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Which is the better rivalry? Bedlam or the Red River Showdown?
By Kyle Salomon,
When it comes to rivalries in sports, you hear about the Yankees-Red Sox, Lakers-Celtics or Michigan-Ohio State, but the one rivalry that trumps them all is the Red River Showdown between Oklahoma and Texas.
Now my counterpart, Patrick Osborne, believes the annual Bedlam clash between the Sooners and their bitter in-state foe, Oklahoma State, tops OU-Texas when it comes to rivalries.
Osborne will dazzle you with ideas such as the in-state brotherhood or that on-campus sites are better than the neutral site, but in reality, in no world is Bedlam ever bigger or better than the clash of crimson and burnt orange every October in Dallas.
First, we have to look at the tradition of the rivalry. Oklahoma and Texas are consistently among the top two programs in college football. The Longhorns lead the series 60-43-5 over the Sooners, but OU is closing the gap rapidly.
Every time these schools meet, it almost always sets a clear picture for what the rest of the Big 12 football season will look like. The winner of the big game will have the upper hand to win the conference the majority of the time.
Yes, Bedlam is always one of, if not the final regular season game of the year for both OU and OSU, but only in this decade have the two programs been comparable on the field. The Sooners lead the series 84-17-7. Not much of a “rivalry” if you ask me.
Next, we take a look at the venue of the Red River Showdown. The Cotton Bowl on the fairgrounds of Dallas is an historic football cathedral with a backdrop that will drop your jaw and open your eyes to true college football history.
The stadium holds a capacity of 92,000 people with 20,000 or 30,000 more crazed OU or UT fans outside the stadium watching on the big screen. The game always takes place in the middle of October, which is always in the middle of the Texas State Fair. It’s simple, you take one of the craziest and most fun state fairs across the whole country and put a football game of that magnitude right in the middle of it, you have yourself one heck of an atmosphere.
However, with all that being said, possibly the coolest thing about the venue at OU-Texas is the split right down the middle of the stadium. One side of the stadium is completely doused in crimson and the other side is filled with burnt orange. There is not a better site in all of sports.
Remember what former Ohio State and NFL star running back Eddie George told former OU and NFL star Roy Williams in his first OU-Texas experience. “Yeah, this is a lot bigger than Ohio State-Michigan. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Those words say it all.
While the on-campus site argument is valid from Osborne, the 60,000-seat stadium in Stillwater just wouldn’t quite compete with the atmosphere in Dallas. Perhaps if OSU could actually fill up the stadium for a Bedlam game he might have an argument. Then again, when it comes to the Red River Showdown, it takes a backseat to no other rivalry. Just ask Eddie George.
Which is a better rivalry? Bedlam or the Red River Showdown?
By Patrick Osborne
With the college football season rapidly approaching, it seems like the perfect time to talk about what is the better rivalry, the Red River Showdown or Bedlam?
Bedlam, the annual matchup of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, wins this battle. Although Bedlam does not have the same pageantry or tradition as Oklahoma and Texas, it is the better rivalry all around.
As an Oklahoma fan who attends Oklahoma State, I’ve seen both sides of this great rivalry. I’ve experienced the heartbreak of defeat and the joy of victory in both crimson and cream and orange and black.
I’ve been to the Red River Showdown and I’ve been to Bedlam, I’ll take Bedlam any day of the week. Unlike the other rivalry, Bedlam leaves all the lasting memories on each respected school’s campus.
The Dallas experience for OU and Texas is one of a kind, but nothing beats making the drive to Stillwater or Norman in hopes of seeing your school get the big win in the other school’s house. Neutral sites will never compare to on-campus matchups.
Who can forget Bedlam football? The Ice Bowl round two was amazing, or heartbreaking, depending on which color you wear.
I was there for Bedlam basketball in Gallahger Iba Arena. After the big win, shouts of Boomer Sooner could be heard during the singing of the alma mater by the OSU students. The response was simple – sing louder. So, of course, naturally the shouts returned louder as well.
My first experience of Bedlam wrestling, the sport that gave the rivalry its name, came this past year during my first year at OSU. GIA was rocking, crimson and cream and orange and black combining to make an unforgettable atmosphere and experience. It was pure Bedlam at its purest state.
I can go on and on about my Bedlam experiences as a Sooner and Cowboy, but that would just lead me to the same point. It’s different than OU and Texas, but there is just as much hatred in this rivalry.
