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By Kyle Salomon,
The annual Mudd Volleyball Tournament in Mustang had another successful year last weekend with 136 teams participating in the two-day event.
For the 13th consecutive year, the Muscular Dystrophy Association held its annual Mudd Volleyball Tournament in Mustang, and for the 13th consecutive year, the amount of money raised was higher than the previous year.
The 136 teams that participated in the tournament were the most in event history. All of the proceeds from the weekend will go to the Oklahoma region of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. First-year event coordinator Moira McCarthy said the 2014 version was a major success.
“I’m just really touched and happy that so many people are willing to help and are committed to this event for such a good cause,” McCarthy said. “It takes a lot to get a team together and to have 136 teams come out is truly amazing.”
The cost for each team to play in the tournament ranged from $300 to $425. The estimated total raised was $100,000, which is the most the Mudd Volleyball Tournament has raised in its 13 years in Mustang.
“Our goal is to make it fun for everyone that is involved,” McCarthy said. “We heard a lot of wonderful things from people who participated in the event about what a great time they had throughout the weekend. We had a lot of volunteers from 7-Eleven help us with everything from setting up to taking stuff down.”
The Mudd Volleyball Tournament had 17 total sponsors with 7-Eleven being the main sponsor for the event. The other 16 sponsors included Muscular Dystrophy Association, Newby Vance Mobility Sales and Service, John Vance Auto Group, Bob FM 96.9, Oklahoma City Party and Tent, Monster Energy, Budweiser, Wild 104.9, Digi Print, Silver Stallion, BTP Productions, Frito Lay, Pepsi, 96.1 KXY Oklahoma’s Classic Country, Katt Rock 100.5 FM and JAK’D Up Tees.
“There is no way this event would be possible without the help from our awesome sponsors,” McCarthy said. “All of our sponsors were really happy with how the tournament turned out. We all had a really successful weekend.”
The championship match of the tournament took place late in the afternoon on Sunday between the Good Bad and Muddy and the Mudd Dogs. The Mudd Dogs were undefeated coming into the final match, while Good Bad and Muddy had one loss. The championship match was the first one to win three games.
The scoring system was the first team to score 11 points won the game with the winning team having to win by two or more points. Only the serving team could score points.
Good Bad and Muddy swept the Mudd Dogs three games to none in the championship bout to capture the 2014 Mudd Volleyball crown.
After the final match, the championship team signed their autographs on a volleyball for Kenneth Carpenter and took a photo with Kenneth’s mother, Amanda Taylor.
For the past eight years the tradition has been for the winning team to autograph a ball for 11-year-old Kenneth and take a photo with his mother.
Taylor said the Mudd Volleyball Tournament is a special event for her family.
“We are so very thankful that this tournament supports such an important cause,” she said. “There are so many grateful donations. This is very personal to our family. We have been playing in this tournament for eight years and to see it grow the way it has is very special.”
Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News and can be reached at email@example.com
Mustang News sports editor Kyle Salomon is listing his current top-30 Mustang High School athletes in a six-week series of columns counting down. This is week are Nos. 16-20.
Here is a look at my top 30 Mustang High School athletes list Nos. 16-20, starting with No. 16.
16. Zach Davis, senior, football
Zach Davis is the definition of a journeyman on the Mustang football team. The senior defensive back saw time as a running back for the Bronco offense as a sophomore, was a starting cornerback on the defense his junior season and this year will be a starting safety for the Broncos.
Davis will be the defensive leader for the Broncos on the gridiron this fall when Mustang takes the field in early September against rival Yukon. Having him at the back end and in the middle of the defense will free Davis up to make plays in a bigger area of the field compared to just one side of the field as a cornerback.
Davis has added size to his frame, which will allow him to come up and make plays at the line of scrimmage in the run game for the Bronco D. His one-on-one matchup days against receivers are finished, but Davis will play a big role in the MHS pass defense as well.
Look for Davis to make another huge step in his progression as a football player and become an even bigger force for opponents to deal with this fall.
17. Kyra Fuller, senior, cross country and track
Kyra Fuller enters her senior year as an athlete with something to prove. She had the nearly impossible task of taking over for 2013 Mustang graduate Emily Helms as being the face of girls cross country.
Helms won eight individual state championships between cross country and track, so for Fuller to step into those shoes would be a more than daunting task. The senior has not disappointed in her time as the face of girls cross country as a part of the girls track team.
