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Rogers plays in OCABCA All-Star game

 

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

OKLAHOMA CITY — Piedmont’s J.J. Rogers had one goal in Thursday’s annual Oklahoma City Area Baseball Coaches Association All-State game at Putnam City High School.

Have fun.

So while he would’ve liked his North team to win — they lost to the South, 4-2 — the experience as a whole was a success.

“Being around all the top guys from around the city area was pretty cool,” he said. “We didn’t win, but it was still fun.”

A reserve infielder, Rogers went 0-for-2 at the plate with a ground out and a strikeout. He didn’t get the opportunity to pitch, but played errorless ball at shortstop and nearly completed a 1-6 double play in the sixth.

“The dude was pretty fast, but it was definitely a close play at first,” Rogers said of nearly doubling up Midwest City’s Bryan Charlton.

The South team took an early 1-0 lead on a throwing from North catcher Colin Simpson that scored Blake Brewster from third.

But the North team rallied with a RBI-double from Simpson, an Oklahoma State commit, to tie the game in the fourth, then took the lead when Jefferson Harris of Putnam City North scored on a passed ball in the fifth.

Westmoore’s Nolan Park’s two-run double to left field off Edmond Memorial pitcher Konnor Kinnear in the top of the seventh proved to be the difference for the South team, though.

OSU signee and Carl Albert product Corey Zangari added an insurance run an inning later on an RBI-single to left.

“He’s good enough to go to the draft, so just being around him was pretty cool,” Rogers said of competing against Zangari. “I pitched against him last year, but I didn’t get to last year. That would’ve been kind of cool.”

Brewster, who’s committed to the University of Oklahoma, worked a scoreless ninth to earn the save for the South team.

Rogers isn’t sure yet if he’ll take part in another OCABCA event May 30 at Heritage Hall against a group of Tulsa area All-Stars.

Frisby becomes first Okarche player to sign at NCAA level

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

OKARCHE — Hunter Frisby proudly sported his Northwestern Oklahoma State colors Tuesday night at Okarche’s All-Sports Banquet inside the high school gym where he became a star.

Frisby wore a dark black suit complete with a bright red tie and his customary bright white smile to the gathering of more than 100. Although Frisby had already officially signed his letter of intent with the Rangers weeks earlier, the night gave friends, family and coaches of Frisby a chance to celebrate the accomplishment with him, which carried with it a bit of history.

Blake Colston/Gazette Hunter Frisby poses with friends, family and coaches Tuesday night in Okarche.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Hunter Frisby poses with friends, family and coaches Tuesday night in Okarche.

When he inked with NWOSU, which plays at the NCAA Division-II level, he became the first Okarche’s boys basketball player to sign with an NCAA school in program history.

“To look back at my freshman year I would have never thought I’d get the chance to go play college ball somewhere,” he said. “And then to be the first male athlete from the basketball program to play in the NCAA, I feel honored to be able to get to do that.” Read more →

Piedmont hosting youth soccer camps in June

Piedmont High School boys head soccer coach Zac Selph and girls head coach Brad Brucker will host a youth soccer camp in Piedmont this summer.

The camp held at Wildcat Field Monday, June 8, and Wednesday, June 10, is for kids ages kindergarten to 12th grade and features an early session ( 8 a.m. to 10) for children in kindergarten through sixth grade, and another for (10 a.m. – noon) for seventh through 12th graders.

All players will receive instruction from current and former Piedmont players as well as the coaching staff.

The camp costs $75 and includes a soccer ball. For more information email zac.selph@piedmontschools.org

Williams not satisfied with 2015 results

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Piedmont’s 2015 baseball season nearly turned out exactly how its senior class and its head coach had hoped it would when the season started – with a state tournament appearance.

But the Wildcats’ offense went flat in the regional playoffs at Chickasha, dooming that dream. PHS scored seven runs in three games, including a 3-2 loss to Chickasha in a game, that had Piedmont won, would’ve given the Wildcats control of the regional.

