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Waurika
Sunday, December 15, 2019
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Waurika Senior Michael Bryant Leaving His Mark on the Community

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Michael Bryant Jr

He can solve a Rubik’s Cube in about a minute, hit a pop-fly to center field, and this coming fall he will be playing on the field at Oklahoma State University as a member of the Cowboy marching band. 

Although he was born in Houston, Texas, Michael Bryant, Jr. has attended school here in Waurika his whole life.

He has participated in band, football, baseball, the academic team, FFA, the Beta Club, and is a member of the National Honor Society. 

So why did he try out for the OSU marching band? It’s not because one of his favorite colors is orange.

The simple answer is that he has a deep love for music. Two of his favorite genres is country and classic rock from the vinyl era. 

Although he can play the tuba, he favors the trumpet because of its versatility. 

Bryant tried out for a place in the marching band back in February and was informed the day of the try out that he had been accepted. 

He will attend band camp a week before the official move-in date in order to prepare for the marching season. 

He says his most memorable moments while attending Waurika High School are the times he competed with the band at state competitions. 

Even though he has many accolades and achievements under his belt, some of the qualities he possesses that makes him memorable among members of the community is his genuineness, maturity, and ability to communicate with people from all levels of society. 

His plans are to major in Agriculture and possibly go on to become a Veterinarian.   

Whatever he chooses to do in life he will go far. 

Cody Simmons Reflects on the Transition from Principal to Superintendent

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Although he began his student teaching in Waurika back in 2004, his history with Waurika schools goes back further than that. 

His family have deep roots in Jefferson County. 

After beginning his student teaching, he was hired soon thereafter in January of 2005 as the second grade teacher at the Elementary. 

For the past eight years he has served as the Elementary Principal. 

By now, everyone is probably aware that Cody Simmons is the new Waurika Public Schools Superintendent beginning July of this year. 

Over the past couple of weeks the reality of the role has sunk in. 

He says he has been getting more familiar with the high school.

Cody said he recently met with the high school principal and the athletic director. 

He is becoming more familiar with the high school.

The adjustment for him will be managing the overall school system rather than just the Elementary. 

He says he is looking forward to the new experience. 

Simmons says that one of his expectations for the upcoming year is to close the gap between the Elementary and the High School. 

He would like to see the school system be more of a whole than separate parts (Elementary, Middle School, and High School).

During his time as principal, the Elementary has achieved “Blue Ribbon” status. 

That status is determined by the test scores over three consecutive years. 

Simmons is a busy man.

 

Besides being a full time school administrator, he also enjoys mowing yards, working out, and most of all spending time with his family. 

He says right now they are enjoying ball games several nights per week. 

Simmons is also deeply involved in the community.

He was instrumental in the establishment of the Veterans Park downtown. 

He is quick to give credit to others who have assisted in the success of the park. 

Craig Williams, he says was gracious to add his professional touch to the landscaping. 

Simmons also attributes the success of the Elementary, including its “Blue Ribbon” status, to the hard work and dedication of the teachers. 

“I feel like the teachers here are all high quality enthusiastic professional teachers. Whenever you surround yourself with [people like ] that good things will happen,” Simmons says .

Waurika FFA Participates in Fair and Reads to Elementary Students

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This month the Waurika FFA has been very busy! Members have participated in the Jefferson County Free Fair, Ag in the Classroom Reading Program, and the officer team attended the 2019 C.O.L.T. conference. Several members attended all activities. The Ag in the Classroom activity consisted of Waurika Ag. Education students reading to the classes at Waurika Elementary School. Everyone had a great time and are ready to continue being active. 

Winners in the tractor driving contest: (l-r) Evan Davis(Waurika FFA), Cody Ramsey (Waurika FFA), Caden Dobbs (Waurika FFA) 
Chloe Adkins reading to students at the Waurika Elementary
Isaac Gholson reading to students at Waurika Elementary

Waurika Falls Short In Fast-Pitch Softball District Tourney

Waurika dropped two straight games in the Class A District Tournament at Ringling last Thursday to conclude what has been a tough season.

The Lady Eagles dropped a tough 10-7 decision to Wilson in the first game of the tournament and then were eliminated by Ringling, 11-0.

Ringling took the district title with two straight wins over Wilson, 9-1, and 12-0.

Waurika played one of its better games of the year in the tourney opener against Wilson.

Waurika took the lead in the bottom of the first inning with two runs.

Faith Roberson had a lead off walk and stole second and that was followed by Gracie Walling being hit by a pitch.

F. Roberson stole home to give the Lady Eagles a 1-0 edge and then Walling scored on Landry Forsyth’s bases-loaded hit by pitch. That put Waurika ahead, 2-0, but the Lady Eagles left the bases loaded without scoring another run.

Wilson took the lead in the top of the second with four runs and carried a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the third inning.

Waurika moved back in front in the third with three runs.

Brooklyn Barnes got things started by being hit by a pitch and Forsyth followed with another hit by pitch.

After two outs, F. Roberson managed a walk to load the bases. Walling slapped a double to center field that cleared the bases and gave Waurika a 5-4 advantage after three innings.

Wilson moved back in front with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth, but Waurika answered with a couple of scores to regain the lead in the bottom of fifth.

Hope Cummings led off the rally with a single and stole second. She eventually scored by stealing home to tied the game.

Walling picked up her third hit of the game and came around to score on Madison Roberson’s two-bagger to left field that put Waurika back in front, 7-6.

Wilson came from behind with a run in the sixth and three runs in the seventh to secure the win and Waurika could not answer in the final two frames.

Walling finished the game for the Lady Eagles with a 3-for-4 performance, three runs batted in and two runs scored.

In the second game of the tourney, Waurika had no answers for Ringling. The Lady Blue Devils scored four runs in the first inning, added one in the second, five in the third inning and one in the fourth frame to get the win in four innings.

The Lady Eagles could muster only two hits in the game by Kaci Reynolds and M. Roberson.

In the final regular season game a week ago Tuesday, Waurika outslugged winless Temple, 16-7, on the Lady Tigers’ home diamond.

Waurika jumped out on top of Temple with three runs in the first.

F. Roberson led off the game with a walk and moved to second when Walling reached on an error.

Destiny Barnes followed with a double to score F. Roberson and Walling followed with a score on M. Roberson’s RBI-ground out. D. Barnes came around to score giving Waurika 3-0 advantage and the Lady Eagles left two runners stranded.

Temple answered the Waurika uprising with a pair of runs to cut the margin to 3-2 after the first inning.

The Lady Eagles took control of the contest in the top of the third inning with five runs.

B. Barnes reached base after being hit by a pitch and she advanced to second on Forsyth’s free pass. Olivia Ralls was also hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Cummings reached on an error that scored B. Barnes. Forsyth, Ralls and Cummings each stole home for three more runs.

F. Roberson followed with a walk and eventually scored on another Temple error that put Waurika on top, 8-2.

Waurika added to the lead in the fourth inning.

Reynolds led off the inning by reaching on an error. Tallin Mora was the courtesy runner and advanced to third on walks by B. Barnes and Ralls.

Cummings was hit by a pitch that forced Mora home. Grace Hill, who ran for Ralls, and Cummings scored on Walling’s two-run single. Alayna Stallcup picked up an RBI-single that scored F. Roberson who had reached on a fielder’s choice.

The four-run rally put Waurika in front 12-2 and Temple was in danger of being run-ruled.

The Lady Tigers answered the challenge, however, and managed to score five runs in the bottom of the fourth to trim the Waurika lead to 12-7.

Waurika was not going to let this one slip away. The Lady Eagles answered the Temple rally with four more runs in the top of the fifth inning.

Two hit batsmen and a walk loaded the bases for the Eagles. B. Barnes scored on a fielder’s choice. Ralls and Cummings scored on F. Roberson’s two-run single to left.

Temple could not score and the game ended by the run rule.

Walling led the Lady Eagles at the plate with two hits in five at-bats. F. Roberson scored four times and Cummings scored three runs

M. Roberson picked up the win in the circle for the Lady Eagles.

Four Lady Eagles – D. Barnes, Madison Christian, Ralls and M. Roberson played their final games for the Lady Eagles in the district tournament.

 Waurika finishes the season with a 3-18 mark, but the Lady Eagles showed marked improvement in the final couple of weeks of the season.

Joe Allen Named New Eagle Football, Baseball Mentor

 Joe Allen was selected recently as the 38th head football coach in school history at Waurika High School.

Allen will not only be the grid mentor, but will also serve as the head baseball coach for the Eagles next spring.

 “I am really excited about coming to Waurika not just because of the job opportunities, but because my wife teaches at Waurika, we live here and my kids go to school here,” said Allen in a recent interview.

Allen, a 2009 graduate of Cameron University and a 2004 Ryan High School graduate, is looking forward to the challenge of continuing to build on the success Waurika has had in football the past couple of years.

For the past four seasons Allen has been the head baseball coach and assistant football coach at Walters High School. He guided the Blue Devils to one district title in baseball in the four seasons.

“The big selling point for the job was of course my family, but also the kind of athletes they had coming up at Waurika,” said Allen. “I was happy at Walters, so it had to be the right job for me to leave there.”

Allen began his coaching career as a lay coach for the Duncan High School baseball team for two years.

He became the head baseball coach at Rush Springs for two seasons before moving to Temple in 2013 to become the head football coach and head baseball coach for the Tigers.

It was his only season as a head football coach and he guided the Tigers to a 4-5 mark before the opportunity came to move over to Walters.

“Football and baseball were always neck and neck for me even when I was a little kid,” noted Allen when asked which sport was his favorite.

 Allen has not yet had an opportunity to meet with the football team, but is looking forward to getting together with them in the near future.

“Being in the area and living here in Waurika I have known the kind of athletes they have,” said Allen in reflecting on his new challenge.

“They have been really competitive in junior high and what I have been impressed with is they have a number of athletes that I have heard are willing to work hard to improve,” said Allen.

While the timing of his hiring did not allow him to get involved with Waurika’s summer league baseball team, he did see the squad in action in their final summer league game at Comanche.

Allen will take over for former Waurika football and baseball coach Glenn Howard, who moves over to Wilson to become an assistant for the Eagles.

“I was glad they had a team because it is hard to get a team together in many of the smaller communities around,” Allen said

Allen was an outstanding athlete during his high school career at Ryan. He excelled in football, baseball and track.

In the 2003 season football season Allen was the starting quarterback on the Cowboys’ semifinal squad that finished 9-4. He threw for 1,113 yards and connected for 11 touchdowns. He also contributed 553 yards rushing.

During his junior season for the Cowboy football squad Allen snared seven interceptions, which was the third most in the state among eight-man schools. He was also named to The Duncan Banner’s all-area football team.

Allen was a ringleader on the 2003 baseball squad that earned a district title – one of only three district titles for the Cowboys since 2000.

In track, Allen was a state track meet qualifier in the high jump in both 2003 and 2004 and was the Southern Eight Conference high jump champion in 2004.

Allen is married to the former Magen Wright of Ryan and she is currently a teacher in the Waurika Public Schools. They have three children with the oldest entering first grade at Waurika this fall.

Senior Profile: Madison Roberson

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 1) How do you feel about it being your last year?

I’m excited, but sad at the same time.

2) Sum up your school experience.

I moved here as a freshman and have felt at home ever since. 

3) Activities/Organizations you have participated in?

FFA for 4 years, Student Council 2 years, NHS For 3, OHS for 3, Gifted and Talented for 1 year, Basketball for 4 years, track for 4 years, cross country for 4 years, cheer for 1 year, softball for 4 years and film for 2 years.

4) Plans for the future?

My plans are to go to college to be a radiology tech and to grow up and be happy.

5) Favorite memory at WHS?

“Poopgate 2016” @LJ’s.  

6) What teacher has prepared you? 

Mrs. Hodges, I’d be lost without her.

7) Give advice to an underclassman.

Be outgoing, don’t be afraid. Everything will be okay, don’t stress!  WHS has your back.

8) Is there anyone you want to thank?

My basketball girls from present to past. Y’all have made my years so fun. I love each girl who steps onto the floor with me.

9) Do you have a fear about leaving?

No, I feel prepared for what is to come.

10) Are you going to miss being at WHS?

More than you can imagine! I love so many people here. This is my family and I’m not in a huge rush to leave them.

Kindergarten Graduation 2018 for Waurika & Ryan

Waurika and Ryan have both held graduation ceremonies for their Kindergarten classes.

This is just the beginning for these future leaders in Jefferson County.

The graduation edition for the High School Seniors will be out at the end of this month in the May 31st edition.

Top Row: Jayden Acebo, Makenzie Elliott, Elijah Foster, Bradli Allen, Benny Franco, Sadie Bayless, Asher Garison, Turner Graham, Bella Gutierrez, Kaitlyn Cast, Marley Herrera, Harlan Combs, Dominic Killgore, Maddex Denny, Hukston Krautlarger, Jackson Edwards
Bottom Row: Libby Langford, Johnny Lindsey, Rodger Moss, