Tanner Lawrence - Jenks Zach Doak - Union Trey Wolf - Broken Arrow Ryan Gendron - Bishop Kelley
JORDAN LEWIS, 2016 GRADUATE | EAST CENTRAL UNIVERSITY
y name is Jordan Lewis and I am from Henryetta, Ok. Henryetta to me is where I consider home no matter where I am. I am currently now a Residence Director at East Central University. I wasn’t a college student/athlete, but sports were my way of escaping the world throughout college and through life. I use sports to help clear my mind and to relax problems that people didn’t know I have. Even to this day, people never really understood me like they believe they do because I hide it so well. Once I grew up and found peace with myself, with life, friends and people that got me through when I had nothing changed me forever. I went from being told I wouldn’t be able to do anything to becoming a person who has achieved his dream of making it out in the world and giving back by volunteering during high school and college to two non-profit organizations that helped me along the way. Those two organizations were called 4 Love of The Game and Dog Soldiers 4 Jesus Christ. Without those competitive basketball tournaments and me volunteering and giving back, I don’t believe I would be where I am today. Here is my story. In high school, I was your typical student/athlete. I made very good grades at Henryetta High School and graduated as a salutatorian. I am honored to have that as an achievement in my life as it was a milestone that would change my life. I was very selfish and selfcentered growing up. I quit working hard for everything because I thought I was better than everyone. By the time I realized people were catching up to my skill level, it was too late for me to adjust. I slowly started to be forgotten. However, my best friend in high school, Joe Moudy, and his family allowed me to move in and attend school at Henryetta. At that time, the family turned my life around. I started to realize the errors of my ways and that’s when I realized the biggest thing I lost while growing up, my faith. I grew up without a mother at the age of nine due to a car accident and every day I would hear from people that I would never be anything or go very far. I used that as inspiration to make her proud. As soon as high school ended, slowly the inside of me did as well. My group of teammates and friends who I considered a family were now gone. There was no more laughter in my life and I was beginning to become depressed. Not many people knew I was, but I tried to act happy in front of everyone despite how I felt inside. I had so much locked up anger that it began to take over my body mentally. I was starting to be the selfish person I was once before right before college. Jump ahead to July 11-15th 2012, my life changed again. I went to another basketball tournament called NABI in Phoenix, Arizona and was by far one of the best I ever experienced and cherish to
SUBMIT NOMINATIONS TO: LMonahwee@mcn-nsn.gov. “Where Are They Now” nominees must: be a current student/athlete in college, possess a cumulative GPA of 3.0, and be an enrolled MCN tribal member.
this day. I spent time with some of my favorites friends and teammates. I am grateful to have them even though I was selfish back then. I wish I could’ve acted differently but that’s what so great about life. You start to learn along the way even the little things you begin to appreciate. Like they say, you never know when the last time you will hang out with your friends until it’s too late. After the tournament, my goal was to stay home for a year and then possibly go to college. I remember it like yesterday, my aunt telling me I was going to East Central University. C ON T I N U E D ON BACK COVER
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for all the sports you play, we’re on your team. at eastern Oklahoma Orthopedic center, we’ve been caring for athletes just like you for many years. that means, when you’re seen by one of our sports medicine specialists, you’re seeing the same doctors who care for the elite athletes of the University of tulsa, Oral roberts University, and many other college and high school teams. from physicals to physical therapy and beyond, our team is here to help you be the best athlete you can be. call the sports medicine experts at eastern Oklahoma Orthopedic center at (800) 283-3662 today.
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Tulsa Area All-VYPE Basketball Tulsa Area AllVYPE Basketball 2018 - Presented by American Heritage Bank
Mo Garcia – Union Hayden Peterson – Owasso Trey Phipps - Booker T. Washington
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Men’s - 1st Team
Caleb Huffman – Broken Arrow Jaycson Bereal – Booker T. Washington Kalib Boone – Memorial RayQuan Elliott – Hale Bryce Thompson – Booker T. Washington
Kate Dreyer – Cascia Hall Jayla Burgess – Union Holly Kersgieter – Sand Springs Terryn Milton – Owasso Jo Harbison – Kiefer
David Ward – Webster Colt Savage – Sand Springs Kamron Brice – McLain Andrew Keathley – Coweta Braden Boyer – Broken Arrow Honorable Mention Keylan Boone – Memorial Landon Streich – Metro Christian Reagan Streck – Lincoln Christian
Mya Bhinhar – Owasso Gabby Gregory – Holland Hall Maddie Bittle – Bixby Rhys Anderson – Booker T. Washington Madison O’Dell – Collinsville
Honorable Mention Jadyn Byrd – Jenks Jade Upshaw – Kelleyville Raven Blackbear – Mounds Haley Meely – Jenks Gem Summers – Victory Christian
Tulsa Area All-VYPE Swimminmg Tulsa Area All-VYPE Swimming 2018 Presented by American Heritage Bank GIRLS Abby Mink – Bishop Kelley Laney Sims – Bishop Kelley Gabby Henry – Bishop Kelley Rachel Hoyos-Duran – Bishop Kelley Kayley Henderson – Bixby Kinsey Brown – Bixby Savannah Jacoway – Bixby Kendall Stieben – Bixby Rachel Brown – Bixby Mackenzie Martin – Booker T. Washington Tori Orcutt – Booker T. Washington Colby Orcutt – Booker T. Washington Emma Latta – Booker T. Washington Cassie Powell – Booker T. Washington Annie Kramer – Broken Arrow Laney Fenton – Jenks Jasmine Rau – Jenks DJ Smith – Jenks
Josie Jones – Jenks Gabrielle Vargus – Jenks Isabelle Packard – Metro Christian Josie Uerling – Union Courtney Posey – Union Brooklynn Weaver – Union Kaelan Vu – Union Kendra Vonhartitzsch – Union
BOYS Jack Callan – Bishop Kelley Sam Duda – Bishop Kelley Patrick Callan – Bishop Kelley Rafael Serrano Meneses – Bishop Kelley River Kirkland – Bishop Kelley Matt Hunt – Bishop Kelley Tyler Hoang – Bishop Kelley Kyler Sisemore – Booker T. Washington Luke James – Booker T. Washington Eli Brock – Booker T. Washington Griffin Holtzscher – Booker T.
