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MHS top-30 athletes: Nos. 1-5, Jayden Chestnut takes top honors

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Sports editor Kyle Salomon did a six-week series of columns releasing his current top-30 athletes at Mustang High School. This is the final week of the series and he is revealing Nos. 1-5.

Here is a look at my final column of the six-week series releasing my Mustang High School top-30 current athletes starting with No. 1.

No. 1 Jayden Chestnut, senior, softball

Jayden Chestnut is not just arguably the best female athlete to ever walk the halls of Mustang High School, she is arguably one of the best athletes period to ever attend MHS.No. 1 Jayden Chestnut

The hard-throwing right-hander has been the ace in the circle since she was a freshman for the Lady Broncos softball program. Year after year she leads the Bronco girls back to the state tournament, making deep runs in her first three years for MHS.

Chestnut is hoping her fourth and final chance at a state championship will end happier than her previous three tries for the elusive ring.

The future Oklahoma Sooners softball player is looking forward to her collegiate career, but she’s got unfinished business at Mustang before she heads south to Norman.

Chestnut has accomplished just about everything you could possibly imagine in the high school ranks, including earning All-American status and pitching a scoreless inning in the Triple Crown All-American Game this summer in Colorado.

However, she has one remaining goal on her mind as she enters her senior season in Mustang, and that is to bring the gold to her hometown.

One thing is for certain, with Chestnut in the circle, you always like your chances.

No. 2 Chandler Garrett, junior, football

Chandler Garrett is probably the most exciting athlete at Mustang High School. The 6-foot-5 quarterback is being recruited by several top-level Division I college football programs around the country and certainly keeps Bronco nation on the edge of its seat every time he takes a snap.No. 2 Chandler Garrett

Garrett took the starting QB job midway through the year last year from three-year starter and senior Frankie Edwards. He led the Broncos to the quarterfinal round of the playoffs, where ice and frigid temperatures halted the Mustang offense against Broken Arrow.

Garrett has the ability to make every throw in the book and can also beat you with his legs out of the backfield. The junior has the ability to run around you like Cam Newton but also has the size to run through you like Blake Bell used to do for the Sooners in the “Bell Dozer” package.

If Garrett makes the type of progression that is expected out of him this coming football season, the MHS football squad is looking at another playoff run that’ll hopefully end deeper than the quarterfinals.

No. 3 Jakolby Long, junior, basketball

Jakolby Long is the LeBron James of the Mustang basketball program. The 6-foot-4 combo guard can run the point guard position, play the two-guard, excels at the small forward position and can even go down in the post and play the four.No. 3 Jakolby Long

The junior has everything you want in a major college Division I basketball player. He can handle the ball, pass from the top of the key, drive to the hoop and dish it to an open teammate or lay it in for an easy two or drain an open outside shot.

Jakolby has trimmed up from last year when he played overweight, according to his father and head coach of the Broncos, Terry Long.

Mustang will be one of the few teams to have a real chance at winning the state title in 6A basketball this season, and if it is going to accomplish that feat, the Broncos are going to need Jakolby to have a big year on the hardwood.

Look for that to occur.

No. 4 Jaci Jones, junior, soccer

Jaci Jones is one of my favorite athletes to watch play her particular sport at Mustang. She approaches her craft with more passion than anyone else at Mustang High School.No. 4 Jaci Jones

Jaci’s love and passion for soccer is limitless. The junior plays both midfield and forward for the Lady Broncos soccer team. She is the one girl on the field head coach Mike Mason doesn’t have to worry about because he knows she is going to bring everything she’s got to the field every day.

Jaci is being heavily recruited by several major college soccer programs across the nation. Whoever is lucky enough to land Jaci is in for a real treat once she steps on campus, but she’s not quite ready for that yet.

Jaci hopes to lead the Bronco girls to a state title by the time her four years are up for MHS. With her in charge of the field for the Mustang girls, that is a definite possibility.

No. 5 Blake Williams, senior, football

When a young man hasn’t played competitive sports in more than a year and is still being highly recruited by Division I colleges to come play football, you know you have a special talent right in front of you.No. 5 Blake Williams

Blake Williams has fought an illness that sidelined him from sports for more than a year, but he is back to return to the gridiron for the Broncos, and he is coming back with a vengeance.

