The 2019-20 school year is just around the corner.
As of this week’s publication, only 51 days until Owasso travels to Bentonville West to open the 2019 football season.
But before embarking on the next athletic year, let’s take a quick look back at the past 12 months in area of sports.
Here we go:
Cantrell named Collinsville AD
Leading an unexpected search for an athletic director, Collinsville Superintendent Lance West did not have to look far. Girls basketball coach Brad Cantrell was approved as the new Cardinal AD at the Collinsville Board of Education meeting just weeks before 2018-19 athletic year was set to begin.
Cantrell’s hiring comes after former Bartlesville baseball coach Spence Rigdon, who previously was hired to replace retiring athletic director Jim Riley, announced less than a month earlier he was returning to Bartlesville as the school’s new athletic director.
Cantrell, a 1993 Collinsville graduate, returned to his alma mater in 2017 to take over the new girls’ head coach. He continued his duties as a coach and teacher.
Owasso’s Spencer gets nod to OCA Hall of Fame
Melvin Spencer did not expect to get the call. He figured he’d missed the opportunity. In contrary, time did not pass by the former Owasso coach.
That long-awaited phone call came in March 2018 when Spencer found out he was going to be inducted into the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame for Distinguished Service.
Spencer, who began the great Ram baseball run of success with a pair of state championships in the early 1970s, will be one of 10 members of the 2018 class to be inducted July 21 at the Southern Hills Marriott Hotel in Tulsa.
Many remember Spencer for guiding Owasso to titles on the diamond in 1973 and 1975, as well as another state final appearance in 1978. He took over the program in the middle of the 1969 season for then head coach Jim Hagan, who stepped down due to illness. Spencer was named head coach on a permanent basis in 1970 and led the Rams until 1982.
Spencer led Owasso to 13 consecutive 20-plus win seasons, nine state tournament appearances, eight Six-Lakes Conference titles and five trips to the state semifinals.
Duffield named top AD in Oklahoma
The leader of Ram athletics was recognized as the National Council of Secondary Schools AD of the Year by the Oklahoma Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
Duffield was a first-time award winner. He was presented with the plaque during the Oklahoma Coaches Association Clinic, which was held the Marriott Southern Hills in Tulsa.
The Rams had a banner 2017-18 athletic year under Duffield’s leadership, highlighted by the school’s first state championship in football in 43 years and first girls basketball gold ball since 1990.
Rams revamp Owasso Stadium
Owasso Stadium got a different to Ram fans last fall.
The 2018 season was the first with a brand new video scoreboard looming above the newly-installed south end zone seating. The field also will be surrounded, for the first time ever, by LED lighting. A fresh layer of FieldTurf has been put down on the playing surface for good measure.
All of these elements were part of numerous resurfacing projects around OHS athletics that began over the summer.
The video scoreboard included a 25’ x 44’ full HD videoboard, along with an updated speaker and sound system. Among the video scoreboard features included the capability to show movies and commercials. Fans in the stands were able to view pregame and halftime presentations as well as on-the-field interviews on the screen.
The new video scoreboard was used during games. Along with the typical functions of a scoreboard, such as time clock, score, down and distance, the board also showed in-game action.
Speakers were located within the video scoreboard, which improved the sound quality throughout the stadium.
The Stacy Group in Owasso handled the architecture and design of the video scoreboard. The new project estimated to cost $854,000. Daniels Construction handed the resurfacing project to the stadium, which is part of a $4.56 million project that included resurfacing both the baseball and softball fields as well as the infield of the high school track.
This was the stadium’s third FieldTurf surface installment since the field was transplanted from its original grass surface to artificial turf in 2001.
The Owasso Stadium projects were completed prior to the Rams’ football home opener against Bentonville West.
Rams rally past Bentonville West in season opener
The Class 6AI defending state champions looked like they might get run off their own field late into Owasso’s season opener.
The No. 3-ranked Rams trailed Bentonville West by 17 points in the third quarter before quarterback Will Kuehne and Owasso rallied with a 35-point fourth quarter in a 56-40 come-from-behind victory at Owasso Stadium.
Kuehne passed for 343 yards and accounted for four of his five touchdowns over the final 17 minutes. Trey Goins finished with seven catches for 138 yards, including touchdown receptions of 29 and 72 yards. Mario Kirby had a 60-yard TD catch and totaled five catches for 128 yards.
Dawson Adams added two TDs, on a 6-yard option run and a 23-yard reception.
Owasso finished with 473 yards of offense.
Rejoice tops Crossing Christian with late comeback
Rejoice Christian survived a trip to Oklahoma City, thanks to a late touchdown and some stiff defense.
With four minutes left, the Class A No. 9 Eagles scored a touchdown on Riley Walker’s 6-yard pass to Nate Anderson and took a 21-20 lead on Justin Seay’s extra point.
