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Archive for: May 2015

Lee overcomes knee injuries, signs with UCO

Blake Colston

Blake Colston/Gazette Madison Lee, center, celebrates signing with UCO with, from front left, sister Hannah, mom Teresa, dad Bruce and from back row left, coaches Haley Mitchel and Cherie Myers.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Madison Lee, center, celebrates signing with UCO with, from front left, sister Hannah, mom Teresa, dad Bruce and from back row left, coaches Haley Mitchel and Cherie Myers.

OKARCHE — Madison Lee didn’t want to let her knee make the decision for her.

So when it came time to decide whether or not she wanted to play college basketball, Lee went with her heart instead.  Lee signed with the University of Central Oklahoma earlier this month after receiving an offer after a tryout at the school in March, ending a tumultuous year and a half on a high note.

“Once I started getting back into it my knee was feeling really strong,” she said last Tuesday night at Okarche’s All-Sports banquet. “Basketball is something that’s really fun for me, so I didn’t want to stop playing.”

Lee tore the ACL in her right knee twice in the span of less than a year during her junior season, but rebounded to finish her illustrious Okarche career in style by leading the Lady Warriors to their fourth consecutive state championship game appearance as a senior. She earned All-Tournament team honors in the Class A state tournament and was a four-time All-Conference selection.

“I think it shows that through her hard work that she’s accomplished a lot,” Okarche head coach Cherie Myers said. “It’s a feel good sports story all the way around and it’s great as a coach to see your players doing well and getting to the next level.” Read more →

Piedmont’s Rogers to take part in OCABCA All-Star Game

Blake Colston

Piedmont’s J.J. Rogers still has at least two high school baseball games left to play. JJ Rogers

The right-handed pitcher who has signed with Seminole State College, will take part in Thursday’s Oklahoma City Area Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game set for 6 p.m. at Dolese Park.

Rogers, who was named to the North team as a reserve, will compete for the North against the South All-Stars in Thursday’s game.  Rogers and the North squad will also play a group of Tulsa All-Stars May 30 at Heritage Hall.

As a senior, Rogers went 5-5 with a 2.52 ERA, 61 strikeouts and two saves in 58 1/3 innings pitched. He batted .342 with 16 RBIs and scored 20 runs.

Full rosters for the North and South teams can be found Here.

Quarterback battle highlights spring football in Piedmont

Blake Colston

Blake Colston/Gazette Hunter Chism will be one of Piedmont's top returners next season.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Hunter Chism will be one of Piedmont’s top returners next season.

A quarterback competition and a new offensive coordinator are the top storylines as spring football practice gets underway in Piedmont this week and next.

Entering their second season as a member of Class 5A, the Wildcats return some talent from a team that finished one game out of the postseason in 2014, but must replace three-year starter Lucas Richert at quarterback, among others.

AUDIO: Drew Gossen talks spring ball

“This is a new team. This is an opportunity – the first opportunity we get – to get our new team out on the field and see what they’re all about,” second-year head coach Drew Gossen said.

So far this spring, sophomores Noah Ellis and Easton Hensley, an offseason transfer from Kansas, have separated themselves from the pack at quarterback.

“We’ve got to wait and see, but I think we’ve got a great start there,” Gossen said. “They’re a couple of kids who’ve shown they’re willing to work for it and have had a good couple of days of practice so far.” Read more →

Taylor places at state meet in 110, 300-meter hurdles

Blake Colston & Daniel Smola contributed to this report

YUKON — Piedmont junior Ethan Taylor continued his steady climb towards a potential state championship in the 300-meter hurdles Saturday at the 5A state track meet at Yukon High School.

Taylor placed third in the 300-hurdles in a time of 40.24 — a Piedmont High School record — behind only second place Kyle Sander of Deer Creek (39.42) and state champion James McBrayer of Altus (39.10).

“I did my best. Third is good because it’s state,” he said. “This has been the goal all year, so it’s really a joy to accomplish it.”

Taylor was jumbled with the field for the first half of the race, but pulled ahead with the leaders around the final bend.

He had his eyes on next year’s state meet just moments after the race, noting that his top competition, McBrayer, graduates next season, and Deer Creek’s Sander moves to 6A with the Antlers next season.



“Next year I really have a shot to take it,” he said.