Fuller has dealt with several injuries in her career that have slowed her down in key races, but if the Lady Bronco can stay healthy for her senior year in cross country and track, she will be a force to be reckoned with come state championship time.
18. Cade Fulton, junior, baseball
Cade Fulton is one of the best up and coming pitchers in the state. His size, arm strength and potential will have college recruiters and professional scouts all over the Mustang baseball facility for the next two years.
Fulton was counted on down the stretch last season for the Broncos. It seemed like every time Mustang needed a big win down the stretch of the year, Fulton was on the bump for MHS.
Fulton will be counted on next season to be a leader for the Broncos as a junior. His performance on the mound will dictate how successful Mustang will be on the diamond next year.
If Fulton continues to progress the way he has the past two seasons, the 6-foot-5 right-handed slinger will be one of the top pitchers in the entire state.
19. Keegan Radichel, senior, soccer
Mustang returns a lot from that squad and Radichel will be one of those pieces counted on to carry Mustang soccer back to the top of the state.
Radichel has the ability to be a game-changer every time his foot touches the ball. If the Bronco boys are going to be successful next spring on the soccer field, Radichel will be a big reason why.
20. Logan Haller, sophomore, basketball
Logan Haller was counted on late in the season last year for Kevin Korstjens and his staff to provide a spark off the bench for the Lady Broncos basketball team.
Haller didn’t disappoint as the year went on, she improved every time she took the court. The sophomore forward will have a bigger role for the Bronco girls this year on the hardwood and will compete for a starting job.
Haller already looked like a much more confident player this summer in the team camp the Lady Broncos hosted at Mustang High School. If Haller can continue to develop her game and her confidence, the young Lady Bronco will have a solid sophomore year.
Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Kyle Salomon,
Mustang senior forward Geoffrey Hightower is entering his final year at MHS with high expectations for himself and for his team.
With highly recruited teammates such as junior guard Jakolby Long, junior guard Curtis Heywood II and junior forward Austin Meyer, Bronco boys hoops doesn’t lack any star power, but Hightower takes a backseat to no one when it comes to team leadership.
The 6-foot-6 post player said he has been working hard this summer to improve his overall game as well as playing with his AAU team, the Oklahoma Wizards.
“I want to improve my leaping ability,” he said. “I want to become more explosive off the floor. I also am working on improving my ball-handling skills and my quickness.”
Hightower said he knows and respects his role on the team.
“First and foremost, I want to be a leader on the team,” he said. “I want to be a guy that encourages my teammates and pushes them to be at their best all the time. I am counted to go inside and give a lot of energy in how I rebound, play defense and my overall hustle.”
That style of play is exactly what another power forward in this state does for his team down on the low block. That player, who resides in Norman and plays for the University of Oklahoma, is Ryan Spangler.
Spangler and Hightower are similar players in the way they approach the game and the way they use their bodies to push opposing players around in the paint area.
Hightower said he agrees with the comparison to Spangler.
“I like it,” he said. “I’ve gone down to OU and watched him play several times. He’s a guy that gives full effort all of the time. He never takes a possession off. He defends and rebounds with a lot of intensity. He’s not worried about the numbers he puts up or anything like that. That’s the way I like to play.”
Hightower averaged 10 points and nine rebounds last year for the Broncos, which is a solid year for high school basketball, but he said he expects more out of himself this upcoming season.
Hightower has traveled to numerous places throughout the summer competing in AAU tournaments, trying to improve his game and be seen by college recruiters. The MHS senior has played in St. Louis, Texas several times and Arkansas.
With the majority of the roster coming back and getting Heywood back from having to sit out last season, this Bronco squad is one of the favorites to win the 6A state championship next March.
Hightower said it’s important for the team to play together if they are going to achieve their goals.
“We need to listen to our coaches more,” he said. “We don’t need to try and play one-on-one. We need to talk more on the court and put the team first. We are all good friends off the court, so we talk a lot about what we can do to win a state championship.”
Mustang head coach Terry Long will enter his third year as head coach for the Bronco boys basketball program. Earlier this summer, Long was addressing his youth summer camp at MHS and told the campers of all the guys on his team he would draw up a play to win the game in the final seconds, it would be Hightower. Hightower said playing for Long is a great honor.