Normally, replacing a guy like Colton Hadlock at the H-back position would be nearly impossible, but then when you see what Williams looks like on a football field and witness his ability in action, you quickly realize that won’t be a problem.

Williams has a body that looks NFL-ready right now. If he has the type of season everyone is expecting of him, watch out for the Broncos this season because there are not many guys in the state who could bring him to the ground.

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News. He can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info.

Time to come out and support our kids Mustang

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Final Point

Today marks the official first day students will be roaming the halls across the district in Mustang Public Schools.

Growing up I always considered the start to a new school year to be a new beginning or a fresh start.

It’s the type of feeling you have when you get to wipe the slate clean and start all over.

For these children that are going back to school, that is very much the case. No matter what happened the school year before, they can come into the new year and build new relationships and repair ones that have been damaged in the past.

As an adult, we don’t quite have the same luxuries as our children because there is no such thing as a summer break from a job, but we can use the start of the school year in almost the same way and support our children and the activities they are involved with through school.

Here in Mustang, we have one of the best overall school districts in the state of Oklahoma. It’s already the fifth largest school system in the state and is still rapidly growing at a pace that would make Usain Bolt look average.

As of right now, there are more than 800 new students to the Mustang Public School system, which is the largest number in the district’s history. The official number of new students won’t be tallied until Oct. 1, which is the official enrollment count day across the state.

With the size of school Mustang has become, there are numerous events that the Mustang community should support.

As the sports editor of the Mustang News, I can certainly tell you about all of the great sporting events that will be taking place starting today, but there are so many more activities and events that are happening outside of the sports world in MPS.

From the Mustang Knight Riders marching band to the FFA, there are many events and activities for the Mustang community to support and enjoy.

As for sports,  the Lady Bronco softball team is always one of the top teams in the state of Oklahoma, and is always in contention for a state title. They begin their regular season at 4:30 today at Putnam City West.

The Mustang volleyball team starts its regular season Friday in a two-day tournament at Bishop McGuinness. The Bronco cross country teams begin the 2014 campaign with the annual 12-hour run that starts at 7 p.m. Friday and concludes at 7 a.m. on Saturday.

And of course, we can’t forget about the football team. The Broncos hit the gridiron for practice this  week and are looking to have another strong season under second-year head coach Jeremy Dombek.

The annual Mustang-Yukon football clash will take place Sept. 6 at Yukon High School. I strongly encourage everyone in the Mustang community to make the short drive up to Yukon to watch the Broncos and Millers tango.

I know we all are busy and have the tendency to get caught up in our everyday, but let’s take a step back from ourselves every now and then and go and support our kids at Mustang Public Schools. To have the community behind them would mean more to them than you could imagine.

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News. He can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info.

Osborne reflects on summer internship with Mustang News

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By Patrick Osborne,

Well Mustang, it has been a good run. My internship with the Mustang News has ended, and it’s time for me to return to Stillwater and Oklahoma State University.

I learned so much from this experience. Ryan, Ashleigh, Kyle and Kristen, you all welcomed me with open arms from the beginning and made sure to take the time to help me learn all sides of the newspaper business. I’m incredibly thankful for all of you, you made me a better writer this summer.

I came to the office my first day expecting to write solely about sports and work for Kyle, my sports editor. Although during my eight weeks I spent a majority of the time working under him, that was just the tip of the iceberg. The office family made sure to take the time to give me at least a week with each of them so that I could learn their trades.

Ashleigh gave me my most unexpected opportunity to learn. She taught me more than I ever expected to know about how to edit pictures and design ads from scratch. She made it all look so easy and never got frustrated when I had questions.

The last week of my internship, Ryan and Kristen took me under their wings, and gave me a chance to see the business side of running a successful newspaper. They let me tag along with them selling ads, but taught me more than how to just sell adds. They taught me how to connect to people, my readers, and the community.

Finally, there was Kyle. He trusted me and my abilities from day one, and his trust never waivered. He gave me so many opportunities to grow as a writer, and I did my best to take advantage of all of them. I was never treated as an intern with him, but rather a member of his sports staff. He took the time every week to sit down with me and not only edit my mistakes but also discuss with me why he was editing certain aspects of my work so I could grow as a writer.