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Washington Noah James – Booker T. Washington Duncan Hughes – Booker T. Washington Alan Brown – Booker T. Washington Christian Burke – Jenks Morne Wolmarans – Jenks Jazz Widney – Jenks Justin Sung – Jenks Alex Yanchunas – Jenks Austin Bick – Jenks Andrew Truong – Jenks Jon Jin – Jenks Danny Sibley – Metro Christian Ryan Pennington – Owasso Sam Jones – Owasso Brayden McVey – Owasso Dawson Norton – Owasso Braden Townsell – Union Garrett Sledge – Union Jack Hartgrave – Union Eric Uerling – Union
Tulsa Area All-VYPE Wrestling
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Tulsa Area All-VYPE Wrestling - Presented by Bob Hurley Auto Family
1st Team 106 Carter Young – Sand Springs 113 Riley Weir – Sand Springs 120 Eli Benham – Collinsville 126 Caleb Tanner – Collinsville 132 Bennett Moudy – Coweta 138 Xavear Cullors – Collinsville 145 Ricky Turner – Coweta 152 Kaleb Tabor – Sand Springs 160 Caleb Wise – Broken Arrow 170 Talon Borror – Coweta 182 Jerome Townsell – Edison 195 Dalton Abney – Cascia Hall 220 Zach Marcheselli – Broken Arrow 285 Dakota McCaleb – Coweta 2nd Team 106 Eli Griffin – Cascia Hall 113 Rocky Stephens – Collinsville 120 Zeke Washington – Owasso
126 Reece Witcraft – Broken Arrow 132 Jaylon Otero – Catoosa 138 Baylor Smith – Owasso 145 Andrew DeArmound – Catoosa 152 Drake Vannoy – Jenks 160 Bryan Ford – Coweta 170 Bryce Mattioda – Broken Arrow 182 JD Johnson – Owasso 195 Gavin Potter – Broken Arrow 220 Micah Walker – Union 285 Noah Cortes – Broken Arrow Honorable Mention 106 Jared Hill – Broken Arrow 113 Tyson Stevens – Glenpool 120 Saige Martin – Berryhill 126 Thaddeus Long – McLain
132 Blake Gonzalez – Broken Arrow 138 Ja’len Hernandez – Union 145 Gage Hight – Glenpool 152 Tony Connor – Collinsville 160 Jake Smith – Catoosa 170 Kaleb Mertz – Owasso 182 Darius Boone – Union 195 Elijah Tomlin – Union 220 Jared Galli – Jenks 285
New Champions Are Crowned at the State Wrestling Tournament Class 6A - Choctaw - Champions The Sandites of Charles Page High School came out early with two big wins for Carter Young and Riley Weir in the finals at 106 and 113-pounds respectively. Both Sandites picked up decision wins, 3-0 and 3-1.
The title marked the second in a row for the junior Weir who will attempt to add his name to the list of three-timers next year. Kaleb Tabor of Sand Springs would bring home a runner-up finish at 152-pounds. Owasso crowned a champion in JD Johnson (182) and Zeke Washington finished runner-up to Laif Jones of Bartlesville at 120-pounds. Jenks’ Drake Vannoy was the champion at 152-pounds finishing his sophomore season with a record of 37-4. Broken Arrow had several wrestlers in the finals including Reece Witcraft who grabbed the title at 126-pounds and Gavin Potter who was crowned champion at 195-pounds. Potter became a two-time champion and junior Zach Marcheselli won his third with a 3-2 decision win over Mason Lancaster of Putnam City. Marcheselli
Class 5A - Collinsville - Champions Collinsville won the team title and crowned three champions while doing so. Rocky Stephens (113), Caleb Tanner (126) and Tony Connor (152) all grabbed titles with Tanner winning his second in a row. Tanner finished the season with a record of 43-1. Eli Benham (120) and Xavear Cullors (138) both were runner-ups at their respective weights. Coweta’s Ricky Turner defeated Gage Hight of Glenpool, 3-2 to win the title at 145-pounds.
Class 4A - Tuttle - Champions
Class 3A - Perry - Champions
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Perry dominated Class 3A crowning six state champions. A.J. McEntire of Sperry was runner-up at 195-pounds and teammate Cooper Park was runner-up at 126-pounds. Sperry finished third in team points.
Cascia Hall got things started in Class 4A with a 3-2 victory for freshman Eli Griffin at 106-pounds. Griffin finished his first season of varsity wrestling with a record of 31-2. Senior Dalton Abney would get his first state title at 195-pounds by pinning his opponent, Maison Duke of Tuttle. Abney pinned every opponent he faced in regionals and the state tournament. McLain was close to crowning their first state champion in 40 years as Thaddeus Long was runner-up at 126-pounds. Catoosa’s Andrew DeArmond finished second to Rodrick Mosley of Heritage Hall.
Teammate Talon Borror had the same score in his win over MacArthur’s Christian Maldonado at 170-pounds. Bryan Ford made it to the podium as the state runnerup at 160-pounds. History was made when Edison product Jerome Townsell took top honors at 182-pounds, marking his third state title. Townsell pinned his opponent from Lawton Ike in under one minute. Townsell became the first three-time champion from Edison.
will go for his fourth title next year and if he can win he will become only the second four-time champion from Broken Arrow matching the record of Brandon Tucker who won his four titles from 2000-20003.
TOP 100 BASEBALL
Oklahoma's Top 100 Baseball Getting to know the Top 100
Tanner Lawrence Jenks Grade – Senior Position – OF/P Age I started playing – 6 First team was – Jenks
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Ryan Gendron Bishop Kelley Grade – Senior Position – SS/3B/P Age I started playing – 6 First team was – Tulsa Cardinals Favorite Team & Player – St. Louis Cardinals and Albert Pujols Ballparks I’ve Visited – Busch Stadium, SunTrust Park, Globe Life Park in Arlginton and Kauffman Stadium Pregame Meal – Eggs and toast I love the game because… how strong mentally you have to be to become a good player.
Cardinals Favorite Team & Player – Cleveland Indians and Bryce Harper Ballparks I’ve Visited – Busch Stadium, Globe Life Park in Arlington and Chase Field Pregame Meal – Protein shake and either pasta or chicken I love the game because… of the competitive nature. I love how on any given day anybody can win. Trey Wolf Broken Arrow Grade – Senior Position – P Age I started playing – 8 First team was – Broken Arrow Dragons Favorite Team & Player – San Francisco Giants and Marcus Stroman Ballparks I’ve Visited – Kauffman Stadium and Globe Life Park in Arlington Pregame Meal – Sushi I love the game because… it makes you think your way out of situations. Zach Doak Union Grade – Senior Position – 3B/SS/P Age I started playing – 6 First team was – Cedar Ridge Royals Favorite Team & Player – LA Dodgers and Alex Bergman Ballparks I’ve Visited – Dodger Stadium, Globe Life Park in Arlington, Kauffman Stadium, Minute Maid Park
Zach Doak Pregame Meal – Stop at QuikTrip for a slice of pizza and a Body Armor I love the game because… there are so many aspects of the game that people don’t see from the stands. Bunt coverages, defensive adjustments based on the hitter and just so much more. Also the game of baseball really teaches the players about life, because you can think that something is going your way and then with one swing of the bat the game can be flipped.