From there, Rejoice kept Crossings Christian from scoring on its last two drives. Roman Lockney and Logan Barnes came up with sacks on Crossings Christian’s final drive, and then safety Reece Hamar broke up a pass on a deep attempt down the field a few plays later.
Dillon Hair led the Eagles with 163 yards on 24 carries, including touchdown runs of 73 and 31 yards.
Crow, Eagles rout Haskell
Senior running back Andrew Crow had been working himself back into shape after he missed Rejoice Christian’s season opener due to illness.
Crow certainly seemed to be at full strength for the Class A No. 3 Eagles as he ran for 247 yards on 13 carries and scored a total of five touchdowns in a 61-28 rout of 2A Haskell at A.B. Shockley Stadium.
In what was thought to be a highly competitive contest, the Eagles took the air out of Haskell’s homecoming crowd early with three touchdowns in a span of four minutes, 20 seconds.
The Haymakers seemed to be mounting a drive on their opening series when Crow picked up a fumbled pitch on fourth-and-5 from the 30 and ran untouched 70 yards for a touchdown. Riley Walker capped Rejoice’s next drive with a 41-yard touchdown strike to Gage Barham. On the first play of the following series — which began at the Eagles’ 17-yard line — Crow eluded two Haskell defenders, spun into the open field and was off to the races for another long score.
Rejoice needed just five offensive snaps to take a 20-0 lead with 4:36 left in the first quarter.
The Haymakers were marching and looked to take the lead when Reece Hamar intercepted a pass in the end zone to thwart the drive, the first of his two picks.
Reece Hamar had two interceptions as Rejoice forced four giveaways in the first half. Two of those turnovers came on consecutive drives and both turned into points. The Eagles scored 28 points in the final 4:40, capped by a Riley Walker 17-yard TD run on the last play of the half, to lead 48-14.
Walker completed 9-of-16 passes for 208 yards and three touchdowns to go along with his rushing score.
Rams fast pitch returns to state tourney
Owasso softball was once again state bound.
The Rams rolled past Ponca City, 11-0, in five innings at home to claim a Class 6A regional championship for the third consecutive season. Owasso outscored its two regional foes by a combined 27-0 to earn its seventh state tournament bid in the last nine seasons.
Owasso, winners of 21 of its last 23 games and 25-9 overall on the season, set its sights on the state tournament the following week in Shawnee. The Rams made their 12th state tournament appearance in head coach Shane Eicher’s 18 seasons at the helm.
Unfortunately, Owasso’s season ended with a 5-3 loss to Westmoore in the first round of state. The Rams finished with a 25-10 mark.
Cards run roughshod over Tahlequah
Collinsville heard and read plenty about running back Dae Dae Leathers and Tahlequah all week long. The Cardinals wanted to show they had a pretty good run game, too.
The No. 3-ranked Cardinals, led by the three-headed attack of Brayden Burd, Jake Tuttle and Malcolm Tillman, combined for 319 rushing yards and accounted for all six touchdowns as Collinsville quieted the homecoming crowd at Doc Wadley Stadium with a 43-8 win over No. 4 Tahlequah in the pivotal District 5A-4 matchup that featured a pair of unbeaten teams.
Burd led the way with 140 yards on 15 carries, including a 91-yard scoring run. Tuttle finished with 117 yards on 23 carries for Collinsville.
The Cardinal defense held Leathers to a season-low 22 yards on 14 carries. Leathers had totaled 1,020 rushing yards coming into the game.
Rams top BA for state volleyball bid
In preparing to host a Class 6A regional, Owasso’s volleyball team had worked extensively the past few days on late-game situations. That practice paid off as the No. 8 Rams pulled away late against No. 9 Broken Arrow in a three-game sweep, 25-20, 25-22, 25-22 in the regional championship match inside a raucous Owasso Gymnasium crowd.
Owasso punched its ticket to the state tournament Oct. 15-16 at Crossings Christian in Oklahoma City. It marked the Rams’ third state berth in five seasons under Turner.
Mallory Hendrix tallied nine kills, 19 assists and 12 digs to lead the way for OHS.
The Rams knocked off Broken Arrow for the third time in four meetings. Owasso’s regional championship came in a bounce-back year for the Rams in which they already have made a 14-win improvement on the previous season.
Owasso finished the season with a 25-10 record. Head coach Meghann Turner was named Region 7 Coach of the Year.
PBA Tour returns to Owasso
The Flobowling PBA Fall Swing made a stop to The Lanes at Coffee Creek for the first time in 13 years.
England’s Stuart Williams came away with the top prize as he won the main event, the PBA Tulsa Open. Other tournament winners include EJ Tackett (Bear Open) and Anthony Simonsen (Wolf Open).
Collinsville XC squads claim final state spots
Grace Coleman was overcome by emotion as she hugged her Collinsville cross country teammates following their Class 5A regional race. Coleman and the Cardinals had just learned they had claimed the final spot in the upcoming state meet after they took seventh overall in the meet, which took place at Mohawk Soccer Complex.
