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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

Visit www.connorsstate.edu

(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


Pregame

®

A letter from Bill Huddleston

6 | Picture This VYPE photographers captured the shining moments of exciting high school sports action from basketball, wrestling and cheer.

16 | All-State Football Ten gridiron greats from Three Rivers’ have been selected by the Oklahoma Coaches Association to participate in the annual All-State football game while 23 more were named to the All-Star by class squads.

22 | Heroes of the Hardwoods

The VYPE TOP 100 basketball team is filled with stars from the court in Oklahoma include 15 players from Three Rivers that continue to thrill the fans while leading their respective teams to the Big House.

13 – Sure To Be A Lucky Number As the calendar page turns to begin a new year…what fortunes await high school sports in 2013? For certain, there’s no fear in the hearts of the athletes and teams in Three Rivers.

Many of Oklahoma’s best performances come from the action in Three Rivers territory. Want proof? Ten gridiron heroes were recently named to the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State Football team. This group, along with the 23 other players named to the OCA All-Star by class squads, left their mark under the Friday night lights. Basketball heroes are aplenty as 15 of the area’s most talented join the VYPE Top 100. Will this year’s Mister and Miss Basketball Oklahoma come from this year’s collection of talent at season’s end? One player gaining notoriety is Seth Youngblood, who helped lead the Roland Runnin’ Rangers to the championship of the Tournament of Champions.

I’ve always thought it helps to be a little lucky…athletes in Three Rivers combine fortune with talent and no doubt will make 2013 a year to remember.

We’re in the Game Bill Huddleston

27 | Tournament of Champions The Runnin’ Rangers of Roland displayed their talents as one of Oklahoma’s best basketball teams in the state by winning the 43rd annual basketball classic in thrilling fashion.

30 | All-VYPE Volleyball The best of best in high school volleyball earn the coveted ALLVYPE awards for this season.

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 Contributing Writers: Bill Huddleston, Lynn Jacobsen, Brad Heath, Craig Hall Contributing Photographers: John Hasler, Von Castor, Rip Stell, Brett Rojo, Brad Heath, Shane Keeter-ishootphotos.us, Craig Hall-Leflore County Journal, Kim Standridge, Vickie Reece-Westville Schools, David Seeley-Poteau Daily News, Tricia Wall, Blunck’s Studios, Ruby Dean-Captured Memories Photography, Bill Huddleston, Allison Aday-Eufaula Schools, Treasured Moments Photography, Michael Mayberry, Designing Moments Photography. CONTACT INFORMATION Website: www.VYPEOK.com Phone: 918-495.1771 Fax: 918-495.1778 Advertising: bill.huddleston@vype.com Phone: 918.869.8212

Next Issue... “Monsters of the Mat” – The wrestling action grows to a feverish pitch as State Tournament time approaches in dual competition and Three Rivers’ wrestlers seek to “take-down” a championship.

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.

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Submit your nomination for the TTCU Academic Athlete of the Month to: Oklahoma@VYPE.com


F E AT U R E

Photos By LeFlore County Journal

Photo By Von Castor

Photo By Von Castor

VYPE Photographers Capture The Shining Moments From Three Rivers Sports Action

Carley Lyons - Warner Theresa Hinkle - Webbers Falls

Photo By John Hasler

Photo By John Hasler

Caiti White - Wister Jodie Hill - Heavener

Photo By John Hasler

Christian McIntosh - Oktaha

Alex Wheeland - Haskell DeShay Bear - Checotah 6

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Courtney Smith - Okay

Chase Soper - Muskogee


Luke Culpepper - Heavener

Shelby Smith - Porum Photo By Von Castor

Katie Kirkhart Hilldale

Photo By Craig Hall LeFlore County Journal

Kyle Taylor - Warner Photo By Von Castor

KAITLAN STANDRIDGE - Poteau

Photo By Von Castor

Photo By Kim Standridge

Photo By John Hasler

Photo By Rhonda Hansen

Photo by John Hasler

Photo By Craig Hall LeFlore County Journal

Photo By Shane Keeter ishootphotos.us

Jordan London - Ft Gibson

Photo By Craig Hall LeFlore County Journal

Photo PhotoBy ByVon Bill Castor Huddleston

P I C T UFRE EA TTUHRI S E

Kendrick Hardaway - Poteau Jermaine Jimmerson - Spiro

Autumn Cato - Webber Falls

Stephanie Barcheers - Panama Jade Kerry - Keota

J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 32

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Hilldale Hornets Cheer VYPEOK.COM

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JANUARY 2013

Photo By Brett Rojo

Katelyn Donathan Checotah

Brooks Robertson - Roland

Photo By Von Castor

Tyler Tustin - Poteau

Photo By John Hasler

Tyler Pettigrew - Westville

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Photo by John Hasler

Tanner Francis - POCOLA Nick Smallwood - HOWE

Photo By Jim Ellis Miami News Record

Photo By Vickie Reece Westville Schools

Photo By David Seeley Poteau Daily News

Photo By Brett Rojo

Photo By John Hasler

Katelyn Donathan Checotah

Roland Cheerleaders KAITLAN STANDRIDGE - Poteau

Dillion Coleman Webbers Falls K. T. Parker - Warner


F E AT U R E

Described as a “complete player,” Trevor Smith commands the attention of the opponents for the Heavener Wolves each night on the court. The 6’4 senior tops the scoring charts for coach Jeff Chronister’s squad averaging 20.0 points per game along with 8-plus rebounds per contest. Through December, the VYPE Top 100 selection has already recorded 3 double-double efforts plus a 32 point 8 rebound outing versus Mansfield. “Trevor makes others around him better,” admits Chronister. “He’s constantly looking to set up one of his teammates for a scoring chance. Not only can he score and rebound, Trevor’s defensive effort has been invaluable with blocked shots and steals that lead to points of turnovers.” Action photo courtesy Craig Hall, LeFlore County Journal