OU is that annoying big brother who always thinks they are always better than you and finds a way to get a win on a lucky break. OSU is that increasingly growing little brother who is tired of being pushed around and wants everyone to know it.
At the end of the day they are still brothers of the state of Oklahoma, but when it’s go time neither wants to lose to their brother. They hate their brother so much during the fight because they know losing means a year of hanging their head when they see the other brother.
That’s what makes this rivalry so special. We know the other guy. We work with that Cowboy. We are married to that Sooner. There’s nowhere to hide after a loss and plenty of places to gloat with a victory.
Bedlam is defined as a place or situation of noisy uproar and confusion, and anytime these two schools meet you can plan on plenty of uproar and confusion. Bedlam is bedlam.
By Patrick Osborne,
Mustang native and current Oklahoma State University football player David Glidden is set to start his junior campaign on the gridiron.
A former Bronco three-sport athlete and current Cowboy, Glidden has come a long way since his time at Mustang High School.
“OSU has made me a lot stronger mentally over the past couple of years,” Glidden said. “There have been a lot of obstacles I’ve had to overcome and I believe that will help me in the long run of things in my life.”
While at OSU, Glidden has watched the Cowboys soar to a 30-9 record, including memorable wins against Bob Stoops and the University of Oklahoma in Stillwater and Heisman trophy runner-up Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinals in the Fiesta Bowl.
“I would love to go back and relive the Fiesta Bowl. That whole trip was a blast and the game was obviously just as fun.”
To this point in his career, he’s played alongside big-name Cowboys such as Justin Blackmon, Brandon Weeden and even fellow Mustang native Josh Cooper.
The former Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year coming out of high school has 16 career catches for 191 yards in his first two years, 15 receptions for 173 yards coming last season.
While at Mustang, Glidden was the Broncos go-to receiver as well as a solid defensive back. As a senior he averaged 19.1 yards on 65 receptions and reeled in 17 touchdowns as well as six interceptions. He was a first-team All-State selection as voted by the Oklahoman, Tulsa World and Oklahoma Coaches Association.
Looking back, he singled out the semifinal game his sophomore year against the east-side powerhouse Jenks Trojans as his favorite game as a Mustang Bronco.
Outside of football, he also shined on the basketball court and baseball diamond as well.
As most good athletes do, Glidden said he had his role model that he looked up to growing up.
“My brother was always the person I looked up to. He always included me in the neighborhood sports with the older kids. Then when we got older, I saw his work ethic and I wanted mine to be just like it. He always loved the game of football, and he would have loved to be in my shoes right now. Thinking about that pushes me every day.”
Just as he looked up to his brother, while at Mustang Glidden had plenty of kids and teammates who looked up to him.
“He was such a great player,” 2014 Mustang graduate and former teammate Colton Hadlock said. “Everyone loved him. He was so smart. He really was the man. In Mustang, we pride ourselves on our route running, and David was the best.”
Fellow 2014 graduate Frankie Edwards recalled his first varsity football experience against U.S. Grant as a freshman. He said just before going in, Glidden was there with him to calm him down.
“In high school, nobody could cover him with his route running but he was still so humble. I never heard any cockiness from him,” Edwards said.
With help from a solid spring for Coach Mike Gundy and the Cowboys, Glidden is expected to have his number called more this season. Oklahoma State opens up the 2014-2015 season with a 7 p.m. matchup Aug. 30 in Arlington against Heisman trophy winner Jameis Winston and the rest of the Florida State Seminoles.
Glidden made sure to leave some encouraging words for Mustang kids wanting to follow in his footsteps and one day play college football.
“Do what you love and pursue your dreams. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.”
By Kyle Salomon,
Mustang junior right-handed pitcher Cade Fulton threw five scoreless innings in last Friday’s 6-2 win against Norman in the opening game of the Yukon tournament.
The 6-foot-5 Bronco pitcher had a solid spring season on the mound for Mustang, but lacked consistency throughout the year. Fulton said he has worked on being more consistent this summer.
“I feel like I have gained a lot of control this summer,” he said. “My velocity has picked up a lot, and I have a lot better command of my pitches. I’m starting to trust my defense a lot more behind me as well and not trying to strike everyone out.”
Fulton scattered three hits in the five innings on the bump while striking out four Norman batters.
