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Archive for: September 2012

Wildcats capitalize on Cache mistakes in win

By Greg Evans

Piedmont forced five Cache turnovers on Friday night to help themselves to a 50-32 win and the Wildcats moved to 1-1 in district play.

Cache stole an early lead from the Wildcats on the opening drive of the game thanks to a 45-yard pass. After going three and out, Piedmont was able to pin Cache at their own four and forced the first turnover of the night on a third and six. A couple plays later and Brett Adams was diving into the endzone to give Piedmont its first lead of the game.

Cache immediately answered on their next drive. Their option based attack taking full advantage of an aggressive Wildcat defense. A 21-yard pass later and the Bulldogs were up 12-7 with 57 second left in the first quarter. Not to be outdone by Cache, Piedmont put together a 44 second scoring drive. The Wildcats handed the ball off to running backs Darrius Burris and Mitchell McGinnis on every down. Burris crossed the line and the Wildcats converted a two point conversion with 13 seconds left in the first quarter to give Piedmont a 15-12 lead.

The score put Piedmont on top for good, but Cache wouldn’t quit.

Cache looked to get themselves on the board again midway through the second quarter. Their receiver reeled in a long pass but fumbled. Piedmont recovered and marched 98 yards down field. A balanced Wildcat offensive drive was capped with a 37-yard score from Burris.

Cache came out after the Burris score and put together another good drive. Piedmont was struggling to stop the option but the Bulldogs fumbled a handoff with 20 seconds left in the half. Piedmont recovered and was able to close out the half with a 22-12 lead.
The Wildcats got the ball out of the break and went back to work. Adams and Steffen Funkhouser connected for a touchdown score and Piedmont found themselves up 29-12. Cache just wouldn’t go away and their option attack produced another score midway through the third quarter. Piedmont turned the ball over on down on their next drive but another Cache mistake got the ball back in the Wildcats hands. Piedmont was able to pound the ball inside with Burris and allow Adams to, once again, dive into the endzone for a score. Piedmont lead 36-19 with under two minutes left in the third.

Cache pulled it back to 10 early in the fourth quarter but Adams found Funkhouser on the ensuing drive from 42 yards out to put Piedmont up 43-26. Following a Bulldog turnover on downs on the next drive, Burris plowed his way into the endzone to put the game fully out of reach.

“It comes down to our basic technique,” Hunter Amos said. “We drove them off the line. We were able to take it to them and they were tired by the end of the first quarter.”

Piedmont’s offensive line played lights out all night against Cache. They were able to help fuel a balanced Wildcat offense.

“That’s exactly how we want to be able to play; where we run to set up the pass,” Coach Craig Church said. “We have been on the opposite side of that a few times but it’s good to be in a position where you can do what (we did tonight). We can run, throw the play action pass and force them to load the box. That makes throwing the ball easier.”

Going into this week, Church said team discipline was a major focus against Cache.

“We did well,” Church said. “That offense is a unique challenge. Our guys did well and our adjustments in the second half payed off for us. Our offensive discipline was great. We were able to protect well and run. Our line played really well.”

Piedmont’s offensive line was the key all night. They were able to open holes for runners and allowed Adams and the backs time to work.

“(Cache) has both a three and a four man front,” Adams said. “We had great outside edge protection and Darrius and Mitchell were running well. Our offensive line was blocking well too. They got tired and we were hard to stop.”

“We worked hard all week,” Kyler Adams said. “We have to continue to come out and get better every day.”

ECI cuts the ribbon to their new location Thursday

Members of the Piedmont Chamber of Commerce, along with members of ECI insurance, join Scott Cornelius Thursday in cutting the ribbon to their new location at the corner of Monroe and Piedmont Road.

Members of the Piedmont Chamber of Commerce, along with members of ECI insurance, join Scott Cornelius Thursday in cutting the ribbon to their new location at the corner of Monroe and Piedmont Road.

Meeting set Oct. 8 to discuss possible Veterans Annex

By Roger Pugh

A meeting will be held at 10 a.m., Monday, Oct. 8 at in the Piedmont Historical Society Annex to discuss the possibility of erecting a building on the Historical Society property to house a Veterans annex.

The proposed facility, envisioned to be a 30 ft. by 40 ft. structure, would be built just northwest of the existing Historical Society Annex Building on Jackson Street, said Piedmont veteran and Realtor Leon Meyer, who is helping organize the meeting.

Meyer said the building would be used to house donated or loaned military memorabilia of service veterans who reside in Piedmont and the surrounding area.

All Piedmont and local area veterans and other interested individuals are encouraged to attend the meeting.