“He gets everything out of you,” he said. “He pushes you to be the best you can possibly be. He’s done so much in this state in high school basketball and for him to say that about me is truly an honor.”
Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News and can be reached at email@example.com
By Kyle Salomon,
When Mustang senior Jayden Chestnut isn’t striking out batters from other high schools around the area, she is striking out some of the top batters across the country.
The hard-throwing right-hander was selected out of thousands of girls to compete in the Triple Crown High School All-American Softball Game July 2 in Colorado.
There were 120 teams competing at the weeklong national tournament and no more than two players were chosen to compete in the All-American game from each squad. Chestnut was one of two players nominated to play from the Oklahoma Exclusive, which is her select softball team.
“It was a really cool experience,” Chestnut said. “I was able to play against some of the best players in the country. Almost everyone that played in that game is committed to play D-1 softball in college. It was cool to be a part of that game.”
Chestnut was more than just a part of “that game.” The University of Oklahoma commit pitched one inning in the contest. She retired all three batters she faced by getting the first two hitters to ground out. Chestnut closed out her inning by striking out the final batter she faced.
Chestnut and the rest of the Oklahoma Exclusive softball team competed in the Triple Crown College Showcase Tournament. The tournament lasted one week, starting June 30 and concluding July 6 in Aurora, Colo.
The Oklahoma Exclusive played 11 total games between pool play and the bracket rounds. The Oklahoma squad took fifth place overall in the event.
Chestnut made six appearances in the circle during the weeklong tournament. She made five starts and one relief appearance. Chestnut won all five of her starts in the circle and in her relief appearance came in to stop the bleeding against the Texas Glory, a top-five team in the nation.
Chestnut held the high-powered Texas team at bay, holding them scoreless after they put seven runs on the starting pitcher. It wouldn’t be enough for the Exclusive to make a comeback, however, as the hill was too steep to climb and they fell 7-6 to take fifth in the tournament out of 120 teams.
The pitcher’s circle wasn’t the only place Chestnut was successful in the tournament. Last Saturday, against a team called the Sudden Impact, facing a pitcher that she is going to be teammates with at OU, Chestnut hit a walk-off home run, breaking the 3-3 tie and giving the Exclusive the win.
“Doing that against my future teammates at OU was pretty awesome,” Chestnut said. “Two players from that team are committed to OU as well, so to beat them like that was a lot of fun.”
Chestnut said playing in big tournaments like the Triple Crown College Showcase is a lot of fun because it brings a tough challenge.
“It’s really difficult,” she said. “I like the challenge, though. I’m going against players that I am going to eventually face in college. A lot of players that come to these tournaments are going to pay D-1 softball. It’s also really cool getting the opportunity to play with some of the top players from around the Oklahoma City area.
“Select softball and high school softball are different in a lot of ways. It’s hard to compare them, but I definitely love doing both.”
Chestnut has one more select softball tournament this summer when the Oklahoma Exclusive competes at the national tournament at the end of July. School ball for Mustang will be her main focus following nationals.
I am doing a six-week series of columns counting down my current top-30 Mustang High School athletes. The series started this week with Nos. 26-30 on my list.
26. Madison Maxwell, senior, girls basketball
Madison Maxwell has developed into one of the top girls basketball players on the Lady Broncos roster in the past two seasons.
As a sophomore, she was thrust into the varsity rotation when fellow sophomore guard Bailey Flynn went down with a season-ending injury. The young Lady Bronco struggled at first, but eventually developed confidence and played a key role in the Bronco girls making it to the regional championship game against eventual state champion Booker T. Washington Hornets.
Her junior year campaign was much more consistent for Maxwell. She led the team in scoring in multiple games and developed a reputation for creating turnovers and leading Mustang on many fast-break opportunities throughout the season.
27. Sarah Kellogg, junior, girls basketball and girls golf
Sarah Kellogg is one of the bright up-and-coming young athletes at Mustang High School.
Kellogg competes in two sports for MHS. The tall, athletic junior is a reserve forward for the Lady Broncos basketball team and one of the top golfers for the Bronco girls golf team.
As a sophomore, Kellogg played the role of scrappy rebounder and defender for the Mustang girls basketball team. In numerous games, she would come in and provide a much-needed spark for the Lady Broncos.