The Bronco varsity summer team didn’t stop after the Norman victory. Mustang went on to win the remaining three games in the two-day event at Yukon High School.
MHS defeated Norman North 8-0, Yukon 4-1 and Marietta 16-3 to cap off the tournament. Junior pitcher Tyler Farley was on the mound for the eight-run win over Norman North. Hayden Woolsie got the win for the Broncos against the Millers and John Madison earned the victory against Marietta.
The four-game sweep of the tournament makes the Broncos 17-1 this summer going into the final week of the summer season. Mustang played a doubleheader on Tuesday night at Norman, which were the final summer league games before they begin the postseason tournament in Choctaw Friday night.
Fulton said this summer has been a good one for the varsity baseball squad.
“We have done very well this summer,” he said. “We have come together as a team. Last spring, a lot of us were still really young and didn’t really know what to expect. Now we all are more comfortable and we are playing with a lot more confidence. We can teach the younger players how to do it the right way as well.”
Freshman team experiences success in summer ball
The future of Mustang baseball looks bright as the Broncos freshman summer team has a record of 22-4 going into the final week of the summer season.
The young Broncos played four games against Piedmont last week and took three out of four games in the two doubleheaders.
Mustang split a doubleheader with Moore and won the Edmond Memorial freshman summer tournament, taking all three games. The Broncos beat Putnam City North 11-10, took down Yukon 10-7 and defeated Enid 10-0 to win the tournament.
Pitching has been a strong point for the Mustang freshmen this summer as 12 out of the 17 players on the roster are pitchers for head coach Jared Prock and his squad. The team isn’t too shabby at the plate either as they have a team batting average of .315 in their 26 games this summer.
“This group has had a tremendous summer,” Prock said. “Our pitching has really stood out this summer. We have a lot of guys who can pitch it and pitch it well for us. Offensively, I’m really pleased. We are hitting the ball well as a team and we are doing it a lot by playing small ball. We are bunting a lot and executing on the base paths.”
Prock highlighted four freshmen players who have stood out this season and have developed into leaders for the young team.
“Tanner Tweihous plays third base and pitches for us,” Prock said. “He’s had an excellent summer. Brayden Corley also pitches for us and plays first base. He’s been a tremendous left on the mound this summer. Up the middle defensively, we have two solid infielders with Noah Varks and Mason Jones.”
Prock said the future of Mustang baseball is bright with these young kids coming up in the program.
“The next five or six years looks to be really promising,” he said. “Not just with this group, but the classes surrounding this group are very good as well. The future is definitely promising.”
By Kyle Salomon,
For the first time in a year and a half, Mustang senior guard Bailey Flynn was able to step onto the court and play basketball with her Lady Broncos teammates last week.
“It’s been a really long time and a really long process,” Flynn said. “I’m getting back into it, though. It takes time. I’m pretty rusty. I’m in the gym every day I can be trying to get back into shape and back into form.”
The Mustang girls basketball program hosted its own team camp last week as numerous teams from across the area came to participate in the five-day event. Each team in the camp played 10 games (two games per day). The camp was held at the Mustang High School wellness center.
Flynn’s official first game back was June 17 against Norman. She said she felt ready mentally, but physically was rusty.
“I was sharp mentally,” she said. “I knew everything I wanted to do and everything felt comfortable for me. Physically, it was a different story. I wasn’t hurting or anything like that, but it’s going to take time to get back into playing shape. It was a good start, though. It was a great week.”
Flynn hasn’t seen much on-court action for the Lady Broncos basketball team since her freshman year when she started at point guard. Flynn played for the first couple of weeks of her sophomore season before an injury sidelined her for the remainder of the season.
The sharp-shooting guard was set to come back last year for her junior campaign, but a severe knee injury in preseason practice led to season-ending surgery before the year even began.
Flynn said getting back on the court with her teammates was a great feeling.
“It was good getting out there with all the girls,” she said. “There are a lot of new faces on the team, but it’s definitely good to be out there with them. We need to start building that chemistry right now, so it will carry over into the fall and into the season.”
Once the summer season is over for Mustang, Flynn will rejoin her AAU team in Oklahoma City and play in several tournaments with them before school starts back up in August.
Flynn will compete in two AAU tournaments. She said she is expecting to continue getting stronger the more time she spends on the court.
“I know it’s not going to happen overnight,” she said. “It’s a process. I just want to continue getting stronger and getting more comfortable. I already feel a lot stronger and more comfortable after last week.
