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Archive for: October 2013

Mayor looks into planning commission alternative

By Robert Flippo

Mayor Valerie Thomerson recently sat down with County Commissioner Jack Stewart to discuss an alternative to the proposed Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC) which had gone before the Canadian County Commissioners a few weeks ago.

Mayor Valerie Thomerson

A MAPC is a joint commission between a city and the county government meant to help cities plan for future growth by giving cities limited power concerning areas outside of city borders. A number of Oklahoma cities have a MAPC including, Enid, Bartlesville, and Claremore.

The MAPC that went before the commission was a county-wide planning commission which any city in Canadian County could have joined. The MAPC would allow cities to work with the county to make certain zoning decisions within three miles of their city limits.

The County Commissioners held a public hearing on the matter which received much spirited debate from proponents and opponents alike. The proponents were primarily residents of Piedmont and the opponents were largely residents of the unincorporated land within three miles of Piedmont’s city limits.

Commissioner Phil Carson, whose district includes Piedmont, supported the creation of the MAPC. Commissioners Jack Stewart and David Anderson had reservations, citing a worry that decisions made to benefit Piedmont might go against the wishes of other residents of Canadian County.

In her meeting with Stewart, Thomerson addressed these concerns by proposing a MAPC covering a limited area and only in regards to a specific type of development. The MAPC would cover the area west of the city between Azalea NW and Memorial Road extending to Manning Road. The only type of development under the MAPC jurisdiction would be industrial development. Read more →

Piedmont 4-H club holds first meeting

Jennifer Ochoa leads the inaugural 4-H meeting.

By Robert Flippo

The Piedmont 4-H club held its inaugural meeting Thursday, September 19 at the Piedmont Library. Jennifer Ochoa, the leader of the 4-H club, ran the meeting with the help of assistant club leader Sheila Dunn, and Canadian County 4-H educators Summer Riggins and Jordan Slagell.

The meeting was a big step for the future of 4-H in Piedmont. Previously, the only 4-H presence in Piedmont was the 4-H horse club, the CC Tuff Riders. A full 4-H club in Piedmont will provide more opportunities for Piedmont youth, which has many excited.

“I’m looking forward to getting our club established and getting a name picked out and finding out what the kids here in Piedmont are interested in,” Ochoa said.

A large turnout at the meeting showed Ochoa wasn’t the only one excited about the prospect. Some 25 children and their parents crowded into the library’s side room for the meeting.

The meeting began with introductions, each child gave their name and said their favorite dessert as a way to get to know each other. Next, the leaders went into an explanation of what people could expect from the club, which turned out to not be entirely concrete. Read more →

Piedmont softball regional to start on Tuesday

By Evan Grice


There has been an official date change for the start of the Piedmont softball regional tournament.

Instead of being played next Thursday and Friday Oct. 10-11, the tournament will be played next Tuesday and Wednesday Oct. 7-8 with all times being the same as first announced.

Piedmont will take on Del City in the first game of the day at Noon, with Lawton MacArhur and Bishop McGuinness facing off at 2 p.m.

The losers will then meet at 4 p.m. in an elimination game with the winners meeting at 6 p.m. to see who will advance to the championship series which would start at 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, with an if necessary game being played at 4 p.m. later that same day.

Lady Wildcats fall in five set thriller to Bethany

By Evan Grice


While the Piedmont volleyball team was celebrating Pink Out night on Monday, it was the Bethany Lady Bronchos that were celebrating a victory.

Despite having a 2-1 set advantage going into the fourth set, the Lady Wildcats were unable to put BHS away as they suffered their fourth consecutive loss by scores of  25-17, 18-25, 16-25, 25-23, 10-15.

“We played a lot harder and better than we have been the past few games,” Piedmont coach Brad Brucker said. “The problem was we just made too many passing and serving errors. Those are the things we need to fix if we are going to win games.”

Piedmont’s ultimate undoing came in the fifth set, when Bethany jumped out to an early 7-2 advantage, leaving the Lady Wildcats to play catch up the rest of the way.

The closest PHS got to the Lady Bronchos in the final set was at 14-10.

Miranda Wagner and Anna Young both totaled four kills on the night for the Lady Wildcats, with Bailey Banks adding three kills and Kayden Carver getting two.