Meyer said former city councilman and local businessman Buel Hoar originally proposed the idea for the building.

He said discussions later began with officials of the Historical society and that organization is on board with the plan, and Piedmont City Manager Jim Crosby has endorsed the idea.

Cost of construction for the building would come from charitable donations.
Meyer said some of those in the local construction community have indicated they would help on the project to keep costs at a minimum.

A number of local construction personnel stepped up to help build the Historical Society Annex building to keep down costs to erect that facility.

“We’ve been discussing this for about six months,” Meyer said. “Now, we want to float the idea to see if there is enough support from area veterans and other interested citizens to get it off the ground, he added.

John Bickerstaff

Leon Meyer

Piedmont may see wind farms; Calumet happy with theirs

By Matt Montgomery

While Apex Wind Energy is fighting to secure their new wind farm project in an area in between Piedmont and Okarche, the town of Calumet is feeling a boost in the economy of their town from the existing Canadian Hills Wind Farms, just north of Calumet.

Canadian Hills is a wind farm project hosted by the Virginia-based Apex Wind Energy that is still growing and already spans several miles across the landscape just north of the Calumet town line at Memorial Road.

Apex is in the process of solidifying a new wind farm project, Kingfisher Wind Farms that would touch the northwest section of Piedmont and span west towards Okarche. It is proposed to have about 150 wind energy turbines in the project.

Last week, Apex released an estimated tax revenue and infrastructure value by school district chart. The chart indicated the Kingfisher Wind Farm project would provide about $95,042,000 in infrastructure value to the Piedmont School District, and estimated the project would yield about $689,000 in local tax revenue to the Piedmont School District.

Canadian Hills Wind Farms is already showing a change in Calumet, according to the town’s mayor.

Calumet Mayor Mike Crowly said with change there is always going to be a little getting used to, but since Apex developed Canadian Hills in the Calumet area just several months ago, the local diners and gas stations in Calumet have seen a great increase in out-of-town customers.

“The Town of Calumet has experienced more daily traffic and more daily activity in our town, which leads to economic development which is always a good thing for us to have,” Crowly said. “Our stores and our restaurants in town have benefited from the wind farm experience which intern will lead to more sales tax for the town of Calumet.”

One of the local diners Monday afternoon was packed almost to capacity and the owner said that out of the maybe 30 people dining there, only one person lived in the town of Calumet, implying that the majority of their customers at lunch time are workers from out of town.

Both Crowly and the Calumet Police Department said they haven’t heard much of anything detrimental from the birth of Canadian Hills from the community members.

“The way it always is, when you have change and any type of construction, you are always going to have some situations that are different and people are not used to,” he said. “But I think Apex has been pretty good about handling any situations they can and handling any people’s issues.”

In fact, Crowly said the biggest issue he’s heard come from the Canadian Hills Wind Farm project is the change in the landscape, but added that projects like wind farms and gas drilling take some getting used to.

“If you look at the overall economic situation of the landowners in the area, if they receive the tower on them, then they are going to see some residual revenue that will come to town, that they will receive while that farm’s in operation,” he said. “I guess it’s a give and take, if you can accept the fact that there’s a little change in the scenery and maybe it works out for some people.”

He said the greatest amounts of complaints probably came from private landowners in the area who didn’t want to sign into Apex’s agreement.

The Kingfisher Wind Farm project that could impact both Okarche and Piedmont is still in the process of development and is awaiting a final decision between representatives of Apex and Piedmont.

Kids with special needs siblings find outlet to talk

By Matt Montgomery

Piedmont Elementary Counselor Cathy Adams and third grade teacher Kim Nichols said the Sibshops program that they are trained in will help those students who have siblings with special needs, by giving them an outlet and a place to talk to other people in their situation.

The teachers said they will hold their first meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 9 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Piedmont United Methodist Church.

Piedmont parent Sherri Kimber said she heard about the program from another parent with a special needs child. She said she saw it as a neat opportunity to provide a service to the siblings of special needs children, because a lot of time is spent providing the services to the special needs children often times neglecting attention to the other sibling.

“This is just something different that another parent and I saw for those siblings, because there are not a lot of programs out there to help them with what they’re going through,” Kimber said. “This gives them an opportunity to be around other children who live in the same kind of situation and they know what it’s like growing up with a sibling who has issues that they are dealing with and this gives them an outlet being around people who know exactly what they are dealing with.”

Kimber said often times their friends might not understand the situation and they may not know what it’s like, so Sibshops is a constructive environment for those siblings to come and talk about what they are going through and talk to other kids about it.