“I feel like I have been in a box lately because it’s been so long since I have played. Everyone has been playing and training and I haven’t been able to do that, so it has been tough. I’m just happy to be back.”
Who are the top-10 football coaches in the Big 12 Conference?
By Kyle Salomon,
Now that basketball season is officially over, the college football hype machine has officially started across the state of Oklahoma.
In honor of the college football hype season, I am going to rank the Big 12 football coaches 1-10 in order of best to worst.
1. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma
Stoops and the Sooners went on an incredible three-game run to end the 2013 season winning two difficult road games at Kansas State and at Oklahoma State in frigid temperatures. The two road upsets propelled Oklahoma into a Sugar Bowl showdown with SEC bully Alabama, which was the two-time defending national champion and one fluke play against Auburn away from competing for a third consecutive title. OU pulled out some Sooner magic against the Crimson Tide and put a beat-down on Nick Saban and company.
Stoops has the Sooners back in the national eye as Oklahoma is a favorite to compete in this year’s four-team college football playoffs. Stoops’ eight Big 12 Conference titles, one national title and wins in every BCS game make him the clear-cut No. 1 coach in the Big 12.
2. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
Given his track record against Oklahoma and Texas and his sub-par bowl game record, this might be a surprising pick to some of you, but Gundy is well-deserving of this selection. Gundy has taken the Cowboys to new heights as the head man in Stillwater. Yes, he has struggled against the two Big 12 bullies, but he has taken the Pokes to their only football conference title in the school’s history. He also led the orange and black to an incredible Fiesta Bowl victory against Stanford in 2011. When Gundy took the program over, OSU fans were thrilled to get seven- or eight-win seasons. Now, Poke nation isn’t happy unless the Cowboys are winning 10 or 11 games and competing for Big 12 crowns. These accomplishments definitely warrant him as the No. 2 coach in the Big 12. After all, he is a man. He’s now 46.
3. Bill Snyder, Kansas State
Snyder is one of the most underrated coaches in sports history, not just college football history, but sports history. Kansas State football was a laughing stock across the nation for decades before Snyder came in and completely changed the culture. He turned the Wildcats into perennial winners and made them competitive in the Big 12 Conference. Snyder’s first retirement came in the mid-2000′s when Ron Prince took over in Manhattan. KSU began to sink back to depths of college football, which caused Snyder to return to the sidelines and he now has the Cats back to being a feared opponent in the conference.
4. Art Briles, Baylor
If you would have told me 10 years ago that Baylor would be one of the favorites to win the Big 12 Conference in 2014, I would have called you crazy. But it’s true. The Bears are here and here to stay as long as Briles and company stick around in Waco. For the first time in school history, Baylor beat both Oklahoma and Texas in the same season in 2013 and won their first ever Big 12 Conference title. Who would have predicted this? But Briles has the Bears steamrolling right now, which is why he’s deserving of the No. 4 spot.
5. Paul Rhoads, Iowa State
Rhoads is one of the most underrated football coaches in the Big 12 Conference. Being at Iowa State, he lacks the resources and tradition needed to recruit top-notch athletes like Oklahoma, Texas and Oklahoma State are able to do on an annual basis. Yet the guy still somehow has the ability to strike fear into those opponents and the rest of the Big 12. If you put a truth serum in every Big 12 coach, I promise they would tell you Ames, Iowa, is one of the scariest places to travel to in the entire conference.
6. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech
No, this ranking has nothing to do with Kingsbury’s coaching ability. This ranking is all about the young coach’s dashing good looks. No, I’m kidding. He is one of the best quarterback coaches in all of college football. You think Johnny Manziel became Johnny “Football” on his own? No way. Kingsbury was a vital piece to that puzzle. The guy won seven games in his first year in Lubbock with Tommy Tubberville’s players. Imagine what he will be able to do when he gets his own recruits at his service.
7. Charlie Strong, Texas
Many of you may be wondering how I can put Charlie Strong so far down this list given his record as the defensive coordinator at Florida and as a head coach at Louisville. It’s simple. This is the Big 12 Conference. This is not the Atlantic Athletic Conference. Look at what has happened to other coaches in the conference who came from smaller conferences. Dana Holgerson has struggled mightily at West Virginia since coming from the Big East and Gary Patterson hasn’t seen much success at TCU coming from the Mountain West. Yes, Strong will have more resources and much better talent at his disposal in Austin, but as we all know from the final few years with Mack Brown, that doesn’t always equal out to wins.
