March, 2014

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Future is bright for boys’ basketball program

Terrell Williams Five

column shots.qxdDespite the season being cut one-game short of their ultimate goal, there is plenty to be excited about for the Mustang boys’ basketball program.

The Bronco boys’ basketball team finished their 2013-2014 season in the state semi-finals with a loss to Putnam City West and an overall record of 22-7.

“They definitely can take the feeling they have right now into next year, because it’s not a good feeling,” Mustang head coach Terry Long said. “Whatever your weakness is, then you work on it to get better, regardless of what it is.”

The bad news for the Mustang basketball program is it finished one game shy of its ultimate goal this season. The good news for the Broncos is Mustang loses only one player to graduation from their normal rotation.

Guard Demarion Love played his final season of high school basketball with Mustang in 2013-2014. The 6-feet 3-inch wing guard was known for his hustle plays on the Broncos’ squad this season. Love was Mustang’s best overall perimeter defender, using his length and athleticism against opponents’ best perimeter offensive players game-in and game-out.

Love will be missed next year, but Mustang will be considered one of the favorites to bring home the gold ball next season.

The Broncos will return 10 players who played a significant role in the rotation this season for Long and his staff.

Five of those 10 players will be seniors next year for Mustang. Guards Terrell Williams, Isaiah Hammons, Aubrey Johnson and forwards Geoffrey Hightower and Dylan Snyder will enter their last season with the Broncos next year.

Williams will return as the team’s leading scorer next season. His improved play this year helped the Broncos on both ends of the floor in the semi-final run.

Hammons didn’t play much in the final two weeks of the year because of a severe ankle injury he sustained late in the regular season. Hammons showed the ability to guard the perimeter and take the ball to the basket on the offensive end of the court.

Johnson was on his way to having a strong season for the Broncos, but several weeks into the year, the sharp-shooting guard suffered a season-ending broken foot. If Johnson can make a full comeback next season, he will help the Broncos immensely with his outside shooting.

Hightower earned his role as the bruiser for the Mustang boys this season. The 6-feet 5-inch post player adapted his physical style of play to Long’s up tempo game and became a low-post threat for the Broncos.

Snyder was the team’s hustle player inside this year. His tenacity to make plays against bigger and stronger opponents earned him more and more playing time as the season progressed.

The other half of the 10 returnees next season will be juniors. Guards Jakolby Long, Binky Colbert and Kejuan Frazier with forwards Austin Meyer and Bryce Roberts will try and improve their games for next year.

Jakolby Long will be counted on as a team leader next season. The 6-feet 4-inch combo guard provided mismatches all over the court with the quickness to get around defenders on the perimeter and the size and strength to score in the paint.

Colbert showed spurts this season of being a solid player for the Broncos, but needs to be more consistent next year as a reliable scorer off the bench.

Frazier came on late in the year for Long and his staff as an outside shooter for Mustang. He will be counted on to impact the team in every area next season.

Meyer made great strides from his freshman to sophomore season, but will be expected to make similar strides going into next year. The 6-feet 9-inch post player showed improvement on both ends of the floor this season for Mustang.

Roberts was a tough inside defender and rebounder off the bench this year for Mustang. He had the ability with his size to battle down in the paint with bigger opponents. He will be counted on to do the same next season.

Perhaps the most exciting player next year for the Broncos will be guard Curtis Haywood II. The slick 6-feet 4-inch combo wing was ruled ineligible for varsity athletics this season by the OSSAA, but will be able to play next year for Mustang.

Haywood II played junior varsity this season, and showed many signs of being an All-State caliber player when he joins the varsity ranks.

If the Broncos can avoid disastrous injuries next year, there are many reasons for the Mustang community to be excited for this boys’ basketball team one year from now, anything less than a gold ball will be a disappointment.

Relay team to hold Saturday ‘marvel-ous’ garage sale

Mustang High School “MARVEL-ous” Relay for Life team members prepare for their fundraiser garage sale, set for Saturday. (Photo/courtesy)

Mustang High School’s “MARVEL-ous Relay for Life Team has been gearing up for the big event, holding several special fundraisers to drum up funds for their cancer fighting efforts.
On Saturday, the group’s biggest event is set — a ‘marvel-ous’ garage sale of a wide variety of items. All proceeds will go to Relay for Life, team members say.
The sale will be held Saturday, March 22 from 8 a.m. to 2 pm. at 300 Chisholm Trail in Mustang.
For more information, call Travis at 405-532-4831.

Halter named firefighter of the year

Eric Halter (Photo/Travis Miller)

Eric Halter goes above and beyond his regular duties at Mustang Fire Department, giving to others in his free time.

