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Archive for: June 2013

A record breaker


Blake Colston
Sports Editor 

EDMOND – Madison Berryman wasn’t a star. Or at least that’s what she said coming out of Piedmont High School.

Now a senior at the University of Central Oklahoma, she owns UCO’s 60-meter indoor sprint record, the school’s record high score for the heptathlon and the school’s javelin record.

But for most of her high school athletic career she was on the cheer squad and played tennis. Berryman always liked track and field, but gave it up after competing in seventh and eighth grade and part of her freshman season to focus on other sports.

Fast forward to her junior year and she still wasn’t on Piedmont’s track team. PHS was good, though. So good they won a state championship. But after their championship season in 2009, PHS lost some key cogs, including sprinter Katie Jirak.

The coaches and players on the team knew Berryman could run, so they started recruiting her to join the next season’s team.

“My senior year I actually played tennis and ran track,” Berryman said. Read more →

The other side of Piedmont Glass

Bobby Williamson

Robert Flippo/Gazette
Bobby Williamson is the owner of both Piedmont Glass and Cim-Con.


By Robert Flippo

A lot of people are probably familiar with Piedmont Glass. It is a local company that handles glass installation and repairs. The company is run out of a little storefront on Monroe Ave where the front window is covered in colorful paint that proudly proclaims the name of the business.

What some people might not have noticed about that storefront is that there are two painted windows. One is the aforementioned, brightly colored Piedmont Glass window. The other is a slightly more subdued paint job reading “Cim-Con”.

Out of that one office, Bobby Williamson runs two companies. Piedmont Glass takes care of local, individual jobs. Cim-Con works on a much bigger level, handling installations for large scale operations such as grocery stores and office complexes.

It is almost hard to believe that a company responsible for glass installations all over central Oklahoma, ranging from Wal-Mart to OCCC performing arts center, could be run out of such a relatively small location. In many ways though, that is what Piedmont is all about—a small community capable of big things. Read more →

Canadian County declared disaster area

Jenks Simmons Field House

Robert Flippo/Gazette
The Jenks Simmons Field House in El Reno has been converted to a multi-agency recovery center.


By Robert Flippo

Once again, Canadian County has been declared a disaster area by the federal government. For Piedmont residents, this is familiar territory. After all, the last time the government declared Canadian County a disaster was after the tornado that ripped through town two years ago.

This time, the disaster declaration is in response to the tornado that hit El Reno May 31. Although most of the damage occurred south of Piedmont, it is important for Piedmont residents to understand that the declaration covers more than just damage directly caused by the tornado. For instance, the most relevant damage covered by the declaration is flooding, which Piedmont saw its fair share of as a result of the storms responsible for the El Reno tornado.

Jim Crosby, Piedmont city manager, already has an idea of what he will be submitting to FEMA in order to receive aid.

“I’m going to turn in the roads and bridges that were damaged,” Crosby said. “But with roads sometimes it’s difficult.” Read more →

Wildcat baseball headed to Omaha

Blake Colston

It’s on any baseball fans’ bucket list.

The College World Series in Omaha, Neb. is the mecca of college baseball.

For two weeks each June the best teams the sport has to offer flock to Omaha to crown a champion.

The fanfare follows. Hundreds of thousands of fans from around the country come to watch them play. This week, the Piedmont baseball team will be a part of it all. They left Piedmont Tuesday morning bound for Omaha on their way to take part in the College World Series Decker High School Tournament at Omaha’s Millard North High School.

The Wildcats will play five games in five days against high school and American Legion teams from North Dakota, South Dakota, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio and Nebraska.

“We’ve always wanted to take a trip like this,” Piedmont head coach Kory Williams said. Read more →

Former Lady Wildcat delivers big at OBU

Photo by Katie Gilbert, OBU.

Blake Colston

Hannah Morris got the call and delivered.

The former Piedmont Lady Wildcat softball star hit a three-run home run over the left field fence to put three more runs on the board for Oklahoma Baptist.

Not bad for her first college at-bat.

It was OBU’s season opener and Morris hadn’t seen the field until the sixth inning plate appearance, but she wasted no time once she got in the box. The 5-foot-8 freshman drilled the first pitch she saw in her pinch hit at-bat out of the yard to give the Lady Bison a 9-0 walk-off, run-rule win over Oklahoma Wesleyan University.

“It was a great feeling,” Morris said. “Everyone met me at home plate and they were jumping up and down and banging on my helmet. It was awesome.”

The Sooner Athletic Conference thought so, too. The former Piedmont Lady Wildcat was named SAC softball player of the week the following Monday, after she finished the first week of her college career with a .667 batting average, a 2.667 slugging percentage, three runs scored and five RBI. She also walked once, stole a base and went on to hit a home run in her first career start for OBU. Read more →

Piedmont trio helps West earn 5-2 win

Alex Clyden jogs off the field during Thursday’s All-State soccer game at Newcastle High School.

Blake Colston
Sports Editor

NEWCASTLE – It’s always good to go out on top.

That’s exactly what Piedmont soccer players Kaylee Murphy, Alex Clyden and Sydney Campbell did in a 5-2 victory by the West Squad in the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State Game Thursday night at Newcastle High School’s Racer Stadium.