8. Gary Patterson, TCU
This low ranking is not a reflection of Patterson as a football coach. The fact of the matter is, this guy can flat out coach on the gridiron. Just look at what he has been able to do while coaching the Horned Frogs. The purple and black dominated the Mountain West for years and even pulled off some miracle upsets, such as the 2005 season opener over the Sooners in Norman. But Patterson has struggled since coming to the Big 12. Beating the big boys is a lot more difficult when you have to play them almost every week during the regular season.
9. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia
Holgorsen is an offensive genius. No one is questioning that, but I am going to question the man as a head football coach. Like Strong and Patterson, Holgorsen dominated a smaller conference like the Big East with the high-octane offense his teams display. However, the defenses in the Big 12 are a lot better than those that reside in the Big East and the offenses are pretty good, which expose the weak defense the Mountaineers employ. This will be Holgorsen’s final year in Morgantown.
10. Mike Stoops, defensive coordinator, Oklahoma
If some of you are crying foul at this selection, notice how I said ranking of the Big 12 football coaches, not head coaches. If anyone out there actually believes that Mike Stoops is not a better football coach than Charlie Weis, then you might need to have your head examined. Stoops was responsible for the dominant defenses the Sooners had in the early 2000’s. Since his return to Norman in 2012, he has slowly and steadily turned the Oklahoma D back into the best unit in the Big 12 and one of the best in the nation.
Who are the top-10 football coaches in the Big 12 Conference?
By Patrick Osborne,
As football season rapidly approaches, it seems like the right time to look at the Big 12 Conference and rank all 10 coaches from worst to best.
10. Charlie Weis
Still new to the Big 12, Weis has yet to do anything major at Kansas. The Jayhawks have posted 1-11 and 3-9 records under Weis in his first two seasons, only one of which was a conference win. Weis has only one bowl win in his career, the Hawaii Bowl when at Notre Dame.
9. Dana Holgorsen
Remember this guy, Cowboy fans? In his three seasons at West Virginia, Holgorsen has seen a steady drop not only in talent but also wins. After the move to the Big 12 from the Big East Conference, Holgorsen has won just six of his first 12 conference games. He has one Big East title but nothing to his name so far in the Big 12. Without a solid season this year for the Mountaineers, Holgorsen could be job searching come December.
8. Kliff Kingsbury
This season proved good looks don’t get you everything for the first-year head coach. After a quick 7-0 start to the season, the Red Raiders finished by losing their last five games of the regular season. Although the Red Raiders showed a lot of promise, even during the five-game losing streak, it’s still unknown how good Kingsbury really is. Going into just his second season, he’s still working with other coaches’ players. With that said, Kingsbury looks like he could grow into a solid coach with great quarterbacks every year. Just look at what he did with Johnny Manziel while at Texas A&M.
7. Paul Rhoads
Anybody want to sign up for those wacky Thursday or Friday night games in Ames, Iowa, to play Rhoads and the Cyclones? Cowboy fans, how confident are you every time Oklahoma State travels to Jack Trice Stadium? Although he has a 27-36 record at Iowa State, with the players he has and has to coach against, this is not bad at all. Rhoads always finds a way to put out a competitive team even though he’s outmatched in nearly every game.
6. Bill Snyder
The Kansas State athletic department should seriously consider renaming the team the fighting Bill Snyders. Snyder is Wildcat football and Wildcat football is Bill Snyder. How many coaches get to coach in a stadium named after them? Although he only has two conference titles, Snyder has a 178-90-1 record while at Kansas State. Snyder always has one of the classiest and hard-working teams in the conference and rarely fails to compete. It would be nice to see the man Wildcat fans adore get one more conference title before his time in Manhattan is up.
5. Gary Patterson
I can’t help but like a guy who isn’t afraid to wear purple. He has a 120-44 record in his 13 seasons as the Horned Frogs leader including the memorable Rose Bowl win against Wisconsin in 2010. Although his teams have gone 4-5 and 2-7 in their first two seasons in the Big 12, I’m going to give Patterson a little more time. By a little more time, I mean this season. The Horned Frog leader is known for his stingy defense and his team’s ability to embrace the underdog role. The time to win is now for Patterson and TCU.