On the golf course, Kellogg improved her game dramatically by the end of the season last year. Her game got more consistent with each round she played.
As a junior this coming year, Kellogg will play a much bigger role for the girls basketball team as well as well as being a key cog on the girls golf team.
28. Josh Vannoy, senior, boys soccer and football
Josh Vannoy is a dual sport athlete at Mustang High School and he has made his name with his right foot.
Vannoy is a defense-man on the Bronco boys soccer team, where he utilizes his size and strength to fend off offensive attacks from opponents.
On the gridiron, Vannoy does the place-kicking for the Broncos. Last season, he was consistently good on his extra points and his powerful leg gives Mustang head coach Jeremy Dombek confidence to use him when MHS needs points deep inside the opposing territory.
Vannoy will be counted on this coming year to provide leadership both on the soccer field and on the gridiron.
Look for Vannoy to have an impact at the end of a Bronco football game this fall with the clock winding down with a chance to win the game with his right foot and the ball sailing through the uprights.
29. Bailey Flynn, senior, girls basketball
Bailey Flynn would be much higher on this list, but she hasn’t seen much action on the basketball court because of the injuries she sustained her sophomore and junior years.
Flynn started every game at the point guard position for the Lady Broncos as a freshman. She made her name with her ability to knock down long-range 3-point shots and the leadership she provided at a young age.
If Flynn can stay healthy this season for the Bronco girls as a senior, she will have a big impact on the squad. As a freshman, she led the Lady Broncos to the state tournament, let’s hope she has that same kind of magic for this year’s group.
30. Lauren Sloan, senior, girls golf
Lauren Sloan came on strong late in the season for the Lady Broncos golf team this past spring.
The senior right-hander started off the year with a few bumps in the road, but from the midpoint until the state tournament, the young Lady Bronco made her name known across the state.
Sloan’s solid play in the postseason tournaments will sling-shot her into her senior season with a lot of confidence. She will be counted on to provide a lot of leadership to a relatively young team next spring for the Bronco girls on the golf course.
Salomon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Kyle Salomon,
Five new head coaches were hired this summer at Mustang High School.
Caitlyn Bernhardt was hired to be the head volleyball coach, Chad Harper was hired to be the boys golf head coach, Mike Meledeo will be the new head girls golf coach, Vickie Bailey was hired to be the next head girls cross country coach and Katy Caudle will be the new head cheerleading coach.
Caitlyn Bernhardt, volleyball
Caitlyn Bernhardt is a 2008 Mustang High School graduate. She grew up playing volleyball with her twin sister. Bernhardt and her sister went to St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee to play volleyball.
Bernhardt and her sister suffered injuries that forced them out of playing the sport they loved. Bernhardt transferred to UCO, where she finished school as well as coached volleyball at Deer Creek High School.
She was the head junior varsity coach at Deer Creek and ran the club volleyball program. Last year, former Mustang head coach Taryn Steele called Bernhardt to ask her to come be an assistant on Steele’s staff.
Bernhardt jumped at the opportunity to come back to her alma mater and coach volleyball and teach kindergarten. Steele resigned her position as the head volleyball coach in January and the position was left open until several weeks ago when she was called into athletic director Chuck Bailey’s office for a meeting.
Bailey offered Bernhardt the job, and at the young age of 24, she accepted.
“I had always dreamed of coming back to my alma mater and coaching,” Bernhardt said. “But I never imagined it would be this soon. I was in shock, but I am really excited for the opportunity.”
Bernhardt brought Jodie Miles on staff to coach the junior varsity and Holly McDaniel to coach the freshmen.
The Lady Broncos volleyball squad opened practice on Monday in the wellness center at Mustang High School.
Chad Harper, boys golf
Chad Harper has been a fixture as a coach at Mustang High School for more than a decade. Harper has coached boys and girls golf and football since 2002 as a part of the Bronco family.
Harper coached the junior varsity boys and girls golf teams for a number of years, but as both programs began to grow rapidly in size, he just focused on the boys side of the course.
Former head coach Galen Wolfe was hired to be the next head coach in the mid-2000′s and Harper stayed on staff to coach the freshmen boys.
Wolfe stepped down at the end of this season and Harper decided it was time to make a run for the head coaching position.
Bailey decided to go with Harper as the guy to lead the boys golf program into the future.