For my readers, I would like to thank you for all your kind words of encouragement. I hope you enjoyed my writing, or at least found it informative. I truly enjoyed not only writing this summer, but also the connections I got to make with so many wonderful people from my hometown.

This was my first internship experience, and it’s one I will never forget. I fully believe I can take all that I’ve learned this summer back to Oklahoma State with me as a launch pad to continue to grow as a writer.

I am beyond thankful that I was able to write for my hometown newspaper; not many people get the chance to do that I could. So thank you again to the Mustang community and the Mustang News for this wonderful opportunity and experience you provided me with.

Patrick Osborne was the summer intern at the Mustang News.

MHS top-30 athletes: Nos. 6-10

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Sports editor Kyle Salomon is ranking his current top-30 Mustang High School athletes in a six-week series of columns. This week he is revealing Nos. 6-10.

Here is a look at Nos. 6-10 in my current top-30 Mustang High School athletes list.

6. Austin Meyer, junior, basketball

Austin Meyer is perhaps the best-kept secret when it comes to Mustang High School basketball. You might ask yourself, “How can a 6-foot-10 forward that can move and handle the ball like a guard and has a mid-range jump shot be a secret in high school basketball?”Austin Meyer One

That question is definitely warranted. The fact of the matter is, Meyer is one of the best post players in the state of Oklahoma and he is being recruited by several major college universities to come play basketball for their respective institutions.

When Meyer does get the ball down low and has the freedom to go to work on the block, there is not a single high school basketball player in this state who could stop him.

His style of play reminds me of a young Tim Duncan. Yeah, Thunder fans, remember that guy? Well, Meyer has the ability to have the type of impact on the game that Duncan does for the Spurs. Just imagine if Meyer was used like Duncan in the Mustang offense.

Meyer is a highlight reel waiting to happen. If you question that, I beg you to go to You Tube and find the video of the MHS junior one-handing a pass from a teammate and throwing it down in a way only Blake Griffin could understand.

If the Broncos do follow through and cut the nets down next March as the state champions, Meyer will be a big reason why.

7. Alina Magruder, senior, soccer

Alina Magruder is fast, real fast. The senior forward on the Lady Broncos soccer team is so fast it’s hard to take photos of her running down the field to go score a goal.Alina Magruder One

Magruder is one of the best athletes in all of Mustang High School and is one of the best girls soccer players in the state of Oklahoma. She has a rare knack to be at the right spot at the right time and find the ball with an open shot at the goal.

If Magruder has an open shot at the goal you might as well just go ahead and put a point on the scoreboard in Mustang’s favor because that ball is going into the back of the net.

Magruder was a highly sought after soccer player all over the country, but she eventually decided to verbally commit to play at Iowa University.

Entering her final campaign as a Lady Bronco, Magruder will help lead the Bronco girls soccer team to another state tournament berth that this time will lead to gold in the end.

8. Josh Turner, junior, rowing

Josh Turner might be the best overall athlete at Mustang High School, but he’s the most unknown athlete at Mustang High School.Josh Turner

Want to know why?

Turner doesn’t play a sport that is sanctioned by the OSSAA or a sport that Mustang High School employs.

The Mustang High School junior is a national champion rower for his age division and is being recruited nationally by colleges to come and row for them.

Turner wasn’t always into the rowing scene. Baseball was his true first love growing up, but the left-hander failed to make the cut his freshman year and he decided to give rowing a shot.

What seemed devastating at the time by not making the high school baseball team turned into a blessing in disguise.

If Turner continues on this path of success in the water, we will be watching him representing our great country in the Olympics someday.

9. Amirah Jones, senior, track

Amirah Jones earned her way into my top 10 current Mustang High School athletes when I went to the state track meet last May at Yukon High School and saw the then-MHS junior flying around the track earning a third-place overall finish in the girls 400-yard dash.Amirah Jones One

Jones will enter her senior season as one of the favorites to compete for the state championship in the 400-yard dash next May.

If the Lady Bronco senior has a strong fall and winter entering track season next spring, there is no reason why she won’t be wearing the gold medal around her neck as a state champion in mid-May next year.

