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Oklahoma concludes dismal season with crushing bowl loss

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By Sports editor Kyle Salomon,

One year ago, Oklahoma football looked to be back as one of the elite programs across the country.

OU had just pulled the upset of the century in the Sugar Bowl over Alabama and several big time national recruits decided they were going to take their talents to Norman and play for the Sooners.

Oklahoma entered this season as one of the favorites to make it to the first-ever college football playoff at the Division I level, but instead, Sooner nation got one of the most disappointing seasons in college football history.

The Sooners capped off the 2014 football season with a pathetic effort against Clemson in the Russell Athletic Bowl. OU was drug all over the field by the Tigers in the 40-6 rout and the Sooners closed the year with a record of 8-5.

If Oklahoma fans had any hope of finishing off the disappointing season on a high note in their bowl game, that hope quickly turned to anger after each team’s first offensive possessions in the game.

The Sooners got the ball first and went a quick three-and-out that consisted of two running plays up the middle and a pass into double coverage on third-and-long.

After a rather pedestrian punt, Clemson started their opening possession on their own 35-yardline. On the first play of the drive, Tiger quarterback Cole Stoudt threw a simple wide receiver screen pass to Artavis Scott on the left side of the field.

Oklahoma had Clemson outnumbered on that side, but two veteran defensive players, linebacker Eric Striker and safety Quentin Hayes gave dismal efforts, allowing Scott to scamper 65 yards for a touchdown.

From that point on, the message was delivered to the Oklahoma team and the Sooner fans, who were watching in disgust. This was going to be a long night for OU football.

Clemson piled on 20 more points in the half following their opening touchdown and led 27-0 at the break.

With the tradition and prestige of the Oklahoma football program, one would think they Sooners would come out and play with pride in the second half. Instead, it was more of the same, a team that looked like they had no interest in being there.

The Tigers racked up 13 more points in the third quarter, as they led 40-0 heading into the final 15 minutes of the blowout. Clemson pulled all of its starters midway through the fourth quarter, which finally allowed Oklahoma, with its starters still in the game, to go down the field and score a meaningless touchdown.

Following the score, the extra-point was blocked, which is fitting considering how the season and the game went for OU.

The game ended with the 34-point defeat for Oklahoma, which is tied for the second-worst loss in the Bob Stoops era.

Striker said it all following the blowout loss.

“This is not the way Oklahoma plays,” the OU outside linebacker told reporters after the game.

The Sooners finished the game with 275 total yards of offense, including 172 rushing yards and 103 passing yards. Oklahoma amassed 17 first downs and converted 2 of 12 third downs.

OU committed five turnovers (three interceptions and two fumbles) and was penalized eight times for 80 yards.

Running back Samaje Perine was the leading rusher in the contest with 148 yards on 23 carries. Quarterback Trevor Knight had a rough outing in his return from the spine injury that held him out numerous games. Knight had 103 yards passing on 17 of 37 completions with three interceptions.

Receiver Michiah Quick was the leading pass catcher for OU with seven receptions for 46 yards. Striker led the Sooners in tackles with 12.

Three-years-ago, Sooner nation was begging for Mike Stoops to come back and coach OU’s defense and for Brent Venables to hit the road. Venables now coaches Clemson’s defense and they made Oklahoma’s offense look below par in nearly every facet of the game, while OU’s defense is still struggling to stop opposing offenses from hanging 40 points.

Clemson ended the day with 387 total yards of offense, including 319 passing yards and 68 rushing yards. The Tigers had 22 first downs and were 7 of 19 on third downs. The Tigers had zero turnovers and were penalized four times for 20 yards.

Running back Wayne Gallman was the leading rusher for Clemson with 57 yards on 19 carries. Stoudt finished the night going 26 of 36 with 319 yards and three touchdowns.

Receiver Mike Williams led the way through the air with nine receptions for 112 yards for one touchdown. Linebacker Korrin Wiggins had seven tackles for Clemson.

Oklahoma now enters arguably the most important offseason in the program’s history. Stoops has many obstacles to face with his staff and his players on where Sooner football is heading in the future. One thing is for certain, changes are mandatory if OU is to get back to being an elite football program across the nation.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops offered his thoughts about what needs to happen in the offseason following OU’s embarrassing performance.

“Gotta keep recruiting,” Stoops said. “Keep developing the players we have. We’ve got to analyze what we’re doing as coaches. So all of us need to improve. I need to do a better job, first and foremost, and coaches after me, players after that.”

Mustang native Alissa Jones has career season for Troy women’s soccer

Alissa Jones Four

By Sports editor Kyle Salomon,

From the time she was the ripe young age of 3 years old, Mustang native Alissa Jones knew exactly what she wanted to do, and that was play soccer.

Jones starting playing the sport she loved when she was 3, and her father, Sean, began coaching her. She had an older brother, Jacob, who was just 18 months older, so like any other younger sister, she wanted to be with her brother at all times doing exactly what he was doing.Alissa Jones Mug

“I really looked up to my big brother,” Jones said. “I started wanting to do everything he wanted to do. When he started playing football, I wanted to play football, when he wrestled, I wanted to wrestle.”

Jones found one thing she could do with her brother and his friends all the time, and that one thing was soccer.