“We want to make it fun for the kids,” Harper said. “Golf is a stressful game, so the more fun you can make it for them, the better they are going to play. We have a lot of great ideas on how we can take this program to the next level, so we are looking forward to getting started with those.”
Mike Meledeo, girls golf
Mike Meledeo is no stranger to Mustang golf as the longtime Mustang High School teacher coached golf for the Broncos from 1979-1983.
Meledeo decided to get out of teaching in 1984 and open a driving range that remained in business for 10 years before he decided to get back into the teaching world at MHS.
When longtime girls golf coach Rod Henning resigned at the end of the school year, Meledeo decided to pounce on the position.
After meeting with Bailey, Meledeo was hired on to be the next man in line to take over a top-level program.
“I am very grateful for this opportunity,” Meledeo said. “I’m looking forward to the chance to work with the girls and be a part of a tradition-filled program.”
Vickie Bailey, girls cross country
There are smooth transitions with coaching changes and there are rough ones. Vickie Bailey taking the girls cross country program over is a smooth one.
Bailey has been an assistant girls cross country coach and an assistant girls track coach for a number of years at Mustang High School.
The cross country program at MHS is arguably the most decorated program on campus right now. Bailey said she is grateful for the opportunity.
“It’s exciting,” she said. “I know almost all of the kids and have learned a lot from working with Coach (Mike) McGarry and Coach (Mike) Mason over the years. There’s pressure to keep the program at the level it is at, but we are confident we will be successful.”
The Mustang cross country teams are practicing every Tuesday and Thursday during the summer at 7 a.m. at Wild Horse Park.
By Kyle Salomon,
When Logan Towe and his parents were making the trip to Tulsa last month to try out for the 9U USSSA All-American baseball team, they went with no expectations.
When they arrived back in Mustang, the 9-year-old Mustang Valley Elementary student had been named to the USSSA All-American team and was selected to play in the USSSA All-American Tournament in Kissimmee, Fla., as a part of the Midwest team. Logan was one of 120 young baseball players ages 9 through 14 selected to participate.
The tryout tested the young baseball players in a variety of ways such as the 60-yard dash to measure their speed, infield drills to test their fielding ability, pitching drills to test their arm strength and accuracy off the mound and catching drills to test their pop time from the second they release the ball behind the plate to the moment the middle infielder catches it at second base.
Logan is a pitcher, third baseman and catcher, so he participated in all of the drills as well as the hitting drills, where the young slugger excels in showing off his rare power for a 9-year-old.
Logan said being around a lot of really good young baseball players like himself was a cool experience.
“There were a lot of kids there,” he said. “You got to see a lot of kids that you don’t know and you get to see what they play like.”
When he heard the good news that he had been selected to the squad, Logan said he was really excited.
The next step in the process will take place July 31 when the Towes travel to Kissimmee to compete in the All-American Tournament. The games will begin Aug. 1, with an opening ceremony that night.
The tournament will provide a four-game guarantee to each team participating, which includes pool play to determine the bracket. Once the bracket is set, the elimination round will take over for the remainder of the event.
Logan’s father, J.R. Towe, said the whole family was ecstatic when they heard the news.
“We try really hard to keep things in perspective for him (Logan),” he said. “He likes playing competitive sports, and that’s fantastic, but at the end of the day, he’s still a 9-year-old kid that gets to play baseball, so the whole time we made sure to tell him we were going for the tryout. The experience was for him to try out. We just took him because they get evaluated by ex-Major League Baseball players, MLB scouts, college coaches and high school coaches.
“It was going to be a really cool experience for him. We want him to be able to look back on this and have some memories. He certainly was excited when he made the team.”
Logan has been playing the game he loves since he was 4 years old. He said he fell in love with baseball the moment he started playing.
The 9-year-old phenom plays for a traveling baseball team called the Oklahoma Hawks. They travel all over the state and surrounding states such as Arkansas and Texas. They played a tournament in Arkansas earlier this year and are planning to go to Texas to compete in a world series later this month.
Logan said after it’s all said and done, combined with the travel team and his league team, he plays roughly 80 baseball games per year.
It would be many more baseball games, but Logan is not a one-sport athlete. He plays football and basketball as well. Logan is the quarterback and middle linebacker for his football team.
Logan’s football coach, J.R. Conrad, said the youngster is a hard worker.