10. Caisey Jones, senior, softball

Caisey Jones is all about one thing, softball. The MHS senior has lived and breathed the sport since she was born.

It’s not hard to figure out why as her mother, Amy Jones, was an All-State softball player for Mustang High School and is the most popular person when it comes to softball in and around the Mustang area.Caisey Jones One

Caisey’s older sister, Bailey Jones, was a softball player at Mustang High School and is now playing at Southwestern Christian University in Bethany.

So the fact that Caisey’s life is centered around softball is no surprise.

Caisey is making the move from second base and third base to short stop going into her final year for the Lady Broncos and she will be counted on to be a leader for the young team this fall.

There is no doubt, Caisey will play softball at the next level, but before that happens, she will try and help the Broncos softball team to a state championship in head coach Brian Howard’s first year on the job.

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News and can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info

Price to play golf soaring through the roof

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Final Point

In the past several months, I have heard numerous people talk about golf as a dying sport in this nation.

It is a true statement. The number of people going out to play golf on a Saturday or Sunday is increasingly getting smaller every spring, summer and fall.

Golf courses all over the country are being closed because they cannot sustain themselves without anybody coming out to play golf.Green One

That is probably why the golf courses that are staying open are not in the best shape because they have to cut their budgets somewhere.

So, the problem has been identified, now we have to figure out why golf is a sinking ship in the United States. And is there a solution to the problem?

Many people believe it is because of the slow nature of the game. We do live in a fast-paced society that has to have everything right now instead of being patient and actually waiting for a better outcome.

Hence why basketball and football are the two most popular sports in this nation and soccer is the fastest-growing sport. Baseball is definitely not known for its brevity when it comes to game time or action on the field. Therefore, it is slowly dying as well. However, not at the speed that golf seems to be.Carts One

Some people out there believe that it is because golf is a sport primarily played by middle-aged men with families to take care of, so now instead of spending four or five hours on a golf course on a Saturday, they are staying home and being with their families.

All of these reasons are valid and have strong points behind them, and even may be a part of the reason golf is slipping away, but the main reason I believe the sport is fading fast is what it does to our wallets. It empties them faster than the cable companies do. OK, maybe not that fast, but you get the point.

Golf is the most expensive sport-related hobby in the world. If you want to go play a round of golf, regardless of the niceness of the course, it is going to cost you an arm and a leg.

To get a round of golf in and spend less than $30 is a minor miracle these days. If you want to ride a cart, which is what most people do, you are most likely going to be spending around $35.

Here are the green fee costs of five different golf courses close to the Mustang area:

Early Wine Golf Club in southwest Oklahoma City has a green fee and cart price of $39. Lake Hefner Golf Club in northwest Oklahoma City has a green fee and cart price of $39. Crimson Creek Golf Course in El Reno has a green fee and cart price of $33.

The Links at Mustang Creek off Mustang Road and 15th Street is a private course but you can play with a member and that cost is $15 to walk nine holes, $30 to walk 18 holes and $40 to ride a cart on 18 holes.

In the 12 square miles of Mustang, the only golf course is a 9-hole par-3 course called Pebble Creek. If you want to walk 18 holes at Pebble Creek Golf Course, the cost is $14, if you want to ride a cart, the cost is $28.

Of course, all of these green fees and cart prices are the main prices to play. There are different rates for different times of the day, but the cheaper rates are not the best times to play a round of golf.

What is sad is that the owners of these golf courses don’t seem to care that they are losing business in a rapid fashion. All they would have to do is cut the cost play in half and I believe you would see the number of golfers begin to climb again.

Instead, these owners cut costs in the maintenance department or cut back on their water usage, making their golf courses look like burnt-up pastures in late July.

My hope, as a golfer, is that one day these owners will see the light and realize by cutting their green fee and cart prices down, the number of golfers on their courses will begin to rise.

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor at the Mustang News and can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info.

Top-30 current Mustang High School athletes: Nos. 11-15

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Sports editor Kyle Salomon is counting down his current top-30 Mustang High School athletes in a six-week series of columns. This week is Nos. 11-15.

Here are Nos. 11-15 in my current top 30 Mustang High School athletes list beginning with No. 11.