4. Mike Gundy
I wanted to put the man behind America’s brightest orange higher on my list but I couldn’t. At Oklahoma State, Gundy has posted a 77-38 record in his first nine seasons. Under him, the Cowboys have won one Big 12 conference title and a bowl win for the ages in the 2011 Fiesta Bowl against Stanford. Although Oklahoma State is now consistently one of the top teams in the Big 12, Gundy comes in at number four for his lack of big wins. Gundy has just one win against in-state rival Oklahoma, and always seems to find a way to lose the big game. Cowboy fans might not want to hear it, but it’s time for Gundy to Cowboy-up and start finding a way to win that big game.
3. Charlie Strong
Let me be the first to welcome Coach Strong to the Big 12. Welcome to the post-Mack Brown era, Longhorn fans. Although he has yet to coach a single Big 12 game, Strong posted an impressive 37-15 record at Louisville. The Cardinals were known for their discipline and hard work while under Strong, and won one of the biggest games in school history when they beat Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl. Strong completely turned around the Louisville football program and I expect him to do the same in Austin.
2. Art Briles
Baylor is no longer the doormat we all used to look forward to playing thanks to the coaching of Briles. He has a 44-32 record in six seasons as the Bears leader, and has brought the team to new heights every year. Briles did what most Big 12 fans thought was never possible when he won the Big 12 title after knocking off Oklahoma and Texas in the same season. Baylor looks to be in great hands as long as they can keep Briles under contract.
1. Bob Stoops
Big game Bob, welcome back. Remember when OU wasn’t supposed to win another game going into the Kansas State and Oklahoma State stretch? Remember when they did, then went on to win the Sugar Bowl against Alabama? Sooner fans will. In his 15 seasons at OU, Stoops has posted a 160-39 record and is now the all-time wins leader at the school where Barry Switzer coached. He went to all four BCS bowls, has won eight Big 12 titles and has one national title. With the kind of consistency where he’s never gone worse than 7-5, Stoops is without a doubt the best coach in the Big 12.
By Kyle Salomon,
This past Monday morning marked the first day of the Summer Pride season for the Broncos football program.
Mustang football players battled the heat and humidity from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. as they went through a series of conditioning drills both in the weight room and on the football field at Bronco Stadium.
Mustang head coach Jeremy Dombek said he was happy with his team’s effort on the first day of summer workouts.
“We are out of shape,” he said. “That’s the first thing that stood out to me. But that’s not uncommon for this time of year. The key is coming out here and working hard all through the summer and preparing our bodies and our minds for the upcoming season. The main thing you want to see on day one is the intensity level. I thought that was good today.”
Summer Pride will take place every week during the summer months and run four days per week. The players will have every Friday off from workouts. Each player will spend one hour on the field working on conditioning drills and one hour in the weight room lifting. Every session will conclude with a series of 100-yard gassers. On Monday, the Broncos ran 12 100-yard gassers to close the first day.
It was a struggle for some of the players, but Dombek told them at the end of the workout to keep their heads up and keep working hard and eventually it will get easier.
Dombek said it is easy to have good intensity and a lot of energy on the first day, but the key is sustaining it throughout the summer.
“We knew there was going to be a lot of excitement out here today,” he said. “Everyone got better today. We have to keep it up, though. We can’t come out here in a couple of weeks and not have the same level of intensity or focus. Those are the days when it becomes really hard. I think this group will handle that well.”
Dombek said the goal of Summer Pride is not just to get in great shape, but to build team chemistry and develop leaders.
“Of course we want to prepare our bodies the best we can,” he said. “We want to be in great shape as a football team, but we can use this time to really build team chemistry and team character. If we are all out here working hard, it sets the tone for the season. This is the time the leaders will start to emerge as well. We are looking forward to seeing who steps up into those roles.”
From a player perspective, the first day went well, but junior quarterback Chandler Garrett knows the intensity needs to keep improving throughout the summer.
“We all know they (the coaches) didn’t give us everything yet,” he said. “I thought it was a good first day, but we need to come out and get better every day. Our intensity level needs to get higher and higher with each workout.”
Senior defensive back Zach Davis echoed Garrett’s comments, but he added the team needs to have a “no nonsense” mentality.
“We have high goals for this season,” he said. “In order to accomplish those goals we have to have a great summer. I thought today was OK, but it needs to be better. We can’t take any rep off. We have to give all we got on everything we do if we want to achieve our goals.”