“He has a tremendous work ethic,” he said. “He gets it. He does everything right. He’s an outstanding competitor, and he has a great demeanor. He’s never in a hurry. He has very composed emotions, which is extremely rare for a 9-year-old.”
As far as personal coaches are concerned, the Towes have surrounded Logan with some of the best sports minds around the area.
Former MLB All-Star and Silver Slugger Award winner Mickey Tettleton has been Logan’s personal coach since he was the young age of 6, and former NFL Super Bowl winner Billy Bajema taught Logan how to pitch.
“I’m good friends with his dad, J.R., so when he was getting out of machine pitch I worked with him,” Bajema said. “We worked on his form and his technique. He has a great ability to listen to what you tell him and make his body do it.”
Tettleton said Logan has a great ability to grasp things.
“He’s just an impressive kid in every way,” he said. “He understands everything we are trying to do with his swing and he wants to be great. It’s going to be exciting to see how good he can be as he gets older and stronger.”
When it comes to his future, Logan has dreams of getting a college scholarship to play baseball either at OU or OSU. He said he would like to be an engineer if he doesn’t make it to the MLB.
As far as MLB players and teams that are his favorites, Logan said he likes the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers, but his favorite baseball player is the great Yankee shortstop, Derek Jeter.
When Logan is not on an athletic field hitting home runs or running for touchdowns, he enjoys being a normal 9-year-old kid. He said he likes to jump curbs on his bike, go fishing, cliff dive into lakes and play Mind Craft, which he said will help him with engineering if he doesn’t play professional baseball.
There is no doubt Logan Towe has a bright future on the diamond and on the gridiron, but he is also a normal 9-year-old boy who enjoys being a kid, but also enjoys being a great athlete.
By Kyle Salomon,
Last week marked the first two days of passing league for high school football teams across Oklahoma as numerous teams from the Oklahoma City area invaded Edmond Santa Fe.
Passing league will run two times per week throughout the month of July leading up to the start of fall practice, which begins in early August. Due to the shortened week of July 4, there was no passing league this week, but it will kick back up next Tuesday and Thursday.
Passing league is football without offensive or defensive linemen. Offenses will only run passing plays against opposing defensive backs and linebackers. Each team is allowed up to seven players on the field at once.
Mustang junior quarterback Chandler Garrett said passing league is another opportunity to get better before fall practice starts in August.
“It’s a great way to keep the passing game crisp,” he said. “It helps keep the timing good between me and the receivers, and we can do it while going against other teams’ DB’s and linebackers. We know it’s a little unrealistic because defenses aren’t going to drop seven into coverage that often when you have the threat of running the ball, but it’s still good for us.”
Garrett said a lot of people don’t think passing league is that great because teams play vanilla defense and it’s not a realistic example of the timing when you have linemen on the field.
“I think it does a lot for us,” he said. “It does a lot more than people think it does. Yeah, there are things that are a lot different. For instance, as a quarterback you don’t have defensive linemen or linebackers rushing you, so you have that internal clock in your head that tells you when it’s time to get rid of the ball. You get out of it what you put into it.”
On the defensive side of the ball, passing league can be beneficial in helping the secondary and linebackers on communication and different coverages they want to work on before fall camp.
Bronco senior safety Zach Davis said passing league allows them to develop chemistry as a group.
“Passing league is for our defense to help us with communication in the back end with one another and help us get our eyes right on what we are supposed to look for,” he said. “Yes, we will get burnt or drop some passes or make bad throws, but that’s OK because we are out there to get better in general.”
Davis said he would like to see a lot of improvement made as passing league goes along, so they are ready for fall camp in August.
“We have a lot of play-makers on both sides of the ball this year, so it is important that we use this time on the field we have to get better and smarter as a group,” he said. “It’s also another way for our young guys to really develop and get some experience against other teams. I would like to see it make us a better team overall.”
By Kyle Salomon,
As the month of July begins, the Mustang girls basketball program goes into its dead period before school starts back up in August.
The Lady Broncos competed in their summer season in June as they played more than 20 games against competition from all around the state. They traveled to Owasso to compete in the Lady Rams team camp and then hosted a team camp of their own in late June.
Mustang head coach Kevin Korstjens said it was a successful summer for his program.