11. David Parker, senior, football

David Parker can be summed in one quote from head Mustang football coach Jeremy Dombek.

“He’s the best athlete I’ve coached since Justin Blackmon.”   David Parker

Well, if that is true, then Bronco fans, you are in for a real treat this fall when Parker will dazzle you with supreme athleticism. The 6-foot-2 MHS wide receiver has the ability to beat his defender down the field for a long-range touchdown toss, and he also has the ability to go inside and go up and grab balls out of the air with defenders hanging on him.

If Parker can live up to his head coach’s bold statement about him, then we will have highlight reels every Friday night to look forward to this coming season.

12. Lance Frost, senior, cross country and track

Lance Frost will be one of the few harriers in the state this year who has a realistic chance to bring home the gold in cross country. Lance Frost One

Frost is one of the best male runners the Broncos cross country team has had, and they have had some good ones in their rich history of excellence.

If Frost can stay on the healthy side of things this fall for the Broncos, look out for the senior to be near the top or top of every race the Mustang boys compete in this year.

13. Geoffrey Hightower, senior, basketball

Geoffrey Hightower is the unsung hero of the Mustang boys basketball team, with highly-recruited division one prospects Jakolby Long, Austin Meyer and Curtis Heywood getting most of the notoriety on the roster.

The 6-foot-6 power forward averaged 10 points and nine rebounds in his junior season, but Hightower’s presence on the Bronco squad goes much more beyond the numbers. Geoffrey Hightower One

I compare Hightower to University of Oklahoma power forward Ryan Spangler. Spangler is not the tallest, quickest, most talented or most athletic player on the Sooners roster, but he is the heart and soul of the team.

Hightower fills that position nicely for Mustang. With Hightower leading the way and the rest of the roster the Broncos bring back this year, anything but a gold ball will be a disappointment.

14. Cutter Smith, senior, football and soccer

Cutter Smith is one of the top overall dual-sport athletes at Mustang High School. Smith will be the leader of the Bronco boys soccer team next spring when high school soccer kicks off in Oklahoma. Cutter Smith Two

Smith is a midfielder for the Mustang boys and he’s also a linebacker and running back for the MHS football team. The swift-footed senior plays both football and soccer with supreme intelligence, which is why he’s successful at both sports.

Look for Smith to have a big impact on the Broncos’ success on the football and soccer fields this coming year.

15. Marin Godwin, sophomore, cheerleading

Marin Godwin is what people like to call an up-and-coming star at Mustang High School. Even at her young age, Godwin is considered by many in Mustang as the face of the cheerleading program.

Godwin played a big role in helping the cheer squad earn national attention last winter as two Mustang cheer teams took top-five finishes at nationals in Dallas. Marin Godwin One

With Godwin as the face of Mustang cheerleading for the next three years, the Lady Broncos cheer squad will be in good hands.

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor for the Mustang News. He can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info.

Mustang comes together to show its heart

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Wow. Just…wow.

Mustang Kiwanis last week put out the call their food pantry shelves were bare and area families were struggling to make it through the summer. The result was an outpouring of support that surprised even longtime volunteers.

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Let’s face it – we all know Mustang takes care of its own. Someone has a problem and people rush to help. Whether it’s offering prayers or a helping hand, this is a great community that cares for its members. Sometimes, though, people get busy – school is getting ready to start, the summer is winding down, and that can be expensive for all of us.

But that didn’t stop the more than two dozen people who have brought food to our office. Young and old, they have filled up the Kiwanis barrel – to overflowing – five times in as many days. On behalf of the Kiwanis and the people they help, we are beyond grateful to the people who have taken the time and the trouble to reach out to others in their time of need.

It was what we witnessed yesterday, however, that really got our attention, acts of selflessness and giving that topped even what I would expect of our residents. It was yesterday afternoon that first the Country Charm Day Care bus pulled up to our office. Out filed several children and their teachers, all holding at least one food item. They had collected things, they said, to “help the people who need it.” After smiling, letting us take their photo and filling the bin, off they went.

