December, 2013

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Mustang wins Millwood tournament

Aubrey Johnson

By Kyle Salomon

When Terry Long left Douglass to come to Mustang to be the head basketball coach, he knew there would be a chance he would see his old team, and that become a reality last week.

Mustang won the 2013 Oklahoma Millwood Invitational basketball tournament at Millwood High School.

The tournament was originally scheduled to be played Dec. 5-7, but because of the snow and ice storm that hit the Oklahoma City area, the final two days of the event were postponed to Dec. 11-12.

Isaiah Hammons

Isaiah Hammons

The Broncos defeated Mount St. Mary’s on Dec. 5 by a score of 77-52. They returned to action on Dec. 11 against Oklahoma City Douglass. The Broncos hammered the four-time defending Class 4A state champions 101-82.

In the championship game on Dec. 12, Mustang took on the Oklahoma City Storm. Mustang squeaked out a 70-67 victory against the area home-school team, giving the Broncos the tournament victory.

The three wins in the contest improved the Broncos’ overall regular season record to 4-0. Long said he is proud of the way his team competed, but they have a lot of work to do.

“We are playing inconsistent basketball right now on both ends of the floor,” he said. “We will play totally unselfish at times and look like a contending basketball team, but then we will play sloppy and play real inconsistent. If we want to accomplish our goals, we are going to have to be more consistent.”

Against Oklahoma City Douglass the Broncos got off to a strong start. Mustang played its full court man-to-man pressure defense, which gave the Trojans all they could handle and more.

The Broncos capitalized on numerous Douglass turnovers, which turned into easy fast-break points for Mustang. Douglass is known for its up-tempo style of play, but the Broncos gave them a taste of their own medicine as Mustang’s overall athleticism proved to be too much for the Trojans to handle.

However, in the fourth period Mustang took its foot off the gas pedal, allowing the savvy Douglass squad an opportunity to make a furious comeback against the Broncos. The Trojans cut the lead from 26 points to four points in a matter of four and a half minutes.

Mustang was able to stop the bleeding and extended the lead back to double digits to ice the 19-point victory against Long’s old team.

“I thought we stopped playing in the fourth,” Long said. “We thought the game was over and when you do that against a good team you give them a chance to come back on you. Hopefully we learn from that and don’t let that happen again.”

Sophomore guard Jakolby Long had 17 points, four rebounds and two assists on the night. Sophomore guard Isaiah Hammons totaled 20 points, six rebounds and two assists. Junior guard Terrell Williams finished with five points, two rebounds and four assists.

Junior guard Aubrey Johnson had seven points and three rebounds. Sophomore forward Austin Meyer totaled 20 points, nine rebounds and one assist. Junior forward Geoff Hightower finished with four points and five rebounds.

Senior guard Demarion Love had 20 points, three rebounds and one assist. Sophomore guard Dearyus Colbert finished with five points, three rebounds and one assist. Senior forward Eric Lucas had one rebound. Sophomore guard Kejuan Frazier added two points and one rebound, and junior forward Dylan Snyder finished with two points and one rebound.

Against the OKC Storm the Broncos struggled to gain a lead in the game. Mustang and the Storm went back and forth as neither team led by more than five points throughout the game. Mustang was able to make plays down the stretch both offensively and defensively to escape with the three-point win.

Long finished against the Storm with 10 points, six rebounds and three assists. Hammons totaled 15 points, three rebounds and two assists. Williams closed out the contest with eight points, three rebounds and two assists.

Johnson had 11 points and three rebounds. Meyer totaled nine points and two rebounds. Hightower closed the game out with seven points and four rebounds.

Love finished the game with eight points, one rebound and five assists. Colbert had two rebounds and two assists, while Snyder totaled two points and one rebound.

Mustang traveled to Yukon on Tuesday night to compete with the Millers in the in-county rivalry.

Masons install 2014 officers

masons installation 2

Mustang Masons on Sunday held its annual installation of officers.

Conducting the ancient ceremony was Gerry Odom, who welcomed 2014 Worshipful Master Dan Cromwell and his slate of fellow officers.

