were all an influence to me.”

For their efforts, Risenhoover and the 2012 Panthers football team had a record-setting season including advancing to the third round of the Class 3A playoffs. “Time flies when you’re having fun,” affirmed Risenhoover reflecting upon his four seasons at Stigler. “And the kids are the reason I enjoy it so much. It seems like every year, these kids give a little bit more. Risenhoover’s teams have won 33 games since his first campaign in 2009, including this year’s 11-3 mark and the school’s first district championship since 1983.”

“And because of the success of the kids,” said Risenhoover, “there are kids in the stands that are watching and waiting their turn. I’m sure there’s one or two that will set their own records.” “It’s why I love what I do,” smiled Risenhoover. And because of the spirit of success demonstrated by Chris Risenhoover, through his players and his other coaches, the future is bright in Stigler.

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Photos By Von Caster

Landon Decker - Vian

A Season of Memories 2012 Football – Another Exciting Season

As the Friday night lights faded and the final seconds ticked off the scoreboard clock, the collection of highlight reel moments enjoyed by football teams in Three Rivers are remembered. Following a grinding 10-week campaign, many of the local teams once again were ranked among the top of their class and 16 teams entered the post 18




season competition with visions of claiming the gold ball and the state championship ring. The post-season was a complete turnaround for programs including the Panama Razorbacks. With head coach Brandon Ellis guiding the efforts, this year’s berth in the Class 2A playoffs was a well deserved reward for a program that had only one victory the past two

Justin Wright Warner

Lawrence Evitt Wagoner

seasons. The Class A chase for gold included four teams from Three Rivers including an undefeated regular season for the Warner Eagles. Coach Chris McMullen’s team’s success with the Wing-T, spearheaded by big play moments from Justin Wright, Kyle Taylor, Briar Campbell and Andrew Carney claimed its 11th win in the opening round of the playoffs before meeting traditionrich Talihina in round two where coach Kelly Gravitt’s Golden Tigers would advance with a 28-9 victory. The eventual state championship would be won by the Ringling Blue Devils who derailed Wynnewood 39-12 in the finals.

Jake Gandara Fort Gibson

TJ Ponds - Wagoner

After winning the Class 4A championship in 2011, the Wagoner Bulldogs used the talents of Lawrence Evitt, who recorded a state’s best 2,980 yards and 36 touchdowns, en route to the discussions for a repeat performance. The Fort Gibson Tigers, paced by the big play efforts of Jake Gandara, finished the season with 10 victories for the first time in more than a decade. Both squads dreams of a championship would be spoiled by Anadarko before the Indians would drop a 21-14 decision in the 4A title game to Clinton. The victory by Red Tornadoes would deliver the school’s 16th championship trophy and mark the third consecutive season in Class 4A that the previous year’s runner-up returned to Boone Pickens Stadium to claim the championship. The 32-team field in Class 3A

was filled with six teams from Three Rivers and would result in two schools reaching the round of eight teams. Roland, Spiro and Checotah joined Keys, Hilldale and Stigler among those teams chasing the dream of a state championship. Hilldale’s district title was only one of the highlights in 2012 as coach Chad Kirkhart’s squad picked up a first round shutout victory. Led by the efforts of ALL-VYPE performers Jamaul Cullom and Josh Giem, the Hornets captured a school’s best 11th win of the season with a thrilling come-

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for gold was stopped short in the semi-finals by Davis. The Wolves would drop an exciting 44-41 setback to Oklahoma Rowdy Simon & Rob Boyd Christian School Vian in the 2A title match.

Cade Sherwood Stigler

from-behind win over Verdigris to advance to the quarterfinals for the first time in school history. The Stigler Panthers season was one of dedication and commitment after Chris Risenhoover’s team suffered through the death of two team members only to lock arms and win a district title on the final week of the regular season. Driven by a spirit of unity and the leadership of seniors including All-VYPE quarterback Cade Shearwood and hard hitting safety Ryan Echelle, the Panthers also advanced to the third round before bowing out in the quarterfinals to Kingfisher. The team that generated the most attention statewide was the 2012 Vian Wolverines. Coach Brandon Tyler’s team entered this season with 19 of 22 starters back from a 12-win campaign in 2011. All-VYPE standouts Rowdy Simon, Rob Boyd and Landon Decker captained a group of seniors as the Purple and Gold Express overpowered their opponents during an undefeated regular season for the second consecutive year recording a total of 821 points during their 13 victories, an average of 63 points per victory. After a 43-13 victory over two-time defending champion Hennessey in the third round, Vian’s mission

A highlight reel full of big play moments from other Three Rivers standouts earned All-VYPE honors for Roland quarterback Brooks Robertson, Heavener running back Blake Smittle along with bone-jarring defensive collisions from linebackers Devin Harriman of Sallisaw, Cole McKinney of Spiro, Britt Williams of Haskell and Kolby Clay of Gore to claim All-VYPE awards. The pathway to gold is a long and winding road and highway crews are already making repairs in order to open all lanes by next season’s opening kickoff when the “boys of fall” begin another exciting season in 2013. To all the players, coaches, and teams….thanks for the memories.

Brooks Robertson Roland





State Farm Mr. Football Finalists From the VYPE Top 100, we have whittled down the list and announce the finalists for the State Farm Mr. Football Award. The ten finalists have showed extraordinary talents on and off the field. Polls from across the state, as well as media and coaching votes have given us the final 10. Mr. Football Oklahoma will be announced in January. ROB BOYD

OL – 6-4, 300, Sr. VIAN WOLVERINES

During the 2012 season Boyd solidified himself as one of just a few top D1 lineman prospects in the state. With his size and maneuverability Boyd helped his team to an appearance in the state semifinals. Boyd was also tasked during the season to play noseguard. Boyd has committed to the University of Tulsa.


RB/QB – 6-1, 180, Sr. TIPTON TIGERS

A two-way starter, Torres helped the Tigers to their third state title in school history. Torres rushed for 1,458 yards and 27 touchdowns this season. Torres was not only named to the VYPE Top 100 for football, but made the Top 50 boys basketball list as well.




RB/CB – 5-8, 180, Sr. JENKS TROJANS

Barre’ helped the Trojans to their 13th state title in school history after his record setting season at tailback. Barre’ rushed for 1,941 yards and 27 touchdowns making him the All-Time leading rusher. Barre’ also played defense and returned kickoffs.


QB/S – 6-0, 185, SR. OWASSO RAMS

Lowe may have been the most underrated player coming into the season, but his 2,332 yards through the air and his 28 touchdowns only proves he belongs in the conversation for the best player in the state.



Nault had an amazing season rushing for 1,924 yards and 30 touchdowns. Nault, only a junior, has amassed enough yards in his high school career to give him a legitimate shot at the states All-Time leading rusher his senior season. Nault also averaged 12.1 yards per kick return on special teams.

Moore got off to a great start this season before being sidelined late, but his 1,599 yards rushing and 25 touchdowns stands out as a great accomplishment. Moore was the top vote getter giving him the “People’s Choice” title.

The Oklahoma commit dominated opponents from his defensive end position and recorded nine sacks this season. Rodriguez gave opposing offensive coordinators headaches with his relentless pursuit of the ball.

The main ingredient to a team that was a contender this season, Gandara rushed for 2,253 yards and 33 touchdowns. Gandara had an amazing 2,777 allpurpose yards this season and when needed he played defensive back.


SPENSER SEELEY OL/DL – 6-2, 275, Sr. Chandler Lions

This solid offensive tackle had a great season for the Lions. Seeley is considered one of the top prospects for guard at the next level. Seeley was second in voting for the State Farm Mr. Football Award





One of the best players to ever wear the black and red, Taylor accounted for 1,107 yards receiving and scored 15 touchdowns. He averaged 16.5 yards per catch. On defense Taylor has four interceptions, one returned for a touchdown. Taylor has committed to the University of Oklahoma.

es Vian WolveCHrin AMPS


Vian High School Class 2A Academic Champs The 2012 football season was filled with highlights for the Vian Wolverines recording 13 victories and a berth in the Class 2A semi-finals. In addition to the high scoring offense and smothering defense, members of this year’s football squad proved their championship skills in the classroom by winning the Class 2A Academic State Championship with the top overall grade point average in the state of Oklahoma. “The Academic Championship reflects the character of this team,” said head coach Brandon Tyler. “To the player, these young men take care of their responsibilities on and off the field.” Team members include Landon Decker, Eric Casey, Brett Vastine, Denver Coffee, Rylee Simon, Jonathan Finney, Anthony Chew, Joey Kelley, Kyle England, Warren Zachary, Zach Grey, Tyler Cortez, J.T. Frazier, Jacob Jones, Tyler White, A.J. Rodriguez, Shawn Troutman, Jon Parks, Darquais Lyke, Daylon McWaters, Eric Cartmill, Tylynn Childress, Rowdy Simon, Ashton Vickers, Jon Andrews, Jakeb Curry, Mason Collins, Andre English, Dalton Nelson, Tryston Whitley, Cody Monholland, Baylee Mills, Mike Buttery, Jmiah McCracken, Dakota Eads, Kevin Chew, Lathan Harris, Rob Boyd, Ty Andrews, Caleb Morris, Josh Cowart, Jmal McCracken, Cale Mays, Tre Locust. The Wolverines are coached by Brandon Tyler, Larry King, Beau Burlison, Richard Moseley, Lance Winans and Wilson Wilhite.