The teachers said the program started last year, but this year they expect the program to really take off and at Sibshops, they’ll have a chance to meet other siblings whose brothers and sisters have special needs and talk about the good and not-so-good parts of having a sibling with a disability.

Additional meeting dates are Nov, 13 and Feb. 12 and March 12, 2013.

Adams and Nichols said, that In addition to receiving peer support, Sibshop participants will play games, learn about their siblings’ disabilities and the services they receive, participate in cooking and craft activities, and make new friends.

School drainage issue questions bond between city and school

By Matt Montgomery

The Piedmont City Council confirmed Monday at their meeting that the drainage issue at Piedmont Intermediate School needs to be fixed and they decided that they were taking matters into their own hands from here on out.

Any idea of a partnership between the school and the city were has been exhausted and all members of the council agreed that the drainage problem needs to be fixed, whether the school decides to pitch in or not. The council agreed that the first course of action in addressing this issue is to put up a sign indicating that during intense rains, the area in front of the Intermediate School is subject to flooding.

The councilmen agreed that putting up the sign is definitely a necessity, but fixing the drainage issue by redirecting the water underneath 164th street, then back south is probably the most logical way to handle the problem at this point.

The Piedmont School Board voted earlier this month to reject an agreement between the city and the school to not build a new drainage structure along 164th and that was the basis for most of the council’s criticism against the school at Monday’s meeting.

Councilman Donnie Robinson said at the meeting that the roads need to be fixed regardless of the circumstance between the city and the school.

“I want them to write us a check, do this job and be done with it,” Robinson said.
Councilman Vernon Woods said at the meeting that everything the council spoke about with the school was moot at this point.

“Everything we are talking about is down the drain,” Woods said. “It’s going to be torn up anyway, so I think we’ve learned a lesson.”

The unanimous decision on Sept. 10 from the School Board to reject the city’s proposal to pay about $32,000 of the estimated $55,000 project to build a new ditch system was acknowledged at Monday’s meeting. If the School Board had voted to accept the proposal from the city, then the school would have paid the difference.

Woods and other council members said that the best solution would be to re-route the water underneath 164th and let it flow south and in the meantime, put up the safety sign as a precautionary measure.

In other business, the council voted to buy two 2010 Chevrolet Tahoes from the Kansas Highway Patrol. Piedmont Police Chief Alex Oblein told the council that a couple of their Crown Victorias weren’t in the best condition and had a lot of miles.

Oblein added that there would be a surplus of about $3,300 that would go toward new equipment and equipment repairs to their existing fleet of vehicles.

The Piedmont City Council also voted to approve to seek bids to repair Piedmont’s water tower that was damaged from the May 24, 2011 tornado.

Chism named National Player of the Week

By Greg Evans

Lady Wildcat third baseman Jordan Chism was in a bit of shock when she got a piece of exciting news Monday morning.

“Coach (Rick) Scott pulled me out of class and showed me the email (announcing that I got it),” Chism said. “I was like; woah, that’s pretty cool.”

The email was from the website MaxPreps.com, a high school stat website. The email said Chism had been named the MaxPreps/NFCA National Player of the Week for Sept. 24. Scott said Chism couldn’t quite believe it was her name in the email.

“She was like ‘huh? what? me?,” Scott said. “This is the first time ever for a Piedmont athlete to receive this honor. It is quite the reflection on Jordan, her family and her team.”

Chism received the honor because her impressive stat line over the past week; a .778 batting average (14-for-18), seven runs scored, five doubles, three home runs and 16 RBI.

“It’s really cool; a great honor,” Chism said. “However, I would really like to have a state and regional championship to go along with it.”

Chism made the switch to third base this season after, primarily, being a pitcher for her first three years at Piedmont.
She has flourished in the role.

Earlier this year, Scott said Chism is that special type of player for someone to coach and this accolade is just one way of showing that to people outside the Lady Wildcat program.

Woodward overpowers Piedmont

By Greg Evans

The Wildcats’ quest for another berth in the playoffs stumbled out of the gate on Friday when Piedmont dropped a 28-7 decision to Woodward. Luckily for Piedmont, there is still a lot of football to be played this seaon.

Penalties and turnovers were Piedmont’s undoing against Woodward. After stalling on its first drive, a mishandled snap on the punt meant good field position for the Boomers. Woodward found the endzone through the air with 9:40 left in the first quarter to lead 7-0.
The Wildcat offense roared to life on the ensuing possession. Piedmont marched 60 yards before a Brett Adams pass was intercepted at the goalline and returned to midfield.

The defense for the home team played lights out in the first half, getting penetration and wrapping up the runner before he was able to gain any substantial yardage. However, the Boomers would pick off two more Adams passes in the first half, another of which came in the redzone. Both teams traded possessions in the second quarter before Woodward missed a field goal just before the break.