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VYPE caught up with Alexus Wilson of Muskogee High School to answer questions for Triple Play. After getting her answers, we posed the questions to Alexus’ mom, Sheri, for her answers and then presented the challenge to Shonika Breedlove, assistant head coach of the Lady Roughers. Who has the best game plan? A VYPE Top 100 selection, Muskogee High School senior Alexus Wilson is a member of the Lady Roughers basketball team. A four year starter, Wilson has recently signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Oral Roberts University. She cherishes her time to spend with family and this year playing with her sister Aaliyeah. Recalling her biggest moment in sports as last year’s trip to the Class 6A State Tournament, Alexus hopes to finish her career with a ring and the 6A crown. Alexus admits that she’s NOT as quiet as she may look. Alexus’ favorite subject in school?

Muskogee Basketball

Shonika Breedlove Lady Roughers’ Coach

Sheri Wilson Alexus’ Mom

Math

Math

Math

Favorite place to eat?

Johnny Carino’s

Chili’s

Johnny Carino’s

Favorite Athlete?

Maya Moore

Kevin Durant

Maya Moore

Alexus’ bedroom is clean & neat, organized chaos or disaster zone?

Clean & Neat

Clean & Neat

Organized Chaos

Most famous person Alexus follows on Twitter?

Skylar Diggins

Beyonce

Alicia Keys

Text, Tweet, or Talk on Phone?

Talk on the phone

Text

Twitter

Alexus is—Class Clown, Class President or Quee?

Queen

Queen

Queen

Beyonce

Beyonce

Beyonce

Alexus favorite TV show?

Proud Family

Call of the Wild Man

Basketball Wives

Ice Cream, Cookies or Cake?

Ice Cream

Cookies

Ice Cream

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

6 out of 10 (Mom Knows Best)

Alexus favorite music entertainer?

TOTAL POINTS: 10

10

Alexus Wilson

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F E AT U R E

IRONHEADS ROYALTY CROWNED This year’s basketball schedule resulted with just one home contest on a Friday night. The night was right as Eufaula celebrated homecoming and the coronation of the 2012-13 Queen and King, Alyssa Banks and Cody Faries.

Pictured left to right are members of the Basketball Royalty including Junior Escort Devone Garfield, Junior Attendant Daja Atchison, Senior Escort Forrest Paden & Cheyenna Jones, King Cody Faries & Queen Alyssa Banks, Sophomore Escort Daxton Williams & Sophomore Attendant Newakis Banks, Crown Bearer Dresden Chiles and Flower girl Nevaeh Watts.

As the New Year begins, the Ironheads continue roundball action preparing for the upcoming Class 3A playoffs.

Eufaula High School Basketball 2012-2013 Jan. 14 Stigler Jan. 15 Checotah Jan. 18 Haskell Jan. 21-26 Fort Gibson Old Fort Classic Jan. 29 Beggs Feb. 1 Kellyville Feb. 5 Morris Feb. 8 Checotah Feb. 12 Haskell Feb. 14-16 Class 3A District Tournament Feb. 21-23 Class 3A Regional Tournament Feb. 28-Mar 2 Class 3A Area Tournament Mar. 7-9 Class 3A State Tournament

Away Home Away Away Home Away Home Away Home TBA TBA TBA Oklahoma City

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME Victor Paden takes the reins of the Ironheads baseball future as the 2013 season is closer than you think. The recent success of Eufaula baseball already has local fans waiting for the umpire’s cry…PLAY BALL!

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Eufaula Ironhead Baseball Schedule 2013 March 1 Hartshorne @ 4:00 March 5 Tahlequah Seq. @ 4:00 March 8-9 Henryetta Fest. March 11 Canadian @ 4:00 March 12 Stigler @ 4:00 March 21-23 Poteau Festival March 25 Haskell @ 4:00 March 26 Kellyville @ 4:30 March 28-30 Crowder Tournament April 2 Checotah @ 4:00 April 4 Vian @ 4:00 April 5 Westville @ 4:30 April 6 Checotah @ 2:00 April 8 Beggs @ 4:30 April 9 Red Oak @ 4:30 April 11-13 Wilburton Tournament April 15 Morris @ 4:00 April 16 Henryetta @ 4:00 April 18 Bethel Tourn. April 22 Wister @ 4:30 April 25-27 Districts May 2-4 Regionals May 9-11 State

JUNE 2012

Home Home Away Away Away Away Away Away Away Home Away Home Away Home Away Away Away Away Away Home TBA TBA TBA

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F E AT U R E

3001 S. Muskogee Tahlequah OK

918-456-2541

800-456-2555

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.”