Despite just six runners total in the girls’ program, the Cardinals edged out Glenpool for the seventh-place spot. The Collinsville boys also qualified for state as they took seventh overall as well. The top seven teams from the meet automatically punched their ticket to state.
Junior Matthew Budnik, who would go on to become the second Cardinal male runner ever to earn All-State honors a week later on the Edmond Santa Fe course, led the Collinsville boys with a third place finish individually in a time of 17:07. Budnik made his third state appearance while the program qualified for the fourth straight time on the boys’ side.
Following Budnik were teammates Chase Curtis, Lane Hutchens, Andrew Shiever, Brody Captain, Jake Lawson and Luke Boren.
On the girls’ side, freshman Stormie Romero led the Cardinals as she finished 15th. Behind Romero were Zoe Voegel, Sarah Bell, Coleman, Tarrah Porter and Megan Thetford.
Owasso CC each finish as state runner-up
The Owasso cross country teams had its sights set on making some history at the Class 6A state meet. The Rams did accomplish a program first, but hometown Edmond Deer Creek ultimately stole the Rams’ thunder.
The Antlers won both team titles on the Edmond Santa Fe High School course, just ahead of second-place Owasso in each instance. Edmond Deer Creek became just the third 6A school to sweep the team titles as it edged out the Rams by five points in a dramatic conclusion in the girls’ race. In the boys’ race, the Antlers had three runners finish in the top 10 and tallied 66 points. Owasso had 94 points.
Katie Booth led Owasso with a seventh-place finish. Booth was one of two medalists, along with Maya Boschee, who finished 12th. They were followed by Sierra Williams, Levi Gladd, Libby Booth and Cayley Del Monte.
In the boys’ 6A race, Owasso’s Trevor Pendergraft was the top finisher for the east side as he took fifth. Pendergraft was followed by teammates Jacob Rist, Sean Raburn and Brandon Hunt. Kaden Hicks, Logan Wahnee and Nathan Ostberg also competed for the Rams.
C’ville completes first unbeaten regular season in 39 years
Collinsville put a bow on its perfect 10-0 regular season mark with a 57-0 romp over Rogers at S.E. Williams Stadium in the District 5A-4 tilt. The win gave Collinsville its first unblemished regular season since 1979.
Jake Tuttle finished with 100 rushing yards and two touchdowns on just seven carries. Malcolm Tillman ran for 87 yards and two touchdowns and sophomore Nate Wilkins added 90 yards and a score as Collinsville finished with 338 yards on the ground.
The Cardinals scored on all five of their offensive possessions against Rogers and twice defensively to take a 48-0 lead by halftime.
Collinsville’s defense got into the scoring column twice as it ended Rogers’ first two series with fumble recoveries in the end zone.
Defensive end Gage Tacker got the first defensive score when he pounced on a Rogers fumble with 7:54 remaining in the first quarter. The ensuing offensive play for Rogers resulted in another fumble, which was recovered by Cardinals senior nose guard Adam Carney as Collinsville led 27-0 midway through the first quarter.
Collinsville held Rogers to just 18 yards of offense for the game.
Rams roll PC North in key regular season finale
No. 6 Owasso limited No. 4 Putnam City North to just 177 total yards and without an offensive score in a 41-7 rout in the District 6AI-2 regular season finale on the road.
With the win, Owasso finished in second place in the district and hosted Norman when the playoffs the following week. A loss could have sent the young Rams to Jenks or Broken Arrow in the first round.
Junior running back Isaiah Jacobs had a career-high 201 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries as Owasso bounced back from a loss to Moore the prior week and notched its most important victory of the season.
Owasso slammed the door on any chance of a Panther comeback with a 10-play march on its first series of the third quarter, a drive that was kept alive when Putnam North fumbled a punt. Jacobs ended the drive with a 3-yard TD run.
Late in the quarter, junior Omarr Barker intercepted a deep pass from Aaron Norment. Barker weaved his way through the Panthers for a 60-yard touchdown, his second interception for a score on the season.
Owasso Varsity Cheer captures 6A Game Day state title
Not bad at all for their first try.
The Owasso Varsity Cheer had never participated in the Class 6A Game Day state competition until it journeyed to Moore. It was only the second year the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association had even held the event.
Owasso outlasted the other 14 squads in the field and captured the state championship.
The Rams completed three different competitions in the preliminary rounds, Band Dance, Fight Song and Crowd Leading. Owasso won each of the three routines during the prelims and advanced to the finals, along with five other teams.
In the finals, Owasso combined all three sections into one three-minute routine.
Capturing the state crown was even more rewarding for Owasso Cheer after the Large Coed State Cheer in September. The Rams had the highest total score of the event, but were disqualified due to a technicality on one of the routines.
Rams threaten top-ranked BA in defensive battle
Many experts thought Owasso had no chance in its rematch against mighty Broken Arrow.
The top-ranked Tigers had steamrolled through their season and had barely been tested as they rattled off wins in their first 11 games, including a 27-point victory over the Rams in Owasso Stadium. But the defending Class 6AI champions gave Broken Arrow all it wanted and more in a semifinal game inside the University of Tulsa’s H.A. Chapman Stadium.
Owasso’s defense played its best game of the season and held the heavily-favored Tigers off the scoreboard for the first three quarters. The Rams forced three turnovers, the last which gave them a chance to win the game with a hail mary attempt on the final play. But Owasso came up just short in a 10-7 defeat.
The loss ended the season for the Rams, who ended the campaign with a 7-5 record.
The Ram defense held Broken Arrow to 197 total yards, more than 200 yards under its season average. The Tigers entered the game averaging 49 points per outing.
Considering the offensive woes of both teams, the Tigers 10-0 lead with 4:01 left following Noah Cortes’ 7-yard TD run seemed insurmountable. But the Rams, who struggled since running back Isaiah Jacobs exited with an apparent injury late in the first half, did not go down quietly.
Owasso struck four plays later on a 65-yard scoring pass from Will Kuehne to Mario Kirby with 2:17 remaining. Kirby sprung free down the sideline at the BA 30 on a key block from Grant Vanlandingham as – following Christian Johnson’s extra point kick – suddenly trailed just 10-7.
Kirby led Ram receivers with two catches for 80 yards.
BA recovered Owasso’s ensuing onside kick attempt and looked to run the clock out. But Tristan Profit recovered a Tiger fumble with 22 seconds remaining at the Owasso 31. Kuehne and the Rams raced down the field and had one last gasp at the BA 41 with 2 seconds showing.
Unfortunately for the Rams, Kuehne’s final pass in an Owasso uniform, which sailed into the teeth of a strong north wind, landed short of the goal line and was batted down by a BA defender.
Kuehne ended his standout career with Owasso completing 13 of 28 passes for 176 yards with one touchdown and an interception.
Owasso held BA to just 42 total yards in the first half.
Milton makes NBA debut
Combo guard Shake Milton became the first Owasson ever to appear in an NBA game when he made his debut for the Philadelphia 76ers against the Washington Wizards.
In more than 10 minutes of playing time off the bench, Milton scored five points on 2-of-4 shooting, including a 3-pointer. Milton went on to play in 20 games for Philadelphia and averaged 4.4 points on 39 percent shooting.
Milton played under a two-way contract with the organization, which included an impressive showing with the Delaware Blue Coats, the G-League team. Milton averaged 24.9 points and approximately 5 assists and 5 rebounds per game.
Rejoice season ends with semifinal loss
Rejoice Christian’s best season in 11-man football concluded with a 34-13 loss to unranked Christian Heritage in the Class A semifinals in Cushing.
Quarterback Zach Hale accounted for all five scores for the unranked Crusaders, who tallied the final three touchdowns of the contest and pulled away for their first championship game appearance.
Rejoice, which was making its first semifinal appearance in 11-man, saw its season end with a 13-1 record.
The neutral site game inside O’Dell Field in Cushing included a delay of nearly three hours. The contest was delayed with five minutes left on the halftime clock. The third quarter did not start until 10:50 p.m., nearly three hours after intermission began.
Rejoice took a 13-12 lead midway through the third quarter when Andrew Crow scored from 3 yards out.
Crow, who came in as one of the state’s leading rushers with more than 2,500 yards and 43 TDs, was limited to 67 yards on 18 carries. The game came just days after the Eagles’ star RB survived a serious car crash but still played.
Mead garners OU walk-on award
Rejoice Christian alum and Oklahoma linebacker Bryan Mead added some hardware just prior to the Sooners’ College Football Playoff appearance.
The redshirt sophomore was presented with the annual Derrick Shepard Most Inspirational Walk-On Player of the Year award on Dec. 14. Mead appeared in all 13 games for OU and had six total tackles to his credit leading up to the Sooners’ CFP game against Alabama.
The award was created by former OU coach Bob Stoops to honor the late Shepard, who walked on and later earned a scholarship and a spot as a starting wide receiver on the 1985 national championship team. Shepard went on to play in the NFL before he died unexpectedly at age 35 due to a heart attack.
Kuehne, Boomer ink with D1 schools
Owasso quarterback Will Kuehne and Collinsville tight end Grayson Boomer made their respective collegiate decisions official.
Both Kuehne and Boomer signed National Letter of Intent signed on the first day of the early signing period. Kuehne inked with North Texas while Boomer signed with Oklahoma State.
Kuehne, who committed to the Mean Green over the summer, will go down as one of the program’s most accomplished signal callers ever in his two years at OHS.
In 2017, Kuehne guided the Rams to the program’s first state championship in 43 years and was named All-World Player of the Year as a result. Kuehne finished in the top three all-time at Owasso in completions (403), attempts (657), passing touchdowns (48) and passing yards (5,357).
Recovered from an injury-plagued junior season, Boomer led Collinsville receivers in receptions (15) and receiving touchdowns (3) in a run-heavy offensive scheme.
Owasso trio named Ferguson Jenkins winners
Owasso coach Larry Turner, Rams outfielders Sam Thompson and Rylie Boone were each honored at the Warren Spahn Awards Gala in Oklahoma City.
Turner has won more than 1,100 games and 11 state championships in his 37 seasons at the helm. For just the second time ever, Turner was chosen as the Ferguson Jenkins Outstanding Baseball Coach.
Thompson and Boone were selected as Ferguson Jenkins and Michele Smith award winners, respectively, which recognized the top high school senior baseball and softball players in the state.
Boone, an OU signee, is the second member of her family to be part of the Warren Spahn Awards Gala. Her brother, Trevor, was a Ferguson Jenkins winner in 2016 while at Tulsa Memorial.
Boone finished her fast pitch career as an All-State selection. Her career statistics included a .527 batting average, 188 hits, 146 runs scored, 83 RBIs, 43 double and drew 40 walks.
Thompson was the first Rams player to be named a Ferguson Jenkins Award winner since 2014. The TCU signee posted a .315 batting average as a junior and was third on the team in homers (five) and fourth in RBIs (28).
Thompson was the sixth Ram baseball player to be chosen for the award. Kevin Lamb (2000), Dylan Bundy (2010), Andrew Rosa (2012), Braden Webb (2013) and Trevor McCutchin (2014).
Boone is the third Owasso softball player to be selected. Jessica Robinson (2007) and Whitney Whitehorn (2012) were also chosen when honored was named the Ferguson Jenkins-Michele Smith award.
Owasso boys repeat as Port City Classic champions
Hayden Peterson had a perfect record in the Port City Classic and he wasn’t about to blemish that mark.
The Ram senior guard earned tournament MVP honors as he scored a game-high 23 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and helped his team stave off a late Edison comeback for a second consecutive tournament title with a 53-39 win in Catoosa.
Owasso outscored the Eagles 19-7 in the second quarter and held a 28-18 halftime lead. The Rams led by as many as 13 late in the third quarter before Edison made a fourth-quarter push and cut the deficit to five twice before Peterson and the Rams responded with a 13-2 flurry to clinch the championship.
Pomeroy, who added 10 points, joined Peterson on the all-tournament team. David Dean added nine points on three critical 3-pointers that helped the Rams answer Edison runs each time.
Owasso Varsity Cheer claims multiple national titles
Owasso Varsity Cheer may have needed to take its time driving back from Dallas. After all, the team was probably weighed down with all the hardware it brought back to town.
The squad, coached by Leslie Van Meter, came home with the title of Grand National Champions from the National Cheerleaders Association Senior and Junior High School National Championships held in the Metroplex.
Owasso Varsity Cheer was also crowned Game Day National Champions and brought home other accolades, including NCA Large Coed Advance National Champions, Superior Showmanship and Best Use of Stunts.
Van Meter’s team claimed their Game Day National Champions title on Saturday, which was based on three different categories: Fight Song, Cheer and Band Chant.
Owasso Varsity Cheer had the top score in Band Chant and edged out John Horn High School out of Mesquite, Texas, for first place with an average score of 98.1185 points to 98.022.
Local quintet named to OCA All-State game
The 2018 high school football season provided many memorable moments and standout performances with all three local squads advancing to the state semifinal round.
As evidence of that success, Owasso, Collinsville and Rejoice Christian had a combined five players named to the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State team, which was announced Monday. Linebacker KeJuan Hay and defensive linemen Caymon Severs were selected from the Rams while running back Jake Tuttle and offensive lineman Karson Cole will represent the Cardinals. The Eagles record-setting running back Andrew Crow will also be part of the East squad.
The game will take place Friday, July 26 as the conclusion of the annual Oklahoma Coaches Association Convention. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. inside Union-Tuttle Stadium in Tulsa.
Owasso and Collinsville are two of five schools with multiple selections on the team.
Hay averaged a team-best nine tackles per game despite missing the first six games with a foot injury. Severs was the Rams’ second-leading tackler with 63 total stops and tallied three sacks and two interceptions.
Tuttle led Collinsville’s running back by committee with 1,337 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. Cole anchored a Cardinal front that provided protection for an offensive unit that averaged 298 rushing yards and 38 points per game.
Crow ran for 2,625 yards and scored a state-best 44 rushing touchdowns last fall. He concluded his career at Rejoice with 4,610 rushing yards and 81 touchdowns, along with 14 interceptions on defense.
Ram wrestling threatens at dual state
The ninth-ranked Rams, the lowest seed in 6A, took defending champion and No. 2 Choctaw to the wire before falling, 33-31, in the first round of dual state in Shawnee.
Owasso almost made it three east schools in the semifinals as it won eight matches against Choctaw. The Rams took a 28-27 lead with two matches remaining after D.J. Anderson (152) and Nate Jacobson (160) each claimed decisions. Choctaw’s Zane Coleman followed with a pin just 32 seconds into the 170-pound match to regain the lead, 33-28, for the Yellowjackets, who recorded four pins and gained bonus points in each of their six match victories.
In the final match, Owasso’s Taylor Fleming recorded a 10-6 win over Dylan Ward, but it was not enough to overcome the deficit.
Collinsville rallies past defending 5A champs
Trailing 18-0 through the first three matches, Collinsville looked like it might face a second straight first-round exit in the Class 5A dual state meet.
But the No. 2-ranked Cardinals rallied with eight consecutive wins — five pins and three forfeits — and pulled away for a 48-33 quarterfinal victory over No. 5 and defending state champion Lawton MacArthur at Firelake Arena in Shawnee.
Junior Rocky Stephens was part of the rally as he pinned Caden Houser in the 120-pound match. Stephens, whose absence because of illness was felt in last year’s first-round loss to Altus, said the early deficit helped focus the Cardinals.
“It just means we have to pick it up and everybody has to do their part,” said Stephens, who had the shortest match of the day with his 19-second pin.
Owasso boys stun Union on the road
Seth Pomeroy scored a game-high 25 points while fellow backcourt mate Hayden Peterson added 23 points. The Rams connected on 13 3-pointers as they blistered host and No. 9 Union 72-57 inside the John Q. Hammons Arena.
Owasso shot an impressive 60 percent from the field and led for all but the first four minutes. The Rams put together one of their most complete performances of the season despite not having head coach Brian Montonati on the bench. Montonati was out of town due to his day job in the medical sales industry which kept him from attending the game.
Owasso snapped a two-game losing skid and was coming off of a tough loss to Jenks in the final home game of the season.
Owasso had several momentum-shifting runs throughout. One of their Rams’ initial spurts came in the second quarter as they went on a 14-4 flurry. Five different Owasso players scored as it grabbed a 33-19 lead.
Trenton Ellison finished with three 3-pointers for 11 points, including a trey in the third quarter that ignited a 19-9 push. Kyler Mann, who helped lead a strong defensive effort to go along with eight points, converted a steal into an easy layup with 1:28 left that gave the Rams a 57-39 cushion.
“It was awesome to get one at Union,” Pomeroy said. “There’s nothing better.”
Ellison keeps Rams’ season alive
Owasso made just one shot from the field in the fourth quarter. But Trenton Ellison’s basket was enough.
The Rams sophomore buried a 3-pointer from the corner with 13 seconds remaining to lift Owasso to a 42-41 victory over Bartlesville in a back-and-forth affair in the first round of the Class 6A regionals.
Owasso assured itself a spot in the area tournament with the win.
Cardinal grapplers share state crown with rivals
Collinsville’s wrestling dynasty has required many different forms to remain intact over the past decade. But never have the Cardinals experienced what took place in the Class 5A state tournament inside the Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City.
The Cardinals, aided by four individual state champions, and rival Skiatook, keyed by three title holders, each finished with 137 points to finish in a rare first-place tie for the team crown. It marked the first time the Cardinals, who claimed their eighth crown in the last nine winters, have shared a team state title with another school.
Collinsville held a four-point lead, but Skiatook had one wrestler remaining in the 220-pound finals. Bulldog senior Korbin McLaughlin claimed a 4-1 decision over Claremore’s Seth Seago for his first state title and enabled his team to tie the team score with their Highway 20 rivals.
Cameron Steed (106), Jordan Williams (113), Rocky Stephens (120) and Caleb Tanner (132) won titles for Collinsville.
New-look Stigall Field to greet Owasso baseball fans
Consider 2019 a new era for Owasso baseball, at least when it comes to the home of the Rams.
Stigall Field received a facelift in the offseason and those renovations debuted this spring.
Among the new amenities baseball fans will notice include a newly-installed layer of turf, which will covers the outfield for the first time in the park’s existence. The Ram logo with the interlocking O and R has been painted into shallow center field with “Owasso” inscribed behind home plate, the same font on display in both endzone areas of the recently revamped Owasso Stadium.
This marked the second time the turf has been replaced since it was originally laid down over the infield in 2001.
A new outfield fence, which has been raised four feet to accommodate the surface, lines portions of the north and east boundaries of the ballpark. Stigall Field also included the addition of LED lighting and a new scoreboard beaming over the left field wall.
Visitors were greeted by an expanded patio and deck behind the third base line.
The renovation was part of Owasso’s large-scale athletic upgrades that began last summer and has included the football stadium, softball field and high school track facility.
Cardinal boys clinch third-ever state appearance
Collinsville had been waiting for a moment like this for 43 years.
With their season on the line following a loss a day earlier, the No. 10-ranked Cardinals boys’ basketball team led virtually the entire way and bounced back for an impressive 64-46 win over No. 14 Will Rogers in the Class 5A area consolation finals inside the Frank Herald Fieldhouse in Jenks.
The win earned Collinsville its first state tournament berth since 1976.
Peyton Dees drilled five 3-pointers and poured in a game-high 22 points for the Cardinals. Ethan Cole added 15 points as Collinsville claimed its 17th victory on the season, the most wins for a Cardinal team in 12 years.
Caleb Schafer and Gage Tacker had eight points each in the winning cause.
Rejoice boys win first state title
Justin Seay fell awkwardly early and felt the effects for the remainder of the contest. The pain finally subsided when the Rejoice Christian senior had his arms wrapped around the gold ball.
Seay landed on his back midway through the first quarter but responded with a game-high 22 points and helped the No. 9-ranked Eagles to their first state championship with a 52-42 win over No. 6 Hennessey in the Class 2A finals inside the State Fair Arena.
Junior Jaden Lietzke added 18 points, nine rebounds and four blocks as the Rejoice tandem dominated in the paint. Their interior passing and plus-11 rebounding margin were too much for Hennessey to handle.
The victory capped off a 24-8 record for Rejoice, which won three games in three days for the second consecutive week. Zac Briscoe’s crew accomplished the task essentially with his starting five playing all of the significant minutes during the area and state tournaments.
Cooper Fuska knocked down one of his three 3-pointers on Hennessey’s first offensive trip of the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 41-38. But Rejoice allowed just one more field goal the rest of the game and ran off seven straight to lead 48-38 after consecutive Seay buckets with 1:50 remaining.
Hennessey waved the white flag with 36.4 seconds remaining and pulled all of its starters before the celebration began for the Rejoice players and a sizable contingency that had traveled down Interstate 44 from Owasso.
“It feels different than I expected it would,” said Reece Hamar, who had six rebounds and four assists. “I knew it would be exciting, but it’s more than I expected. And it hasn’t really even kicked in yet. I’m sure it’ll kick in when we get our rings.”
Eagles soccer claims first postseason berth
Rejoice Christian rolled to a 4-0 win over Inola in its regular season finale at Rejoice Stadium. in doing so, the Eagles clinched the program’s first ever postseason berth.
Traci Palmer had two of Rejoice’s three second-half goals in the win.
A year ago, Rejoice was on the verge of tasting the postseason but Inola spoiled that opportunity in overtime of the regular season finale. Adversity followed the Eagles into this spring when junior Gracie Hutchinson was forced to move into the goalie position after an injury and one of the leaders, junior Maddie Curtis, was lost for the season with an ACL injury in late March.
To make matters worse, a young team with just two seniors on the roster found themselves with their backs against the wall after a 1-3 start to district play. Instead of panicking, Rejoice ripped off five straight wins, including a thrilling 2-1 overtime win at Locust Grove on Tuesday that required two rounds of penalty kicks.
Rejoice advanced to the postseason in the program’s sixth season of existence.
‘O’wasso blanks shuts out regional foes for state berth
Nate Ackenhausen, David Sandlin and Nate Wohlgemuth continued to put up zeros on the scoreboard at Stigall Field as the Rams rolled to a pair of wins over Sand Springs (7-0 and 5-0) and a victory against Union (7-0) and claimed yet another Class 6A regional championship.
Owasso advanced to the state baseball tournament for the fifth consecutive season and 21st time in the last 23 years.
The Rams’ 15-game win streak came to halt with a 2-0 loss to eventual state finalist Edmond Santa Fe in the first round a week later. Owasso finished its season with a 34-6 record.
Rams golf finally catches Stillwater, Edmond North
All season long the Owasso boys’ golf team had been chasing the likes of Stillwater and Edmond North.
The Pioneers had rolled to numerous tournament titles throughout the spring, including the Class 6A East Regional a week ago on Owasso’s home course. And the Huskies have simply owned the state crown with 13 of the last 14 titles to their credit.
Owasso caught both teams as it won the program’s second-ever state title. The Rams finished with a three-round total of 897, four shots ahead of both schools on the Rose Creek Golf Club at Edmond.
“I think we were the most underestimated team in the state,” said freshman No. 1 bag Ben Stoller, who led Owasso with a 7-over par total and finished in a four-way tie for seventh individually.
Stoller was the lone Ram to finish in the top 10 individually. Instead it was Owasso’s depth that sparked the team to the program’s first state title since 2015.
Brett Wilcoxen was one shot back of Stoller and a stroke ahead of teammate Braden Lang. Wilcoxen, a junior, was one of only two Owasso players that had prior state tournament experience entering the week.
Tyler Rhodes, who claimed individual medalist honors a week ago at regionals, sat in a tie for fourth going into the final round but fell off that pace with a final round 84. Instead, teammate Antonio Gilestra responded with a 79, his best round of the tournament, to help the Rams maintain the lead.
Gilestra opened the round by shanking his tee shot but recovered to make par on No. 1.
The finishing stretch proved to be vital to the Rams’ title hopes as they looked to be neck-and-neck with Edmond North. Owasso combined to shoot 2-under on No. 17 and 4-under par on 18.
Without a senior on the roster, Burd admitted claiming a state championship was a pleasant surprise.
“If you’d have told me at the beginning of the season we would be in this spot, I would’ve had my doubts,” Burd said.
Collinsville advances to state semis
The Cardinals plated a baker’s dozen as they steamrolled Lawton MacArthur in the first round of the Class 5A state baseball tournament. Jordan Wilkins belted a three-run homer and Hayden Minton pitched a gem, allowing just two hits, and added a solo bomb himself to help the Collinsville cause.
In their 10th state tournament appearance under coach Tony Reeder, the Cardinals saw their season come to a bitter conclusion in a 5-3 loss a day later to Carl Albert. Collinsville bounced back from an early deficit and had the bases loaded in the seventh against the Titans but could not get a much-needed hit.
The Cards finished their season with a 29-11 record.
Gladd finishes career with two gold medals
Levi Gladd concluded her time in an Owasso uniform with a couple of state titles.
Gladd ran a personal-best time of 56.83 seconds in the 400 meters and earned a state title in the process on the grounds of Moore Schools Stadium. Gladd, Libby Booth, Maya Boschee and Sierra Williams won the 4x800 relay race on with a school-record time of 9 minutes, 28 seconds, nearly three full seconds ahead of second place Jenks.
The biggest surprise of the weekend may have been in the 4x200 relay as Kennedy Smith, Majesty Bonner, Gladd and Williams zipped to a time of 1:43.47 and the silver medal. It marked Owasso’s best state finish in the event and surpassed the expectations of many.
Williams took third in the 800 with a personal best time of 2:16.16.
Even in the 4x400 relay, Karson Zumwalt, Smith, Williams and Gladd finished with a new school record as the quartet finished in 4:00.19.
Boschee closed out her Ram career with a fifth-place finish in the 1600 and made the podium for a fourth consecutive year.
On the boys’ side, senior Nick Fisher took home a medal in the 300 hurdles as he set a personal-best time of 39.76 seconds, which earned him fourth place in the event.
The 4x800 relay team of Blake Johnson, Kaden Hicks, Sean Raburn, and Trevor Pendegraft posted their fastest time of the season with a time of 8:13.91 and finished fifth in the process. Owasso’s 4x200 relay also reached the podium as they clocked a time of 1:30.15 to finish sixth.
Collinsville’s Olinghouse, Robbins claim state crowns
Fifteen months after tearing his hamstring in three different places, Collinsville pole vaulter Taylor Olinghouse was back.
Olinghouse cleared 14 feet, 3 inches to win the Class 5A state championship in dominant fashion at Moore Schools Stadium. No other competitor cleared higher than 13 feet, a height Olinghouse surpassed on his second jump of the day.
Olinghouse’s performance was one of several highlights for the Cardinals, who came away with two state champions and four other silver medals between the boys and girls teams.
Junior Zac Robbins claimed two of those medals, including his first state championship. Robbins topped the field in the discus as his throw of 155 feet, 10 inches, which came in his third attempt, earned him the top prize. Robbins just missed out on sweeping the throwing events as he finished second in the shot put. Robbins first throw in the shot measured at 54 feet, 2 ½ inches, which was the longest throw in 5A all season.
On the track, senior Malcolm Tillman concluded his stellar career with a pair of podium-worthy performances.
Tillman claimed the silver with a school-record time of 39.56 seconds in the 300 meter hurdles. Tillman finished his Cardinal career with seven state medals, including a 2018 state title to his credit.
On the girls’ side, Machenzie Robinson broke her own school record in the shot put as she finished second in the event. Sitting in fourth place going into her final attempt, the junior uncorked a throw of 39 feet, 3 ¾ inches, which vaulted her into the silver medal.
Robinson, who was battling strep earlier in the week, also threw a personal best of 108 feet, 5 inches in the discus on Friday and stepped on the podium with her fifth-place finish.
Fellow junior Ramsey Keim finished second in the pole vault as she earned the silver by clearing 9 feet, 6 inches.
Rams tennis shines at state tourneys
Owasso’s Jake Swanson and Eric Wall shook up the No. 1 doubles field at the Class 6A state tournament when the duo upset the top seed in the first round and went on to finish fourth in Oklahoma City.
Teammates Jacob Kendall and Sam Perkins claimed seventh place at No. 2 doubles, as did Ash Harbert at No. 2 singles. The Rams won all four of their first round matches and ended in a tie for seventh in the team standings.
A week earlier, despite inclement weather delaying the girls state tournament, all three Owasso entries came home with medals as the Rams finished fifth overall.
Gracee Shriver and Becca Wasserott paced OHS as the No. 1 doubles tandem advanced to the semifinals and took fourth in the division. Libby Perkins finished in fifth at No. 2 singles, which equaled Jenna Holderman and Sonnie Simons at No. 2 doubles.