Submit your nomination for the TTCU Academic Athlete of the Month to:

ALL-VYPE We carefully poured over tons of stats and argued into the night to come up with the

Rowdy Simon--Vian

1st Team Offense

1st Team Defense

1st Team Special Teams

QB – Cade Shearwood – Stigler QB – Brooks Robertson – Roland

LB – T.J. Ponds – Wagoner LB – Rowdy Simon – Vian LB – Devin Harriman – Sallisaw LB – Britt Williams – Haskell LB – Josh Giem – Hilldale

ATH – Ben Oberste – Sallisaw ATH – Landon Decker – Vian K – Sinue Rodriquez– Sallisaw P – J.J. Ozturk – Keys KR – Wade Shanks – Gore PR – Miles Jackson – Hilldale

RB – Lawrence Evitt – Wagoner RB – Jake Gandara – Fort Gibson RB – Blake Smittle – Heavener RB – Mason McMillan – Tahlequah WR – Colten Keith – Muldrow WR – Trevor Crone – Talihina WR – Ryan Helsley – Sequoyah Tahlequah WR – Colton Shearwood – Stigler TE – Ned Adair – Fort Gibson OL – Rob Boyd – Vian OL – Chance Douthit – Gore OL – Marcus Jones – Wagoner OL – Luke Moses – Warner OL – Andrew Brestel – Fort Gibson

Blake Smittle-Heavener




APRIL 2012

DB/S – Ryan Echelle– Stigler DB/S – Wade Shanks – Gore DB/S – Kerwin Thomas – Wagoner DB/S – Rogillio Serrano – Heavener DB/S – Niko Hammer – Sequoyah Tahlequah DL – Greydon Elrod –Sequoyah Tahlequah DL – Tramal Ivy -- Muskogee DL – Denver Berry – Checotah DL – Lateze Clayton – Wagoner

Britt Williams-Haskell

Cade Shearwood-Stigler

Three Rivers Coach of the Year Brandon Tyler – Vian

Three Rivers Player of the Year Jake Gandara – Fort Gibson

Jake Gandara-Fort Gibson


list of first team and second team members of this year’s edition of the All-VYPE Team. 2nd Team Offense

QB – Tyler Addy – Checotah QB – Brayden Scott – Sequoyah Tahlequah RB – Clark Austin – Talihina RB – Chris Vance – Hulbert RB – Roger Barcheers – Poteau RB – Seth Sandlin – Stigler

2nd Team Defense

2nd Team Special Teams

LB – Jamaul Cullom – Hilldale LB – Cole McKinney – Spiro LB – Hayden Kolmer – Muskogee LB – Riley Simon – Vian LB – Kolby Clay – Gore

ATH – Jamie Carey – Webbers Falls ATH – Kyle Taylor – Warner K – Preston Soper – Muskogee P – Jay Werner – Poteau KR – Warren Zachary – Vian PR – Justin Wright – Warner

DB/S – Ryan Shirey – Panama DB/S – Austin Catron – Stilwell DB/S – Blake Johnson – Poteau DB/S – Denton Bosco – Wagoner DB/S – Keaton Donathan – Checotah

WR – Deondre Owens – Checotah WR – Cody Faries – Eufaula WR – Anthony King – Muskogee WR – Ben Smith – Gore TE – Austin Cantrell – Roland OL –Trandon Boylan – Hilldale OL – Tanner Sheets –Sequoyah Tahlequah OL – Tommy Miner – Checotah OL – Austin Drewry – Stigler OL – Derrick Johnson – Sallisaw

Josh Giem-Hilldale

T.J. Ponds-Wagoner

DL – Dillon Rice – Muskogee DL – Jon Terronez – Fort Gibson DL – Jake Adams -- Hilldale DL – Kanyon Kelley – Haskell