Last week he was honored for his work and commitment as he was named Firefighter of the Year by American Legion Post 353.

Chief Carl Hickman recommended Halter for the honor. A graduate of Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center’s Fire Academy, Halter joined MFD in February 2007. He is certified as Firefighter II and Fire Officer I, as well as a registered emergency medical technician, Hickman said.

American Legion 353 Commander Paul Ray, right, presents Mustang firefighter Eric Halter with the Firefighter of the Year Award. Chief Carl Hickman is at far left. (Photo/Travis Miller)

Halter served as a drill instructor with the U.S. Army Reserve from December 2001 until December 2009, with the rank of staff sergeant, the chief said. He coordinated his schedule and gave his time to both his army service and firefighter duties with complete dedication, Hickman said.

It is in his work to help others where Halter really shines, the chief said.

“He was the race coordinator for a program called Muscles for Missions, which was a 5K run/walk with Mustang Nazarene Church,” Hickman said. “The event helped raise funds to support construction, education and medical care for the poor around the globe.”

In 2011, Halter and fellow firefighter Josh Moore also participated in the Oklahoma City Marathon, running to remember the 168 people killed in the 1995 Alfred P. Murrah bombing and to honor the survivors, Hickman said.

“Halter ran the race in his firefighting gear,” the chief said.

Closer to home, Halter is a “star” of the department’s fire prevention puppet show, works as a CPR instructor and teaches classes at his church and throughout the community, Hickman said.

“It’s an honor working with a firefighter and a man like Eric Halter,” the chief said. “He truly deserves this award.”

Mustang to launch spring cleanup


Spring is here and that means Mustang’s annual Spring Cleanup is just around the corner.

“Spring Cleanup if for all residential sanitation customers and is our way of helping get larger items cleared out before summer,” Mustang City Manager Tim Rooney said.

Pickups are staggered and based on regular refuse pickup days, Rooney said. Items may be placed at the curb up to a week before the scheduled cleanup day, he said.

Pickups are scheduled as follows:

  • Trash pickup on Monday – Saturday, March 29
  • Trash pickup on Tuesday – Saturday, April 5
  • Trash pickup on Thursday – Saturday, April 12
  • Trash pickup on Friday – Saturday, April 19

All items for pickup must be at the curb by 7 a.m. on residents’ respective cleanup days.

Items placed next to mailboxes, structures or fences will not be picked up. There is some limitation on items, although freezers, refrigerators and air conditioners will be accepted. Brush, tree limbs and similar items must be kept to a 4-foot length or shorter and bundled with rope or cord; small pieces must be placed in some kind of bag or container, officials said.

Items not acceptable for pickup include:

  • ”Massive” rocks or concrete pieces;
  • Hazardous waste materials;
  • Batteries;
  • Tires;
  • Paints, oils or hazardous liquids;
  • Dead animals; or
  • Large tree stumps.

For more information, call the city of Mustang at 376-4521.

Boys’ basketball run ends in semis

Jakolby Long Two

By Kyle Salomon,

TULSA – For the third time this year, Putnam City West got the best of Mustang ending the Broncos’ season in the state semi-finals last Friday night.

The Patriots defeated Mustang 64-55 at the Mabee Center on the campus of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa. The MHS’ loss to PC West ended the Broncos’ season one-game shy of the state championship, which was played Saturday night between Putnam City West and Tulsa Union.

Mustang finished the year with an overall record of 22-7. Head coach Terry Long said he is proud of the way his team battled the No. 1 team in the state.

“We expected to be playing on March 15,” Long said. “We said it from day one, and we knew that we had the team to do it. Who would have known Aubrey (Johnson) would break his foot? Who would have known Chandler Garrett would quit? Through all of that, these kids kept fighting and grinding.

“They had every reason to quit today, but they didn’t, and they hung tough. They’re playing the No. 1 team, and they gave everything they had, so I’m extremely proud of them.”

The first half was one to forget for the Mustang boys as PC West was dominating the game with their speed and athleticism on both sides of the court. The Patriots were seemingly making every shot they through at the rim in the first two periods. The Broncos trailed 41-21 at the halftime break.

The second half however, belonged to Mustang. The Broncos began to play with more intensity and focus on the defensive end, and executed their offense more crisply. They cut the Patriot lead in half by the end of the third period to 51-41 PC West.

Mustang got within three points in the fourth period, before being forced to foul in the last seconds of the game. Putnam City West made their free throws down the stretch making the final difference nine points in their favor.

“We played some zone, and we knew they were extremely quick,” Long said. “They shot the lights out in the first half, and in the second half, we just gritted our teeth and started matching up. We fought ourselves back in the basketball game.”