2015 was the first time in Williams’ five-year tenure at Piedmont that the Wildcats didn’t win at least 20 games and advance to a regional final.

Blake Colston/Gazette Trevin Michael will likely anchor Piedmont's pitching rotation in 2016.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Trevin Michael will likely anchor Piedmont’s pitching rotation in 2016.

“Our goal is to be in the state tournament every year,” Williams said. “I feel like if we don’t get there that we haven’t done our job.”

The offensive struggles during the postseason were emblematic of the entire season. Piedmont pitched well and got runners on base, but couldn’t get them home often enough when it mattered most during a 19-16 campaign.

Williams hopes experience will help what was a relatively young lineup last season, come through with run-scoring hits next season.

“I feel pretty comfortable with the guys we’re bringing back,” he said. “I think we will be better next year. When you’re young you get anxious at the plate and sometimes want to prove things to older players, with a year under their belt I think they’ll have more patience in those types of situations.” Read more →

Smola excited for opportunity with Gazette

Daniel Smola
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Find something you’re passionate about and you won’t work a day in your life. Never forget where you came from.

These are two things I have learned that I take to heart. My name is Daniel Smola. I moved to Piedmont in 1994 and went to school here from kindergarten through high school. I graduated in 2012 and watched this small town grow to what it is today.

I currently attend Oklahoma State University, where I am a junior Sport Media major. I have always had a passion for sports.

Daniel Smola

Daniel Smola

I ran track and cross country in high school and played on Piedmont High School’s inaugural soccer team. My experience with high school sports has given me memories that I will have for the rest of my life.

What exactly is it about sports that make them so popular? There are numerous reasons why the sports industry is worth billions of dollars.

The feats of athleticism that athletes can accomplish are incredible to watch. Athletes that can dunk a basketball, make a one-handed catch or throw a 100 mph fastball are uncommon in our society and it is fun to watch these athletes at the peak of their athleticism.

The competitive side of sports is also appealing. At least in my opinion, few things are more fun to watch than the final minutes of a competitive game. Athletes give everything they have during this time to win the game and some athlete’s careers are defined by what happens in “crunch time.”

The ability for several individual athletes to unite as a single team is one of my favorite experiences in sports. The development of team chemistry makes it possible for team members to value the well-being of the team more than their own.

Team chemistry in sports is similar to that in other careers. Team-first attitudes are also important to be successful in non-athletic careers. Sports can help us develop these attitudes and other good habits.

My absolute favorite part of sports is being part of a team. Nothing beats experiencing the highs and lows of competition with a team. From the grueling offseason to each hard-earned victory, teammates experience it all together. And teammates can form lifelong bonds from these experiences.

I love sports for all of these reasons, which brings me here to the Piedmont-Surrey Gazette. A career that involves writing about sports is a dream come true. Now that I have this opportunity, I will bring readers sports coverage to the best of my abilities.

It feels good to be back home.

Lee overcomes knee injuries, signs with UCO

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

OKARCHE — Madison Lee didn’t want to let her knee make the decision for her.

So when it came time to decide whether or not she wanted to play college basketball, Lee went with her heart instead.  Lee signed with the University of Central Oklahoma earlier this month after receiving an offer after a tryout at the school in March, ending a tumultuous year and a half on a high note.

“Once I started getting back into it my knee was feeling really strong,” she said last Tuesday night at Okarche’s All-Sports banquet. “Basketball is something that’s really fun for me, so I didn’t want to stop playing.”

Lee tore the ACL in her right knee twice in the span of less than a year during her junior season, but rebounded to finish her illustrious Okarche career in style by leading the Lady Warriors to their fourth consecutive state championship game appearance as a senior. She earned All-Tournament team honors in the Class A state tournament and was a four-time All-Conference selection.

Blake Colston/Gazette Madison Lee, center, celebrates signing with UCO with, from front left, sister Hannah, mom Teresa, dad Bruce and from back row left, coaches Haley Mitchel and Cherie Myers.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Madison Lee, center, celebrates signing with UCO with, from front left, sister Hannah, mom Teresa, dad Bruce and from back row left, coaches Haley Mitchel and Cherie Myers.