Lawrence Evitt-Wagoner

Niko Hammer-Sequoyah Tahlequah

Rob Boyd-Vian

APRIL 2012





Randee O’Donnell – Tahlequah McKensie Plant – Hilldale Kelly Easterling – Oktaha Cherokee Ridge – Wagoner Kara Muskrat – Stilwell Jamie Marshall – Stilwell Miranda Cherry – Fort Gibson Jill Roye – Red Oak Jade Carry – Keota Alexa Nolen – Stigler

Randee O’Donnel Tahlequah


Stephanie Barcheers – Panama Hannah Alexander– Muskogee Baylee Ratliff – Sequoyah Tahlequah Shelby Standridge – Poteau Sericca Rider – Red Oak Alisha Bryant – Keota Marissa Girdner – Tahlequah

Photo By josh clough

Photo By John Hasler

Photo By Ruth Kelly Studios

Jaci Blackwood-Westville

Paige Gann-Muskogee

Photo By John Hasler


Madyson Fox – Oktaha

Hannah Alexander-Muskogee

Photo By Ruth Kelly Studios

Photo By Vicki Reece

Photo By Kathleen elam Photography

Kendra Coleman – Red Oak Taylor Eaves – Panama Madison Higley – Fort Gibson Brittney Johnson – Tahlequah Destiny Riddle – Hilldale Madyson Fox – Oktaha Jessica Bluebird – Sequoyah Tahlequah Paige Gann – Muskogee Jaelyn Morton – Westville Jaci Blackwood – Westville

Taylor Eaves-Panama

Coach of the Year CASEY BUTCHER - RED OAK

Photo By Ruth Kelly Studios

Photo By Bill Huddleston

Photo By Von Castor

Bristen Graves – Okay Brooke Long – Okay Tori Cole – Wagoner Taylor Hennesy – Muskogee Alexus Wilson – Muskogee Casey Beaston – Tahlequah Kalie Champlain – Tahlequah Paige Budder – Sequoyah Tahlequah Carmen Wylie – Sequoyah Tahlequah

Photo By Bill Huddleston

ALL-VYPE VOLLEYBALL Player of the Year Bristen Graves-Okay

Coach of the Year Bristen Graves-Okay




Belinda Clark-Okay

Belinda Clark-Okay Bristen Graves-Okay


Claire Farmer-Muskogee


Photo By John Hasler

Photo By Rip Stell

Taylor Thomas – Hilldale Taylor Thomas – Hilldale Kelsy Keys – Keys Nikki McClelland – Tahlequah Allison Swepston – Tahlequah Addison Bailey Parent – Warner Baylee Curtis – Eufaula Hayden Coffee – Vian Elleyt Belote – Stilwell Nikki McClelland-Tahlequah Lindsi Skinner – Muskogee Hollie Moore – Muskogee Jadyn Crooch – Checotah Kendall Agent – Sallisaw Tori Coates – Westville Lane Murphy – Fort Gibson


Lane Murphy-Fort Gibson

Hayden Coffee-Vian

Team of the Year Tahlequah Tigers Taylor Thomas-Hilldale

Coach of the Year

Tori Coates-Westville

Vickie Elliott



Sydney Lawrence – Stilwell Jessica Hembree – Tahlequah Gracie Medellin – Tahlequah Amy Hembree – Tahlequah McKenzie Garner – Keys Andi Gourd – Central Sallisaw Mykala Rich – Vian Deven Bond – Poteau

Terrance Nofire – Sequoyah Tahlequah Cayden Salazar – Sequoyah Tahlequah Jordan Galvan – Sequoyah Tahlequah Cole Montgomery – Eufaula Zechariah Van Fleet – Tahlequah Mohammed Bassime – Tahlequah Ara Poteete – Tahlequah Filomen Espinosa – Muskogee

Female Runner of the Year

Male Runner of the Year

Team of the Year

Andi Gourd-Central Sallisaw

Coach of the Year

Team of the Year

Jessica Hembree-Tahlequah

Photo By Josh Clough

Jason Proctor – Tahlequah

Photo By Josh Clough

Photo By Josh Clough


Zechariah VanFleet

Sydney Lawrence-Stilwell


Photo By Josh Clough

Sydney Lawrence

Zechariah VanFleet-Tahlequah

APRIL 2012




Sydney Lawrence Congratulations 2012 State Champion Lawrence continued to show her talents finishing 4th in the Oklahoma Meet of Champions and the following week finished 2nd in the Oklahoma-Arkansas dual event. Like the Energizer bunny, Lawrence keeps going and going running a normal training program of 35 miles per week or more. Lawrence also ran for the Jenks America Track Club as part of the National Championship team effort and finishing 2nd in the 5k race for 15-16 year olds at the Cross Country Nationals in Terra Haute, Indiana. Dynamite comes in small packages… words that appropriately describe the accomplishments of cross country champion Sydney Lawrence of Stilwell. Standing on her tip toes, Sydney measures 4-feet-9 and ¾ inches tall and meets everyone she meets with a smile after crossing the finish line ahead of all cross country competitors.