Kasidi Hardy added six assists on the night, with Skyler Mylonas putting in one as well.

Piedmont will be at home Thursday night for a matchup against Putnam City North, with senior night festivities taking place as well.

Junior Varsity will start at 5 p.m. with Varsity to follow at 6:30 p.m.

Lady Wildcats fall on the road at Tuttle

Evan Grice/Gazette
Piedmont’s Brittany White steps in at the plate Tuesday afternoon at Jerry Bates Field in Tuttle against the Lady Tigers.

By Evan Grice


In preparation for the playoffs, the Piedmont Lady Wildcats have been taking on tough competition.

Unfortunately, the wins haven’t been coming in for PHS, as the Lady Wildcats dropped a close 3-1 decision to the No. 3 ranked Class 4A Tuttle Lady Tigers on Tuesday afternoon at Jerry Bates Field.

“Defensively, we’re getting better as a team, and that’s important,” Piedmont coach Rick Scott said. “Now, if we could only get our offense to do the same thing, then we’ll be a very tough team to beat.”

Piedmont’s lone run of the game came in the top of the third inning, when Madi Morris blasted a pitch from Tuttle starting pitcher Bailee Saye over the wall in center field, cutting THS’ lead to 3-1.

Unfortunately, early hits in the first and second innings gave Tuttle a 3-0 lead, which Piedmont was unable to overcome.

Starting pitcher Courtney Anderson pitched valiantly through 1 1/3 innings, but had to leave the game in the second inning due to shoulder problems.

Kassidy Scott came in to pitch relief and struck out seven batters on three hits with four walks.

Saye threw a complete game for the Lady Tigers, allowing just six hits on one run with four strikeouts and one walk.

Piedmont will be at home Thursday night Oct. 3rd for its Pink Out game against Stillwater. Junior Varsity will play at 4:30 p.m. with varsity following at 6 p.m.

Three to beat: PHS learns regional opponents

Evan Grice/Gazette
Piedmont’s Bre Davis readies to take a swing earlier this season at El Reno. PHS will be hosting Del City, Lawton MacArthur and Bishop McGuinness in the regional tournament.

By Evan Grice


After knowing for more than a week they would be hosting a regional tournament, the Piedmont Lady Wildcats learned who they will have to go through to reach the state tournament on Tuesday afternoon.

Del City, Lawton MacArthur and Bishop McGuinness will be standing in the way of PHS and another regional championship when the tournament begins next week.

“I thought Ardmore was going to be placed in our regional to be honest,” Piedmont coach Rick Scott said about the draw. “Del City was the biggest surprise to come out of this draw. Other than that our field is about what we expected it to be. If we face Lawton Mac then it’s going to be a tough game, they are a well-coached team and are always prepared for big games.”

On the season the Lady Highlanders have amassed 20 victories, with two of them coming over Del City and Bishop McGuinness during the course of the season. Piedmont is the only team in the regional pool that MHS has not faced this season.

Bishop McGuinness will enter the regional tournament with less than 10 victories on the season, having been swept in district play by the Lady Wildcats, along with a 9-0 victory over the Lady Irish in the PCO Tournament.

Del City will enter with the worst overall record out of the four teams with a 2-16 mark.

As of press time no official word had been said about what days the tournament will be played on. The preliminary status was that they were to be played on Tuesday Oct. 8 and Wednesday Oct. 9, but could be moved to Thursday Oct. 10 and Friday Oct. 11.

“We’re trying to get the games played on Tuesday and Wednesday if that’s possible,” Scott said. “Thursday and Friday would really interfere with fall break activities and that’s something we’re trying to avoid if at all possible in this type of situation.”

Starting third basemen Michelle Brandon said her team is pumped to be hosting, but is more focused on taking care of business.

“We have to stay focused no matter who we are playing,” she said. “I thought it was a surprise hearing both Del City and Bishop McGuinness in our regional. It’s our home field and everyone is just very familiar there and we’re going to come out ready to play.”


PSA sign-ups bring out solid numbers

Evan Grice/Gazette
Piedmont resident Kelley Thomas hands in paperwork last Saturday morning to PSA Treasurer Bruce Lowder during boys basketball sign-ups at the Fina Municipal Center. It is expected that more than 230 kids are signed up.