Life’s road definitely has its detours and often requires a detailed road map for success. And for many, the bumps in the road lead to chips on the shoulder. Allison Arnall, a senior at Hulbert High School, brushes away those obstacles and meets each day’s challenge with determination to help someone else first as she travels on her road to success. “True character is not only what you display in the mirror to yourself, but more importantly how others see you and what you do for them first,” said Arnall, a member of the Lady Riders basketball team as well as a straight-A student. “With character, you can either be one or you can have some,” said Rick Ott, girls’ basketball coach at Hulbert. “And, Allison has an abundance of character of helping someone everyday. She always puts family first as well as her teammates and teachers ahead of herself. She never stops doing something extra.” The high school senior embraces life’s challenge before she ever leaves for school taking care of household responsibilities. “I live with my grandpa and he’s 85 years old,” admits the 18 year old Arnall. “I enjoy helping him with his daily living. I cook for him and make sure he eats what he needs to eat and not just peaches all the time.” “Allison is a one of a kind young lady,” said Phillip Pitts, a history and government teacher at Hulbert. “Her dedication to others success makes her stronger person. As my student aid, Allison will help others find answers to any situation. She seeks to understand why things happen and then find the best way to get things done. Her attention is looking to do to the little things; she’ll even stop and pick

up a piece of paper lying in the hallway instead of just stepping on it and going on.” “Allison is ambitious and dedicated to whatever she does,” confirmed Pam Sumner, Arnall’s English teacher and class sponsor for three years. “Her commitment to any task makes her special. She cares about her studies, her actions and her words at all times. Her compassion and dedication will be an asset to any endeavor she chooses to undertake.” A member of the National Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society, Arnall is accelerating her education through concurrent enrollment to earn a degree in nursing. “I’ve already started the LPN classes including clinicals,” Arnall confirmed. “Nursing is who I am, helping others get better. I’m on track to complete the LPN program by December 2013.” “Allison is light years ahead with regard to her knowledge of life and how to deal with everything that happens,” acknowledged Ott. “Whether she’s in the classroom or simply demonstrating to her teammates how to do a drill or the importance of not just showing up for practice but also being on time, Allison is a positive influence to everyone, young and old alike. She’s the type of person you’d want your daughter to grow up to be.” “I just try to be to others the way I’d want them to be to me,” said Arnall. “I live by the belief that you can achieve anything if you set your mind and your heart to it. For me, I refuse to lose. But most of all, I know that if I can be a positive influence to others, we can all enjoy the victory.”

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Presented by

®

As 2013 begins, the excitement of high school basketball reaches a feverish pitch as fans chant…“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.

1.

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: Oklahoma@vype.com

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Roland – The “Running Rangers” proved they deserve the top spot by racing to the Tournament of Champions title with an up-tempo style offense and pressure defense showcasing the talents of VYPE Top 100 Seth Youngblood, Brooks Robertson, Corey Whisenant, Gunner Lynch, Michael Byrd, Marcus Chestnut and Austin Cantrell.

2.

Oktaha – The Tigers have found their “team chemistry” blending the talents of VYPE Top 100 selection Blake Pittman, Dustin Leach, Devon Fry, Caleb Shoemake and Christian McIntosh into a productive unit.

3.

Spiro – The ‘Dogs present a triple threat attack including VYPE Top 100 Knifeis Carter, Jermaine Jimmerson and McKinley Whitfield for coach Dustin Gist’s squad.

4.

Muldrow – VYPE Top 100 nominee Nate Hamilton and Gherrold Kimbrew give opponents plenty of problems for Coach Randy Martin’s squad.

5.

Stilwell – The Indians have size with Brody Clay and Matt Lea plus guard play from Chase Littlejohn, Windrunner Eagle and A.J. Deason.

Outside Looking In Fort Gibson – Porter Heavener – Keys – Red Oak

1.

Fort Gibson – The Lady Tigers have reloaded with VYPE Top 100 Savannah Gray joining forces with Taylor London, Ally Glover and Hannah Cantrell on the perimeter plus inside strength from Brooke Palmer and Cheyanne Johnson inside.

2.

Oktaha – 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 give coach Chester Pittman plenty of options for success.

3.

Muskogee – The Lady Roughers seek to complete “unfinished business with a pair of VYPE Top 100 nominees Kelsey McClure and Alexus Wilson leading the attack.

4.

Muldrow – The Lady Bulldogs present plenty of challenges with a solid cast including a pair of seniors Halee Sharp and Tanar Singel leading the way.

5.

Roland – Adjusting to early season injuries, the Lady Rangers are finding their stride with VYPE Top 100 Summer Teehee, Marissa Enochs and Sidney Walters leading the charge.

Outside Looking In Spiro – Hulbert – Red Oak Gans – Sequoyah Tahlequah

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


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Jake Gandara Fort Gibson

TJ Ponds Wagoner

Kerwin Thomas Wagoner

ALL-STATE 2012 OCA All-State Football 2012

Cade Shearwood Stigler

The Oklahoma Coaches Association named its All-State Football teams for 2012 including ten of the Friday night heroes from Three Rivers. The All-State football game will be played in July as part of the OCA Coaches Clinic.