Full List Oklahoma Top 100 Braden Askew – Sand Springs Cal Watkins – Sand Springs Tyler Ash – Sand Springs Cale Savage – Sand Springs Bennett Boone – Cascia Hall Ryan Gendron – Bishop Kelley Jake McMurray – Bishop Kelley Joshua Garrett – Regent Prep Caleb Denny – Owasso C.D. White – Owasso Sam Thompson – Owasso Cameron Thompson – Owasso Connor Beichler – Owasso Nate Wohlgemuth – Owasso Brayden Lloyd – Owasso Adler Isbell – Lincoln Christian Zack Moore – Lincoln Christian Collin Rote – Lincoln Christian Kellen Mayberry – Holland Hall Tyler Burch – Catoosa Mack Chambers – Broken Arrow Kohl Franklin – Broken Arrow Drew Lowe – Broken Arrow Matt Kaiser – Broken Arrow Trey Wolf – Broken Arrow Tucker Dunlap – Broken Arrow Brett Biggs – Broken Arrow Manny Duran – Broken Arrow Reid Stockman – Coweta JD Geneva – Coweta Tanner Lawrence – Jenks Bryce Osmond – Jenks Alex Austin – Collinsville Tony Connor – Collinsville Zack Doak – Union
Conner Gore – Enid Ambren Voitik – Enid Bradan Pierce – Enid Brett Russell – Enid Austin Neal – Kingfisher Rodney Phelps – Garber Matt Buck – Waukomis Payton Wingo – Pioneer Layken Young – Pioneer Kyler Cummings – ArapahoButler Chris Goldston – Leedey
Braxton Pennington – Grove
Tyler Davis – Grove Damon Burroughs – Pryor Drew Miller – Pryor Brandon Nixon – Pryor Tristan Diaz – Sequoyah Claremore Miguel Fulgencio – Sequoyah Claremore Parker Ward – Vinita Nathan Zickefoose – Vinita Bryce Martin – Adair
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Korey Miller – Skiatook Matt Sanchez – Skiatook
Carter Dobrinski – Bristow Trey Lazenby – Glencoe Lane Decker – Prue Brian Skillman – Stillwater Alex Anderson – Prague Tanner Hunt – Depew Steve Quinones – Depew
Dawson Muck – Sulphur BraeDon Borden – Anadarko Joseph Anderson – Anadarko Hunter Gholston – Elk City Tyler Polk – Duncan Devin Chanceller – Healdton Cole Fletcher – Granite Ryan Duncan – Tuttle
Garrett Wood – Claremore Noah Grimett – Claremore
Brayden Rodden – Oktaha Cole Broughton – Tushka Tyler Dean – Latta Jacob Savage – Latta Robert Briley – Wright City Josh Lewis – Roff Brandon Rutledge – McAlester Easton James – Hartshorne Austin Lambert – Coalgate
Ty Dudley – OCA Kaden Kirby – OCA Kevin Collyar – OCA Gant Hathcock – Dale Braden Hill – Edmond North Ryan Harris – Edmond North Drew London – Edmond North Ben MacNaughton – Edmond North Brett Smith – Edmond North Garrett Crone – Edmond North Mason Carrier – Edmond North Cody Farmer – Jones Hunter Freese – Deer Creek A.J. Moore – Moore Bryce Mosier – Moore Carson Orton – Heritage Hall Kade Self – Shawnee Colton Bertus – Deer Creek Braxton Bohrofen – Westmoore Jake Adams – Bethany Chase Wetwiska – Bethany Carlos Flores – Harding Charter Prep Zane Alexander – Carl Albert Jordan Compton – Carl Albert Carter LaValley – Carl Albert Rhett Kouba – El Reno Brooks Smith – Norman North Parker Tipton – Norman North Jalen Smith – Norman North DeClaudio Irvin – Midwest City Dalton Smith – Choctaw Ethan Crews – Choctaw Ty Maxwell – McLoud Wyatt Olds – McLoud
Cody Carlton – Tuttle Jace Beck – Tuttle Jaxon McCaw – Weatherford Trent Lewallen – Elk City Hunter Gholston – Elk City Gage Gaunt – Clinton Keenan Smith – Canute Trey Longacre – MacArthur Rylan Webb – MacArthur Tanner Brooks – Washington Ethan Wayland – Purcell Tristan Netherton – Navajo Carson Funkhouser – Fletcher Hayden Brown – Duke Sage Knight – Blair Hayden Savage – AmberPocassett Alec Meinert – Hobart
Cayden Aldridge – Tahlequah Corbin Candy – Tahlequah Javier Ramos – Vian Cash Balentine – Red Oak Seth Martin – Fort Gibson Seth Knight – Checotah Bryce Barrett – Hilldale Jaxon McCullah – Preston
Casey Yeager – Chandler Matt Yates – Cushing Blake Scott – Tonkawa Branden Alexander – Tonkawa Drew Elerick – Stroud Aaron Wolcott – Mannford Aaron Hosack – Ponca City Eli Wohl – Ponca City
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05 1 The Booker T. Washington soccer team is ready to compete for a title. Their last title was in 2008. Photo Provided 2 npool and Cascia Hall get after it on the mat. Photo by Jason Norwoo 3 Cale Savage of Sand Springs rips down a big rebound. Photo by Becky Burch Slack 4 Holland Hall Dutch keeper Reed Herndon makes a save against Greenwood Arkansas. Photo by Sara Carter 5 Hunter Holmes of Victory Christian jams one home against Stilwell. Photo by Becky Burch Slack
S A P U L PA S P O T L I G H T
Sapulpa Athlete Spotlight: Faith Wickliffe – Track The Sapulpa Chieftains track team has been cruising early this season under the leadership of coach James Burkhalter Jr. and his senior leaders, especially hurdler and high jumping senior, Faith Wickliffe. Wickliffe has been running cross country and track since middle school which is where she was introduced to the hurdle races.
“I ran hurdles for the first time in 7th grade as kind of a joke,” explained Wickliffe. “It turned out that I could do it pretty well. My junior high coach told me to try it out and I have loved it ever since. As I got older, different coaches have worked with me on my form and I've gotten pretty good.”
Hurdles is not the only event that Faith competes in for the Chieftains. Just last year, as a junior, she tried the high jump and found that she had some natural skills in that competition as well.
“I used to be shorter so the high jump really intimidated me, but one summer I grew a lot so I decided to try it,” joked Wickliffe. “It turned out that I could do it pretty well and coach Burk has put a lot of work into making me better.”
Being a senior and competing in two events can cause some stress on an athlete but Wickliffe happily accepts the role as a leader on the track for the younger runners.
“It's weird to finally be a senior and the one that's looked up to because for so long I was looking up to all these other amazing runners,” said Faith. “Leaders are who people will follow, that's just how it works. I want to make sure that I'm a good role model and keep a good connection with the younger kids, because they will be the leaders eventually. If I set a good example, that can be passed down for years to come.” The term “student-athlete” is very important to Wickliffe, with an emphasis on student. Not only does she run two events for the Sapulpa track team but she
“I really think this year is going to be a good one for us,” said a hopeful Wickliffe. “It's early so we still have people coming over after their fall sports, but once we have our full team, it will be great. And I have no doubt that Sapulpa will still be successful when I leave. We have an amazing coaching staff that only wants the best for everyone and we all act like one big family.”
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Wickliffe plans to attend the University of Oklahoma after high school but right now she is focused on running hard for the Chieftains. She hopes to take them far this season and leave a legacy of success for the younger runners to strive for.
