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Lady Broncos end successful summer

Logan Haller One

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.”

Mustang closes summer baseball season with tournaments

Cade Fulton One

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.

Varsity 1

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.”

Varsity 2

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.”

Freshmen

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.

Glidden ready to elevate for OSU

OSU COTTON (David Glidden)

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.”

Varsity one summer baseball squad enjoys special summer

Ryan Reed One

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.”

Flynn returns to court at Mustang team camp

Bailey Flynn One

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.”

Football program searches for leaders in Summer Pride workouts

Zach Davis One

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.”

Throwing program provides results for Bronco baseball players

John Madison One

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.”

http://www.swosu.edu/

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.”

Mustang represents well in All-State girls soccer game

Crawford, Mason and Jones

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.”

Summer baseball in full swing for Mustang

Coach Price One

By Patrick Osborne,

The Mustang baseball program finished a busy weekend as the three summer teams competed in different tournaments around the area.

Freshmen:

The freshmen came away with the best weekend, taking home the Zorian tournament championship with a 7-3 win against Deer Creek in Guthrie.

Mustang is back in tournament action this weekend when they travel to Edmond Memorial for the Bulldog tournament. The freshmen have no remaining home games before the end of the season tournament, which begins next week.

Varsity 2:

Just behind the freshmen was the Varsity 2 team. The hosts of their own tournament took second place to Edmond North even though they finished 4-0 on the weekend.

Mustang defeated Midwest City, Putnam City, Putnam City North and Yukon in the tournament, giving up just eight runs through the four games. Edmond North won the tournament on a tiebreaker, which was number of runs allowed. The Huskies gave up just six runs through their tournament run.

Head coach Cody Price said the Broncos started slow the first two games of the tournament but looked much better the final two games in what was a total team effort.

The Broncos will be right back in tournament action this weekend as they travel to Putnam City for the Putnam City North tournament starting today and continuing through Sunday. Varsity 2 has four remaining home games left before the playoffs begin next week.

Varsity 1:

Varsity 1 took second place from their version of the Zorian tournament, losing 8-0 against Deer Creek in the championship game.

“We competed well,” sophomore Ryan Reed said. “We just sort of ran out of gas at the end against Deer Creek. They came out swinging the bats well. We had some hard hits that just didn’t fall.”

Mustang started the tournament strong, beating 5A state champions Carl Albert, Midwest City and Tuttle. The loss to the Antlers snapped a 13-game win streak for the Broncos.

“Overall I thought we played pretty well,” junior Cade Fulton said. “We were great on the mound all weekend. Things just sort of snowballed in the final game. We can use this as motivation to continue to get better the rest of the summer heading into spring.”

Mustang will head down Mustang Road today for the start of the Yukon tournament that will run through Sunday. Varsity 1 has no remaining home games left before the end of the season playoffs begin next week.

Lady Bronco softball team builds chemistry in summer season

Caisey Jones One

By Patrick Osborne,

Mustang softball is getting ready to finish its first summer under first-year coach Bryan Howard as the team prepares for the upcoming fall season.

Change in leadership can be difficult for some teams to adjust, but so far Howard said he has been pleased with how the girls have been handling this transition period.

“It has been a really good summer,” he said. “The girls are starting to adapt to me and my program and how things will be done. It took some time and some work, but they are finally starting to get it. This is very important for the girls and especially the younger ones. This is the first summer the girls have done something like this, so I’m very pleased with how they’ve handled it.”

Howard has kept the girls busy this summer as they start to build the new program’s foundation, but he said the girls are also growing as a team and getting used to each other out on the diamond.

Howard said Tuesdays and Thursdays are the longest days of the week for the program. The girls start with morning workouts that include speed and agility drills, followed by a short practice. The girls return to the field later that night for a doubleheader. The Broncos also hold workout and practice sessions every Wednesday morning as well.

Howard said it has surprised him how fast the younger Lady Broncos have come in and started to compete with the older girls as they mesh into one team.

“The incoming freshmen girls have been great. I didn’t expect what I’ve seen out of them. They’ve really come in and competed.”

Although everyone is still in a state of learning, Howard also said this summer has been has been a successful one because the younger girls get to come in and learn from senior leaders like University of Oklahoma commit Jayden Chestnut and Caisey Jones.

“Caisey has been a great surprise,” he said. “She has been the picture of what hard work looks like and really sets the tone for us as a team at practice.”

Jones agreed with Howard, saying that she believes she has been able to come in and show the younger girls the ropes even though she has been adjusting to new things just as they are.

“(The summer) is going really well,” she said. “We’ve never done anything like this. The girls are really into it. We just need to continue working together as a team.”