By Evan Grice

If numbers are any indication, this season should be a banner year for the Piedmont Sports Association when it comes to boys’ basketball.

Last Saturday saw the end of the two week sign up period for the PSA boys’ basketball season at the Fina Municipal Center, which brought out parents and players alike in droves.

When the final three-hour sign-up period had ended, it was clear the PSA was going to be in for a great season on the court when the total was brought up.

“We’ve probably had a higher turnout this year than we did last season,” PSA Treasurer and boys’ basketball coordinator Bruce Lowder said. “Last year we had around 230 kids total, which we have not only met but probably surpassed which is great to see. I’m very excited for this season.”

Games will begin in the next few weeks, with participants divided up according to grade level from first all the way up until eighth grade.

Lowder added that he thinks youth sports play a huge impact on the development of future Piedmont athletes especially when it comes to a skill and fundamental standpoint.

“It’s very important getting kids involved in athletics at an early age, especially in the sport of basketball,” he said. “When you have a kid that is just starting in fifth grade as opposed to someone who has been playing since first grade, then it’s going to put them at a disadvantage.”

“Starting young allows the kids to develop skills and fundamentals along with good sportsmanship as well. It’s just a lot of fun for everyone, and the more kids that are involved the better it is for all of us.”

During the course of the season, scores will be published on a weekly basis in the sports section of the Surrey-Gazette along with additional coverage when the playoffs begin for boys’ basketball.

Piedmont looks to even district record against Cache

Evan Grice/Gazette
Piedmont running back Darrius Burris runs for yardage earlier this season against Western Heights on homecoming night at Stout Field in Piedmont. The Wildcats will be looking to even their district record this Friday night when they welcome the Cache Bulldogs to town for a district contest with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.

By Evan Grice

Coming into the second week of district play, the Piedmont Wildcats are looking to stay in the playoff hunt.

With the visit of Cache (2-2, 0-1) this Friday night at Stout Field, PHS will have a chance to avoid an 0-2 hole, and an uphill climb to the playoffs.

These two teams both lost last week, but in two very different fashions.

While Piedmont’s 32-26 defeat to Woodward saw the Wildcats comeback thwarted late in the fourth quarter, Cache was steamrolled at Ulrich Field in Cache by Anadarko with a final score of 63-14.

Piedmont’s defeat could though be partially blamed on five turnovers, which allowed the Boomers to jump out to a 20-7 advantage in the first half, something PHS head coach Craig Church said his team is constantly working to fix.

“Turnovers have been a major talking point in practice this season,” he said. “We’ve been focusing on them and in particular how to prevent the situations which are causing turnovers. Such as tipped balls, protection errors, etc.”

Cache started the season 2-0, with victories over Frederick and Santa Fe South, before dropping a one-point decision to Chickasha 25-24 in week three. However, both of the Bulldogs wins have come on the road this season, while CHS has dropped both home games it has played.

“I think their home losses come down to who they have played mainly,” Church said. “Anadarko really throws that stat off some when you look at that score. We need to avoid offensive turnovers, and be very sound on defense if we’re going to come away with a victory against this team.”

Cache will be led by senior quarterback Judah Sweat, who will have a couple of targets at his disposal on the receiving core in Tristan McLaughlin and Marcellous Dowell, both of which will be looking to give the Wildcats secondary a hard night with their speed.

“Cache is a very physical and well coached team,” Church said. “Offensively they’ll be running the split-back veer which is a predominantly run oriented offense. They’ll bring a three man front on the defensive side of the ball which is something we need to be ready for.”

Piedmont offensively will be looking for a turnover free perfomance from quarterback Lucas Richert, who threw four interceptions last week at Boomer Stadium in Woodward. Richert did finish with 237 yards passing on the night with two touchdowns.

As a team the Wildcats totaled 340 yards of total offense, while the Bulldogs could only muster 160 yards of total offense last week against Anadarko.

Darrius Burris will also be looking for an improved performance, after being held under 100 yards rushing for the second straight game this season last week against Woodward.
Burris finished with 95 yards on 27 carries against the Boomers.

Steffen Funkhouser will be trying to repeat his standout performance on the receiving end this week, as he finished with 205 yards on 11 catches against the Boomers last week on the road.