Woodward made the needed adjustments at halftime and came out exploiting something on the Piedmont defensive line. The Boomers ran left almost every play of that first drive and were able to go up 14-0 with 5:55 left in the third quarter. The Wildcats continued to fight despite the two score hole and were able to put a drive together. After narrowly converting a fourth and two and Adams connecting with Christian Foster in the redzone, Mitchell McGinnis was able to find the endzone with 2:28 left in the third.

Chewing up the clock became the name of the game for Woodward after Piedmont’s only score of the game. The Boomers scored at the 9:10 mark to go up 21-7. The Wildcats couldn’t put together a drive on their next two possessions and Woodward tacked on one final touchdown run with just over 49 seconds left in the ball game.

“It’s a tough one,” Coach Craig Church said. “We left about 20 points on the field in that first half. It’s hard to overcome a team that can eat the clock (like Woodward can). (Woodward made) good adjustments. We’re undersized and teams that can run like that will be tough for us to deal with. There is no magic bullet when you are as undersized as we are.

“They played hard tonight, though. It’s a long season. Penalties concerned me as much as anything. We’ll continue to focus on that in practice. The coaching staff is going to continue to work on that and try to improve that. This is the same Woodward team we beat last year at their place and we ended up going three, four in the district. They went into the playoffs and beat Douglass. It’s how you respond in the next games. It’s about us making improvements and continuing to get better.”

Photo Gallery: Pinwheels for Peace

Art students at the Middle Schools of Piedmont planted pinwheels around the campus on Thursday for the Pinwheels for Peace Celebration, which is held in conjunction with the International Day of Peace on Sept. 21st.






Lady Wildcats survive scare on senior night

By Greg Evans

Tuesday’s softball senior night against Weatherford was a tough one for the Lady Wildcats. Piedmont breezed through the first three and a half innings but then the Lady Eagles stormed back and almost soured the night. Piedmont was able to outlast a late Weatherford run and win 6-5.

Piedmont’s first defensive inning was a bit of foreshadowing for the rest of the game. Weatherford got a batter on base at the first at bat, got a runner out at second on the next at bat and then two Lady Eagles were walked, loading the bases. The next Weatherford batter hit a blooper straight to Kylie Palmer, who rocketed it to Bre Davis at home plate, getting the out, and then Davis tossed it to Jordan Chism to complete the double play. Piedmont worked itself into a tough spot, but was able to stem the tide before things got out of hand. Chism got Piedmont on top in the bottom of the first with a two out home run. Jamie Lowrie extended the Lady Wildcat lead to 3-0 on a two run RBI single.

Things started to get dicey in the fourth when a Weatherford base runner crossed the plate on an RBI single. Michelle Brandon answered with a home run in the bottom of the fourth and Chism batted in Emma Nelson to give Piedmont a little more breathing room.

That breathing room wasn’t to last as Weatherford got two runners on base in the top of the fifth and both runners were able to steal home on Lady Wildcat errors before the inning came to a close.

Scott knocked one out of the park in the bottom of the fifth to give Piedmont a 6-3 lead. Both teams played some tough defense in the sixth inning and Weatherford had one final shot.

The Lady Eagles got their first batter on base with a single and she was able to slide under a Palmer tag on a steal to advance to second. An RBI triple later and Weatherford trailed by just two. Lowrie struck out the next batter but a fielding error by Piedmont on the next at bat scored Weatherford’s fifth run. The Lady Eagles knocked another single to get the winning run on first base. The ensuing at bat saw Scott and Brandon combine for the out at first, but the runners advanced to second and third. Weatherford brought its lead off hitter to the plate for one last at bat but the ball bounced to Chism who was able to make the throw to Scott and cap off the senior night victory for Piedmont.

“It was a tale of two games,” Coach Rick Scott said. “We played great at first but we lost focus. There were a lot of distractions; it was zoo day for the seniors and it was senior night. We found a way though. We’re hitting the ball well but we’re still leaving too many runners on base. We’re going to fix that though. I have a gameplan to work on that the rest of this week. We also can’t walk people. Nothing bad happens when you don’t walk people. Being able to step back away from it and look at what happened tonight; that game was really good for us.”

Piedmont travels to Chickasha on Friday morning for two tournament games; 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The junior varsity will play Woodward at home at 4 p.m. and the varsity will play at 5 p.m. The Lady Wildcats travel to Guthrie on Monday and to El Reno on Tuesday. The last regular season game in Piedmont will be played Monday, Oct. 1 against Yukon.

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