By Kyle Salomon,
For the third consecutive summer, the Mustang baseball team is going through its throwing program three mornings per week throughout the summer months and into the fall.
The program is designed around band work to strengthen not only the main muscles a player uses to throw a baseball, but the surrounding muscles that aid in the process as well.
The throwing program was created by ex-Major League baseball players. It is set up to build arm strength and endurance and ultimately prevent arm or shoulder injuries.
Mustang head coach Scott Selby said he is pleased with the results of the program in his coaching career.
“I have been using that throwing program in the offseason since I coached at Southwestern (Oklahoma State University),” he said. “When we started using it at SWOSU, we saw the number of arm injuries and arm surgeries go down in a big way. This is our third summer to do it at Mustang and we are very pleased with the results.”
Selby said the rubber bands not only work out the arm and shoulder but the entire body including the core muscles.
“It’s important to have a very strong core area when you are playing baseball,” he said. “Not just for pitchers but for every position. When you have a strong core, it takes a lot of pressure off your arm and shoulder and decreases your chance for injury. It also gives you a wider range of motion. It’s important to be flexible.”
In the previous two years, the baseball team has just done the throwing program in the summer months, but this season Selby said he is going to have the team do the program into the fall when school starts back up.
“We are going to incorporate this program into our fall schedule,” he said. “I think the players really like it and it would be good to keep doing it as we start working on the field during fall practice. We can keep strengthening our arms and shoulders while we are getting work in on the field.”
Selby said he doesn’t follow the throwing program by the book and he implements some of his own exercises into the regiment.
“Everyone that does this program has their own tweaks they make to it,” he said. “We have the players working with a medicine ball as well as the bands to help give them more core strength than the bands do.”
Mustang junior pitcher Cade Fulton said he likes the throwing program and he has been doing it for a number of years.
“You definitely see a difference,” he said. “You can feel it in your arm and shoulder too. You just feel a lot stronger and a lot more capable to throw the baseball the way you want to throw it because you feel a lot stronger.
“It works everything. Your core gets a lot stronger and your whole body gets a good workout. As a pitcher it gives you a lot more velocity and power behind your pitches. It’s a great program and I’m glad we do it.”
By Kyle Salomon,
For the past 10 years, the east side of the state has dominated the All-State girls soccer game, but Mustang 2014 graduate Anna Crawford helped end that streak and gave the west team a 1-0 victory.
Crawford scored the game’s only goal midway through the second half in Muskogee as the west side team’s defense held strong to secure the victory.
Crawford said when she saw the ball go into the back of the net, she had a great feeling they were going to win the game.
“I was able to get the ball into the goal past the goalkeeper,” she said. “When it went in, we had a good feeling we would be able to go on and win the game. Our defense was playing really well. We had a really good team and we knew we could beat the east team if we stuck together and play our game.”
Crawford wasn’t the only Mustang representative at the girls All-State game. Fellow 2014 graduate Lexi Jones and Lady Bronco head coach Mike Mason were there representing the west side as well.
Jones said the team chemistry was really good because most of the girls have played club soccer together for years.
“A lot of times it is hard just putting a soccer team together without much time together and play well, but a lot of us have played with each other for a lot of years in club soccer, so the transition was really smooth,” she said. “We just wanted to go out there and have a lot of fun together. We knew the west side hadn’t won that game in a long time, so we wanted to go out and win this game.”
Jones said it was the second time she had gotten to beat a lot of the east side players this summer.
“At the State Soccer Cup last month, our club team from the Oklahoma City area beat the club team from the Tulsa area in the state championship, so we were able to beat them twice this summer,” she said.
Mustang head coach Mike Mason said getting the opportunity to go out and be around girls of that skill level is an honor.
“When you have the opportunity to go out there and coach these players who are so skilled and so talented, it really is a great honor,” he said. “It makes the practices that much easier. The girls really wanted to go out there and win this game. They were motivated, so that was cool to be a part of as a coach.”
The team had four practices and a scrimmage leading up to the game, but Crawford was unable to participate in the practices and scrimmage because she is already in Norman taking classes at OU and working out with the Lady Sooners women’s soccer team.
Crawford said she was surprised how much chemistry the team had during the game.
“It’s hard when you don’t play a lot together,” she said. “Even though a lot of us do play club together, it’s still a great accomplishment to go out there and play well together and beat the east side.”