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Meier reliable option in goal for Piedmont

Blake Colston/Gazette
Kelsey Meier makes a save against Santa Fe South earlier this season.

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

At 5-foot-3, Kelsey Meier doesn’t look the part of a solid goaltender, but she plays like one.

A senior who volunteered for Piedmont’s vacant goalkeeper position as a sophomore three seasons ago when no else would, Meier has developed into a steady keeper that continues to improve.

Meier’s heart and determination to prove her doubters wrong,  and to prove to herself she could do something she wasn’t necessarily made for, helped her transform from raw to refined.

“Kelsey is the exact wrong body type for a keeper,” Piedmont head coach Brad Brucker said. “But she’s got more heart than any kid in our program.”

“A lot of people didn’t think I could do it,” she said. “So that’s what kind of gave me the drive to do it. I think I wanted it more than anyone else.”

Brucker, who admitted even he wasn’t sure if the experiment with Meier in goal would work at first, quickly grew to appreciate how badly Meier wanted to win the starting job. Read more →

Piedmont girls take Deer Creek Invite Title

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

EDMOND —  Piedmont’s girls soccer team had plenty on its mind Saturday morning, most of which could’ve been about anything but soccer.

With Piedmont’s high school prom scheduled for later that night, head coach Brad Brucker was worried his team’s focus would wander. Instead, the Lady Wildcats played one of the their most crisp games of the season, defeating Sante Fe South 3-0 to claim the championship of the Deer Creek Invitational.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont’s Caren Hidalgo scored two goals in Piedmont 3-0 win over Santa Fe South on Saturday in Edmond.

“There could’ve been some lack of focus today with them worrying about getting to prom,” Brucker said. “But they were all engaged and here and played the game the right way, which is all I can ask of them.”

Initially, that didn’t result in scores for Piedmont, though. The Lady ‘Cats put 20 first-half shots on goal, but didn’t find the back of the net until freshman Caren Hildalgo slammed home a rebound off of a Kylie Pyle shot to put PHS on top 1-0 with 3:45 to play in the first half.

“It could’ve been six, seven or eight goals fairly easily,” Brucker said of the close, but not quite, opening half of play. “I think we hit four posts in the game and missed several opportunities, but their keeper was good so you’ve got to give her some credit, too.” Read more →

Piedmont girls coast past Altus

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

EDMOND — Piedmont soccer had a fun-filled afternoon against Altus on Friday at Deer Creek High School.

Piedmont scored 10 times in a 10-0 mercy-rule win over hapless Altus in pool play action at the Deer Creek Invitational. Earlier in the day Piedmont dispatched Edmond Santa Fe’s jayvee team, 7-0.

“It was fun and I loved that we’re scoring our eighth, ninth and 10 goals and our starters are cheering so loud for our young kids,” Piedmont head coach Brad Brucker said. “I told them after the game that if nothing else this was good for our team chemistry.”

Blake Colston/Gazette
Hannah Thomas of Piedmont battles for a loose ball with an Altus player Friday in Edmond.

Caren Hidalgo scored Piedmont’s first goal less than four minutes into the game and Kylie Pyle followed with the Lady ‘Cats second goal two minutes later. Bianca Cardenas scored back-to-back goals less than sixty seconds later and the rout was on.

“It gave our young kids a chance to play and get some significant time against better competition than they normally do,” Brucker said of the early margin.

Blakelee Carter, Madi Lybarger, Caitlin Lewis, Rachel Norris and Ally Sanderson all scored goals for Piedmont, which led 10-0 at half. Norris goal at the 20-minute mark of the second half, ended the game.

“I never really saw Rachel as an outside back, but we put her out there and said, ‘hey that’s not bad,’” Brucker said. “It gives you some ideas for the future. Sometimes you find things out you aren’t expecting to in games like this.”

Piedmont plays Woodward to scoreless tie at Deer Creek Invitational

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont’s Dax Hampton tries to work his way past a Woodward defender on Friday in Edmond.

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

EDMOND — Woodward has been a thorn in the side of the Piedmont boys soccer team in each of the previous two seasons.

Friday at Deer Creek High School the Wildcats had a chance to exact revenge against the Boomers, but despite three scoring opportunities in the final 10 minutes of the game, played to a scoreless tie with Woodward in a pool play game at the Deer Creek Invitational.

It was the first time in six games Piedmont had been held scoreless this season, but head coach Zac Selph was content with the effort.

“We played well,” he said. “This is the first game we haven’t scored, but I think the more important thing is, if we’re not going to score we can’t let the other team score.”

The Wildcats, who played without leading backline defender Jake Loper, who left the game at halftime with an illness, managed to hold off a hard-charging and physical Woodward squad. Read more →

Priddy helped transform Piedmont basketball

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

When Hayden Priddy moved to Piedmont from Ada in the sixth grade, she hadn’t heard much about the athletics in town, and what she had heard wasn’t exactly glowing.

“A lot of people talked really down about Piedmont basketball,” she said. “They just all told me that the team was never very good. They all said sports weren’t really our thing and that it was more of a band school.”

But with Priddy, and the help of a strong 2015 senior class, that narrative has changed drastically in the last seven years. As Priddy’s career ended in the semifinals of the 5A state tournament, once lowly Piedmont had become a powerhouse that had solidified itself as a title contender.

“The four years this program has been at its best, I can say I was a part of that,” Priddy said of going 77-26 overall with three state tournament appearances in four seasons.