“I would say it went pretty well,” he said. “We had the opportunity to go up to Owasso and compete against some pretty tough competition, and then we hosted our own team camp and got some good competition that week as well. When you play 10-12 games in a five-day span, it tests you mentally, and overall, I was pleased with our effort.”
The Mustang girls graduated four seniors from last year’s squad and three who played vital roles on the court for the Lady Broncos.
Brooke Irwin was the leading scorer from last year’s squad, Laci Joyner was a scrappy player who competed hard on the court, and Tori Shockley was a sharp-shooting 3-point specialist. All three girls left holes that need to be replaced before the season begins in December.
The fourth senior was Candis Davis, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in preseason last year. Davis provided leadership off the bench that will need to be replaced as well.
“We had a lot of young girls who really got a lot out of the experience of playing this summer,” Korstjens said. “We have several holes to fill from the seniors that graduated, but we are confident we are going to be able to do that.”
Senior guard Madison Maxwell, junior guard Addison Lawson, junior forward Brandi Russell, senior forward Shelby Wright, junior forward Sarah Kellogg, sophomore forward Logan Haller and sophomore Abby Niehues will all be counted on to step up and provide leadership next season.
Senior guard Bailey Flynn is another Lady Bronco that will be counted on to provide leadership next season. Flynn started at point guard as a freshman, but due to knee injuries, she has not seen much action in the past two years.
“We are excited to have Bailey back,” Korstjens said. “The biggest thing we need from her is to stay healthy. She brings a lot of energy to our team, and we need that going into next year.”
Junior forward Sarah Kellogg said she thinks the summer season went well and she is looking forward to seeing how the team is next year.
“We lost Brooke, Laci and Tori, so we are going to look a little bit different,” she said. “We aren’t going to have as much size, but we will be able to play faster. I think we developed a lot of chemistry this summer as well. Everyone got better, which is the most important thing.”
Korstjens said despite not having team-organized activities for the remainder of the summer, the girls can come into the gym and put in work themselves.
“We will be able to tell who took the rest of the summer off and who didn’t when school starts,” he said. “We expect the girls to come in and work on the things we told them they need to improve on before next season.”
By Patrick Osborne,
The Mustang baseball summer season has reached its final leg, with two teams done for the summer and one finishing earlier this week.
The Mustang varsity one team ended the season in Choctaw in its postseason tournament. Mustang played four games, starting with a loss to host Choctaw. The Broncos recovered by beating Dale and Edmond North in elimination games before finally being knocked out by Choctaw.
“We played well on defense, we just couldn’t hit,” Cade Fulton said. “Overall I thought we had a good summer. Now we have to continue getting better each day till the spring.”
The Bronco varsity two team ended the season as well as any team can, capturing the postseason tournament championship last weekend in Tuttle. Mustang won all five games, starting with a 7-0 win against Blanchard. The Broncos continued the single elimination tournament with wins against Piedmont, Edmond North varsity two, Edmond North junior varsity and Moore in the championship game.
Winning five games to end the season is never bad, and overall Gage Helling was impressed with the team and how they played throughout the weekend.
“We played really well. Our pitchers threw strikes, we hit well and didn’t have many errors. We brought a different mentality, we knew if we lost we were done,” he said.
As a team, Helling said they have grown together this summer and are better than they were at the start of the season.
“At the beginning of the summer we were striking out a lot and not putting the ball in play. Now towards the end, and especially this weekend, we weren’t striking out very much and were putting the ball in play. We improved a lot as a team this summer.”
The Bronco freshmen came into this week as the lone remaining team playing. The young Broncos finished off part one of their postseason tournament last weekend with a 12-2 win against Midwest City and a 3-2 victory against Moore in Piedmont.
In the first game against the Bombers, Mustang gave up two runs and just one hit. Head coach Jarred Prock said offensively and defensively, he was proud of his team.
In the second game Mustang relied on some late-game heroics to pull out the win. Due to time restraints, the Broncos and Lions only went six innings. In the bottom of the sixth inning, with bases loaded in a 2-2 game, Prock sent Aaron Riley to the plate to bring home the runners. Riley sent a ground ball up the middle and though it was fielded by the shortstop, he could not complete the play. Riley was credited with the RBI and walk-off hit.
With the wins, Mustang advanced to the final eight-team tournament held Monday and Tuesday night. Mustang played Deer Creek Monday night in Piedmont to open up the single elimination tournament.