Last spring, Lawrence won the 1600 and 3200 meter gold medal at the Class 4A state track championships as well as completing a third place finish at the United States Track and Field Association Nationals.

Lawrence competed in 10 events during the 2012 cross country season and claimed gold medals each time out on the rolling terrain. While running the Class 4A prestate competition, she raced to her fastest time of the year covering the 2k distance in 11:29 to outpace all competitors. Lawrence would return two weeks later to brave freezing temperatures and capture the 2012 Class 4A girls cross country title with a winning margin of 33-seconds.

The only thing that shines brighter than the collection of gold-silverand bronze medals is the smile on the face of Sydney Lawrence…the true mark of a champion.

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F-C-A Athlete

of the Month Courtney Smith Okay High School No matter the situation, no matter the score, everyday is a better day for Courtney Smith, a senior at Okay High School. A member of the Lady Mustangs’ basketball, volleyball and softball teams, Smith smiles when she confirms the single reason for her energy comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. “A person’s attitude is a reflection of your heart,” said Smith. “And, that’s why knowing Jesus in a personal way is a key to success no matter what happens.” “I want others to see how God has changed my life and that He will make a difference for you too,” admits Smith. “I realize that someone is always watching me, young and old, waiting for me to make a mistake; and that’s going to happen. Because of Jesus Christ, I can overcome whatever happens. It’s really a fun way to live because of the weight that knowing God takes off your shoulders. Knowing His joy lets you keep the faith everyday.” Philippians 4:13 (NIV): “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”





Zechariah VanFleet

Presented ByFind e RIGHT Solution” “Let Us Help You

Tahlequah Serving Northeast Oklahoma Since 1992

Photos By Josh Clough

Todd Hembree Jenine Hembree


219 W Keetoowah • Tahlequah, OK

“Restore the Growl”


Cross Country 2012 Cross Country Thrills the Runners

Memories…light the corners of my mind… perhaps a perfect way to relive the exciting moments of this year’s OSSAA Cross Country State Championships, especially for two of this year’s gold medal winners, Jessica Hembree of Tahlequah and Sydney Lawrence of Stilwell. As the Tahlequah High School senior ran toward the finish line to win the Class 5A girls competition, memories of last year’s painful finish were erased. In 2011, less than 50 yards from a gold medal, Hembree’s hopes for a 3rd straight gold medal came crashing down when a stress fracture left the talented runner in pain and disappointment. This season, after a year of recovery and intensive rehabilitation, Hembree left no doubt that another gold medal

would be hers with a time of 11:48.10, good enough for a 14-second margin of victory. The 5A gold medal capped off her cross country career that also included first place finishes as a freshman and sophomore. And for Hembree, this year’s championship is extra special. “This one is my favorite one being able to come back to win,” smiled Hembree. “I was kind of scared after last year breaking my leg. I’m so glad to be back running without pain and finish the race.” “In my mind, she’s a four-time champion,” said Tahlequah coach Elzy Miller. “She’s undefeated in competition. Jess just went out and took the race from the beginning.” Hembree’s gold medal effort propelled the Lady Tigers to a second place finish in the team race. Gracie Medellin finished ninth while Hembree’s younger sister, Amy, crossed the line in 12th place overall while Lindsey Chaffin finished in the top 20 positions. Memories of 2011 were a motivating factor for Sydney Lawrence in this year’s Class 4A cross country championships. After a frustrating 17th place finish as a freshman, the eversmiling Lawrence was destined to claim gold this year in her sophomore season.