Taylor also found the podium in the 110-hurdles by taking sixth, despite picking up the event just this season.

“I’m really pumped about that,” he said. “I personally don’t think I’m the best 100-meter sprinter, but when you put the hurdles in there I like it better.”

Taylor set a new school record in the prelims for the 110-meter race with a 15.40 on Friday to qualify for the finals, then ran a 15.67 on Saturday. Read more →

Piedmont’s No. 1 doubles on to second day; Carr gets last minute text to play No. 2 doubles

Blake Colston

OKLAHOMA CITY — Piedmont’s No. 1 doubles team of Jordan Jenkins and Levi Coleman had a feeling they could make some noise at the 5A state tournament.

Even as an unseeded team, the Wildcats duo had confidence they were capable of winning matches. So when fifth-seeded Durant stood in there way during the first round, the Piedmont pair didn’t flinch.

Blake Colston/Gazette Jordan Jenkins sends a ball back over the net against Carl Albert.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Jordan Jenkins sends a ball back over the net against Carl Albert.

Their confidence paid off with a straight sets win over the Lions (6-4, 6-4) to advance into the winners bracket later in the day.

Up against a tough duo from Carl Albert, Piedmont fell behind 4-0 in the first set, rallied to tie the set at 4 apiece then lost 6-4. The Titans took the second set 6-1.

“We should’ve played better. When we won the four straight sets we were hitting the ball in and staying consistent. We lost that.” Jenkins said. “Unforced errors were huge. We need to be more consistent.” Read more →

Priddy, McDermott acclimate to track quickly

Blake Colston

YUKON — Hayden Priddy was sure she’d never run track again.

After competing as a freshman at Piedmont, Priddy, a basketball star for the Lady Wildcats, swore never to return again. She kept true to her promise for two years, but at her dad’s suggestion came out for the high jump as a senior this spring.

The decision paid dividends quickly. Priddy took second at the Suburban Conference meet, tied for second at Class 5A Regionals and today narrowly missed landing a spot on the podium at the state meet in Yukon with a jump of 5’0. Tulsa Bishop Kelley’s Megan Losoncy won state with a 5’4.

Blake Colston/Gazette Piedmont's Hayden Priddy tries to clear the high jump at the state track meet at Yukon High School on Friday.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont’s Hayden Priddy tries to clear the high jump at the state track meet at Yukon High School on Friday.

“My goal every single time was just not to get last,” she said. “It’s crazy I can go from being a basketball player to making state in track.”

Priddy, who hadn’t jumped since middle school, credits her quick acclimation to a no-fear approach while in mid-air.

“You can’t be scared to go over the bar. Going over backwards is kind of scary, but my Dad told me I was going to land on a big fluffy mat, ‘so just do it’,” she said. “That’s how I did it, I just went out and jumped.” Read more →

Turley has whirlwind six months

Blake Colston

Kitty Turley found herself in a completely new and unexpected role during the last six months.

Turley, a senior on Piedmont High School’s cheer team, was  featured in a cheerleading documentary that aired in theatres across the United States in April.

One of four high school cheerleaders from across the country picked to star in ‘Nfinity Champions League 2,’ Turley gave director Mark Ellis an all-access tour into what life is like for a cheerleader on, and off the mat.Kitty Turley

The film crew traveled to Piedmont for four days to see what Turley’s life was like away from cheerleading, and followed her during a cheer competition in Los Angeles.

“It was really an awesome experience,” Turley said. “My favorite part was being mic’d up at the competition and also seeing it in the theatre when it came out.”

Turley was selected after responding to an email sent out by her competitive cheer coach from her competitive team, Obession, based out of Twist and Shout Cheer’s gym in Oklahoma City. She sent an audition tape in and made the cut.

“I don’t know if I’d say it made me famous, but it was definitely an awesome experience,” she said of the opportunity. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

For now, Turley’s next big cheerleading adventure is All-State cheer in Tulsa. Selected as one of 16 girls from more than 200 hopefuls, she’ll cheer at the All-State football and basketball games later this summer.

It’s the culmination of 13 years of hard work for Turley that could come to an end soon. She plans to spend her first year of college at UCO competing with Obsession, but after that isn’t sure if she’ll cheer in college once her eligibility with competitive cheer runs out next year.

“ I haven’t really gotten that far,” she said. “I’ll make a decision after I can’t do competitive cheer anymore.”

Ironically, it was the past gymnasts’ fear of any gymnastic event other than the floor routines that pushed her toward tumbling and cheer.

“My mom told me there was a sport where all of the events were on the floor,” she said of her mom Donna Turley’s suggestion to try cheer. “That sounded like something I would enjoy.”

She started off as a flyer – the one tasked with being vaulted into the air – then after injuries and pressure from the position mounted, decided to become a base.

Her competitive team has trips to Orlando, Washington D.C. and Dallas planned when the season picks back up in the fall. Last year she was part of Obsession’s Gold Medal World Championship won in Orlando.

“That’s my favorite memory from cheerleading so far,” Turley said.

And what about those that say cheerleading isn’t a sport?

“I would say they can believe whatever they choose, but I know what kind of practice and endurance goes into it. There are a lot of blood, sweat and tears that go into what we do.”

And, for Turley, a little bit of fame.

King, Thompson make most of trip to state

Blake Colston

OKLAHOMA CITY — Piedmont juniors Sophie Thompson and Jessica King expected to be at the 5A State Tennis Tournament this week, but by their own admission, not necessarily as competitors.

The Lady Wildcats’ No. 2 doubles team won two matches at regionals last week, the final a three-set win (3-6, 6-3, 6-4) over rival Deer Creek to reach state as Piedmont’s only representatives on the girls side in their first season of varsity tennis.

Blake Colston/Gazette Piedmont's Sophie Thompson readies to hit a return shot against Shawnee.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Piedmont’s Sophie Thompson readies to hit a return shot against Shawnee.

“I think we kind of surprised everybody,” King said. “I don’t really think anyone thought we were going to make it. It’s been fun kind of surprising everyone.”

“It was a surprise, but it’s been really good to be here,” Thompson added. “Our whole team has been supportive of us.” Read more →

Piedmont track qualifies seven for state meet

Blake Colston

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Piedmont boys and girls track and field teams qualified a total of seven athletes for the 5A state meet set for Friday and Saturday at Yukon High School.

On the boys side, Ethan Taylor (300-meter hurdles/110-hurdles), Devin Bingham, (400-meter dash) Tyler Wade, (3200 and 1600-meter run) Ryan Lang, (3200-meter run) and Davis McDermott (Pole Vault) were among the qualifiers at regionals Monday at Putnam City High School. Hayden Priddy (High jump) and Josilyn Schenk (800-meter run) made the cut for the girls team.

Priddy, Schenk fierce competitors

Hayden Priddy is a basketball player by trade, but the Southwestern Oklahoma State signee is an athlete first and foremost.

So when Piedmont girls head track and field coach Jon Bakewell invited her out to try the high jump, Priddy accepted. Now, less than two months later, Priddy is headed for the state tournament.

Blake Colston/Gazette Hayden Priddy jumps at the Suburban Conference Meet at Piedmont earlier this season.

Blake Colston/Gazette
Hayden Priddy jumps at the Suburban Conference Meet at Piedmont earlier this season.

A season-best jump of 5’0 and a fourth place finish at regionals was good enough to send Priddy to Friday’s Class 5A state track meet where she’ll jump at 10 a.m. An accomplishment that didn’t surprise Bakewell. Read more →

Hasley ties for fifth at 5A state tournament

Blake Colston

SHAWNEE — Piedmont’s Dustin Hasley had almost everything working at the Class 5A State Golf Tournament Monday and Tuesday at Shawnee Country Club.

But the one thing he never found — his putting stroke — kept him just outside of state title contention. Still, the talented sophomore finished tied for fifth with an eight-over-par three-round total of 221, (73-75-73) after taking 14th as a freshman last season.

Photo provided Dustin Hasley poses with his fifth place medal after the 5A state tournament on Tuesday.

Photo provided
Dustin Hasley poses with his fifth place medal after the 5A state tournament on Tuesday.

“He hit the ball great, but just didn’t make any putts,” Piedmont head coach Erik Ford said. “He hit a lot of good ones that just ran by the edges, and he had a couple of birdie putts lip out.”

Hasley birdied all three par fives — No’s. eight, 13 and 18 — in his first round on Monday and carded a total of nine birdies in three rounds. A total which could’ve been higher had his putting stroke been on. Read more →

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