Mustang finished the night with 30 rebounds against PC West. The Broncos struggled on the foul stripe making only 11 out of 20 attempts from the line in the game.

MHS forced the Patriots into 12 turnovers and committed 15 themselves.

Three players scored in double figures for the Broncos. Sophomore forward Austin Meyer had 13 points and nine rebounds. Senior guard Demarion Love finished with 12 points and six rebounds and sophomore guard Jakolby Long totaled 12 points and three rebounds in the game.

Baseball team steals home against Edmond North

Tyler Goble One

By Patrick Osborne,

Mustang’s baseball team picked up a hard-earned 6-4 comeback win against Edmond North last Friday at home.
Trailing 4-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Bronco bats came alive for a five-run inning.
Austin Roberts started things off by reaching base, then coming around to score to cut the lead to two. Then with bases loaded, Skyler Fuller rocketed a line drive to the right-field wall to pick up a bases-clearing triple. Fuller finished off the scoring by stealing home to take the Mustang lead to 6-4.
Roberts, who went the distance on the mound, finished the game with a three-up three-down inning to pick up the win. He gave up five hits and had 11 strikeouts. The senior pitcher also helped himself at the plate, scoring once and going 2-3.
Mustang head coach Scott Selby said even though Roberts didn’t have his best stuff at times on the mound, he buckled down and competed, and ended with a good result.
Edmond North got things going early, scoring two runs with two outs in the top of the first inning on a Mustang error.
After Tyler Goble scored a run for the Broncos in the third to cut the deficit to 2-1, the Huskies responded with two more runs in the fifth to make it 4-1.
Goble went 2-3 at the plate while also adding some solid defensive play at second base. Fuller also finished with a strong night offensively, going 3-4 at the plate with three RBIs.
Selby said games similar to this are what to expect this year.
“This is who we are. We have to battle every time and do things right. Our margin of error isn’t that big.”
After the win Mustang now has a record of 3-1 on the year. With so many young and inexperienced guys inserted into the lineup this year, a win like this was much-needed, Selby said.
“Big win, we need wins like that to get a little confidence. We still have a long way to go. We are still making a few mistakes that cost us runs here and there that need to get corrected, but big win,” Selby said.
Mustang is back in action over spring break with games Friday and Saturday. On Friday the Broncos travel to Edmond Memorial to challenge Olathe South from Olathe, Kan., then Saturday they take on Guthrie at Guthrie High School.
The next home game is March 25 at 4:30 p.m. when the Broncos host district opponent Edmond Santa Fe.

Uptick in collections good news for city employees

council 03-18-14

By Traci Chapman

An uptick in tax revenues meant good news in more ways than one for Mustang city employees, after council members unanimously approved a one-time bonus for them.

The move came during Tuesday’s regular meeting, when council approved the $750-per-person bonus, made possible by increased sales and use tax collections, City Manager Tim Rooney said.

“This was something we wanted to do for everyone, collective bargaining and non-collective bargaining employees alike,” Rooney said.

Council members Matt Taylor, Kathleen Moon-Staples, Terry Jones and Mayor Jay Adams all voted in favor of the measure. Council members Linda Bowers, Linda Hagan and Donal Mount were absent.

“I’m glad the ship is sailing and we’re in the black,” Adams said. “Righting the ship took a lot of hard work by everyone, the employees as well.”

Members also approved improvements to SW 89th Street, with two sections of work to be done between Mustang and Sara roads and from Sara to Morgan Road, Rooney said.

Cost of the work would be $430,000, with an additional $20,000 budgeted for possible contingent costs, the city manager said. Funding would come from the city’s street improvement fund, which currently has $650,000 in it, Rooney said.

“This a project we know needs to be completed because of the poor condition of the road,” he said.

The project cost will be lower thanks to help from Canadian County Commissioner David Anderson, as well as Silver Star Construction, which works for the city, Rooney said. Repairs are expected to be completed by the end of April, weather permitting.

The road will be closed to through traffic during construction, but local residents will have access to their homes, the city manager said. Work could begin in a few weeks, he said.

Boys’ soccer battles wind, Lions in loss at Moore

Connor Partin One

By Kyle Salomon,

Bronco boys’ soccer team battled the wind and Moore in their loss at Moore March 11.

With winds gusting up to 30, 40 and 50 MPH, the Mustang boys’ soccer squad lost 2-0 in penalty kicks to the Lions falling to 1-2 overall this season.

“That was the windiest athletic event I have ever been a part of in my life,” Mustang head coach Jared Homer said. “It was tough to move the ball and get any good shots in the goal.”