But that wasn’t the end of it. Shortly afterward another car pulled up. Out piled Christopher Maxeiner, Cyrus Maxeiner and Brock Carriger. The boys made several trips, carrying boxes and bags of food for the bin. The trio had read about the Kiwanis’ need and made a sweep throughout their neighborhood, asking those at home for their help. They were met with many who were willing to lend a hand.

These children are a great example to all of us. It would be easy for them to spend their last weeks of summer break playing and having fun. Instead, they chose to think of others, to give from hearts that inspire all of us to do more for those who need it.

Our task is not finished, of course. The Kiwanis food bank won’t stay full without us working to make sure it stays that way. Please, join in the effort – bring your non-perishable food items, paper goods, toiletries, whatever you can spare. Come in, have a cup of coffee, visit and let’s celebrate the goodness that is the people of Mustang, Oklahoma.

We salute you.

Mustang News office is located at 290 N. Trade Center Terrace. Regular office hours are 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Call Traci at 376-4571 or 664-4641 to make arrangements for item deliveries at other times.

Mixon fumbles; Knight and Darlington shine

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Final Point

By Kyle Salomon,

As I was sitting in my office earlier this week, I learned something about myself that I did not particularly like.

I found myself checking up at least once every hour on the recent story of OU running back Joe Mixon and his alleged assault of University of Oklahoma female student Amelia Rae Monitor last Friday morning at Pickleman’s restaurant, a sandwich shop on Campus Corner just outside of the OU campus.

The story is still under investigation by the Norman Police Department, but witnesses and videos say and show Mixon and his friends got into a verbal altercation with Monitor and her friends. There are conflicting reports that say Monitor struck Mixon across the face and then Mixon retaliated by striking Monitor and breaking numerous bones in her face.

The other report says Mixon and Monitor engaged in a heated verbal confrontation and Mixon struck her in the face with Monitor not assaulting Mixon first at all.

The fact of the matter is it doesn’t matter which report is accurate. It is never OK for a man to strike a woman in any way regardless if the woman strikes the man first.

The incident happened at 2:40 a.m. on Friday morning, which begs the question, why were they out at that time, especially with Mixon being merely 18 years of age?

What I found out about myself that I was not impressed with, was me sitting there getting angry about the possibility of OU losing one of its best recruits in the program’s rich history.

Mixon was rated as the No. 1 running back in the nation coming out of high school last year and when the Sooners coaching staff pulled off the minor miracle and convinced the California native to sign with Oklahoma, OU fans all over the world started having thoughts of the next Adrian Peterson entering Memorial Stadium.

I was angered because it seems like every year, OU football has to deal with situations where a key player or players either suffer season-ending injuries or has trouble with the law and is removed from the team or suspended for a long period of time.

The bottom line is I thought I was better than that. I would talk constantly about how ridiculous certain Oklahoma fans can be in these types of situations and how they think about nothing other than the football aspect and how it will affect their beloved Sooners on the field that coming year.

I proved to myself I was not better than that, and that is something I desperately need to improve about myself in the very near future.

All you saw on Twitter and Facebook over the weekend were comments from people saying horrible things about Monitor, Mixon, OU football or women in general. News publications from newspapers, websites, radio talk shows and television news and sportscasts dedicated most of their space and time to the Mixon story.

It was truly an example of how negative this world and especially the media universe can be.

However, I came across a story earlier this week that is both tragic and uplifting at the same time.

OU cheerleader Taylor Witcher was killed in an automobile accident on Monday and five others are still in serious condition. That is the part of the story that is incredibly tragic and sad. The part of the story that will bring happiness to your heart is what OU football players Trevor Knight and Ty Darlington did in response to the horrific news.

Knight is the starting quarterback for the Sooners and is very much a public figure in the entire state of Oklahoma, and Darlington is a starting offensive lineman for the crimson and cream.

Both OU football players led a prayer vigil on the South Oval on the University of Oklahoma campus, which had hundreds of people show up and participate in the gathering. Knight and Darlington didn’t know Witcher or anybody else involved in the fatal accident, but that didn’t matter to them. They used their pedestal for something good, and not something negative like so many others in their shoes.

Knight and Darlington are two famous major college athletes who went against the grain and didn’t fall in love with themselves because they can throw the football a long way or can run faster than most human beings on this earth. They chose to be a good example to others. They chose to be role models because they know they are.