“The only sport that I could play that was just like my brother was soccer,” Jones said. “So that was a way I could go out in the yard and get to play with his friends and get to be a part of them. We played outside all the time, we had two big goals in our backyard. It was my dream to get to go play in college when I was younger. Ever since I was younger it’s been a goal.”Alissa Jones One

As she continued to get older and grow, it became more and more evident that soccer was not going to be just a hobby for Jones. Her talent quickly began to show itself and by the age of 10, she was playing competitively for the Edmond Soccer Club ’93 team, where she would continue to play throughout her high school career, even when Edmond Soccer Club transitioned to Oklahoma Futbol Club when she was 17.

Jones also played in the Olympic Development Program growing up. She played for the Oklahoma ’92 state team and for the Oklahoma Alliance WPSL (Women’s Professional Soccer League) team as an amateur.Alissa Jones and Jaci Jones

In high school, Jones was a four-year starter and a star for the Lady Broncos soccer program. Jones scored 40 goals in her career with Mustang as a midfielder. As a senior, she was named first-team All-State, first-team All-District, first-team All-Area, first-team All-Region and first-team All-Metro. Jones was also named the state’s Offensive Player of the Year her senior season.

On top of all of her soccer accomplishments, Jones found time to be a part of Mustang’s cross country and swimming teams.

The soccer phenom graduated from Mustang High School in 2011 and it was time to take her talents to the next level.Alissa Jones Two

Jones signed to play for Troy University in Troy, Ala., of the Sunbelt Conference. She started immediately as a freshman for the Trojans as a midfielder in all 20 games in the fall of 2011. She had seven goals and two assists in her freshman campaign.

As a sophomore, Jones played in 18 games for the Troy women’s soccer team and started in 17 of those matches. She had one goal in her second year.

After not playing in 2013, Jones returned to the field for Troy this past fall as a junior and had a year to remember. She switched positions from midfield to forward, which would end up being one of the best moves of her young career.

Jones started in all 22 games in 2014 for Troy and led the team with 12 goals, including seven game-winning goals, which tied her for third most in the nation. She also had 10 assists this past season for the Trojan women. Jones scored two goals twice this season, once against Alabama State and the other against Arkansas State.

The Mustang native attempted 4.32 shots on goal per game, which led her team in 2014.

Jones’ accomplishments on the field this past fall earned her first-team All-Conference honors and first-team NSCAA All-South Region. She was the only women’s soccer player from the Sunbelt Conference to be named to the All-South Region first team.

The Troy junior was also named fourth-team All-American and was rated as one of the Top 100 women’s soccer players in the nation following her successful 2014 season.

As a team, the Trojan women had their best season since Jones has been on campus. Troy had a record of 16-6 overall and 6-3 in the SBC. Their season came to an end in the Sunbelt Conference title game against South Alabama in a 1-0 loss.

Going into her senior season next fall, Jones said she has big goals and dreams she would like to accomplish both personally and as a team.

“Personally, I want to be a first-team All-American,” Jones said. “Whenever I first set out and started all this, that was one of the goals my dad and I talked about. At first, it didn’t feel like it was attainable, but now that it’s so close, I feel like it’s one thing I can accomplish. I have eight months to get ready for my last season.

“Playing in the NCAA Tournament is a huge goal as well, that’s something I’ve wanted to do since my freshman year in high school. As far as team goals, I’d like us to win our conference. Hopefully we can win a couple of games in the conference tournament and make it to the NCAA Tournament.”

Jones’ father, Sean, is the owner of the Oklahoma City FC professional soccer franchise. He started the club so his daughter would have a team to play for during the summers instead of having to stay at her school and work out all summer.

“Having a dad that owns a professional soccer team is really neat,” Jones said. “When we were younger, I never would have dreamed that he would own anything like that, but he started getting into it to give me a place to play when I come home for the summer.”

Jones plays for the Oklahoma City FC when she is back in Oklahoma for the summers. She plays with other women’s college soccer players who are back for the summer so they can stay in shape and work on the things they need to work on for their next college season.

They play as amateurs and do not get paid to play for the Oklahoma City FC.

Following her college years, Jones said she has dreams of playing professionally either here in the United States or overseas in Europe.

“I would like to go overseas and play in Spain, Switzerland or Germany for as long as I can,” Jones said. “My goalkeeper coach at Troy played over there and said I can play over there. I have to get an agent after next season and start the process. Hopefully at worst, they pay for me to fly overseas and try out.”

On top of playing soccer, Jones is majoring in social sciences and business at Troy University. Once her soccer career is completed, Jones said she wants to come back to the Oklahoma City area and open her own clothing boutique and sell clothes and makeup.

Jones has three younger sisters, Lexi, Jaci and Katie, who are all involved in soccer. Lexi is a freshman soccer player at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa and Jaci is a junior at Mustang High School and is widely considered to be one of the best high school soccer players in Oklahoma.

“Our dad played in college, so playing soccer was something we had with our dad,” Jones said. “The older we got and the better we got, we would play a lot more. We would pick on Jaci a lot, so that’s probably why she is so good now. I would get up early a lot and go work out and I think they would see that and want to do it as well.”

Fun facts

In her free time, Jones said she enjoys cooking from scratch and playing video games. Her favorite video games to play are FIFA and Call of Duty. She said she also enjoys playing Mario Cart on Nintendo 64.

Athletic facilities getting major upgrades across district

Football Turf One

By Sports editor Kyle Salomon,

When it comes to athletic facilities across the state of Oklahoma, Mustang takes a backseat to nobody.

This coming August, Mustang Public Schools will unveil one of the best athletic facilities in all of Oklahoma with the new Mustang Event Center.

The Event Center will be the new home venue for the Broncos basketball teams, wrestling team and volleyball team. The new center will be roughly 63,000 square feet and have a seating capacity of around 2,300 people, which is roughly 1,300 more people than the current gymnasium seats.Event Center Two

Mustang Public Schools Director of Athletics Chuck Bailey said he hopes to move into the new facility before the start of the 2015-2016 school year.

“That’s our goal,” Bailey said. “We think we will be able to do that. They have a roof on it right now, so they are working day and night trying to get it done. We don’t want to have to move in during the school year. It’s going to be really nice.”

Bailey said he has toured almost every new high school gym in the state over the past several years trying to gather ideas on what he wants to do and what he doesn’t want to do for the new center.

“Our facility will rival any other gymnasium in the state of Oklahoma,” Bailey said. “I have been to nearly every new gym and ours will be on par with everyone else’s.”Football Turf Three

The Event Center will have seats on all four sides of the court on the floor level. It will have seven locker rooms, athletic offices, coaches offices and a training room. It will also have an event room that can seat 60 people, a hospitality room and two press rows on the court level of the gym.

Basketball, volleyball and tennis will have their locker rooms in the new facility.

With more room opening up in the Wellness Center, the cross country, track and golf teams will have their locker rooms in there.

The current athletic training room will also expand in the Wellness Center.

“It has been a long process, but it will be worth every minute of it,” Bailey said. “The community is going to say ‘Wow’ when they see it for the first time after it’s completed.”

Event Center One

Another athletic facility project that is taking place is the new playing surface being put on at Bronco Stadium.

Field Turf is replacing the old turf with their latest and greatest form of field turf called Revolution.

The former playing surface had a lifespan of eight to 10 years and was installed in 2006, which would make it exactly 8 years old.

Bailey said the old turf was safe to play on but it was wearing down, so they decided to go ahead and put the new surface on this year.

“Some of the fibers from the old turf were coming up,” Bailey said. “It was safe for the kids to play on. We put it through some costly tests every year to make sure of that, but we just didn’t get what we paid for, so we decided to go ahead and get the new turf since we were under warranty with the old surface still.”Football Turf Four

Because of the problems with the old surface and since it was still under warranty, instead of the normal cost of $500,000 to $600,000 to install the new surface, Field Turf only charged Mustang Public Schools $175,000 to install the new turf.

Bailey said he didn’t want to wait until June to put the new surface in because of the team camps and spring football that take place early in the summer break.

“We could have waited if we would have had to, but we wanted to go ahead and get it done,” Bailey said. “We have good enough weather here in Oklahoma in December to where we could go ahead and get it in and not have to worry about it in the summer months.”Event Center Four

The new turf will have the midfield logo facing the correct way toward the home side seats and the end zones will be black instead of red because of the fading process of the color over time.

Most of the old turf will be trashed because it is not considered safe for contact anymore, but Bailey said they will keep four strips of 15-feet by 45-feet in case they have use for it down the road.

Many of the Field Turf surfaces that were put in in 2006 have had the same problems that Mustang has had. Luckily for MPS, because of that, they were able to get the cheaper price for the new surface.Football Turf Two

For example, the turf at Putnam City Stadium is having worse problems than Mustang’s old surface, but since their turf was installed in 2009, they can’t replace their surface for the low price MPS can.

It would cost the Putnam City school district close to $600,000 to replace their surface, which is more than $400,000 of what Mustang paid.

The third facility that is currently under construction is the new baseball and softball indoor complex, which is located on the south side of the baseball stadium.

The new indoor facility is expected to be move-in ready by Feb. 1 and will be state-of-the-art and comparable to any other indoor facility in the area. It will have batting cages, indoor pitching mounds, locker rooms and coaches offices. The outer wall will be made out of cement block, where most indoor facilities are metal on the outside.Event Center Three

“We have had the baseball stadium lights on for the workers at night, so they can work during the night hours as well,” Bailey said. “They are working hard and are going to have this done in eight months when it really should take them a lot longer to complete. It’s going to be impressive.”

Other current upgrades to athletic facilities across the school district include more improvements to the softball complex and upgrades to the middle school gymnasiums during the winter break.Event Center Six

“At the college level, the saying is, if you’re not building, you’re behind,” Bailey said. “Well, at the high school level now, especially at the 6A level, it’s almost the same way. Once we have everything completed, we will be up there with any other school in the state. We have a great community that wants nice things, and they will be very pleased with what we are doing.”

Sooners look to end dismal year on high note

OU (Trevor Knight) copy

By Sports editor Kyle Salomon,

After arguably the most disappointing regular season in the Bob Stoops’ era at the University of Oklahoma, the Sooners will take on the Clemson Tigers in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando at 4:30 p.m. on Monday.

OU comes into the game with an 8-4 overall record and a mark of 5-4 in Big 12 Conference play. The Tigers enter Monday’s bowl game with an overall mark of 9-3 and a record of 7-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

It will be the fourth meeting between the two schools, and the first since the 1989 Citrus Bowl, where Clemson beat Oklahoma 13-6. OU won the other two games against the Tigers and holds a 2-1 advantage in the series.

“We are looking forward to playing Clemson in the Russell Athletic Bowl,” Stoops said in his pre-bowl site press conference. “They are a terrific football team and Dabo Sweeney and his staff does a great job across the board. We are excited to go to a great bowl site. They are first class in every way. We are looking forward to the opportunity.”

Stoops will coach the Sooners in his 16th bowl game while at OU. Stoops is 8-7 in bowl appearances and has an overall record of 160-39. Tigers coach Dabo Sweeney has an overall record of 51-23 in his tenure at Clemson.

It will be the first time since his departure in 2011, the Sooners will face their former defensive coordinator Brent Venables, who is now roaming the sidelines for Clemson. Venables was with Stoops for his first 13 years at Oklahoma.

“It’s something we hoped wouldn’t happen,” Venables said after hearing the news of bowl matchup with Oklahoma. “Bob (Stoops) and I were texting back-and-forth the past several weeks hoping it wouldn’t happen, but the closer we got to selection day, the more it looked like it was going to happen.”

Oklahoma’s last game was against in-state rival Oklahoma State in Norman where the Sooners were upset 38-35 in overtime by the Cowboys. Clemson’s last appearance on the field was better than OU’s. The Tigers took on their in-state rival South Carolina at home and defeated the Gamecocks 35-17.

Offensively, the Sooners come into the game averaging 38.9 points per contest. They average 480.5 total yards per outing, including 268.6 rushing yards and 211.9 passing yards per game.

Oklahoma has converted 42 percent of their third down opportunities this season. They have committed 19 turnovers and have been penalized 62 times for 568 yards.

In the rushing department, Samaje Perine leads the Sooners on the ground with 1,597 yards and 21 touchdowns on 240 carries. Alex Ross is second on the team with 582 yards and three touchdowns on 86 carries and Keith Ford is the third leading rusher with 393 yards and five touchdowns on 67 carries.

Besides being the team’s leading rusher, Perine is also the leader in the scoring department for OU with 126 points this season. Ross is the leader for the Sooners in all-purpose yards with 1,665 this year.

Under center, Trevor Knight has not seen any game action since he injured his spine in the match up against Baylor. Knight has been cleared to play by the doctors and is expected to start in the bowl game. Before his injury, Knight completed 162 of 279 passes for 2,197 yards with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

If Knight can’t go, OU will go with Cody Thomas, who has started each game since Knight’s injury. Thomas has completed 30 of 66 passes for 342 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions in Knight’s absence.

Through the air, Sterling Shepard is the man for Oklahoma. Shepard, like Knight, has been battling injuries since the middle of the year. Shepard is expected to play in the bowl game, but his effectiveness won’t be determined until the game starts. Shepard has caught 50 passes this season for 957 yards with five touchdowns.

Behind Shepard, OU’s second leading receiver is Durron Neal with 40 catches for 508 yards and three touchdowns. Coming in third is K.J. Young with 19 receptions for 225 yards and one touchdown.

Defensively, Oklahoma has been a disappointment this season. The Sooners are allowing 24.8 points per game to their opponents and are allowing 382.2 total yards this year, including 272.7 passing yards and 109.6 rushing yards to opposing offenses.

Opponents have picked up 242 first downs against OU’s defense this year and the Sooners are allowing a 38 percent third down conversion rate. Oklahoma has forced 19 turnovers and forced teams into 73 penalties for 594 yards this season.

In the tackling department, Dominique Alexander is leading the Sooners with 98 on the year. Jordan Evans is second on the roster with 87 and Ahmad Thomas is third with 65.

Zack Sanchez is leading Oklahoma in interceptions with six in 2014 and Quentin Hayes and Thomas are tied for second with one apiece.

In the sack department, Eric Striker is the leader for OU with 7.5 this season. Coming in second is Chuka N’Dulue with 3.5. Third on the list is Charles Tapper with three.

For Clemson offensively, they are averaging 30.1 points per game this season. The Tigers are averaging 410.1 total yards per outing, including 257.1 passing yards and 153 rushing yards per contest.

The Tigers have amassed 245 first downs and have converted 42 percent of their third down opportunities this year. Clemson has turned the ball over 18 times and has committed 48 penalties for 430 yards this season.

On the ground the Tigers are led by Wayne Gallman with 747 yards and four touchdowns on 142 carries. C.J. Davidson is the second leading rusher with 258 yards and three touchdowns on 62 carries and coming in third is Adam Choice with 233 yards and one touchdown on 50 carries.

To start the season, Clemson’s starting quarterback was Deshaun Watson, but he sustained a season-ending injury midway through the year. The Tigers now go with Cole Stout under center. Before he was injured, Watson completed 93 of 137 pass attempts for 1,466 yards with 14 touchdowns and two interceptions. Stout has completed 165 of 266 passes for 1,573 yards with six touchdowns and 10 interceptions in Watson’s absence.

Through the air, Clemson’s leading receiver is Artavis Scott with 68 receptions for 851 yards this season with seven touchdowns. Second on the roster is Mike Williams with 48 catches for 918 yards with five touchdowns and third on the team is Germone Hopper with 26 receptions for 307 yards and two touchdowns.

Williams is also the team’s leading all-purpose yardage gainer with 918 this season for Clemson.

In the scoring department, Ammon Lakip is the Tigers’ leading point scorer with 96 on the year.

Defensively, Clemson has shined, as they have the No.1 overall defense in the nation when it comes to statistics.

The Tigers are allowing 17.6 points per game to their opponents and allowing 259.6 total yards to opposing offenses this season, including 161.9 passing yards and 97.7 rushing yards.

Teams have amassed 168 first downs against Clemson’s D this season and have converted on 28 percent of their third down attempts.

The Tigers have forced 19 turnovers against their opponents and have forced teams into 71 penalties for 521 yards this year.

In the tackling department, Stephone Anthony leads Clemson with 73. Coming in second is Robert Smith with 65 and taking third is Jayron Kearse with 57.

Smith also leads the Tigers in interceptions along with Kearse and Jadar Johnson with two apiece. In the sack department, Vic Beasley leads the way for Clemson with 11 on the season. Shaq Johnson is tied for second on the list with Tony Steward. Both players have 3.5 on the year.

“Oklahoma is a really good football team and really good program,” Sweeney said in his pre-bowl site press conference. “They have really good players over there and Coach (Bob) Stoops is one of the best in the nation. We are going to have to prepare really well and do what we need to do in order to get a win.”

Wrestlers take care of business against PC West

Zach Butler 182

By Sports editor Kyle Salomon,

Mustang improved to 2-1 in dual action this year on the mats last week with a 69-9 beating of Putnam City West at home.

The Bronco wrestling team won its second dual of the season on Dec. 16 over PC West. Putnam City had to forfeit six out of the 14 matches due to not having a full roster.

The Patriots were void in the 106-weight class, 113-weight class, 120-weight class, 132-weight class, 138-weight class and 170-weight class. Mustang was awarded six points for every PC West forfeit, so the Broncos started the dual already up 36-0.

“I thought we handled ourselves pretty well tonight,” Mustang coach Will Allen said. “We kept our focus for the entire dual and did what we needed to do in order to get the win.”

Out of the eight matches that took place, Mustang won six, including four pins against Putnam City West grapplers. The Broncos were pinned once in the dual.

In the 145-pound weight class, Gage McBride pinned PC West’s Tanner Haskins at the :19.5 mark in the first period. In the 152-pound weight division, Wyatt Riggs pinned the Patriots’ Wesley Hudron with :13.4 remaining in the third period, and in the 160-pound weight bout, Fazon Denby defeated Putnam City West’s Christian Vargas 6-2.

In the 182-pound weight class, Zach Butler pinned PC West’s Kevin Hart at the :58.7 mark of the second period. In the 195-pound weight division, Kaden Truelove pinned the Patriots’ Paxton Cleaver with :04 seconds remaining in the second period.

In the 220-weight bout, Putnam City West’s Ethan Freeman defeated Austin Brow 7-3 in three hard-fought periods, and in the heavyweight class, PC West’s Nick Jones pinned Briar Brown at the 33.1 mark of the second period.

Mustang was back in action at the Norman tournament last Saturday. Those results will be in next week’s Mustang News.

Swimmers speed through Chickasha, Altus meets

Swimming 19

By Sports editor Kyle Salomon,

The Mustang swimming teams competed in two meets in the past several weeks. First on Dec. 9, they participated in the Chickasha Swim Meet at Chickasha High School and then on Dec. 12, they competed in the Altus Swim Meet at Altus High School.

Here are the individual results from the Chickasha meet:

In the girls 200-yard medley relay, Mustang took first place with a time of 2:55.19. Gabby Rhodes, Rachel Dawson, Hope Eirwin and Tori Anderson made up the team.

In the boys 200-yard medley relay race, the Broncos took third place with a time of 2:29.39. Jacob Hesser, Max Mayfield, Cullen Quinn and Austin Satterlee made up the squad.

In the girls 200-yard freestyle, Katrina Bearce placed first with a time of 3:05.44. Emma Downing took second with a time of 3:23.14 and Tori Anderson placed third with a time of 3:29.38.

In the boys 200-yard freestyle, Lane Brown took first place with a time of 2:38.28. Max Mayfield placed second with a time of 2:47.49 and Zachary Boyanton took fourth place with a time 2:49.39.

In the girls 200-yard individual medley, Zoe Mills placed first with a time of 3:44.07 and Faith Desplinter finished in third place with a time of 4:13.58.

In the boys 200-yard individual medley, Cullen Quinn placed first with a time of 2:53.91.

In the girls 50-yard freestyle, Hope Eirwin took first place with a time of 35.17. Rachel Dawson finished in third place with a time of 35.99. Shelbie Toquothy finished in fourth place with a time of 40.50 and Kelsi Frazier took fifth place with a time of 40.72.

In the boys 50-yard freestyle, Jacob Hesser finished in first place with a time of 31.36. Austin Satterlee took second place with a time of 32.51 and Braden Autrey placed fifth with a time of 37.12.

In the girls 100-yard fly, Heidi Doughty took second place with a time of 2:35.00.

In the girls 100-yard freestyle, Katrina Bearce placed first with a time of 1:22.82. Gabby Rhodes finished in second place with a time of 1:29.78. Diana Wagner took third place with a time of 1:29.82 and Rachel Dawson placed fourth with a time of 1:32.62.

In the boys 100-yard freestyle, Lane Brown finished in first place with a time of 1:12.33. Zachary Boyanton placed second with a time of 1:15.73 and Braden Autrey took fourth place with a time of 1:25.13.

In the girls 400-yard freestyle, Emma Downing took third place with a time of 7:23.40.

In the girls 200-yard freestyle relay, the Lady Broncos took first with a time of 2:30.64. Hope Eirwin, Diana Wagner, Katrina Bearce and Rachel Dawson made up the team.

In the boys 200-yard freestyle relay, the Broncos took third place with a time of 2:10.49. Cullen Quinn, Zachary Boyanton, Lane Brown and Austin Satterlee made up the squad.

In the girls 100-yard backstroke, Tori Anderson took second place with a time of 1:41.79 and Zoe Mils placed third with a time of 1:45.23.

In the boys 100-yard backstroke, Jacob Hesser took third place with a time of 1:23.06 and Max Mayfield placed fourth with a time of 1:31.76.

In the girls 100-yard breaststroke, Diana Wagner took first with a time of 1:42.77 and Gabby Rhodes placed third with a time of 1:59.34.

In the boys 100-yard breaststroke, Cullen Quinn took first with a time of 1:29.48 and Brandon Cloy took fifth with a time of 1:58.52.

In the girls 400-yard freestyle relay, Mustang took first place with a time of 5:49.24. Zoe Mills, Emma Downing, Gabby Rhodes and Katrina Bearce made up the team.

In the boys 400-yard freestyle relay, the Broncos took first place with a time of 4:55.06. Max Mayfield, Zachary Boyanton, Lane Brown and Jacob Hesser made up the squad.

Here are the individual results from the Altus meet:

In the girls 200-yard medley relay, Mustang took third place with a time of 2:45.24. Summer Chrismon, Morgan Shirk, Mazie Garza and Katrina Bearce made up the team.

In the boys 200-yard medley relay, the Broncos took second place with a time of 2:13.29. Drake Stowe, Zach McSwain, Minh Nguyen and Chandler McDonald made up the squad.

In the girls 200-yard freestyle, Brandi Naeher took fourth place with a time of 3:04.06.

In the boys 200-yard freestyle, Matt Sellon took second place with a time of 2:21.12 and Zachary Boyanton took fifth place with a time of 2:45.02.

In the girls 200-yard individual medley, Lauren Oliver took first place with a time of 2:55.84 and Hannah Kertzner placed second with a time of 2:56.29.

In the boys 200-yard individual medley, Tucker Legg grabbed fourth with a time of 3:02.79 and Cullen Quinn finished in fifth with a time of 3:03.50.

In the girls 50-yard freestyle, Samantha Jones took first with a time of 30.39.

In the boys 50-yard freestyle, Robert Coulter placed fourth with a time of 29.39.

In the girls 100-yard fly, Summer Chrismon took third place with a time of 1:26.98.

In the boys 100-yard fly, Chandler McDonald placed third with a time of 1:15.02 and Matt Sellon took fifth with a time of 1:20.09.

In the girls 100-yard freestyle, Samantha Jones finished in first place with a time of 1:09.25 and Mazie Garza took third place with a time of 1:14.33.

In the boys 100-yard freestyle, Minh Nguyen took second place with a time of 1:03.95 and Robert Coulter took third place with a time of 1:07.33.

In the boys 400-yard freestyle, Drake Stowe took third place with a time of 5:33.03.

In the girls 200-yard freestyle relay, Mustang took second place with a time of 2:10.84. Hannah Kertzner, Brandi Naeher, Lauren Oliver and Samantha Jones made up the team.

In the boys 200-yard freestyle relay, the Broncos took third place with a time of 1:59.23. Zach McSwain, Chandler McDonald, Matt Sellon and Minh Nguyen made up the squad.

In the girls 100-yard backstroke, Hannah Kertzner took third place with a time of 1:25.52. Brandi Naeher placed fourth with a time of 1:29.89 and Summer Chrismon placed fifth with a time of 1:34.13.

In the boys 100-yard backstroke, Cullen Quinn took third place with a time of 1:20.26 and Drake Stowe placed fourth with a time of 1:21.79.

In the girls 100-yard breaststroke, Lauren Oliver took first with a time of 1:29.34 and Mazie Garza took second place with a time of 1:34.05.

In the boys 100-yard breaststroke, Minh Nguyen took first place with a time of 1:20.70 and Zach McSwain placed fifth with a time of 1:24.44.

In the girls 400-yard freestyle relay, the Lady Broncos took second place with a time of 5:02.98. Hannah Kertzner, Brandi Naeher, Lauren Oliver and Samantha Jones made up the team.

In the boys 400-yard freestyle relay, Mustang took third place with a time of 4:34.99. Drake Stowe, Tucker Legg, Robert Coulter and Matt Sellon made up the squad.

Oklahoma football near panic time in Norman

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Now that I have had one full week to digest the 2014 Oklahoma Sooners football regular season, I have come up with several items head coach Bob Stoops must address in the offseason if OU is to ever get back to being a national title contender under his watch.

Ever since the Sooners were stunningly upset in the annual Bedlam game against bitter in-state rival Oklahoma State, Oklahoma fans across the state, nation and even the world are up in arms at what has happened to their beloved football program.

Expectations at OU are simple – compete for a national championship every year. Every year the Sooners don’t win a national title, it’s a disappointing season. If Oklahoma has a season where they go 10-2 and go to a big bowl game and beat a big-name program, Sooner nation will forgive you for not winning the national championship (i.e. last year), but going 8-4 in a year the Sooners were expected to heavily contend for the title is flat out not going to cut it.

OU fans are getting sick and tired of hearing the same old answers whenever Stoops is grilled hard by the press during his press conferences. Stoops likes to bring up his past success with Oklahoma and all the Big 12 titles they have won since he’s been the man in Norman. He will also become sullen and snobby toward the media if they question him or one of his assistant coaches.BEDLAM (OU Chuka Ndulue)

The fact of the matter is, Stoops’ leeway has expired. The 2000 national championship is 14 years old and his last outright Big 12 championship was four years ago in 2010. The bottom line is that Stoops is on his last breath with the Sooners.

If Oklahoma has another year next season like the one it had this year, then it could indeed be Stoops’ swan song out of Norman.

For all the OU fans who are calling for that to happen right now, hold on to your britches a little bit. That is not the answer just yet. If we are sitting in the same position 365 days from now, then you’ll have a valid argument, but Stoops deserves another year to prove he can return to the glory days when he first arrived on scene.

There are three things Stoops and the OU football program need to do in this offseason to bring them back to the forefront of college football. No, the answer is not recruit better. Oklahoma has a talented roster, enough talent to compete for a national championship, but player development is a big problem with the Sooners right now.

It’s not necessarily that OU’s players can’t do it, they just look like they have no clue what they are doing, and that goes back to coaching.

So the first thing that needs to happen is Stoops needs to address his brother and defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. Everyone, including me, thought when Mike Stoops came back into the picture at OU, the defense would go back to being a dominant unit and a defense that opposing offenses would fear.

Instead, the opposite has happened. Oklahoma switched to the 3-4 scheme on defense hoping their problems would be solved, but they have only gotten worse under Mike Stoops. The problem is, Mike Stoops is trying to coach the defensive backs and coordinate the defense at the same time.

Bob Stoops needs to bring in a defensive backs coach that will coach these young DBs how to match up and be physical at the line of scrimmage. Oklahoma used to be feared in the secondary. Now, teams can’t wait to face the Sooners.

The second thing that needs to happen is Bob Stoops needs to fire Josh Heupel. I know Heupel quarterbacked his team to his only national championship, but he is not going to coordinate the offense to a national championship.

Heupel simply does not know what he’s doing with the offense. He will go in spurts of throwing the ball all over the field trying to be like Oregon, but then he will go back to running the football. There is no balance, no rhythm with Heupel’s play-calling.

Heupel excelled as a quarterbacks coach, but when it comes to coordinating the offense, he just doesn’t have it. It’s time for someone else outside of the program to get their shot.

The third thing Bob Stoops needs to do is figure out what the offensive identity is going to be and stick with it. I’m sick and tired of hearing the word balance when it comes to Oklahoma’s offense. Was OU balanced when they won the national title 14 years ago? No.

They threw the ball all over the field. Yes, they had Quinton Griffin, but he did not run the ball all that much in the national title season. He actually made a lot of plays in the passing game for the Sooners.

Am I saying OU needs to go back to a Mike Leach style of offense and forget the run game? Absolutely not. When you have Samaje Perine on your roster and Joe Mixon coming next year, going to a pass-happy offense would be dumb.

Oklahoma should go to a pro-set style of offense where power running and play-action passing is the focal point. Bob Stoops needs to go out and find an offensive coordinator that knows and understands how to run that style of offense.

As poor as OU’s season was, if Bob Stoops would put aside his stubbornness for one second and do those three things, the Sooners could get back to being what Sooner nation believes they should be every year, a national title contender.

If not, well then, Bob Stoops’ tenure with Oklahoma will come to an abrupt end much sooner than expected.

Pom wins hip hop state championship; jazz team takes fourth

Hip Hop 10

Mustang High School won its second athletic state championship on Saturday when the pom squad won the hip hop state title at the state pom competition at Oklahoma City University.

The Mustang Lady Broncos pom squad competed in the jazz division and the hip hop division at the state pom competition last Saturday. They took first place overall in the hip hop class and then finished fourth in the jazz division.website commentary new.qxd

The hip hop state championship was the second athletic state title Mustang has seen this year, with the first being the Lady Broncos softball team.

Mustang senior pom captain Kensley Coulter said winning a state championship is an amazing feeling.

“It really means a lot,” Coulter said. “There are months and months of hard work that goes into it, so it just feels really good to have everything you worked for be worth it.”

The pom squad is no different than any other athletic team, as the team started preparing for this year’s season months in advance.

Coulter said the pom team did all different types of training.

“We put a lot of hard work into it,” Coulter said. “There’s running, conditioning and exercising. It all starts in the summer. We start practicing in the summertime. We practiced at 6 in the morning every day of the week. There’s a lot of effort and people just don’t really know because they just see us on the sidelines. They don’t see what’s going on behind the scenes and what we have to do in order to compete. It’s very much a contact sport.”

The state pom competition was the final event of the season for the Mustang pom squad. They will now focus their attention to the remainder of basketball and wrestling season.

“We did get a bid to go to nationals, but we didn’t take it,” Coulter said. “We are going to put all of our energy into supporting our school with more spirit stuff. Our season is done, but we got a state championship, so there’s not a better way to finish.”

Wrestlers take second at Putnam City tournament

Wrestling Five

Two first-place individual placers helped the Bronco grapplers to a second-place overall finish at the Putnam City wrestling tournament last weekend.

Joe Lupton, at the 106-pound weight class, took first place and went 8-0 in the tournament, and 182-pounder Zach Butler was the other first-place winner for Mustang, going 9-0 in the two-day event.website commentary new.qxd

There were 11 total teams competing in the Putnam City tournament with Norman coming in first place, Del City placing third overall, Putnam City North taking fourth place and Putnam City finishing in fifth place.