Worshipful Master Dan Cromwell (seated). (Photo/Traci Chapman)

Worshipful Master Dan Cromwell (seated). (Photo/Traci Chapman)

Other officers inducted were:

Chris Zuest Sr. – Senior Warden

Dennis Kamin – Junior Warden

Joseph O’Roark – Treasurer

W. Gene Doser – Secretary

Aaron Diment – Senior Deacon

W. Billy E. May, Sr. – Junior Deacon

Bobby McGregor – Senior Steward

Carl Eggleston – Junior Stewart

Jeffrey Wayne Walls – Chaplain

Dennis Schoors – Tyler

Wesley Lodge No. 407 was charged by the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma on Feb. 10, 1910. Lodge members participate in and organize a wide variety of civic activities each year, most recently hosting children who took part in Mustang Police Department’s Christmas with a Cop program, and holding a benefit for Canadian County Jail Administrator Bob Stuart, who was injured in a motorcycle accident earlier this year.



Willrath latest MFD captain

Andy Willrath is the newest captain of the Mustang Fire Department. Willrath was selected last week to take the captain’s spot upon the retirement of Dylan Ross, who has been with the department for 25 years.

Andy Willrath

Andy Willrath

“It will be an exciting time – I’ve got some giant shoes to fill,” Willrath said of Ross.

Fire Chief Carl Hickman said Ross has been a big part of Mustang’s success.

“Dylan was actually working the day I came here to work,” Hickman said. “I certainly hate to see him go – we’re losing a lot of experience and just a great guy.

“I wish him well in his retirement,” he said.

Ross was a staple in the department when Willrath joined in 1995, as well, he said.

“When I came on, he (Ross) was one of three full-time guys,” he said. “Now we have 15 full-time firefighters.”

Both the department and Willrath have seen lots of changes over the years. Willrath began as a volunteer while working at United Parcel Service. He joined the department full time on Jan. 1, 2003, working his way up to lieutenant in 2009. Since becoming a Mustang firefighter, Willrath has become well known in the community, as one of the leaders in efforts like Santa’s Toy Shoppe, as well as the department’s school fire safety program, among others.

It’s a long way from the shy student who attended Yukon High School, he said.

“You’d never know it but when I was in high school I was so shy,” Willrath said. “Now I’ll talk to everyone – I love interacting with people, I love the camaraderie.”

Five firefighters were eligible to test for the captain’s position, and three went through the process, Hickman said. The trio went through a series of written tests, as well as exercises graded by a panel of three fire chiefs.

“Andy was the one who came out on top,” the chief said. “I have the fullest confidence that he’ll do us a good job.”

Willrath is married to Lea and has two children, Sawyer, 5, and Cooper, 2. He said dealing with children and talking to them about fire safety is one of the perks of a job that has stayed fresh and interesting to him since his early days as a volunteer.

“Are you kidding me, I get to be on a fire truck every day,” Willrath said. “It’s the best job I could ever hope to have, and I’m lucky to be part of this department and to do this every day.”




Sometimes the smallest of us show us how we should be

Sometimes it’s the smallest of us who give the best example of what we should be.

Sabrina shows a gift she bought for her mom. She used a great deal of the money given to her through the Christmas with the Cops program to shop for her family, rather than herself. (Photo/Traci Chapman)

Sabrina shows a gift she bought for her mom. She used a great deal of the money given to her through the Christmas with the Cops program to shop for her family, rather than herself. (Photo/Traci Chapman)

In the last several days, I’ve been able to witness the best side of people – those of us who tirelessly work to help others. We know who they are – Mustang Masons, the Kiwanis, Mustang firefighters and police, just everyday individuals who work to make the world a better place for others. We are blessed in our community to have an abundance of these people, those who show us just how good people can be.

But sometimes those lessons come from an unexpected place, from those who you wouldn’t necessarily expect. That’s where Haylin, Greenlee and Sabrina come in.