The Vian Wolverines (2A) and Wagoner Bulldogs (4A) placed two members to the elite squad along with representatives from Stigler (3A), Poteau (4A), Fort Gibson (4A), Gore (A), Sallisaw (4A) and Talihina (A).

Ben Oberste Sallisaw

East Offense QB – Cade Shearwood 6-1 185 Stigler RB – Jake Gandara 5-9 185 Fort Gibson WR – Kerwin Thomas 5-11 165 Wagoner TE – Jay Werner 6-2 225 Poteau OL – Rob Boyd 6-4 310 Vian OL – Chance Douthit 6-4 275 Gore East Defense LB – T.J. Ponds 6-0 235 Wagoner LB – Rowdy Simon 5-11 195 Vian DB – Ben Oberste 6-2 209 Sallisaw DB – Trevor Crone 5-8 175 Talihina


Jay Werner Poteau

ROb Boyd Vian

Rowdy Simon Vian

Gridiron Greats Named To All-State Football Team

OCA All-Star Football 2012

In addition to the All-State selections, Three Rivers football was well represented on the OCA All-Stars by class teams as another 23 players were chosen for their individual talents and contribution to their teams.

Stigler – Ryan Echelle (DB), Colton Shearwood (WR) Roland – Brooks Robertson (QB) Heavener – Blake Smittle (RB) Sequoyah Tahlequah – Niko Hammer (DB) Brayden Scott (QB)

Class A Talihina – Clark Austin (QB), Caleb Sharp (C) Gore – Ben Smith (LB), Colby Clay (LB) Warner – Luke Moses (DL), Briar Campbell (LB)

Class 4A Poteau – Troy Barnett (OL) Wagoner – Lateze Clayton (DL) Fort Gibson – Ned Adair (TE) Muldrow – Colten Keith (WR), Dawson Floyd (WR) Sallisaw – Devin Harriman (LB)

Class 2A Vian – Landon Decker (QB) Haskell – Britt Williams (LB) Class 3A Hilldale – Josh Giem (LB) Jamaul Cullom (LB)

Chance Douthit Gore

Class 5A Tahlequah – Mason McMillan (RB)

Trevor Crone Talihina


Mr. Football Oklahoma Trey’Vonne’ Barre’ From the VYPE Top 100, we have whittled down the list to 50, then to the 10 Finalists. We now salute the 2012 Mr. Football Oklahoma Trey’Vonne’ Barre’. A consensus was taken from coaches and media personnel all over the state and Barre’ won a close race with East Central’s Stanvon Taylor.

TREY’VONNE BARRE RB/CB – 5-8, 180, Sr. JENKS TROJANS

Senior running back Trey’Vonne Barr’e was named the 2012 State Farm Mr. Football after leading the Jenks Trojans to a Class 6A state championship. Barr’e became the All-Time leading rusher in Jenks history finishing his career with 4,721 yards and scoring in a record 27 straight games. This season Barr’e averaged 9.8 yards per carry and rushed for 32 touchdowns to lead Class 6A. His 2,237 yards on 229 carries this season also lead 6A in rushing. During the playoffs Barr’e rushed for 858 yards to propel Jenks past Booker T. Washington, Edmond North, Union and Norman North. Barr’e also played defensive back when needed and returned five kicks for 158 yards and a touchdown on special teams. For his outstanding season and dedication to being a great player for Jenks, Trey’Vonne Barr’e is the 2012 State Farm Mr. Football.

1st Trey’Vonne Barre’ Jenks High School 2nd Stanvon Taylor East Central High School 3rd Jaylen Lowe Owasso High School 4th Jake Gandara Fort Gibson High School 5th Rob Boyd Vian High School

Congratulations Trey’Vonne’


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F E AT U R E

15 Stars Of The Court Selected To VYPE TOP 100 “One Shining Moment” -Words & Music: David Barrett Hodges “The ball is tipped and there you are… You’re running for your life, you’re a shooting star. And all the years no one knows… Just how hard you worked, but now it shows... In ONE SHINING MOMENT, IT’S ALL ON THE LINE ONE SHINING MOMENT, THERE FROZEN IN TIME” As the New Year rings in 2013, the sounds of sneakers squeaking on hardwood floors combine with the sound of the referees’ whistles and

the roar of basketball fans applauding the efforts of high school hoops inside gymnasiums all across Three Rivers.

Once again, many of Oklahoma’s best Heroes of the Hardwoods will look to lead their teams to victories with the ultimate goal for every player, team, coach and fan to claim the gold ball and a State Championship.