“One thing I really liked coming out of the Putnam City tournament was our overall shape,” Mustang coach Will Allen said. “We have really worked hard in the offseason and leading up to the year on our physical conditioning and our strength. I think that really showed up this weekend.”

The Broncos took 13 wrestlers to the tournament. MHS did not have a participant in the 113-pound weight class, but was represented in all other weights.

Kerry McNeal competed for the Broncos in the 120-pound weight division, going 6-2 in the tournament and taking third place overall.

Cody Holt wrestled In the 126-pound weight class, finishing the two-day event with an overall record of 2-5. It was Holt’s first varsity action of the season.

In the 132-pound weight division, Trey Edwards competed for the Broncos. Edwards started the tournament off with a bang, going 3-0 in his first three matches, but sustained an injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the event. However, he is expected to return to the mat immediately.

Colton Franks wrestled In the 138-pound weight class, finishing with an overall record of 5-4 in the tournament and taking fourth place.

Gage McBride competed in the 145-pound weight division, going 8-1 overall and finishing second in his weight class.

Wyatt Riggs wrestled In the 152-pound weight class, placing third overall in the tournament with a record of 5-1.

Fazon Denby competed In the 160-pound weight class, going 6-2 overall and taking fourth place in the tournament.

Ryan Dickson wrestled In the 170-pound weight division, finishing with an overall record of 6-2 and taking second place.

Kaden Truelove wrestled in the 195-pound weight division, going 5-1 in the tournament and earning second place.

Austin Brown competed In the 220-pound weight class. Brown finished with a record of 5-3 in the two-day event and an overall placing of fourth.

In the heavyweight division, Briar Brown took fourth place overall with a record of 4-4 on the weekend.

On Dec. 9, Mustang hosted its first home dual of the regular season against Heritage Hall. The Broncos won the dual with a score of 42-33 to improve to 1-1 in duals this year.

The Bronco grapplers had their second home dual of the season on Tuesday night when they hosted Putnam City West. On Saturday, Mustang will travel to Norman to compete in the Norman High School wrestling tournament. It will be the grapplers’ final tournament before they go on their winter break.

Mustang improves to 5-0 heading into winter break

Jakolby Long One

Despite Edmond Santa Fe starting the game on fire, Mustang High School’s boys basketball team stayed unblemished on the season with an 83-74 win over the Timberwolves on Dec. 9.

The Broncos improved to 4-0 on the young season and will stay that way through the holidays, as they will not play a game again until Jan. 5 when they travel east to play in the Muskogee Shrine Tournament.website commentary new.qxd

Junior 6-foot-5 guard Jakolby Long led the way in the scoring department for Mustang with 25 points, while junior 6-foot-9 forward Austin Meyer led the way on the glass with 10 rebounds for MHS.

Edmond Santa Fe got the party started in the first quarter by going 6-for-6 from the 3-point arc. Before the Broncos could even blink an eye, they were trailing 18-4. However, Mustang stayed steady and weathered the storm. The Broncos offense picked up and they trimmed the T-Wolves’ lead to just seven points after one at 23-16.

“I thought we were a little scared to defend early in the game,” Mustang coach Terry Long said. “With the new way they (officials) are calling fouls this year, I think our guys were scared to play good, solid defense, especially on the perimeter.”

Mustang seized control of the game in the second quarter, as Edmond Santa Fe began to cool down from 3-point range, and the Broncos defense started to tighten its grip on the Santa Fe shooters. The MHS offense continued to flourish, as Mustang had both the inside and outside game going in the frame. The Broncos outscored the Timberwolves 24-13 in the period to take a 40-36 lead into halftime.

The Broncos tried to pull away from ESF in the third quarter, but the T-Wolves wouldn’t go down without a fight. Every time Mustang would make a play and look like they were going to increase their lead, Santa Fe would come right back and answer with a play of its own. Both teams struggled offensively in the quarter, as neither put up 20 points in the frame. MHS outscored Edmond Santa Fe 19-17 to lead 59-53 after three.

Mustang extended its lead to double digits numerous times throughout the fourth quarter, and even pushed it out above 15 points a couple of times, but the Timberwolves hit a couple of 3-pointers late in the final frame to get the final difference back below 10 points to end the game.

“I thought we defended better after the first quarter,” Long said. “The first two or three minutes of a basketball game are what I call the ‘rah rah’ minutes because everyone is playing with raw emotion, but after that, that goes away and that’s when the real basketball game is played. I thought we played well after those first several minutes.”

The Broncos finished the night going 13-of-20 from the foul stripe, while Edmond Santa Fe finished 17-of-21 at the free-throw line. Mustang won the battle of the turnovers, committing just 14 in the game, with the T-Wolves committing 21.

On top of his 25 points, Jakolby Long finished the game with eight rebounds as well for Mustang. Junior 6-foot-4 guard Curtis Haywood II had 18 points and six rebounds, and senior 6-foot-2 guard Isaiah Hammons totaled 12 points and two rebounds in the contest.

Senior 6-foot guard Terrell Williams finished the night with 11 points and six rebounds. Senior 6-foot-1 guard Aubrey Johnson had eight points and four rebounds, and on top of his 10 rebounds, Meyer totaled seven points for the Broncos.

Senior 6-foot-6 forward Geoffrey Hightower also had two points and four rebounds in the game for Mustang.