Although none of the three factored in the scoring, they all played heavy minutes and played well according to their high school coach, Brad Brucker.

“They all played very, very well. I was very happy for them,” Brucker said.

Murphy, who led the West defense to a first half shutout and a 3-0 halftime advantage, said it was a strange experience playing with so many new teammates.

“It was kind of weird because you were playing with a bunch of girls you’ve never met before,” she said.

For Alex Clyden the All-State game was a happy ending to an injury riddled career.

“It was really cool to end my soccer career in a game like this. It was fun,” she said. Read more →

Chamber golf tournament June 21

Blake Colston
Sports Editor

It’s that time of the year again.

The ninth annual Piedmont Chamber of Commerce golf tournament will take place Friday, June 21 at Surrey Hills Golf Club with a shotgun start scheduled for 1 p.m.

Piedmont Chamber of Commerce Tournament Chairman Eric Anderson has been instrumental in the development of the event and says the tournament continues to be a boon for the chamber.

“It’s one of the largest income producing items for the chamber each year,” Anderson said. “So it’s very important for the chambers budget.”

The tournament usually hosts 20 to 25 teams and Anderson says he expects to have a similar number this year. Read more →

Piedmont alum playing with the stars

Blake Colston

Former Piedmont Lady Wildcat soccer star Sydney Campbell’s game has come a long way.

Campbell was named to the Oklahoma All-State west soccer team recently and will take part in the All-State game June 13 at Newcastle High School. She says this is the last place she thought her soccer career would take her.

“When I first started playing soccer I thought you used your hands,” she said. “So no, I would not have foreseen this in my future.”

Like most young players, somewhere along the way Campbell learned to use her feet instead of her hands and the rest is history. A forward, she helped lead the 2013 Piedmont team to the state-semifinals in only the program’s third season of existence.

She says she’s anxious, but not nervous about getting to play in the prestigious game.

“I would say I’m more ready than anything,” she said.

Campbell’s taken part in a scrimmage and a practice with her fellow all-staters in preparation for the game and says it’s been a great experience thus far. Read more →

Group home gives boys a second chance

Tyran Oates, a resident at White Fields since it opened in 2006, graduated from Deer Creek High School in May.

Robert Flippo

For many children, being in the custody of the Department of Human Services means bouncing from one placement to the next. They start in one home and  when they reach a certain age they ‘age out’ and are sent to a new home. Being moved around like this adds a sense of confusion and hopelessness to children who have already been the victims of abuse and neglect.

This is the reality which Tom Ward sought to change when he founded White Fields with his son, Trent, in 2000. The White Fields campus, situated a few miles northeast of Piedmont, was built over the next few years and they accepted their first child in 2006. When creating White Fields, the idea was simple—build a place for boys in the custody of DHS that they would not have to leave.

“Once they get here, they can stay until they become adults,” Mautra Jones, Director of Development, said. “We prepare them for adulthood and when they leave they have a forever family.”

The way White Fields prepares the boys for adulthood is by offering a unique system of care, unlike anything else in the nation. There are five levels of care a child at White Fields has the opportunity to experience the success of which can be measured in any number of ways. But perhaps the best evidence came in May, when White Fields celebrated an important milestone. The boys home had its first child graduate from high school.

Tyran Oates, who has been with White Fields since they first opened, graduated from Deer Creek High School. In the fall, Oates will attend Anderson University in Indiana to study entrepreneurship.

“When he leaves, he’ll still have his room in the foster home,” Mautra Jones said. “He’ll still have his family.”

According to Andrew Schlecht, Education Coordinator for White Fields, most of the boys attend Deer Creek Public Schools. However, there are about four boys on campus who are not ready to go to public school. Instead, they attend the education center on campus.

“Because of their situation, some of these kids can be as much as four grade levels behind,” Sclecht said. “In public school they would be lost and confused. They need the one on one attention.” Read more →

State appearance energizes Piedmont baseball

Blake Colston

When you’re talking about the time between state tournament appearances, 33 years is a long time.

The Piedmont baseball program made it back to the high school baseball promised land for the first time since 1979 last season and head coach Kory Williams says it’s time for his team to act like they were never gone.

“I think it needs to become an expectation now,” he said of the accomplishment.

It’s not like the Wildcats hadn’t been trying to get there before. The 2012 squad went 23-13, but lost to Weatherford at the regional tournament.

With a majority of that team back in 2013, the expressed goal for this year’s Piedmont baseball team was to make it to the state tournament.To make things easier for his team, before the season began, Williams simplified things for his squad.

“I told them to focus on winning one game at a time,” he said. “If we do that everything else will take care of itself.”

His players listened. One win turned into two and two into three and before the Wildcats knew it, they were 11-0.  A 7-6 loss at Anadarko snapped their perfect season, but the ‘Cats responded with another nine game unbeaten streak to push their record to 20-1.

Piedmont blasted its way through regionals. Defeating their opponents by a combined score of 28-2 on their way to state. Byng knocked the Wildcats out of the state tournament, but Piedmont finished the season 31-7 and along the way something else happened, junior outfielder Max Jirak says. Read more →

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