Haylin Pettit is your typical 10-year-old. Filled with an abundance of energy and a flashing smile, just meeting Haylin for five minutes you can tell she’s the kind of kid you would be proud to call your own. While Haylin on any day seems to be a happy and caring child, last week she proved to be even more than that – she showed me just how much of a difference one person can make.

Haylin decided in June, after the May 31 tornado, she wanted to help people. She saw that some children might not have a Christmas because some of them didn’t even have a home left standing. While some kids might have had that great idea and then forgotten about it by the time their birthday rolled around in December, Haylin did not – she turned the idea into a merry Christmas for probably dozens of kids.

Haylin and her mother, Courtney spent 10 hours last Thursday at Mustang fire station, accepting donations for the department’s Santa’s Toy Shoppe. Giving up her own birthday gifts, Haylin asked that friends, family and the community instead bring toys for firefighters’ annual efforts – which at that time seemed to be falling short.

The community responded and in a big way. On Saturday, when firefighters and others distributed the toys they collected, parents were able to select several gifts for their children, children who otherwise might not have had a visit by Santa on Christmas Eve.

Haylin wasn’t the only one who gave of herself at a time when she could expect to be the gift recipient. Greenlee Lindsey also gave up her birthday presents in favor of others, holding a party at Yukon on Wheels and asking for presents to be donated to Toys for Tots. With an overflowing box of toys as the result, Greenlee helped a lot of children not only locally but throughout the state, who will have a gift because of her efforts.

It’s one small girl, however, who especially touched my heart. Her name is Sabrina and she was in a different position – she was the one being helped by others. Sabrina and three others, all boys, were part of the Christmas with a Cop program. Treated to a “fun” breakfast (her words) and pizza lunch, Sabrina and the three boys were accompanied by Mustang police officers to pick out gifts for Christmas.

Instead of buying gifts for herself – which a lot of kids would do in her place – Sabrina instead focused on her family. As she wrapped and prepared the presents, she showed off a necklace for her mom, clothes for her brother, items for others. This little girl not only gave of herself, she embodied the true spirit of Christmas without even knowing it.

“She is an amazing little girl who could teach a lot of us how to be giving and grateful for the things we have,” Detective Camie McNeil said.

Camie is right. Sabrina, Haylin and Greenlee did more than give gifts to others. They gave all of us who witnessed what they did the greatest gift of all – an example to live by, and a beacon of light that is what Christmas is supposed to be about.

From our family at Mustang News to yours, have a very Merry Christmas.

Pearcy graduates from basic training

Air Force Airman 1st Class Brittany D. Pearcy graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

Brittany Pearcy

Brittany Pearcy

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.

Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Pearcy is the daughter of Crystal and Michael Pearcy of Yukon. She is a 2008 graduate of Mustang High School.

School board to propose $7 million bond issue

(Rendering/courtesy Mustang Public Schools)

 By Traci Chapman

Less than a month after voters rejected a $4.05 million bond issue, Mustang School Board elected to send a $7 million proposal to a Feb. 11 vote.

Mustang School Board President Chad Fulton, left, and Superintendent Sean McDaniel. (Photo/Traci Chapman)

Mustang School Board President Chad Fulton, left, and Superintendent Sean McDaniel. (Photo/Traci Chapman)

Superintendent Sean McDaniel presented the plan to board members during their regular December meeting, held Monday. The board’s vote to send the plan to voters in February was unanimous.

McDaniel said the district could call a new election within 60 days if the proposal was “substantially different.” While the $7 million plan contains elements included in the $4.05 November proposal, there were several changes and additions to the new issue, McDaniel said.

According to the resolution approved by the board, the bond issue would break out as follows:

u$1.6 million for “technology infrastructure, equipment and software for classrooms and schools.” These items include smartboards, 3-D printers, tablets, laptops, iPads and lab equipment for use district-wide in its Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – STEM – program.