Fifteen basketball players gained statewide recognition having earned VYPE TOP 100 honors. The combination of size, speed and strength along with the utilization of basketball skills highlighting defense and scoring abilities gives this talented group of stars their own shining moment as the season begins. Dynamic duos from five schools including Seth Youngblood and Summer Teehee of Roland, Muskogee’s Kelsey McClure and Alexus Wilson, Jordan Hill and Savannah Gray of Fort Gibson, Blake Pittman and Jaylie Roper from Oktaha

and Spiro’s combo of Knifeis Carter and Philicea Mack are joined by Sequoyah Tahlequah’s Courtney Jones, Trevor Smith of Heavener, Porter’s Jacob Richardson, Nate Hamilton of Muldrow, and Tyler Gibson from Wister on this year’s talented group giving fans of high school basketball in Three Rivers expectations for a golden finish at season’s end. And when it’s done…win or lose You always did your best…cuz inside you knew... That ONE SHINING MOMENT, YOU REACHED FOR THE SKY ONE SHINING MOMENT, YOU KNEW ONE SHINING MOMENT, YOU WERE WILLING TO TRY ONE SHINING MOMENT.... JANUARY 2013

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By Lynn Jacobsen Photos by Rip Stell The basketball doubleheaders across eastern Oklahoma tipoff action filled nights featuring the talent and finesse of seven stars of the girls’ game. The seven players selected to the pre-season VYPE TOP 100 present a group of basketball stars combining a special collection of skills including speed and quickness, scoring inside and deep as well as power in the paint on both ends of the floor.

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The Muskogee Lady Roughers will once again feature their dynamic duo of Kelsey McClure and Alexus Wilson. The pair of 2013 seniors has joined forces in the starting lineup for head coach Doyle Rowland the past four seasons. And, following last season’s trip to the Class 6A state tournament, both players present opponents the challenge VYPEOK.COM | JANUARY 2013

to deny the individual abilities of each player.

“Kelsey and Alexus are different in their style of play and their skills,” admits Rowland. “Tenacity spells Kelsey’s approach to every game and Alexus brings a calm to the lineup in a leadership role. Combined together, they’re a tough duo to stop. They make us go for sure.”

McClure, a 5-7 guard, delivers an up-tempo approach to the game by pushing the ball up the court on the dribble and making a no-look pass to an ever aware teammate. So far this year, McClure continues to lead her squad in scoring and assists. Her ability to score from beyond the arc along with dribble penetration to the rim is at a fast pace. Wilson, a 5-8 guard and repeat VYPE TOP 100 selection, can score from deep on the court as well as in the paint while delivering an aggressive defensive approach to the Lady Roughers’ lineup. Known to her teammates and fans at “Lex”, Wilson’s athleticism allows her to play all five positions while her jumping ability allows her to contend for every loose ball off the rim amidst taller players. Those talents have earned Wilson the opportunity to play at the next level after recently signing a Division I letter of intent to play at Oral Roberts

University.

Savannah Gray knows the feeling of a “shining moment” as she stood at the free throw line with an undefeated season and the 2011 Class 4A State Championship hanging in the balance. Then just a freshman, the now 5-9 junior guard for the Fort Gibson Lady Tigers, cashed in and celebrated the victory with her teammates. It’s that calm that impresses Gray’s coach, Jerry Walker.

“Savannah is always calm under pressure,” said Walker. “She’s a throw back type point guard that has all the skills. Her ability to understand every player’s role on the court let’s Savannah make the right play whether it’s making a pass, shooting the ball or grabbing a rebound.” Gray combines an ever reliable ability to bring the ball up the floor under pressure with an uncanny ability to score off the dribble as well as from the 3-point line. She continues to lead her team in rebounds again this season as the Lady Tigers seek a third straight trip back to the Class 4A finals, with dreams of another championship in 2013.


Also in the VYPE Top 100 backcourt is Courtney Jones of Sequoyah Tahlequah. The 5-6 senior guard energizes the fast paced approach of the Lady Indians who continue to play 94 feet with end-to-end pressure. Jones presents opponents consistent pressure forcing steals and easy baskets off turnovers. A proven scorer from beyond the arc, Jones makes use of her foot speed and ball control to sprint past opponents on the dribble en route to the basket for a score. And, like most successful point guards, Jones frequently finds wide open teammates with her passing skills. Jaylie Roper combines the ability to play on the blocks as well as direct the offense from the point for the Oktaha Lady Tigers. The 5-9 junior is in her third season for coach Chester Pittman’s team that continues to earn their spot near the top of the Class 2A polls. “Jaylie has battled injuries all season this year,” winced Pittman. “And, to her credit, she’s played through the pain and continued to score in double digits. Because of her versatility, she can post up and score as well as pull up and connect on the jump shot anywhere on the court or spot

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DECEMBER 2012

another teammate and deliver the assist for someone else to score.”

all out and gets our other players performing better at the same time.”

This year’s front line of talent also presents a physical dominating approach when opponents encounter the challenges of Philicea Mack of Spiro and Roland’s Summer Teehee.

Strong and agile are only two of the words used to describe the play of Roland’s anchor in the middle, Summer Teehee. The 5-10 senior earns her nickname, “Blast”, by her approach to every game for coach Bobby Walters’ Lady Rangers.

Mack, a 5-10 senior forward, demands the attention of opposing coaches as she continues to average a double-double each night. So far this season, the ever-smiling post player for coach Kayla Carrington is averaging 12.5 points per game along with 10.3 rebounds. “She’s our go-to-player,” admits Carrington. “I’ll tell other coaches we’ve got one big girl and they’ll say yes, BUT, you’ve got Mack. When she touches the ball, we play better.” Mack combines her size along with an impressive quickness to move her feet and get into position on both ends of the court to grab rebounds and make something happen positive for Spiro.