When these teams last met on September 28, 2012, the Wildcats defeated the Bulldogs by a score of 50-32. The fifty points was one of seven times last season that Cache allowed 30 or more in a contest, something they have only done once this season thus far.

In fact, the Wildcats have not lost to the Bulldogs since 2010, with Piedmont failing to score more than 30 points only one time in that span.

Piedmont will be traveling to Elk City next Friday night for a matchup against the Elks.
Games against the defending state champion Clinton Red Tornadoes and Anadarko will then follow at Stout Field, befiore the Wildcats hit the road for their final two district games of the season against Elgin and finally Weatherford on November the 8th.

Piedmont senior Culp shines in first game back from injury

Evan Grice/Gazette
Piedmont defensive player Blane Culp (33) talks with teammate Brett Adams on the sidline during Friday night’s game at Woodward. The game was the first athletic activity Culp has participated in since overcoming a torn labrum in his shoulder six months ago.

By Evan Grice


For many high school athletes, especially football players, running out onto the field on a Friday night under the lights is as natural as breathing.

But, for Piedmont senior defensive player Blane Culp, this was something he wasn’t sure he would get to experience this season, or ever again in any sport.

At the end of football season in 2012, Culp suffered a shoulder injury, which at the time wasn’t severe enough to require treatment or keep the senior away from athletics.

True to his nature, Culp battled on during wrestling season, landing himself a third place finish at the State Wrestling championships, an improvement from his fourth place finish in 2011, but the celebration was short lived.

Culp was officially diagnosed with a torn labrum in his shoulder shortly after the state competition, which affected his joints and more importantly, his future in athletics.

“I can’t exactly remember what happened with the initial injury,” Culp said. “I just went on and wrestled with it just because it didn’t seem like it was that bad of an injury. It just got worse as time went on.”
“Being told I had to be away from football was something I had a hard time accepting.”

Six months of long, hard rehab would pass before Culp made his season debut this past Friday night at Boomer Stadium alongside his teammates against the Woodward Boomers.

“Being back with my team was a big driving force for me during the rehab process,” Culp said. “Stepping back out onto the field was one of the best feelings in the world for me.”
“My family has been great supporters during this time. They have never stopped believing in me and have kept pushing me every step of the way. I’m very thankful for them and everything they have done for me.”

“It was a long six months for everyone,” Blane’s Grandmother Judy Ross said about the rehab process. “Blane is always very active, and it was hard seeing him have to wear a shoulder harness to work in. I was a little overprotective as well when he would come to visit and want to wrestle in the pool.”

With several members of his family in attendance, including his mom Jenise, father Joe, his brother Braden, sister Hanna and his grandparents Steve and Judy Ross, along with grandparents J. Juan and Denise Jech from Kingfisher, Blane stepped onto the field for the first time this season.

After a quiet first quarter, Culp finally got his moment in the second quarter, when he brought down Woodward running back Xavier Vo for a seven yard loss on a 4th and 4 play. But, the best was yet to come on the night.

At the 3:14 mark of the third quarter, the Boomers were driving on the Piedmont 45 yard line, facing a 2nd and 10 situation. With the snap of the ball, Culp raced around his blocker and wrestled WHS quarterback Kale Hixon to the ground for a 10 yard loss, which was immediately met with a loud cheer from members of his family sitting up in the stands.

“That was a very special moment for all of us as a family,” Ross said about Blane’s sack. “We were all so excited to see him play, and it was even better that he made a tackle like that. It meant the world to us when he acknowledged us on the sidelines after he got back.”

Blane added his coaches deserve a lot of credit for the play call which led to his sack.

“The sack was great don’t get me wrong,” he said jokingly. “But, our coaches called a blitz on that play, which was a great call by them. I just kept my eye on where I was supposed to go and things just happened to work out the way they did.”

Culp would later get another tackle for a loss in the fourth quarter of the game as his team fought its way back to within six points of the Boomers on the night.

“I’m wanting to unite this team especially the defense now that I’m back,” Culp said. “Football is a lot of fun and it’s about having your team be united so that you can be successful together on the field.”

“I want to help lead by example not just with my words but by my actions as well,” he added. “I’m excited to be back on the field and ready to get to work and just have fun.”

Culp and his teammates will be back in action this Friday night at Stout Field as the Wildcats take on Cache with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.

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