“I think it shows that through her hard work that she’s accomplished a lot,” Okarche head coach Cherie Myers said. “It’s a feel good sports story all the way around and it’s great as a coach to see your players doing well and getting to the next level.”

The 5-8 guard averaged 14.7 points a game as a senior while shooting 40.4 percent from 3-point range and finished with 1,459 career points despite missing most of her junior year to injury. She said picking UCO was mostly about feeling comfortable.

“I liked all the girls and coach (Guy) Hardaker is really nice,” she said. “I just liked being around all of them.”

Lee’s versatility on the offensive end of the floor along with her winning pedigree stood out to Lady Bronchos’ head coach Guy Hardaker, who had followed Lee’s career since her freshman season.

“Madison knows how to win and can shoot it quick,” Hardaker told bronchosports.com. “She also has the ability to drive and is a very intelligent player.”

On Tuesday, Lee thanked a long list of people who she said helped her through the process of recovering from two serious knee injuries.

“My parents pushed me, kept me going and never let me get down on myself,” she said. “They were always at the gym with me, and my coaches and friends never gave up on me and made sure I kept going.”

Myers was there all along. The veteran head coach with more than 800 career victories watched Lee go from a highly-touted prospect as a freshman and sophomore to off the radar after her injuries as a junior.

Then she watched as Lee battled back to 100 percent health, slowly but steadily regaining her vintage form.

“It’s such a great feeling that she’s accomplished this,” Myers said. “To get back into the swing of things just to play basketball, much less to have the chance to play in college is impressive. It’s the epitome of what you want for a player.”

Myers expects Lee to play a guard-forward combo at Central Oklahoma and believes she’ll have success.

“There’s no way I’ll ever bet against Madison Lee,” Myers said.

Piedmont’s Rogers to take part in OCABCA All-Star Game

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Piedmont’s J.J. Rogers still has at least two high school baseball games left to play. JJ Rogers

The right-handed pitcher who has signed with Seminole State College, will take part in Thursday’s Oklahoma City Area Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game set for 6 p.m. at Dolese Park.

Rogers, who was named to the North team as a reserve, will compete for the North against the South All-Stars in Thursday’s game.  Rogers and the North squad will also play a group of Tulsa All-Stars May 30 at Heritage Hall.

As a senior, Rogers went 5-5 with a 2.52 ERA, 61 strikeouts and two saves in 58 1/3 innings pitched. He batted .342 with 16 RBIs and scored 20 runs.

Full rosters for the North and South teams can be found Here.

Quarterback battle highlights spring football in Piedmont

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

A quarterback competition and a new offensive coordinator are the top storylines as spring football practice gets underway in Piedmont this week and next.

Entering their second season as a member of Class 5A, the Wildcats return some talent from a team that finished one game out of the postseason in 2014, but must replace three-year starter Lucas Richert at quarterback, among others.

AUDIO: Drew Gossen talks spring ball

“This is a new team. This is an opportunity – the first opportunity we get – to get our new team out on the field and see what they’re all about,” second-year head coach Drew Gossen said.

Blake Colston/Gazette Hunter Chism will be one of Piedmont's top returners next season.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Hunter Chism will be one of Piedmont’s top returners next season.

So far this spring, sophomores Noah Ellis and Easton Hensley, an offseason transfer from Kansas, have separated themselves from the pack at quarterback.

“We’ve got to wait and see, but I think we’ve got a great start there,” Gossen said. “They’re a couple of kids who’ve shown they’re willing to work for it and have had a good couple of days of practice so far.” Read more →

Taylor places at state meet in 110, 300-meter hurdles

Blake Colston & Daniel Smola contributed to this report
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

YUKON — Piedmont junior Ethan Taylor continued his steady climb towards a potential state championship in the 300-meter hurdles Saturday at the 5A state track meet at Yukon High School.

Taylor placed third in the 300-hurdles in a time of 40.24 — a Piedmont High School record — behind only second place Kyle Sander of Deer Creek (39.42) and state champion James McBrayer of Altus (39.10).