$1 million for “constructing, equipping, renovating and furnishing” storm shelters at Mustang Education Center and Mustang High School campus.

u$375,000 for district “arts programs.” This would include instruments, stage lighting, software and band uniforms.

u$300,000 for “constructing, equipping and furnishing a new barn for the agricultural education program.” The district’s barn, utilized by FFA and 4-H students, is located at 7916 South County Line Road.

u$1.225 million for “constructing, equipping and furnishing a softball training facility for use by the MHS softball and baseball teams.”

u$1.4 million for “constructing, equipping and furnishing a new ROTC training and instructional center” at Mustang High School.

u$800,000 for acquisition of “land for the construction of future schools and/or district facilities in the south and central areas of the district.”

u$200,000 for “new playground equipment” at Mustang and Lakehoma elementary schools.

u$100,000 for “upgrading certain interior lighting” at Trails Elementary School and Mustang North Middle School.

While there are similarities to the district’s November bond attempt, there are significant changes. Provisions for storm shelters and interior lighting were not included in the November issue, and dollar amounts for almost all of those individual projects proposed last month have changed. Only the JROTC center, estimated at $1.4 million, remained the same.

McDaniel addressed storm shelter construction in a Tuesday email. The superintendent said while each school has refuge areas, older sites do not have FEMA-certified shelters.

“The two areas that need attention in our district are on the high school campus (we actually do currently have areas of refuge at MHS) and at the MEC (Mustang Education Center),” McDaniel stated in his email.

The district’s new proposal includes a 50 percent increase in the amount allocated for the FFA barn, from $150,000 slated in November to $300,000 in the new plan. McDaniel said the increase was implemented for “additional needs based on recent Oklahoma City code requirements, based on larger spaces for students, and outfitting adequate lab environments,” such as welding.

The original $1.325 million allocated for baseball – with another $100,000 for softball teams was combined to a single lower proposal of $1.225 for both programs. McDaniel said programs could share the new area because their seasons were different, and the district was able to shave $100,000 off the proposal after “asking private donors to contribute for the purchase of specified equipment that would generally appear as a part of the bond under FFE (furnishings, fixtures, and equipment).”

The new $1.4 million JROTC building would include “classroom space, office space, lab space, training/drill space, and locker room space along with restroom facilities,” McDaniel said.

“This facility will be constructed to be a stand-alone facility that will meet the needs of the JROTC program for years to come,” he said.

The district could propose the higher bond amount by changing its term – from four years to five – McDaniel told board members. The tax impact for district residents would remain the same as November’s proposal, he said.

“For someone with a $100,000 home you’re looking at $30 a year or $2.50 a month,” the superintendent said.

McDaniel said issues with the November proposal was low voter turnout. In an election marked by exceptionally low participation, 57.3 percent of voters approved the November bond issue. State law requires 60 percent approval for school bonds. A second issue – $750,000 for purchase of new buses – was OK’d by voters.

McDaniel and his staff were working on plans to better present the issue to voters before the Feb. 11 date. The district did not adequately “get the word out” before the November election, and 95.4 percent of registered voters living in the district did not cast a ballot, he said.

“Historically there’s been a much higher turnout,” he said. “The numbers tell us Mustang supports school bond elections.”

Turnovers lead to girls’ loss to Choctaw

Toniesha Cobbs

By Kyle Salomon

Turnovers were the difference as the Bronco girls basketball team fell to Choctaw in its season opener. The Mustang girls fell 64-41 to Choctaw Dec. 5, dropping to 0-1 on the season and 0-1 in conference play.

Laci Joyner

Laci Joyner

The Bronco girls committed 25 turnovers in the game, with most of them coming in the third period, which allowed the Yellowjackets to break the game open heading into the final frame of the contest.

“We just didn’t play as well as we are capable of playing,” head coach Kevin Korstens said. “We made too many mistakes and we weren’t sharp offensively. I thought we played hard, but we just didn’t make enough plays. We will get back to work and improve.”

The Yellowjackets got out to a fast start in the first period as they connected on baskets on their first several possessions, taking an early lead on the Broncos. Choctaw earned several second-chance points in the paint as Mustang was struggling in the rebounding department. MHS got its offense rolling late in the period, which enabled them to keep the score close heading into the second period. Choctaw held a 19-14 lead after one period of play.