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also maintains a 4.0 GPA and is a member of National Honor Society and Student Council. She was also a member of the dance team for most of her high school career and says that dancing is her passion as well.
TULSA AREA WRESTLING
Tulsa Area Pre-Season Baseball Player Poll Tulsa Area Wrestling Poll – Presented by Barracuda Staffing C.D. White – Owasso, 33,657 votes Zack Doak – Union, 27,217 votes Braden Lloyd – Owasso, 6,604 votes Connor O’Malley – Booker T. Washington, 5,335 votes Jack Gray – Edison, 4,818 votes Jordan Graham – Victory Christian, 4,219 votes Cole Woods – Verdigris, 3,708 votes Tanner Lawrence – Jenks, 2,650 votes Tanner Floyd – Edison, 2,000 votes Wyatt Sellers – Sapulpa, 1,552 votes
Other baseball players receiving votes included Bennett Boone-Cascia Hall, Trey Wolf-Broken Arrow, Joshua Garrett-Regent Prep, Adler IsbellLincoln Christian, Alex Austin-Collinsville, Caleb Denny-Owasso, Jake McMurray-Bishop Kelley, Bryce Osmond-Jenks, Daniel Bateman-Booker T. Washington, Ryan Gendron-Bishop Kelley, Reid Stockman-Coweta, Tony Connor-Collinsville, Drew Lowe-Broken Arrow, Kohl Franklin-Broken Arrow, Kellen Mayberry-Holland Hall, Connor BeichlerOwasso. Editor’s Choice
P – C.D. White – Owasso – Last year as a junior White went 4-0 with an ERA of 1.52 and 25 strikeouts. Signed with Cowley County CC.
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P – Kohl Franklin – Broken Arrow – In 41.2 innings pitched Franklin carried an ERA of 1.80. The senior his signed with the University of Oklahoma.
P – Tanner Lawrence – A versatile pitcher, Lawrence is a proven player on the mound and at the plate. Lawrence signed with Seminole State. C – Caleb Denny – Owasso – The lefthanded hitter crushed eight homeruns last year with 36 runs on 42 hits, while carrying a .396 batting average.
C – Bennett Boone – Cascia Hall – The senior is a monster at the plate hitting .420 with 27 RBIs a year ago.
1B – Joshua Garrett – Regent Prep – Garrett will play 1B and pitch for Regent. Last season he hit .444 with 34 RBIs and recorded 37 strikeouts in 38.2 innings pitched. 2B – Jake McMurray – Bishop Kelley – A solid defensive player up the middle, McMurray hit .407 with 46 hits, 18 RBIs and stole eight bases last year. 3B – Cale Savage – Charles Page – Savage carried a .346 batting average as a sophomore with four doubles, one homerun and 14 RBIs. He will also pitch for the Sandites.
SS – Mack Chambers – Broken Arrow – The switchhitting shortstop knocked five homeruns with 32 RBI’s in 2017, while carrying a .339 batting average. RF – Drew Lowe – Broken Arrow – Lowe averaged .319 at the plate and can cover a lot of ground in the outfield. Lowe has signed with Oral Roberts University.
LF – Kellen Mayberry – Holland Hall – Mayberry collected 25 hits, 16 RBIs and five stolen bases as a
junior with an OBP of .437. In 73 at-bats Mayberry hit .342. CF – Ethan Williams – Sapulpa – Williams scored 23 runs last season thanks to his speed. The lefty also knocked in 19 runs.
UTL – Dalton Abney – Cascia Hall – Abney is a gritty player in the outfield and at the plate. Look for him to hit in the area of .400 this season. UTL – Brett Biggs – Broken Arrow – Maybe not a true utility player, but I could not leave off the righthanded thrower for the Tigers who carried an ERA of .875 through 32 innings. UTL – Bryce Osmond – Jenks – Osmond has the talent to play multiple positions, but may focus on his pitching this season. Wherever they use him, Osmond is solid and will contribute at the plate.
UTL – Tyler Burch – Catoosa – The second baseman hit 10 doubles last year and stole 25 bases. His .389 batting average reflected his ability to put the ball in play. UTL – Reid Stockman – Coweta – The junior will play short and pitch for the Tigers this season. Stockman is a defensive standout.
A MID-TERM LIKE THIS TAKES DRIVE.
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OW A S S O Q & A
Owasso Q&A with C.D. White & Charlie Reuss Photos By Brandy Moton C.D. White and Charlie Reuss are two seniors on the Owasso Rams baseball team. White pitches and plays 1B, while Reuss plays 2B. VYPE editor Brad Heath caught up with the pair as they prepare for the start of their final season as Owasso Rams. VYPE: What age were you when you started playing baseball and what was the name of your first team?
tradition. I get to play for the guys that started it all, in the best baseball town in the country... very humbling. Reuss: It isn't just a team, it's an atmosphere. We spend up to four hours a day together. We are more than just a team, we are a family. The structure and foundation of Owasso baseball bring out the best in all of us and results in a championship caliber team every year.
VYPE: Who does the best impression of Coach Turner? White: I feel like the funniest impression of Coach T would have to come from Spriggs. He does a pretty good job. Reuss: One of our most comedic players is Hayden Spriggs (P) and he can impersonate coach Turner to a T. VYPE: Baseball players are notoriously superstitious, what superstitions do you
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"We all get in the locker room, blast music to relax and then when it’s time to get locked in, everyone’s focus shifts to the game." - Zayne Wykoff
White: I have been playing baseball since I was old enough to walk. My first organized team was Moore Chapel, a team in Fayetteville, Arkansas when I was four. Reuss: When I was six I started playing baseball. My first team was called the Mariners. VYPE: What grade are you in now and what position do you play? White: I am a senior now, I play 1B and pitcher. I moonlight as a catcher and 2B during the summer. Reuss: Currently I'm a senior second baseman.
VYPE: What makes playing baseball for Owasso so special? White: I think the history of our program is what most people first think about when they hear “Owasso Baseball,” but what truly makes it special is seeing the future ball players in the stands and at the ballparks playing to continue a winning
VYPE: Let’s talk about the team; who always has the dirtiest uniform? Who can swing it and who is the quickest around the bases? White: This answer may get me in trouble but, Nate Wog always has the dirtiest, dude is quick so he is sliding and hustling every chance he gets. We have so many big sticks this year Cam Thompson, Sam Thompson, Nate Wog...it’s hard to pick one, but I would have to say Caleb Denny puts on a clinic (I taught him everything, lol). The undisputed speedster would definitely be Connor Beichler, that guy has some wheels… glad I hit behind him! Reuss: Some of the dirtiest uniforms always come from our RF Sam Thompson. He seems to always have some dirt or grass stains on him. Caleb Denny (C/3B) is a guarantee this year to hit some long balls and Connor Beichler (SS) can run around the bases faster than most can make it from home to second.
have? White: My superstitions are kind of boring. I use the same playlist to get ready for games, avoid the chalk line, stuff like that. Reuss: If I have a good game or my team does, I try to copy almost everything from that day to the next day. All details like eating the same meal, doing the exact same stretches in the same order, and even listening to the exact same songs.