“Summer is quicker than most post players,” nodded Walters. “In addition to her strength, she’s got quick hands and quick feet that gives her the opportunity to score with touch on the block. Her “court sense” allows her to take the double team of opponents then find her “buddy on floor” for an open chance to score. Defensively, she leads our team in steals on the back side of our press.” For opposing coaches facing this collection of talent perhaps the best way to describe your game plan is “pick your poison.” The combination of skills will no doubt bring plenty of victories and memories for the teams chasing the dream of a state championship.

“She’s kinda quiet,” said Carrington, “but when the clock is running, Philicea’s motor is running

APRIL 2012

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The road map to the Big House and visions of claiming bragging rights as 2013 State Champions in boys’ basketball will no doubt again be the aim for teams from Three Rivers which once again boasts many of Oklahoma’s top players.

ball to the basket. The senior playmaker for the Rangers will play at the next level at the University of ArkansasFort Smith. “What makes Seth even more valuable is his ability to set up the other players on the court for scoring opportunities,” said Lewis.

The “Elite Eight” players recently chosen as members of the VYPE Top 100 not only highlight individual abilities but also each player’s talents to create opportunities for teammates to reach the highest level of play and attain the goal for every team to win the “Big Gold Ball.” Topping the list of talented hoopsters is Seth Youngblood of Roland. The 6-0 shooting guard for the Runnin’ Rangers has raised his skills to a higher level, averaging 28.1 points per game in the up-tempo attack for coach Ed Lewis. “Seth makes us go,” said Lewis. “Everyone knows he’s our go-toplayer and yet, he still gets his points.” Youngblood has the ability to score from beyond the arc and break down defenders on the dribble and take the 24

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Combined with talented teammates, Roland’s climb to the top of Class 4A includes 49 victories the past two seasons in addition to winning this year’s Tournament of Champions first place trophy. “We know that every team we play is going to bring their best,” admits Youngblood. “But, we’re going to bring it too.” The Oktaha Tigers’ lineup includes plenty of skilled players making them a contender once again for a title shot in Class 2A in 2013. As a coach’s son, Oktaha’s Blake Pittman, competes night in night out to make his team better every game. A repeat VYPE Top 100 selection, the 5-11 senior guard for coach Jim Glover’s Tigers, Pittman combines a unique balance of ball handling and scoring at the right time to continue his double digit production in the Tigers’ up-tempo offense. Despite the fact that he’s not the team’s statistical leader in scoring or assists, Glover counts on Pittman for more than just scoring. “Blake knows his role,” said Glover. “And he accepts it. He contributes in all areas of the game. We need for him to run our offense and benefit our team chemistry.”

The Fort Gibson Tigers have great expectations in 2013. One of the primary reasons for success this season is the play of Jordan Hill. One of three returning starters, the 6-1 senior forward continues to deliver results on both ends of the court for head coach Gary Hendrix’ lineup. Entering the 2013 portion of the schedule, Hill leads the Tigers’ scoring, averaging 19.3 points per game, and has already signed to play college basketball at Oklahoma Baptist University. “Jordan can score, but he also distributes the ball effectively,” said Hendrix. “Because of his athleticism, he has the ability to score from the perimeter and handle the ball under pressure.” “He also creates a spark for us defensively,” notes Hendrix. “He can guard the opponent’s best player and not let him catch the ball. And, when we pressure and trap out of the zone, Jordan creates steals that give us opportunities for points of turnovers.”


A major reason for the Porter Pirates plan to reach the Big House in 2013 is the return of seven players with starting lineup experience including the highlight reel production of Jacob Richardson. The 5-11 cat-quick playmaker has elevated his contribution averaging 33.6 points per contest for coach Jason Jack’s lineup with the ability to score from 3-point territory, while pulling up for a jump shot as well as attacking the rim.

talent. And because of what he can do, Nate brings stability to our lineup and makes the others on the court play at a higher level.” The Spiro Bulldogs have plenty of bite to match their bark as this year’s lineup includes a talented trio of players averaging in double figures. The sparkplug in the Bulldogs’ continued winning ways is the play of 5-10 junior guard, Knifeis Carter, one of two returning starters described by coach Dustin Gist as an “all-around special player.” “It not often that your point guard will lead you in rebounding,” said Gist. “That’s just one of the many ways Knifeis makes a difference in every game. This year, he’s stepped up his motor to run at a higher level.”

for Tyler Gibson’s selection to the TOP 100 squad in 2013. The 6-4 senior for the Wister Wildcats brings four year’s game time experience back to the court for head coach Mark Warren. “He’s our only returning starter,” Warren said. “But, he’s a dandy. Tyler not only leads our scoring statistics, but he’s showing the way for his teammates to learn how to win. He’s got the ability to handle the ball, shoot the 3 and then use his size to take you on the blocks.”

“Jacob is grounded and humble in his approach,” confirms Jack. “He uses his strength and quickness to his advantage. His ball handling skills are complimented by his court vision to create situations for his teammates. That’s something that recruiters like about him too.”

Gibson averages 16.5 points per game so far this season as the Wildcats “go-to-player.” After high school Gibson will trade his basketball talents for the baseball diamond as the talented right-handed pitcher will move on to compete at Seminole Junior College.

A four year starter for the Muldrow Bulldogs, Nate Hamilton joins the VYPE Top 100 as an “all purpose guard”. So far this season, the 6-1 senior leads his team in scoring averaging 19.8 points per game while securing 5-plus rebounds per outing and dishing out more than 3 assists each night. The combination of scoring, ball handling, and rebounding brings a smile to the face of Muldrow coach Randy Martin.