The second period almost mirrored the first as the Broncos got off to a slow start offensively, while Choctaw extended its lead to double digits. Mustang made a run late in the period, cutting the lead back down to five before the halftime bell. The guards for MHS began making outside shots, which brought the Broncos back. The Yellowjackets remained on top of the Broncos by five heading into the halftime locker room.

Choctaw came out swinging in the third period as the team forced the majority of Mustang’s turnovers in the third frame, extending its lead back to double digits. Mustang’s offense didn’t come alive like it did in periods one and two as the Broncos mustered just four points in the frame. The Yellowjackets held a 42-30 advantage after three periods of play.

It was much of the same for Mustang and Choctaw in the final period of the game. The Broncos continued to struggle offensively and defensively as the Yellowjackets moved their lead beyond 20 points before the final bell rang, with Choctaw coasting to the 23-point victory.

Mustang made 16 out of 24 free throws on the night.

In the individual stat department it was sophomore guard Addy Lawson coming out on top for the Broncos with 11 points. Junior guard Madison Maxwell also had 11 points on the night. Senior center Brooke Irwin had six points and five rebounds in the game. Sophomore forward Sarah Kellogg added four points and three rebounds.

Senior guard Tori Shockley had three points and one rebound. Sophomore forward Shelby Wright posted three points and three rebounds. Sophomore forward Brandi Russell had two rebounds, and junior guard Toniesha Cobbs added one point for Mustang.

The Bronco girls were originally scheduled to travel to Durant last weekend to compete in the Durant tournament, but inclement weather forced the tournament to be canceled. The girls took on Edmond North on Tuesday night in their home opener for the season.


Key Club seeks food donations


Mustang High School Key Club members are spreading the word – food is still needed for area families this Christmas.

key club

Club members are working to light a spark on a school-wide food drive continuing until Dec. 20. While students have been concentrating on their own, they have asked area businesses and residents to join in the effort, hoping to help families struggling this holiday season.

All food collected will go to Mustang Kiwanis’ food pantry, said Cindy Le. Mustang High School students are asked to bring their food donations to their fourth hour class; the class with the most donations will get hot cocoa and cookies, she said.

Anyone outside the MHS student body wishing to contribute can bring donations to the school’s front office or to the Mustang News office, located at 290 North Trade Center Terrace.

Excitement precedes basketball season

Austin Meyer 1

By Kyle Salomon

Excitement is starting to fill the air as high school basketball season is upon us in Oklahoma, and the Mustang boys squad is a contender this season to bring home the gold.

Jakolby Long

Jakolby Long

The Bronco boys basketball team returns six players from last year’s squad who started at least one game and played significant minutes for Mustang on the hardwood.

Mustang head basketball coach Terry Long is entering his second season as the face of the program. Last year, the Broncos were a surprise to everybody around the state, but saw their solid season come to an abrupt halt at the hands of Bixby in the first round of regionals.

New pieces to the puzzle to mix in with the returning talent on the roster makes this team not only a contender, but dangerous to other good teams throughout the state, which also have their eyes set on the gold ball.

Long said preseason practice has been a roller-coaster throughout much of the fall.

“It has been up and down for the most part,” he said. “We will look outstanding sometimes, but then other times we will be sloppy. I want to see more consistency in how we work every day. I love practice and I love working hard, so that is what we need to do as a team.”

With the football team falling in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs, Long got his football players who also play basketball back on the court before Thanksgiving.

Long said those players will help with more consistency in practice, but they need to get in shape in a hurry.

“Being in football shape and being in basketball shape are two different things,” he said. “We have to get those guys used to running in a gym again, and that will take a little bit of time. We can’t be as good as we can be unless we are all in great shape.”

Sophomores Jakolby Long, Dearyus Colbert, Eric Lucas, Bryce Roberts and Xavier Whitehead all came over to the hardwood once football was over. Sophomore Chandler Garrett will join the team once he heals from a knee injury he suffered late in the football season.

Lucas, Isaiah Hammons, Colbert and Demarion Love will all be newcomers on the basketball squad this season. One player who they thought would be able to play this year was Curtis Haywood, but the OSSAA ruled him ineligible to compete in varsity athletics this academic school year.