VYPE: What should we expect from Owasso Baseball in 2018? White: I don’t think the expectation ever changes much; work hard and bring home a State Championship. We are blessed to play in a great community, we want to do it for them! Reuss: In 2018 you should expect from Owasso what you should all years. A bunch of talented players unified as a team with a hunger for a championship.
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From everyone at Tulsa Bone & Joint, we celebrate the tradition of moving Owasso Rams baseball forward with advanced orthopedic technology and the area’s only medical campus dedicated entirely to Orthopedics and Orthopedic Urgent Care. From our dedicated team to yours – here’s to a great season!
OWA S S O B A S K E T B A L L
Lady Rams Take 6A State Basketball Title The March Madness dramatics got off to an early start this year when the Lady Rams of Owasso High School defeated the No. 1 seeded Putnam City West in what may be the most memorable game in Lady Rams history. Ce’Nara Skanes of PC West had a chance to tie the game, but her buzzer beater shot did not go in and the Lady Rams stormed the court. The scoreboard read, 53-51 as the Owasso fans cheered and the PC West fans were shocked after they witnessed their team come back from a 41-33 deficit in the fourth quarter. But the Lady Rams were able to hang on and grab their second title in girl’s basketball. The last time the Lady Rams hoisted the trophy was 1990.
The Lady Rams finished the 201718 campaign with a record of 263.
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Terryn Milton scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Owasso, while teammate Mya Bhinhar scored 11 points. Milton
led all scorers in the Class 6A state tournament with 43 and was named Tournament MVP. Both Milton and Bhinhar were named to the 1st All-Tournament team with Leiloni Culley garnering 2nd All-Tournament team honors. Culley scored 28 total points during tournament play and teammate Tiya Douglas matched her with the same number. Milton and Bhinhar are both in the running for the title of Miss Basketball Oklahoma after being named to the VYPE Top 100 in preseason. The Lady Rams nearly won the title in 2016, but finished runnerup to a loaded Midwest City, now they can call themselves champions for life.
4 RYLIE BOONE
1 BAYLEE KOSCIOLEK
3 KIANNA CUNNINGHAM 5 KENNADY HARPER
10 EMILY WILKINS 11 KELSIE KORB 12 MACIE ELLIS
14 GRACIE WRATTEN
15 JORDAN HAMMOND 20 KARLEE GRAVES 21 TERRYN MILTON 22 AVERY VANCUREN
23 MYA BHINHAR
24 SIERRA WILLIAMS 25 TIYA DOUGLAS 30 NYLIA FINCH 35 LEILONI CULLEY
SO. SO. SO. SO. JR. JR.
SO. SR. JR.
SO. JR. JR.
HEAD COACH - MATT SWEENEY ASSISTANT COACHES - CHRISTIE WILSON, PAIGE WADLEY, KRISTON HUDSON
OW A S S O S P O T L I G H T
Lady Rams Looking to Finish What They Started in 2017 Head coach Sam Bowers led the Lady Rams to a 16-2 record last season with an appearance in the state tournament, only to be knocked out in the semifinals by Norman North. The Lady Rams are hungry to get back to the tournament and prove they belong in the elite status of Oklahoma high school soccer. Despite graduating a large number of key players, coach Bowers feels his team has the nucleus of a team that can make a run this spring.
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“I think this is the type of team that will
Cynthia Armas was voted Miss Hustle last season and returns to her forward position for her junior season. Last year Miss Hustle scored eight goals with eight assists. Senior Kaylee Collins was the Junior Player of the Year in 2017 and will state at Center Mid for coach Bowers. Collins is a team captain and was named Alldistrict last season. She is headed to the University of Central Oklahoma
Other players to look for this season include Shelby Gibbs (Sr.) at Center Mid, Grace Reed (Jr.) at fullback, Faith Lewis (Jr.) at Defensive Center and Cierra Gann (Fr.) at a Midfielder spot.
get better and by the end of the year we will cause trouble for a lot of people. They have bought into the team concept and really care for each other,” said coach Bowers.
“We had a heavy graduation on our state semifinal team last year, but I really like the group of kids that we have returning and a few we have added. I don’t think we have any superstars but I have a bunch of good kids who will put in an honest days work on game nights,” said Bowers.
next fall. The Freshman Player of the Year in 2017, Gracie Pate, returns as one of the young forwards to watch this season. Last year Pate scored four goals and had two assists. Senior Morgan Krispense is one of the backbones to this team at forward, while sophomore Sydney Sherman will start in the net. She was two varsity shutouts to her credit and 10 in JV games. Defensive Player of the Year in 2017, Kassidy Collins, returns and is only a sophomore, proving she is one of the top defenders in Class 6A.
OWA S S O A R E A AT H L E T E
Owasso Area Athlete Of The Month: Faith Belmear - Owasso By Kelsey Baucom Owasso senior Faith Belmear is a phenomenal golfer. She started playing golf at the age of three, giving her 15 years of experience. Her father has been an important part of her life and athletic career. “My dad has been my biggest influence. He introduced me to the sport at a very young age,” she said. “I have grown up with him by my side. From just playing, having fun at our home course, to caddying for me in tournaments. He's also taught me a lot about being part of a team and being the best teammate/leader that I can be.”
“I learn something new every time I play with someone,” said Belmear. “I learn from my mistakes and learn from their mistakes. I love the pressure. The pressure is what builds my mental and physical game
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Belmear also credits different golf teachers that she’s had and fellow golfers she plays with in tournaments with teaching her new things and helping her further understand the game. The constant cycle of learning and improving is one thing she loves about golf.
A DRAYER PHYSICAL THERAPY INSTITUTE FACILITY
stronger. It's one of the main reasons why I love golf.”
All of her hard work seems to be paying off. Belmear is the No. 1 bag for Owasso High, she finished 3rd individually last year at the state tournament, and is a twotime team state champ. Her coach has nothing but praise for her.
“I believe she is the best female golfer in the state,” said Ron Ramos, Owasso girls golf coach. “I love her competitiveness and want to win, from the first tee off to the last putt, she is in to win it. Her work ethic is outstanding along with her team leadership. It’s been an honor to be her coach the last four years.”
Belmear’s competitiveness and drive have led her to be one of the best players in her sport and a leader on
her team. She accomplishes this by always reaching for new heights.
“Being a good leader on my team is setting goals every single day and doing our best to reach those goals at the end of practice,” she said. “My best advice would be to do what others aren't doing in order to accomplish and exceed your goals.” When Belmear graduates in May, she will go on to play Division I golf and further her education at Missouri State University in Springfield. She is excited for the great opportunities that lie ahead.
Bring your team over for dinner before the game. Come Hungry, Leave Happy! VYPE OKLAHOMA
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TULSA SPOTLIGHT ATHLETE
Four TPS Players You Need To Know Tulsa Public School athletics may be known for a lot of things, but soccer may be the next big thing for TPS student-athletes. Players and coaches are in the Tulsa area are committed to improving and winning. VYPE caught up with four players you need to know entering the 2018 season.
Evan Loegering Booker T. Washington Hornets Evan is a senior and plays center back for head coach Kenneth Gonzales. Loegering is in his second season as captain and understands what it means to be a leader. “A good leader is someone who is genuine and listens to what other people have to say. They should also be selfless,” said Loegering. VYPE: What do you love most about playing soccer?
Loegering: I love the feeling of not having to worry about anything else while I am playing, and I love the adversity and the challenge to get better. VYPE: What should we expect from Booker T. Washington this season?
Loegering: We are going to be the best we've been in years. We have a real shot at bringing home a state championship! VYPE: What are your plans after you graduate?
Loegering: I am planning on going to college and play D1 soccer.
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VYPE: Who is your favorite player and who will win the World Cup?
Loegering: David Beckham (old fav), Antoine Griezmann (new fav) and France will win.
Manuel Camarena Webster Warriors The junior scored 15 goals and recorded 10 assists last season under head coach Derek Phillips. Coach Phillips describes Camarena as a leader in the classroom and an outstanding player on the field. He carries a 3.94 GPA. Camarena is the type of player that shows up on time and ready to work.
“Soccer is my passion I like everything about soccer. Soccer has always been a big part of my life,” said Camarena. “A leader makes everyone around you better & can communicate with everyone.” VYPE: What’s in store for Webster this season? Camarena: My team this season will be really good we have all been playing together since
freshman year & we play like a family.
VYPE: What are your plans after you graduate?
Camarena: I want to continue my soccer career after high school and achieve big things while playing soccer.
VYPE: Who is your favorite player and who will win the World Cup?
Camarena: Cristiano Ronaldo is my favorite player and I think Spain will win the World Cup.
Carlos Guzman Nathan Hale Rangers Sophomore Carlos Guzman is the starting center midfielder for head coach Mat Levenson. As a freshman Guzman scored three goals with four assists last season. Coach Levenson said Guzman has a 4.0 GPA and he does what he needs to do, day in and day out. “A good leader to me is a person who understands the group they are leading. You got to have confidence in what you’re doing. Good leaders don’t show all things they got to do for the team they just do them,” said Guzman. VYPE: What do you love most about playing soccer?
Guzman: The feeling you get when you win, the vibe your team gets after a tough win. Just competing against other good players makes me love the game.” VYPE: What’s in store for Hale this season?
Guzman: I see our team being a pretty good attacking team. We just need to practice more on our defensive side. But once upon season I think we will be in the best shape our team can be. VYPE: What are your plans after you graduate?
Guzman: I always wanted to be a veterinarian for simple reasons, to help animals that are struggling. No matter what type of animals it can be from elephants to snakes I want to do it all. VYPE: Who is your favorite player and who will win the World Cup?
Guzman: Mesut Ozil is my all-time favorite player just by the way people judge him. They
say he is lazy and doesn’t help his team, but to me he does the work people don’t see. I honestly think that France will win this world cup, I mean do you see how many star players they have?
Darianna Hubbard Rogers Lady Ropers As a senior, Hubbard is taking on a leadership role under head coach David Perryman as the Lady Ropers look to field a team capable of competing with anyone. Hubbard will start at center defense where she can help direct traffic and play that aggressive style she loves. “What I love most about the game is the challenge and the satisfaction of working hard after a game or practice. I also like being aggressive,” said Hubbard. VYPE: What does it mean to you to be a good leader?
Hubbard: Being a good leader consists of identifying a path to solving the problems at hand and successfully guiding others around me to accomplish their goals. VYPE: What can we expect from the Lady Ropers this season?
Hubbard: My team will be outstanding this year. We have overcome a lot the past two years and it has been astonishing to watch us get better and achieve our goals as a team.
VYPE: What are your plans after you graduate this May? Hubbard: I am going to attend Oregon State University to study ecological engineering. VYPE: Who is your favorite player and who will win the World Cup?
Hubbard: Megan Rapinoe is my favorite player and I wish I could say U.S.A.
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JENKS PLAYER SPOTLIGHT
Jenks Trojans Player Spotlight: Taylor Pugh By Jordan Edwards Senior forward for the Jenks Lady Trojans Soccer team, Taylor Pugh, is not only intense on the field but off the field as well. In her junior season alone, Pugh scored 11 goals and had three assists. She has played club soccer since she was five years old for TSCH in the ECNL program and decided to just focus on school soccer and her senior year this season, making her junior year her last year of club soccer. Pugh has been a member of the Jenks Lady Trojans Varsity Soccer team for the past three years.
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There are a lot of things that Pugh enjoys about soccer, but it is her team that she enjoys the most.
“I love playing together as a team, working together on and off the field to achieve our team goals,” Pugh said. “Of course, I love to score goals too!” Pugh has grown up playing soccer and has impacted who she is as not only and athlete but a person.
“Soccer has been a big part of my life for many years,” Pugh said. “It has taught me many important things that I will use in my future: discipline, commitment, trust. Through Soccer I have also made many lifelong friendships.” Throughout her years of soccer, Pugh said that her dad has been her biggest motivator.
“He is always pushing me to work hard to reach all my goals on and off the field,” Pugh said.
Outside of soccer, Pugh is involved in multiple clubs at Jenks and believes it is important to be involved in many different activities. Pugh is currently serving as the Jenks High School FCA president and is also a member in Student Council, DECA, FCCLA and Drug Free Youth. Outside of school, Pugh loves to hang out with her friends, go shopping and watch movies.
She plans on attending Oklahoma State University in Stillwater in the fall of 2018 and plans on majoring in something within the healthcare field.
Keep an eye out for Taylor as she helps lead the Jenks Lady Trojans to seek their 10th OSSAA Soccer State Championship this season.
VCS PLAYER SPOTLIGHT
Victory Christian Spotlight: Elese Parker What do you love most about being a student at VCS?
Parker: A person doesn't just go through Victory, Victory goes through you. The environment at Victory is what I love the most. Not only is the school’s motto focused around God but the faculty is very much devoted in making sure that I, as a student, am able to bring my Christian principles outside of the walls of Victory. Coach Calhoon is an advocate when it comes to focusing on God, especially when basketball begins to take a toll. He always reminds us that we don't play basketball to make a name for ourselves but ultimately to bring God the glory. This helps me to remember that everything that I have done and will do, I do for the glory of God. Do you belong to any clubs or groups at school?
Parker: Of course, I am a member of the VCS Girls Varsity Basketball Team. I am member of student council where I serve as treasurer. I have been a part of the National Honor Society for 5 years. I am also a member of the National Society of High School Scholars. What grade are you currently in and what are your plans after you graduate? Parker: I am excited to say that I am a VCS senior who will be graduating at the age 16.
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Once I graduate, I plan on attending Oral Roberts University, where I will study sports medicine. I am interested in sports medicine because I know the importance of having positive individuals on your team. I want to encourage injured players not to give up on their dreams. I want to push them to achieve more than they could have ever imagined because I know that with God all things are possible. How important do you believe it is for people to be involved in their community?
Elese Parker (center) volunteers with fellow VCS students Halley Huffman (left) and Kaitlyn Muratet (right) at Victory Christian Church monthly Walk It Out missions day where the motto is LOVE our city, SERVE our city.
Parker: It is extremely important to be involved in the community. Before a person is able to step up and become a leader, they must first know what it is like to be a servant. Being a servant teaches life qualities such as being humble, patient, and just loving on people no matter the circumstance. Personally, I love to serve other people……even if it means helping serve at the Dream Center or just putting a smile on someone's face. What are some of the community programs or activities have you been involved with? Parker: I have served at my church's Harvest Carnival and the Christmas Angel Tree Program. I have been a part of missions trips
Y O U R
and I plan on serving on one during this year’s Spring Break. I serve as a volunteer for my grandmother's hometown park committee, which sponsors events to bring the community together. What legacy do you want to leave at VCS?
Parker: Over the course of my basketball career, I have had to overcome different injuries and challenges that have tried to stop me from playing basketball. This is just like life. Sometimes life tries to stop you from achieving your dreams but you must not cave in, give up, or quit. I want to leave a legacy of learning to trust in God when it seems like there is no hope. As for as my legacy, I leave this words: “Vedi, Veni, Vici”. I came, I saw. I conquered!
C H I L D ’S
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Visit vcstulsa.org/educonsult or call 918.491.7720
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Athlete theYear of
S C H O L A R S H I P
MARCH 2018 Mazzio’s Corporation and VYPE have teamed up to grant a $2,000 Scholarship for one boy and one girl to be presented in the June issue of VYPE. Here is how it will work: • Each month, VYPE will take nominations for an Athlete of the Month and a boy and girl will be elected the Mazzio’s Athlete of the Month. This will be a chance for boys and girls of all sports to be recognized for their performances. • Nominees can be mailed to scholarship. Oklahoma@VYPE.com. Give the nominee’s name, school, sport and reasons you believe the athlete should be awarded the scholarship. • The nominees will need to be seniors this season but keep in mind that their accomplishments as juniors will be taken into consideration as well. • Each monthly recipient will be a candidate for the scholarship that will be awarded in June. • All sports will be eligible to have a nomination. • The male and female athletes who are chosen each month will have a pictured bio, highlighting their accomplishments, placed on this page.
Thaddeus Long - McLain McLain High School wrestling Thaddeus Long is one of the top wrestlers in the state at 126-pounds. Long had a record of 34-1 heading into the state tournament. McLain High School has not crowned a state champion in wrestling since 1977 and Long is looking to end that drought. “It a blessing to have the chance to make history,” said Long. “It would mean a lot to me to do something that hasn't been done in 40 years.” A three-sport athlete at McLain, Long also plays on the soccer team and runs track. This year Long finished his wrestling season as the state runner-up at 126-pounds with a record of, 36-2. Long has helped the McLain wrestling program become one of the fastest growing programs in Eastern Oklahoma. His future plans include going to college for wrestling and continuing his education.
Amanda Asanuma - Kellyville Varsity basketball player Amanda Asanuma has enjoyed a great career at Kellyville High School. The senior finished her career as a four-year starter winning a district title and a co-conference championship this year. Asanuma averaged 8.0 points, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals per contest and served as one of the team captains. Head coach Jim Upshaw said of Asanuma, “Amanda was a terrific four-year player for Kellyville. Every year since her freshman year the team has won more game than the year before. They were co-conference champs, which hasn’t happened here in a long time. Amanda was a big contributor to that success, she’s an outstanding leader and a great representative of Kellyville High School.” Asanuma also run track for Kellyville and is planning on attending college after she graduates and possibly playing basketball at the next level.
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Union Redskin Spotlight: Ashley and Emily Barber A Family Affair for Union Tennis Ashley and Emily Barber are not only twins, but they are teammates on the varsity tennis team at Union High School. Now in their sophomore season, the Barber twins are ready to make an impact for the varsity team. Last year as a freshman, Ashley was named Freshman of the Year at the Union 9th Grade Center, while playing on the No. 1 doubles team that finished fourth at state.
“Ashley and Emily have a very bright future. Both are outstanding young ladies that will be leading the Redskin tennis program in the future,” said coach Tyler Ashley. “We both started when we were in Kindergarten,” said Ashley. “We both knew this was the sport for us when we both realized we could excel at and have fun while playing this sport,” said Emily.
In the sixth grade both girls decided this was the sport they wanted to focus on.
Both played soccer and Emily tried softball while Ashley did gymnastics, cross country and track. But ultimately it was tennis that brought them together.
Ashley and Emily are both involved with National Junior Honor Society and Ashley is in College & Career Crew. Both girls would like to go to college and hope tennis is part of that experience. Emily would like to pursue something in the medical field and Ashley is still undecided.
Being teammates is something special for the Barber twins and forming relationships with other teammates is something they both love.
“We love the bonds we have formed with teammates and coaches, especially during team bonding exercises,” said Ashley. “We also really enjoy the opportunities to volunteer in our community with the Union tennis team,”
As twins Ashley and Emily do get a lot of questions from teammates, classmates and opponents. But the biggest question is always, who was born first? That honor belongs to Emily.
“The most common question we're asked is "Who's older?" We're actually only five minutes apart and Emily is the older sister despite being shorter,” said Ashley.
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THE “DRIVEN” ATHLETE OF THE MONTH Nicole Merrill – Union Tennis
Union High School tennis standout Nicole Merrill is a three-time state placer and one of the top doubles players in the state. She got her start in tennis thanks to a summer camp trip, but it wasn’t the only sport she played.
“I believe the first time I picked up a racquet was when I was six years old. I participated in a summer tennis camp at Cedar Ridge with my cousins. I loved it! I played competitive soccer all through grade school, but in eighth grade I realized I wanted to turn in my cleats for court shoes,” said Merrill Being a double player has its challenges. Changing partners is always a big one to overcome, but Merrill and her partners have worked hard and it’s paid off.
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“I’ve been on the state podium with three different partners. Each year has been a different experience. For my first two years of high school, I played with two seniors, Eliza Michaud and Asha Chandrasekar. Last year, roles reversed, and I was partnered up with a freshman, Ashley Barber. She is my partner again this year,” said
Merrill also plays on the varsity volleyball team at Union and is involved in several activities outside the classroom. “I played volleyball as well as tennis since eighth grade. Besides sports, leadership has also been a big part of my life since ninth grade, serving as Junior Class Publicist and helping put on pep rallies, dances and other Union High School events. I am also a member of Union’s Athletic Leadership Council, FSA, and National Honor Society,” said Merrill. Life as a student-athlete at Union is a good one and something Merrill doesn’t take for granted. “The school district has given us a beautiful tennis facility. I also love being part of a team and meeting other studentathletes from around the state. I enjoy attending games and cheering on the amazing athletes in my school,” said Merrill. “I would love to have my fourth regional championship. However, winning state would be the best!” After graduation Merrill is planning on going to the University of Oklahoma and pursuing a degree in the medical field.