With the combination of talents evidenced in the play of this year’s Elite 8, there’s little doubt that many of the boys’ basketball teams in Three Rivers will once again require mid-March hotel reservations in Oklahoma City on the road to the Big House and the opportunity to win the Gold Ball and experience that One Shining Moment.

“That’s what makes Nate so invaluable for us,” said Martin about the four year starter. “His versatility is a rare

“He not only will score from three but also use his quickness to put the ball on the floor and score off the bounce,” confirmed Gist. “And then, because of his uncanny court vision, he’s able to create scoring chances for the rest of the team.” Heavener’s Trevor Smith continues to command the attention of the Wolves’ opponents. Thus far this season, the 6-4 senior forward is scoring at a 20 points per game clip while averaging just over 8 rebounds per outing. “Trevor is a complete player,” said Jeff Chronister, head coach at Heavener. “In our first 11 games, he’s got 3 double-doubles plus another 32 point-8 rebound night. Not only is he consistently scoring and rebounding, Trevor is making others around him better through his unselfish play.” Experience under the lights is just one reason


Congratulations Seth Youngblood of the York Street Tire Supports Roland Rangers Boys Basketball Team the Muskogee from YorkLady Street Tire! Seth scored 96 Points during aof 3 day Roughers Team player Tournament of Champions, leading the Roland the Rangers month Kelsey McClure! to the Championship Title with a thrilling overtime win over Union!

Youngblood’s efforts has propelled his team to not only an undefeated record to date, but also to the Class 4A #1 ranking in High School Boys Basketball!

Go Lady Roughers! 26

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Roland boys, Anadarko girls claim impressive TOC titles A pair of Class 4A teams was the big winners in the 48th Tournament of Champions at the Mabee Center. The number one ranked “Runnin’ Rangers” of Roland edged Class 6A Union 7573 in overtime for the boys title while Anadarko, the Class 4A girls defending state champions, defeated Class 5A East Central 62-51 to claim the crown. Two of this year’s VYPE TOP 100 players were named MVPs of the tournament. A sizzling shooting performance by Roland senior Seth Youngblood registered 98 points in the three games for the Rangers, including 30 in the championship game. Anadarko’s senior guard Lakota Beatty led the Lady Warriors with 49 points in three games, including 19 in the championship win. BOYS Twenty years after McLain won the tournament in 1992, Roland became the first team to unseat the stranglehold of 5A and 6A champions with a thrilling overtime win over Union, the 2012 defending TOC and 6A state titlists. In a championship battle that saw five lead changes in the final minutes, senior Marcus Chestnut gave the Rangers a 72-69 lead with seven seconds left on one of his four 3-pointers in the game. Union answered on Shawn Olden’s trey to force overtime.

Senior forward Gunner Lynch weaved through Union defenders to deliver the game-winning shot, a layup in the closing seconds to assure Roland of its first Tournament of Champions title.

We were really proud of the way that each night we had different players step up and contribute their roles real well. Austin Cantrell also played real well. Jordan Brock, Chestnut and Lynch also did their roles very well off the bench.”

“Gunner read the pass, got the steal and layup,” said Roland coach Ed Lewis. “It was a big shot, but not a wide-open shot. He had pressure coming at him.”

Juwan Parker, a VYPE Top 100 player and Georgia signee, joined Arnett’s Tyler Tune with 71 points in the tournament. Tune, a secondteam all-tournament selection, led all players in rebounds with 28.

Youngblood, who has signed with the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, led the Rangers with 30 points, eight shy of his career high and six fewer than he scored in the team’s 79-58 win over Verdigris in the tournament’s opening round. He was joined on the all-tournament first team by Corey Whisenant, who finished with 42 points in the three-day competition. To reach the finals, the Rangers knocked off a very good class 5A Edison squad, 70-63, in the second round. “This kind of gets us on the map,” Lewis said. “We play some good basketball down here and I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve had some good players and good teams. And to go and win the Tournament of Champions and, on a larger-scale basis, to get our players out and be seen really says a lot for our program and gives us a little bit of recognition. The atmosphere was awesome. It was a great tournament.” “Our kids played well and I was very proud of them,” admitted Lewis. “We’re a senior team and we felt like our main concern was to take care of ourselves. We wanted to try to do what we could do and let the chips fall where they lay. We were fortunate to have that happen for us.” Roland emerged in the New Year as the No. 1 team in Class 4A. Lewis said he hopes to ride the TOC success to another state tournament run. “We hope the atmosphere, playing in the big gym, playing in front of a big crowd, the overnight stays adds up to our players being conditioned and ready if we are fortunate to make the state tournament.

Seth Youngblood

“We have to have a little luck. Plus, with the preparation of players we have back, all that should help us should we have an opportunity. Seth and Corey both had real good tournaments.