“I did my best. Third is good because it’s state,” he said. “This has been the goal all year, so it’s really a joy to accomplish it.”

Taylor was jumbled with the field for the first half of the race, but pulled ahead with the leaders around the final bend.

He had his eyes on next year’s state meet just moments after the race, noting that his top competition, McBrayer, graduates next season, and Deer Creek’s Sander moves to 6A with the Antlers next season.

 

 

“Next year I really have a shot to take it,” he said.

Taylor also found the podium in the 110-hurdles by taking sixth, despite picking up the event just this season.

“I’m really pumped about that,” he said. “I personally don’t think I’m the best 100-meter sprinter, but when you put the hurdles in there I like it better.”

Taylor set a new school record in the prelims for the 110-meter race with a 15.40 on Friday to qualify for the finals, then ran a 15.67 on Saturday.

“I’m very proud of him in the 110s because he’s never attempted them before this year,” head coach Corey Strahorn said. “Proud to say he’s the all-time school record holder in both the 110s and 300s.”

Senior Ryan Lang took seventh in the 3200-meter run in a time of 10:22.58 on Friday, one spot from the medal stand. It was the culmination of a solid cross country and track career that was set on pause during his junior season due to personal issues off the track, but was back in full swing this year.

Blake Colston/Gazette Tyler Wade competes in the 1600-meter run on Saturday in Yukon. Wade finished eighth.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Tyler Wade competes in the 1600-meter run on Saturday in Yukon. Wade finished eighth.

“Ryan has probably exceeded all of my expectations for him this season,” Strahorn said. “I know he wasn’t proud of his time, but I’m proud of him being here and finishing his career like he did.”

Wade sets personal record in 1600-meter run

Piedmont Senior Tyler Wade set a new personal record in the 5A Boys 1600-meter run at the state track meet in Yukon earlier this afternoon.

The competition was tough, but Wade said the race ran the way he wanted.

“It was a very fast field. It was unlike anything I’ve ever raced,” Wade said. “The start was really slow, which is kind of what I wanted. And I just started picking people off and I feel like I ran really good.”

Wade finished the race in 4:39, earning eighth place overall, and is thrilled with his overall performance.

“That’s about what I was trying to go for,” Wade said. “I was ranked out of the top 10 so to be in the top 10 feels really good.”

Wade also talked about his progress from the start of his high school career to the end.

“It was a huge transformation. My freshman year I was running in the 5:20’s and it wasn’t until my junior year that I got under 5:00 and I’m really proud of how I improved as a miler,” he said.

The race was the last of Wade’s high school career and he knew he wanted to make it count.

“It hit me before the race, I was stunned, I didn’t think about it before today,” Wade said.

Wade’s experience with the track team continued to improve as his performance did.

“It was great. I thought it was really hard at first, but then I’ve just grown to love it as I got better,” he said.

 

Piedmont’s No. 1 doubles on to second day; Carr gets last minute text to play No. 2 doubles

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

OKLAHOMA CITY — Piedmont’s No. 1 doubles team of Jordan Jenkins and Levi Coleman had a feeling they could make some noise at the 5A state tournament.

Even as an unseeded team, the Wildcats duo had confidence they were capable of winning matches. So when fifth-seeded Durant stood in there way during the first round, the Piedmont pair didn’t flinch.

Blake Colston/Gazette Jordan Jenkins sends a ball back over the net against Carl Albert.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Jordan Jenkins sends a ball back over the net against Carl Albert.

Their confidence paid off with a straight sets win over the Lions (6-4, 6-4) to advance into the winners bracket later in the day.

Up against a tough duo from Carl Albert, Piedmont fell behind 4-0 in the first set, rallied to tie the set at 4 apiece then lost 6-4. The Titans took the second set 6-1.

“We should’ve played better. When we won the four straight sets we were hitting the ball in and staying consistent. We lost that.” Jenkins said. “Unforced errors were huge. We need to be more consistent.” Read more →

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