The Broncos were playing with the wind in the first half and had several opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net but failed to do so against the Moore defense.

Mustang finished the game with 18 shots on goal compared to seven from the Lions. Regulation time ended in a 0-0 tie between the Broncos and Moore.

“We had our chances, especially in the first half, when we had the wind at our backs, but we didn’t get the job done,” Homer said. “I thought our defense was really solid. We are playing really well defensively right now, but we are struggling on the offensive end. We need to take advantage of the opportunities we have.”

The Bronco boys and the Lions played two more five-minute sessions before going into penalty kicks to decide the winner of the match.

Moore made two of their penalty kicks compared to none from the Broncos. Mustang missed all four of the penalty kicks they attempted.

“It’s really unusual to miss all four penalty kicks,” Homer said. “We usually don’t miss like that, but we did it cost us the game.”

The Bronco boys’ soccer team will have a 16-day break from game action with spring break. Mustang’s next game will take place March 27 at home in the Bronco Cup, which is a three-day event hosted by the Mustang boys’ soccer program.

Each team in the cup will play three games in three days.

Recycling partnership kicks off

Recycle event

By Ray Dyer

A recycling effort in Canadian County is partnering local and state agencies and will give residents an opportunity to “do the right thing.”

Jimmy Gibbens, deputy director of the Department of Environmental Quality, said DEQ often “catches people doing the wrong thing.” He said the recycling effort promoted by that agency as well as the Oklahoma Environmental Management Authority, Keep Oklahoma Beautiful and OSU Extension will make it easy for “us to catch people doing the right thing.”

Gibbens, OEMA Manager David Griesel and Jeanette Nance, executive director of Keep Oklahoma Beautiful, kicked off the “OEMA Environmental Days” in El Reno on Wednesday. They were joined by Canadian County District 2 Commissioner David Anderson, who serves on the OEMA board.

The ceremony kicked off a two-month campaign to encourage recycling. From now until May 31, Canadian County residents are able to drop off some items that are not typically accepted at the El Reno and Union City landfill. A number of the items can be dropped off at no charge.

Residents may bring the following items to be recycled:

  • Old tires
  • Batteries (automotive, equipment and renewable batteries – no dry cells)
  • Used motor oil in sealed containers
  • Antifreeze in sealed containers
  • Appliances (with or without refrigerant – $25 charge for appliances with refrigerant)
  • E-waste

Griesel said the landfill will accept these items from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Union City landfill. Saturday hours will be 8 a.m. to noon. Items can also be dropped at the OEMA headquarters, 1505 S. Rock Island, El Reno, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Nance said events such as this encourage communities to coordinate community-wide cleanups of used tires and other recyclables. Communities that engage in community-wide cleanups and other environmental service projects can be recognized by DEQ and KOB as an Oklahoma Clean Community.

Griesel estimated 2,500 old tires will be turned in during the campaign along with 1,000 gallons of motor oil and 200 automotive batteries.

Anderson praised the recycling partnership. He said taxpayers “appreciate” government agencies working together to improve the quality of life. 

For more information, contact the OEMA office at (405) 262-0161. For more information on the used tire recycling program or how to become an Oklahoma Clean Community, contact Ferrella March at, or (405) 702-5175.


Girls’ soccer falls in final seconds at Moore


By Kyle Salomon,

Mustang girls’ soccer team fell 2-1 at Moore in the final seconds of regulation March 11.

The Lady Broncos dropped to 1-1 on the young season as Moore put a shot in the back of the net as time expired to beat Mustang 2-1.

Mustang head coach Mike Mason said his team didn’t take advantage of opportunities throughout the match.

“We had a lot more shots on goal they did,” Mason said. “I thought we controlled the game for the majority of the night, but we just didn’t convert on our chances. It is still early in the season though. These are things we can correct easily. We have already started doing that in practice.”

Mustang had 15 shots on goal compared to three shots on goal for Moore. Junior forward Alina Magruder scored the first goal of the game early in the second half to give the Lady Broncos a 1-0 lead.

Moore responded with a goal of their own to tie it up before hitting the game-winner as the end of regulation horn sounded.

Mason said there are a lot of things his squad needs to work on before their next game.

“We have to get better at finishing,” Mason said. “Finishing when we have a lead in the game in the second half and finishing our opportunities to put the ball in the goal when we have chances are the main two things I want to see improved. I also would like us to improve our defensive execution. If we can get those things in order we are a dangerous team.”

Mustang will return to the game field after a two-week break from action 7 p.m. Tuesday at home against Norman High in a make-up game from the first match of the season.

The junior varsity will begin play at 5:30 p.m. against Norman.