After doing more digging into the two Sooner football stars, I found out they lead a weekly prayer group on the South Oval. They started it in June and it has been growing ever since. It took a tragic accident like the one that happened on Monday for this to be a story.

How sad is that for the media?

I know negativity sells, but maybe, just maybe if the media would take a stand and tell positive stories like the Knight and Darlington prayer group story, positivity would begin to sell as well.

I know for me, it has changed the way I look at my profession and my job. Yes, the Mixon story has to be told, but the Knight and Darlington story should be showcased.

Kyle Salomon is the sports editor for the Mustang News. He can be reached at ksalomon@mustangnews.info.

Mustang High School current top-30 athletes: Nos. 16-20

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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. Zach Davis Two

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. Kyra Fuller One

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. Cade Fulton One

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

Keegan Radichel and the Bronco boys soccer team had a tough season in 2014 after having high hopes of making the playoffs before the season started. Keegan Radichel One

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. Logan Haller One

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 ksalomon@mustangnews.info

Obsessed with Facebook?

Not too long ago, someone told me I was “obsessed” with Facebook.

Initially, well, I was kind of insulted. After all, I’m not one of those people who document every move I make, every meal I eat, with a post. I was fairly active on the site, but no more so than most of my friends.

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Then, something happened. It wasn’t anything really serious, just a bad situation that left me feeling rather isolated and alone. It wasn’t really a big deal, in the scheme of things, but in my little world, it was a doozy.  It was one of those times you just feel down for a while, one of those situations where family really helps.

The problem for me was we don’t have nearby family — or so I thought. Like so many other people these days, we moved away from our families and long-time friends, establishing a life in Mustang. Of course, we have friends here, and good ones, but we don’t have the luxury some people have in living in the community we were raised in.

And that’s where Facebook comes into it. That’s why maybe I am obsessed with social media after all.

Facebook can certainly show the best and worst of people. Some interactions are — for lack of a better word — horrendous. It’s terrible to see how people can treat each other, from the anonymity of a computer screen. But it can also be a very positive thing. It helps people reconnect, allows friends who are separated by distance overcome that and interact more often and with more substance. When’s the last time you wrote a letter? Facebook helps people share who they are and what’s important to them.

And it was through that online connection that I learned just how lucky I was, how much support and what kind of friends I was blessed to have.

You see, I wasn’t alone — not in the fact we don’t have family nearby and not in dealing with a difficult situation on my own. Without even knowing what was going on — or even, really, that something was going on at all, friends from long ago were joined by people I have never met in person in showing the true meaning of caring and friendship.

People were there for me in a way it’s difficult to describe. We’ve all seen it — individuals gather to offer encouragement and support, prayers and words of advice. The interesting thing about this wasn’t the response of my long-time friends, people I grew up with and who know me. It was those people I’ve never met or barely know, those whose knowledge of me comes completely from what I’ve written (and the silly photos I’ve posted) on a social media site.

It was those people who made me realize just how alone I was not. Were they sitting right there with me? No. But, there were plenty who offered to, who said they were there in spirit and would be in person, if that’s what I needed. They helped me work through a bad situation, but they also did something more — they went beyond their own lives in a way some people never do.

That’s the beauty of something like Facebook. It gives us the ability to touch someone’s life in a positive way, offer them support, encouragement, a light where they might not have seen one. It doesn’t matter if someone is facing a health issue or a family matter. Maybe they’ve lost someone, maybe they just need prayers, need to know there is someone who cares and is thinking of them.

Most of us feel empathy. We see a story that touches us and we might “like” it or make a comment. But, we can move beyond that and remember that the best of who we are can be expressed through our interactions with others. Even if those interactions come through a computer screen.

Our society has changed since I was a child and even a young adult. Many of us are more spread out, we have moved far beyond where we started or even where we thought we might go. Look at the impact the internet as a whole has had on our lives and our jobs. It can be negative, surely, but oh how positive it can be.

For me, I want to work to help others more – through volunteering, community service, giving back for a life that’s truly been a gift. But, what I can do – and what we all can do, every day – is let someone know we care. If that’s all Facebook and other social media ever is, then it’s a pretty darn good thing. And, yes, I’m obsessed with that.