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Turnovers doom Piedmont in 34-19 loss at Noble

Blake Colston

NOBLE —  A bevy of turnovers and big plays doomed a Piedmont team looking for its first win of the season Friday night at Noble. The Bears (2-1) scored 34 second-half points and capitalized on six Piedmont turnovers — four in as many possessions in the final quarter — to beat Piedmont (0-3) 34-19.

Trailing 21-13 into the fourth quarter, the Wildcats’ first four possessions ended with a fumble and three interceptions that Noble scored 13 points off. The Bears turned the third interception of the quarter into points immediately with a 30-yard interception return for a score by C.J. Jennings that put Noble in front 28-13 with 5:33 to play.

“Turnovers were the name of the game,” Piedmont head coach Drew Gossen said. “That was obviously the biggest thing.”

Quarterback Colby Bricker’s fifth interception of the night a possession later turned into six more points when Corben Evans plunged in from two yards out with 1:44 to play to ice the game.

“He’s in a tough spot,” Gossen said of Bricker, who finished the game 17 of 38 passing for 230 yards and two touchdowns. “He got hamstrung a little there late by the way the defense was playing. They played some coverages that were tough to throw into because of the situation. Just a bad deal.” Read more →

Piedmont man dies in traffic accident

Courtesy of Paul Purser’s facebook
Paul C. Purser, Jr., of Piedmont, died Wednesday near Okeene.

Staff Reports

According to reports, Piedmont resident Paul C. Purser, Jr., 59, died from a traffic accident Wednesday afternoon near Okeene, in Blaine County.

According to reports, at about 3:30 p.m., Purser was driving a pickup northbound on SH 51A when a tractor trailer going eastbound hit his pickup.

Even though Purser was wearing a seat belt, according to reports, he was killed at the scene of the accident. The driver of the tractor trailer was treated and released from an area hospital, according to reports.

The cause of the accident is under investigation. Once the investigation is complete, the Piedmont-Surrey Gazette will update this story.

Wildcats crush El Reno on stellar senior night

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont senior Bailey Banks winds up to spike a ball in the Wildcats’ three-set victory over El Reno.

Blake Colston

It went like all senior nights should.

Piedmont volleyball’s foursome of seniors never left the floor, they all played well and the Wildcats swept El Reno in three sets (25-10, 25-11, 25-15)  to improve to 13-12 on the season in the final home match for four seniors Thursday at Piedmont Intermediate Gymnasium.

“That’s the way senior night should go,” Piedmont head coach Brad Brucker said. “I’ve very seldom seen a senior night go that well. I couldn’t be happier for them.”

Anna Young, Bailey Banks, Kailey LaFollette and Kayden Carver each started and played the length of the Wildcats’ easy victory over a struggling Indians squad.

The emotion that so often can wreck a senior class’s final home game was there prior to the game, but once the match began, was nowhere to be found. Piedmont was all business.

“I was a little worried about that,” Brucker said of playing his seniors the entire match with the emotions of the night swirling. “I told them, ‘this is what we’re going to do, you guys deserve it. So please play well,’ and they did. They made it really easy on me tonight.”

Read more →

Richert set to return vs. Deer Creek

Blake Colston

Piedmont starting quarterback Lucas Richert expects to be back for the Wildcats’ district opener at Deer Creek Sept. 26, Richert told the Gazette Thursday afternoon.

Richert suffered a bone contusion and sprained ligaments to his left knee during a preseason scrimmage against Kingfisher in August and was expected to be out until October potentially. But strong rehab work has him set to play next week after recovering from his third knee injury in two seasons.

“I feel confident and I think that’s the key. If you don’t have that, I think that’s how you get hurt again, but I feel great about it.”

Richert plans to return to practice Monday, and barring any setbacks will start against the rival Antlers.

“We’re on track for that,” Piedmont head coach Drew Gossen said of Richert’s return. “We’re kind of taking it day-by-day, but right now we have a plan in place. He’ll come back to practice and start contributing more and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

Richert brings added arm strength and experience to a position that’s been filled by backup Colby Bricker through two games this season.

“He has a strong arm and can really attack the outsides of the field,” Gossen said. “And he has presence. It takes some time to learn how to stand in a pocket and how to understand what’s going on around you. (Lucas) does a great job of that.”

Richert, meanwhile, is simply excited to play again.

“I think about it every second, I can’t get my mind off it,” he said. “Maybe I can get everyone rallied up and see if we can go out there and beat Deer Creek.”

Piedmont plays at Noble Friday night at 7:30 in its final non-district of the season.

Planning commission still one seat vacant

Matt Montgomery

The Piedmont planning commission has been one member short for several months now, after former commissioner Mike Bell moved outside Piedmont city limits.

There have been some recommendations made between Piedmont City Councilman Donnie Robinson and Piedmont Mayor Valerie Thomerson, but no agreement has been made yet.

According to the Piedmont City Charter, “The Mayor shall appoint the members of the Planning Commission, Board of Adjustment, intergovernmental boards and commissions, and any other boards, positions, or commissions subordinate to the city Council, subject to confirmation of such appointment by a majority of the City Council members. In the event of the failure of the City Council to confirm the appointment of the Mayor, then the Mayor shall make another appointment. If the Mayor’s second appointment is not confirmed, then the City Council shall appoint by a majority vote of its members without seeking additional mayoral appointments.”

Thomerson emailed Robinson in April with her first recommendation; Piedmont resident and former Canadian County commissioner candidate Kevin Hopkins. Thomerson wrote, “If he (Hopkins) wins the commissioners seat then he will resign and we’ll try again. However, if he loses, we’ll have a great P&Z commissioner … Piedmont wins either way. I briefly spoke with him about it and he is willing to accept the position but only if he is sure he will be approved (understandable). You thoughts?”
Robinson replied to Thomerson through email and wrote, “Mayor, I really like Denny Weir that lives in Skyline and is president of their home owners association. He was a big help with his membership on the 164th project.”
Read more →

No charges to be filed in Piedmont PD embezzlement case

Matt Montgomery

The Canadian County District Attorney’s Office declined to pursue charges after reviewing the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation’s case in the theft of about $1,000 from the Piedmont police department earlier this year.