When it comes to the team’s strengths this season, Long said he believes this squad has many.

“I look at my team and I really don’t see a need in any area,” he said. “I truly believe we have every piece of the puzzle it takes to win a state championship. We have really good size and athleticism on the perimeter and we can do a lot of different things inside.”

Finding a weakness in this team may be difficult, but Long said it is there.

“I wish we had a little more size inside,” he said. “Austin Meyer (sophomore) and Geoff Hightower (junior) are playing really well down there right now for us, but we have some versatile guys like Eric Lucas and Jakolby (Long) who can even play down there if we need it.”

Long said he believes every player on his team can be a leader, but he would like one guy to stand out and take over.

“I want Jakolby to be more vocal this year for us,” he said. “Last year he was a freshman, so he has a year under his belt now. He needs to be a leader for us. Geoff (Hightower) has been a great leader for us throughout practice. He gets everybody in the right spots and ready to go every day.”

Mustang opened the regular season officially on Tuesday night at Choctaw. The Broncos travel to Oklahoma City Millwood to compete in the Millwood Tournament tonight, Friday and Saturday.

Those results will be in the Dec. 12 Mustang News.


Bible history class to be part of student pre-enrollment packets

Sean McDaniel

A Bible history elective class discussed in November by school board members will be part of Mustang High School’s pre-enrollment fall packets. 

The class was one of 11 course offerings proposed by Superintendent Sean McDaniel and his staff for consideration by students during the 2014-2015 school year. Board members on Monday approved the course offering to secondary students in a unanimous vote taken during their regular December meeting.

Although members approved the Bible elective’s inclusion in student packets, they will have one more chance to review the class curriculum before the fall semester. That move was taken upon McDaniel’s suggestion, although it would be an unusual extra step in offering a new course, the superintendent said. Normally a new class goes through nine steps, beginning with an internal audit and request to add a course, which is then reviewed by the district’s curriculum committee. If approved by that body, school board members would then review the proposal.

“Typically step 4 is as far as a board of education will go,” McDaniel said.

In the case of the Bible history elective, McDaniel said he thought board members would feel more comfortable reviewing the course’s proposed curriculum. Steve Green, president and chief executive officer of Hobby Lobby gave a November presentation to board members about the proposal at McDaniel’s request. His staff at Green Scholars Initiative was working on components of at least the first proposed semester for the course, McDaniel said.

Green discussed his vision for the elective with board members, focusing on the Bible’s history. The Hobby Lobby CEO is working on a Washington, D.C. Bible museum scheduled for a 2017 opening. He said the Green Collection contains more than 40,000 biblical texts and artifacts. According to his Museum of the Bible website, Green and his staff were working with Dr. Robert E. Cooley, president emeritus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, to help develop the course curriculum.

“The courses will be offered as electives and will take the same model as the museum,” the website stated. “A year each is devoted to the history, impact and story of the Bible, with ninth grade encompassing a survey of all three.”

The course would be non-denominational and would not concentrate on any particular organized religion, Green said. The course would be appropriate – and now legal – after Oklahoma adopted a 2010 law allowing it to be offered by school districts in the state.

If students show interest in the class and it is included on next fall’s schedule, Mustang would be the first school district utilizing Green’s curriculum, he said. Because the course is offered as an elective, students can choose whether or not they are interested in it, Green said.

Other courses approved by board members for next year included:

  • Advanced Placement Human Geography;
  • Seventh- and Eighth-Grade Speech Debate I;
  • Eighth-Grade Leadership Citizenship;
  • Seventh- and Eighth-Grade Gateway to Technology;
  • Sports Entertainment and Marketing;
  • Mock Trial;
  • Archery and Fishing;
  • Stagecraft/Technical Theatre;
  • Freshman Success; and
  • Pre-AP Spanish I.

Board members were expected to review the Bible history class proposed curriculum by their April board meeting. If issues cropped up or the board could not agree to course details, the district would be forced to push the class offering back, McDaniel said.