Sydney Lawrence 30




Amidst freezing 33-degree temperatures, Lawrence raced out to the lead from the opening gun and ran away from the field by the halfway mark of the 3200 meter

Jessica Hembree Tahlequah event posting a gold medal winning time of 11:51.39, for an impressive 33-second winning margin. “I really didn’t know what to expect last year,” recalled Lawrence. “This time I wanted to completely make up for it. The last couple of races of getting past the first mile, I’d seem to hit that wall and I was kind of worried about that. It feels really good.” “It was an awesome effort,” applauded Stilwell coach Joe Means. “We wanted to get a little redemption from last year when she ran one of her worse races of the year. Sydney’s had it on her mind all year long. She’s been driven to excellence.”

The cross country gold medal was a continued championship effort for Lawrence who captured twin-gold medals last spring by winning the 1600 meter and 3200 meter runs at the Class 4A State Track Championships. Lawrence recently claimed a silver medal at the Cross Country National Youth Championships in Terra Haute, Indiana. In the boys competition, the Tahlequah Tigers (5A) and Sequoyah Tahlequah Indians (3A) ran their way to a 3rd place finish in the team standings. Zechariah VanFleet’s time of 16:26.70 earned the silver medal while teammates Mohammed Bassime, Ara Poteete, Seth Martin, Ty Trammel and Aaron Eversole helped coach Jason Proctor’s squad claim the Class 5A bronze medal finish.

Ara Poteete Tahlequah

Filomen Espinosa Muskogee

Sequoyah Tahlequah’s Terrance Nofire completed the Class 3A course in a time of 16:42 to claim a silver medal joining teammates Cayden Salazar, Jordan Galvan, Brandon Samuels and Snow Eagle to secure the bronze medal in the Class 3A team championship. Cole Montgomery, a sophomore from Eufaula, finished among the top 20 in Class 3A while competing in the state championships for a second consecutive season. The Muskogee Roughers were represented in the Class 6A boys field of 111 participants as Filomen Espinoza became the first cross country participant in the state meet since 1991.

Amy Hembree Tahlequah

Cole Montgomery Eufaula

“Let Us Help You Find e RIGHT Solution”

Serving Northeast Oklahoma Since 1992 Todd Hembree Jenine Hembree


219 W Keetoowah • Tahlequah, OK

“Restore the Growl”

“GO TIGERS” M AY 2 0 1 2




Hometown Heroes

Taking A Stand For A Better Way of Life Muldrow, Coatney, a senior at MHS, is taking the lead to win the fight.

“When I was in the seventh grade,” admits Coatney, “it was a big thing to just take a dip. It was the most disgusting thing I’d ever tasted. I vowed never to put anything like that in my mouth ever again.”

Today’s youth encounter many temptations to achieve a higher level success, whether in sports, academics, or socially. One of the biggest risks encountered by youth is the direct efforts of major tobacco companies to target youth to find replacement smokers. Yet, because of the efforts of “Hometown Heroes” including Logan Coatney, the Sequoyah county community of Muldrow is fighting back. A member of the Bulldogs football, basketball and baseball teams at

“As an athlete, I’ve learned the risks of tobacco and what it can do to your body,” said Coatney. “Tobacco dehydrates your body, and reduces your ability to give 110% everyday. When I notice other athletes dipping or smoking, I wonder if they really want to succeed.” “It’s frightening when you hear that 1200 people will die from tobacco related deaths every day,” Coatney said. “And, 16 of those occur here in Oklahoma.” “When my dad, who used tobacco, discovered a hole in the back of his mouth, it scared me and everyone in my family,” Coatney recalled. “Fortunately, the doctors found it early or no telling what might have happened. I knew right then, I wanted to make a difference and let others know about the dangers of tobacco.” “My brother was swaying back and forth,” said Coatney. “But when Dad discovered his situation, I told him he had to stop and help me show others there’s something better.” “It’s hard to imagine that 4000 young people try tobacco for the first time every day,” Coatney remarked. “Even worse, one of every four will become regular users of tobacco.” “I want my friends, guys and girls, to either quit or better yet never start,” stated Coatney. “It’s not worth the





risk and any use can lead to other setbacks.” Muldrow Public Schools have joined Coatney in the fight against the dangers of tobacco with the implementation of a tobacco free campus that includes any school property and every school event. “I’m proud of their decision,” said Coatney. “The decision of the school board and administration to implement a tobacco free policy immediately reduces the temptations.” Following graduation in May, Coatney plans to attend Northeastern State University and continue to play football and continue his battle against tobacco. “We’re going to win this game, one person at a time,” pledged Coatney. “Together we can make a difference for everyone, young and old alike.”

Try All DECEMBER 2012




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VYPE Three Rivers December 2012  

VYPE Three Rivers December 2012