District Attorney Michael Fields wrote in an email to the Piedmont-Surrey Gazette Monday, “The OSBI recently completed its investigation of an alleged theft/embezzlement from the City of Piedmont involving approximately $1,000. The investigation shows that during the relevant timeframe, a handful of people either had or potentially had access to this money. There isn’t enough evidence to determine who stole or embezzled the money. Therefore, our office is declining to file charges related to this investigation.”
Even though the D.A.’s office didn’t file charges, that doesn’t mean they haven’t shut the door on this case forever.“If additional evidence comes to light, my office will certainly re-consider its decision not to file charges,” Fields wrote.
Piedmont Fraternal Order of Police Chairman and Piedmont police officer Craig Curtner has said from the beginning he wanted the public to know that this was not a Piedmont police officer who took the money.

“None of the officers, including the supervisors were ever questioned as suspects,” Curtner said. “None of our officers were ever under suspicion and there was never any allegation that it was a police officer that did it. I think OSBI had one or two suspects in mind and I think they ran those angles pretty good. I think they lacked the evidence to prosecute.”
Read more →

Surrey Hills woman arrested on drug, child abuse charges

Matt Montgomery

A Surrey Hills woman was arrested last week on complaints of possession of drugs and child abuse. Canadian County sheriff’s deputies arrested Kerry Nicole Thrift, 25, of Surrey Hills last Monday after receiving information that she had allegedly abused her children, according to reports.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to her home in Surrey Hills, where she lives with her parents.
Investigators working on the case entered the home after they spoke to Thrift’s parents, explaining why they were there.

After they made contact with Thrift, they were able to determine she had physically handled her children in a manner that left marks and bruising on the children’s bodies.

“Kerry said she is a firm believer in discipline and referred to herself as, “Old School.” She talked about spankings and she stated, “I’m afraid I’m going to lose myself,’” the investigator in the case said. “She continually talked about how she was “Under pressure,” and how the neighbors and everyone around her are always concerned for her children.”

According to reports, Thrift’s own parents confirmed with sheriff’s deputies the nature of her abusiveness toward her children. Her parents allegedly even supplied investigators with photographic proof to support their claims.

After speaking to Thrift, deputies were made aware by Thrift herself, that she was a drug abuser.
After a consent to search her bedroom was issued, investigators allegedly found marijuana and methamphetamine.

According to the investigator’s report, the investigators found a box that contained various sizes of white, crystal-like substance and various items consistent with drug use, such as a mirror, a partial coat hanger, a rolled up U.S. currency dollar bill, a U.S. nickel, three straws and four baggies. A field test confirmed the substance was indeed methamphetamine.

In addition to the marijuana and methamphetamine, they also found two peach colored pills lying on her dresser. Thrift said they were Adderall pills, but she couldn’t provide investigators with a valid prescription for the medication.

Thrift’s four-year-old son was shown in pictures provided to investigators with large red marks on both sides of his neck. Thrift also advised offers she suffers from two mental health disorders, according to the report.

Thrift was taken to the Canadian County jail and booked on complaints of child abuse and multiple counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance as well as drug paraphernalia.
Her bail was set at $65,000.

Anderson driven to become top runner

Blake Colston

Piedmont runner Jon Anderson is driven to be considered among the best runners in the state.

That’s why when Anderson ran against defending 5A state champion Bryce Balenseifen earlier this season at the Piedmont Invitational, Anderson made it a point to keep pace with the state champion from Deer Creek.

And although Balenseifen edged Anderson down the stretch to take first, Anderson managed a second place finish, well ahead of the remainder of the field.

“With Bryce, I was running right there with him at our meet,” Anderson said. “I stayed right on his tail until the very end. He’s a great runner. He is fast, but it was great to stay right there with him.”

It shows the kind of progress Anderson has made since his sophomore season when he took 19th at the 5A state meet to lead the Wildcats to a seventh place finish.

“He matured a lot between his sophomore and junior year,” Johnson said. “He and I have talked about that, and he comes out here every day ready to work and just get better. That’s his attitude.” Read more →

Piedmont focused on improving ground game

Blake Colston

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont running back Landon White struggles for yards against Weatherford.

Through two games this season, Piedmont’s running game has hit a brick wall. Stopped and stopped again, the Wildcats haven’t yet reached 100 yards of rushing combined in two games.

That, among other things like capitalizing on opponents’ mistakes and starting faster, must change if Piedmont hopes to right the ship beginning tomorrow night on the road against Noble at 7:30 p.m. in the Wildcats’ final non-district game of the season.

“Running the football is important anywhere you go,” Piedmont head coach Drew Gossen said. “I don’t care what level it’s at, who you are, what you do, running the football is your first priority. That’s something we’re really focusing on.”

Last week’s performance was particularly poor. Landon White, Jacob Bakewell and Delbert Todd combined to rush for negative five yards and lost a fumble in an 18-7 loss to Weatherford. And although some of their gains were later nullified by sacks and botched shotgun snaps, the production still left something to be desired.

Read more →

Constuction crews begin preliminary work on PUD project

Matt Montgomery/Gazette
Construction crews begin work on the Planned Unit Development (PUD) project the Piedmont city council approved earlier this year. Crews were clearing away a section of land at the end of Gooder Simpson Boulevard Wednesday. The Piedmont-Surrey Gazette will have updates to this story once they become available.

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