Priddy played a big part in Piedmont’s renaissance throughout her career as a four-year starter, especially towards the end of her senior season. Despite enduring a midseason shooting slump, she averaged more than 13 points per game during the regular season and scored more than 22 a game at state en route to all-tournament first team honors. Read more →

Cardenas’ goal scoring, leadership crucial for Piedmont soccer

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Piedmont senior soccer player Bianca Cardenas had plenty of motivation entering this season.
As part of the first senior class in the program’s history to play four, fully-sanctioned seasons, Cardenas has helped build the Lady Wildcats’ program from the ground up, so she wants her last season in blue and gold to be a special one.

Which meant when head coach Brad Brucker decided to rely heavily on younger, inexperienced players during preseason practices, Cardenas was skeptical.

“At first I was a little scared. I didn’t quite accept it,” she said. “But as practices went on they kept getting better and better. They’ve stepped up and I’ve been really impressed with them.”

Piedmont’s top returning goal scorer and a University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma signee, Cardenas is the ‘Cats top offensive threat. But that’s nothing new for Cardenas.

“She’s our fastest player, our quickest player and has the best on the ball skill of any of our kids,” Brucker said. “Every time we do a competition she’s near the top because she’s so competitive.”
This season she’s added more than just goal scoring, though. Cardenas has taken command of this Lady Wildcats team, on and off the field. Read more →

Piedmont wrestlers collect postseason accolades

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

The Suburban Conference wrestling coaches announced their postseason award recipients on Monday, with 10 Piedmont wrestlers receiving recognition.

182-pound state champion Brody Largent was named to the first-team roster along with 113-pound teammate and state placer Logan Chappell. Senior Michael Lopez, a state placer this season, also landed on the first team.

Largent finished the season by defeating Shawnee’s Thomas Shepard, 3-2, in overtime to claim his first state championship. He finished the season with a 43-5 record.

In addition to Chappell’s first team selection, the freshman also garnered Newcomer of the Year honors after capping off his first varsity season with a 34-16 record and a fourth place finish at state.

Senior state qualifier Francisco Lopez and 132-pound junior Alex Cardenas were named to the Suburban Conference second team. As a senior, Lopez went 38-10.

Dylan Meador, Michael Brown, Chance Krumsiek, Ariz Mazroy and Tyler Banks were named third team all-conference.

The Wildcats finished seventh as a team at the 5A state tournament.

Piedmont rally falls short against Bishop McGuinness

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

The clutch hits are bound to come for the Piedmont baseball team, but they haven’t yet.

Piedmont left nine runners on base, including leaving the potential tying and winning runs in scoring position in the seventh inning, in a 6-5 loss to Bishop McGuinness Monday afternoon.  The loss dropped the Wildcats to 2-7 overall and 0-3 in district play.

After rallying from a 6-1 deficit entering the bottom of the seventh, Piedmont had the tying and winning runs in scoring position, but Irish reliever Josh Paliotta struck out Jake Kisling to end the game. It was the last of three prime scoring chances in the game that ended in strikeouts.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont reliever Brayden Nelson delivers a pitch in the sixth inning of the Wildcats 6-5 loss to Bishop McGuinness on Monday.

“We had our four-hole hitter up three times with runners in scoring position and we don’t push any runs across,” head coach Kory Williams, who was ejected in the sixth inning for arguing balls and strikes, said. “But I believe in our guys and we’ll step up and get the job done.” Read more →

Lewis gives Piedmont physical defender

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Piedmont girls head soccer coach Brad Brucker dares opposing teams to play down the center of the field.

With senior midfielder Caitlin Lewis patrolling the heart of the field, Brucker is confident most teams’ attacks will begin and end there. So much so, that Piedmont’s defensive scheme is built around Lewis’ ability to protect the middle of the field.

“She can absolutely destroy a midfield,” Brucker said. “She disrupts everything the other team does. We center our entire defensive scheme around funneling players towards her. She seeks and destroys everything in there.”

When Lewis is on the field, she can almost single-handedly shut down another team’s offense. During her sophomore season, Lewis and Piedmont led Deer Creek 1-0 through a half. But Lewis was forced to leave the game in the second half with an injury. The Lady Antlers took advantage of her absence by scoring six second-half goals.

“She is that kind of difference maker,” Brucker said of the USAO signee. “Against a good team she can be a three or four goal difference for us.”

She comes by her defensive ability from years of practice. Unlike most players her age, Lewis willingly traded in goal-scoring for defensive prowess as a preteen. At 12-years-old she played center midfield on her club team, and has embraced the role of defender ever since. Read more →

Priddy collects Player of the Year; Hill named Coach of the Year

Blake Colston
sports@piedmontnewsonline.com

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont’s Hayden Priddy collected the Conference Player of the Year award on Monday evening.

After making only Piedmont’s second trip to the state semifinals in 57 years last week, Tuesday, postseason accolades rolled in for the Lady Wildcats.

Senior guard Hayden Priddy was named Suburban Conference Player of the Year while head coach Jamie Hill was named conference Coach of the Year, as voted on by the league’s coaches.

Priddy, a Southwestern Oklahoma State signee, averaged just more than 14 points per game this season and bumped that average to more than 23 in the state tournament.

“Hayden has been our rock and our glue all year long. She makes our team go,” Hill said. “This is about her leadership and the fact that she wasn’t afraid to take the team on her back.” Read more →

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