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HOLLAND HALL DUTCH
Hart Leading Dutch With Hopes of State Tournament Photos By Sara Carter Coach Richard Hard fields a talented squad this season with nine players returning from last year’s team that finished with a record of 14-4 and competed for a state title in Class 4A, only to be defeated by Fort Gibson, 1-2. For the Dutch players, the memory of that run is like drinking a Red Bull while skydiving in a thunder storm. This team is ready to get their season in full swing. A strong senior class will lead the way.
But it’s not just the upperclassmen that are making a big difference this season for the Dutch. A young crop of talented freshmen are making names for themselves. “There is also a trio of starting freshman; Danny Daniel (Midfielder), Paul Saidi (Attacker) and Joseph Studebaker (central defender/midfielder). Over the course of the season, the freshman will adjust to the speed of play at the varsity level and make significant contributions,” said Hart.
The Dutch also feature a bit of an international flavor with a “Brit” and a player and a pair of brothers from Tanzania. “Senior Matthew Pearson is British and has been in the US of A since the age of 8, though his teammates still call him "Brit.” Brothers Saleh and Paul Saidi, and Danny Daniel are in their third years at Holland Hall, having come to Tulsa in the Winter of 2015/16 from Tanzania. All are gifted athletes who regularly impress me with their love of the game, whether playing 5 vs. 2 keep-away warm up or battling in a big district match,” said Hart.
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“Co-Captains Nathan Washecheck (Center Back), Matthew Pearson (attacking Central Midfielder) will lead this team. Pearson scored five goals with six assists in an injuryshortened junior year,” said Hart. “Saleh Saidi (Attacker) had 14 goals with two assists despite missing seven games last season. Brendan Kiely (holding Central Midfielder) scored seven goals and three assists, while
Keeper Reed Herndon had six shutouts in the 2017 campaign. Also look for Jake Simmons (Right Back).”
HOLLAND HALL DUTCH ATHLETICS WWW.HOLLANDHALL.ORG/ATHLETICS
Now that the Dutch are established as a contender in the OSSAA, Hart feels the switch was a positive one, despite not having that weather advantage when teams from Texas travel to Oklahoma.
Paul Saidi “Because we are not regularly traveling to Texas for contests, the studentathletes miss fewer school days and it is easier for members of the Holland Hall community to support the team around town. Generally, the weather conditions are better in the OSSAA (the SPC season runs November February), but, as I am from Minnesota, I liked the advantage provided by a little wintery mix when the Dallas boys would show up for a match in Tulsa in January,” said Hart. What can you expect from the Dutch this season? Hart expects more of the same.
“I expect the Holland Hall boys to make every effort to play the game the right way while displaying significant effort and sportsmanship. We are hoping to stay healthy and make the 4A tournament, as we did last year. Once in the tournament, all kinds of exciting things can happen.”
CONTINUED - JORDAN LEWIS I was upset because that wasn’t my life plans but I’m glad she made me go. I was given the choice that I could go for one semester and if I didn’t like it could come back home. When I went to classes the only thing on my mind was getting it over with and to be home again. I was overwhelmed cause I missed my family and didn’t want to be there. So, I decided to go to the one place that I found peace at and that was the basketball gym. As I sat there shooting and hearing the ball go through the hoop I felt like me again. Shortly, people started to come in and we would begin to play 5-on-5. Next thing I knew it was four hours later. That would be my routine throughout the semester until it was time to go home for break. I realized that I found my home away from home and that was with my new friends at the basketball gym. That’s how my freshman year and sophomore of college went. As with most college students, money was an issue. I did get discouraged when all my friends would go out and eat on the weekends, while I stayed in the residence halls and ate sandwiches because that’s all I could afford. I never realized how blessed I was until the two organizations I competed in while in high school allowed me to come back and work for them to earn some money to take care of myself. They were a tremendous help through my college career and I would help them with their basketball tournaments, picking up trash, or even doing photography work. My junior year of college was by far the hardest. The first half was fine, but the second semester was the worst. In January 2015, my grandfather’s health wasn’t good and he was coming to the end of his life. I was very stressed and depressed once again. To help cope, instead of talking to people that cared about me, I did the complete opposite. I began to isolate myself from my family and friends. I would still interact as happy person and no one knew what was bothering me until it was too late. February came around and I went to a video game tournament in Tulsa. I took a small keepsake called a poro with me around to calm me down cause all I could think about was my grandfather. We won the first round and advanced to the second round and eventually to the semifinals against the defending champions. We won the series 3-2 and would face a team called the Red Jaguars for the championships. During breaks, I would constantly be on my phone talking to my family about my grandfather who was in the hospital and not doing very well. During the finals, I completely zoned out. I wasn’t playing the best I that I could, and everyone could tell from my teammates something was wrong. We lost 0-2 in a very bad fashion. I didn’t care about it and only wanted to see my grandfather. My teammates saw what was wrong and was completely understanding and stood with me until it was time for me to go to inside the hospital. Little things like that made me realize that you are truly never alone and there is
always someone with you. God always has a plan. I was able to see my grandfather that night before returning to ECU. The next day I received the phone call that he passed, and I disappeared in my room for the next couple weeks. Once again, I went back to my work and acted like nothing happened. But once I returned to my room, I was destroyed both mentally and physically. I made it through with the help of my friends who were from the Bahamas and became my small family. My senior year went by fast as I healed mentally. Everything was a routine, class, gym, eat and sleep. During the last two semesters, I received my membership card for my fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha and was inducted in Alpha Chi honors society. When graduation came I received Chickasaw Nation honors for having a 3.5 GPA and a mathematics honors cords as well. The department I worked for, Housing and Residence Life, gave me black and orange cords. It seemed almost unreal for me that after all the trials I had finished college, I recevied a bachelors of science degree or applied mathematics. I was in shock. Never would I have been able to accomplish this without the help of my friends, family, the organizations that stood by me when I had no one else to turn too, but most importantly, God himself. He had a plan and I was humbled to carry it out and not give up. Now after college all I can think about is how everything was turned against me, but I still never gave up. The experience has made me a better person and understand no matter how tough life gets, there is always a way and God has a plan for you. You will get frustrated with life but what you do in that moment and how you respond will mold you for the life ahead. As I watch young individuals grow up and see them struggling, I feel like it’s my turn to tell them my story to let them know what I have been through and they will get through it because that’s what makes them unique. Overcoming their own struggles creates their own story and one day they will do the same and help another person in need. To end this, I would like to thank these people for making an impact on my life and not giving up on me for now I can say, “I have made it.” Thank you, Lucas Taylor, JR Taylor, 4LoveofTheGame organization, Dog Soldiers 4 Jesus Christ youth ministry, The Moudy family, my late grandparents, brothers and lastly to the creator himself for not giving up on me. I am truly humbled. My advice to the youth would be to embrace your talents and opportunities, and never take for granted what you have. Always chase your dreams, no matter how big they seem, and don’t let anyone tell you that you aren’t capable of achieving them. Psalm 61: 2-3 – “From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.”
VYPE Tulsa March 2018 Issue