Union had two players on the first-team in Olden and Josh Palmer. Edison’s Brian Speaks also earned first-team honors. GIRLS East Central entered the tournament looking for its third consecutive TOC title but was unseated in the championship game by defending 4A state champion Anadarko. The Lady Warriors used a stingy defense to hold the Lady Cardinals to just 51 points after East Central scored 79 in the win over Dewar in the first round and 73 in the victory over Cushing in the semifinals. “We had a lot of good things come out of it with the level of competition,” Anadarko coach Jeff Zinn said. “East Central is probably athletically better than any team in the state, maybe in any class. They have it all. Our defensive system lends well in that we don’t rely on one person to stop one person. We’re more of a team-oriented defense.

Boys Most Valuable Player Seth Youngblood, Roland First Team Shawn Olden, Union Josh Palmer, Union Juwan Parker, Booker T. Washington Brian Speaks, Edison Corey Whisenant, Roland Second Team Blake Battenfield, Verdigris Don Simmons, Edison Kevin Sims, Booker T. Washington Tyler Tune, Arnett Cade Upshaw, Verdigris


better if you don’t compete. It’s definitely a weight on your shoulders to compete from one year to another. The kids have to learn that and have to stay hungry. Sometimes as kids it’s easy to say this is ours and take it for granted.”

but she is just learning to play with others and how to take care of the basketball,” Zinn said. “We’re a guard-driven team. We try to beat opponents with our quickness. I think we will be a quicker team, a deeper team than a year ago.”

An early season loss to 6A defending state champion Edmond Santa Fe proved Anadarko isn’t invincible.

Lakota finished the tournament with xx points and the tournament MVP honors. She was joined on the first team by her sister and teammate Kelia Pahcoddy, Che’Ron Lewis of Cushing, who led the tournament with 71 points. Also on the first team was Jenks’ Jessica Washington, who finished with 51 points and East Central guard Bria Pitts.

“Our kids understood that this is a different team (from last year) and that we have to get better,” said the Anadarko coach. “It was more the way in which we lost to them, by 20 points. I don’t know if we could beat them if we played again but I know it would be a close game.” Lakota Beatty is the team’s catalyst on offense, even though her scoring numbers are down from a year ago, when she averaged 22 points a game.

Corey Whisenant “We run the very same defense; we just tweak it as necessary. Our general defense is to not allow the offense to get into any decent flow.” As the No. 1 team and defending state 4A champs, Zinn knows the Lady Warriors will get their opponents’ best shot every night. “We set up what I think is the toughest schedule in the state,” Zinn said. “That helps keep you fighting to get better. There’s always that opportunity that someone out there will compete

“Her scoring numbers are down,” Zinn said of the OSU signee. “She’s working on her allaround game and becoming a better defensive player. Her unselfishness makes us a better team. “She’s capable of scoring; she had 32 in a game earlier this season against Chickasha. She also had 11 assists in that game,” Zinn said. “She does what we need to win.” Beatty, and younger sister, Ashley, combined for 35 points in the championship game. Zinn will use the next two months to develop young talent like freshman Tandra King. “She’s probably the fastest player on our team

Verdigris’ Baileigh O’Dell, who also scored 51 points in the tournament, was a second-team alltournament selection. GIRLS Most Valuable Player Lakota Beatty, Anadarko First Team Ashley Beatty, Anadarko Che’Ron Lewis, Cushing Kelia Pahcoddy, Anadarko Bria Pitts, East Central Jessica Washington, Jenks Second Team Darreion Clark, East Central Baileigh O’Dell, Verdigris Kylie Parker, Anadarko Marcia Reed, East Central Taylor Sears, Jenks

Rob Boyd-Vian

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F-C-A Athlete

of the Month Jadyn Crooch Checotah High School For Jadyn Crooch, a senior at Checotah High School, being known first as a Christian athlete is a big deal. A four year member of the Wildcats’ cheerleading team, Crooch enjoys being a cheerleader for God.

“The world tries to push other things on you the older you get,” confirmed Crooch. “You just have to stay true to your faith. In any position where you’re put out in front of others, there’s going to be people watching just to see you stumble. You just have to remind yourself everyone makes mistakes AND that my God forgives me daily and shows me how to correct them.” “Temptation is where you put yourself, and it’s my choice where to be or what to do. Through knowing him, I can maintain a light for life that’s never covered up because He’s a beacon for me to follow. And, I want to shine my light for others to follow. I want to be an encourager though my actions as well as my words.” Psalm 119:105 (KJV): “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”


Photo By Bill Huddleston

Bristen Graves – Okay Courtney Smith – Okay Natalie Masten – Wagoner Kristen Robbins – Wagoner Claire Farmer – Muskogee Jensen Martin – Muskogee Casey Beaston – Tahlequah Morgan Anderson – Tahlequah Kendra Hammer – Sequoyah Tahlequah Baylee Herrin – Sequoyah Tahlequah Hannah Fritch – Westville Nisha Crittenden – Westville Bristen Graves-Okay

Photo By Bill Huddleston

ALL-VYPE VOLLEYBALL

Team of the Year

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Okay Mustangs

Player of the Year Coach of the Year

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Nisha Crittenden-Westville

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Hannah Fritch-Westville

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Belinda Clark-Okay

Photo By Ben Johnson Tahlequah Daily Press

Belinda Clark-Okay

Photo By Vickie Reece Westville Schools

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Casey Beaston-Tahlequah

Claire Farmer-Muskogee


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VYPE Three Rivers January 2013  

VYPE Three Rivers January 2013

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