No. 10: Boys Basketball Team attends camp at University of Kansas
The Wildcat boys basketball team attended a four day camp at the University of Kansas over the summer. The team played seven games in three days against tough competition from Kansas and Iowa. Many observers said that Piedmont’s Keith Vick was the best player they had watched over the four day period. The biggest highlight for the Wildcats came when they beat defending Iowa state champions, Sioux City. The camp was just the first step towards this year’s team goal of a state championship.
The Lady Wildcats basketball teams had not won a varsity tournament in almost a decade before this season. That all changed when they traveled to Mannford in early December. Piedmont routed McLain and Okmulgee to reach the championship round. A 35-32 victory over Tulsa Webster gave Piedmont the Lake Keystone Classic title. Coach George Wagner said winning the championship was a huge step for the team and it validated all the hard work the team has put it.
Piedmont limped through the season and carried a 1-7 record going into the last two games of the season. It would have been easy for them to throw in the towel and look forward to next year. However, in typical Piedmont style, the Wildcats rallied to win their last two games. Piedmont made the long trip to Guymon and played an overtime thriller that saw Taylor Ashcraft score the game winning touchdown. In the final week of the season, the Wildcats traveled to Cache and fell behind early but shut out the Bulldogs in the second half to end the season. Winning back-to-back games is a big step for Piedmont and should lay a strong foundation for a much improved 2011 season.
Winning state at any level is an impressive accomplishment and when both your boys and girls teams win, it’s even better. That was the case for the Piedmont Middle School teams this fall. The Piedmont girls beat out Tahlequah, Madill, and Ardmore to take home the title. Coach Roger White said that the girls set a goal of being state champions in June and followed through. The boys team was out for revenge after getting beat by Madill earlier during the season. They beat out Madill, Tahlequah, and Edmond Santa Fe South for the title. In total, Piedmont had 17 individual medals at the state meet. With so much talent at the middle school level, one can only imagine how much success these runners will have as they get older and move on to high school.
Piedmont schools are growing and, often, as schools grow they add more sports to meet the expanding needs of their students. This year, Piedmont has added soccer to their slate of sports. The soccer teams started sign ups in early July and have started off season workouts through the fall semester. There are about 65 kids signed up for soccer.
Matt LaHue, the new head soccer coach, said that he has been impressed with the student’s attitudes and desire to play. LaHue had previously coached soccer at Shawnee. The regular season starts March 1 and Piedmont is scheduled for six regular season games and a tournament.
The Piedmont wrestlers kicked off their 2010 season with a victory over Class 4A No. 6 McLoud. The dual took place at Oklahoma City University. Coach Erik Ford said that the dual gave the wrestlers a lot of confidence going forward and was a good experience for them to wrestle at a college venue. Aaron Hane was matched up against a returning state placer, and won by two points. Hunter Winkle sealed the early season upset by pinning his opponent.
No. 4: Jori Davis named Gatorade Player of the Year, signs with OSU
Cross country runner Jori Davis was one of Piedmont’s most decorated athletics when she graduated last year. In addition to her three state cross country championships, Davis was named the Gatorade Cross Country Player of the Year in January. She won state titles her freshman, junior, and senior years. Davis’ title from her senior year was won with a time of 11 minutes 52.12 seconds. She was praised by Coach Amanda Tims for her encouragement and leadership.
Just three weeks after being named player of the year, Davis signed with Oklahoma State. Davis was also recruited by North Carolina, Arkansas, UCLA, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech. Davis said that she made the choice to go to OSU because of the coaches and the school.
For many schools, back-to-back trips to the state tournament would be a major accomplishment. The Piedmont Lady Wildcats softball team made their fifth straight trip to the big tournament this fall. While Piedmont would fall to Tuttle in the opening round, making five straight trips is a true testament to the stability of the program.
Brantley Pyle now shares a spot a top the mountain with Dusty Gilles as the only Piedmont wrestlers with a state title. Gilles took state in 2000. Pyle, who wrestled in the 135 pound division, amassed a 36-3 record his senior season. Over the course of the state tournament, Pyle took down two No. 1 seeds as a No. 3 seed. Pyle defeated Tuttle’s Dallas Gracey with a 5-4 decision in the finals. Pyle said that a state title was a big goal of his going into his senior season and he worked hard to achieve what he did.
Back-to-back state titles for the Piedmont Lady Wildcat track team was the top story for 2010. After winning state in 2009 with just seven girls, Piedmont went into 2010 as the hunted. Coach Trinity Johnson said that there was a lot of pressure on the team every time they stepped off the bus.
Senior Jori Davis won the only individual title for Piedmont winning the 3200 meter race to claim her first track title to go with her three cross country titles. The crowning moments for the Lady Wildcats came during the 4×100 and the 4×200 events where the team picked up a total of 40 points. The 4×100 team was praised for their near flawless hands offs as the reason they were able to garner so many points.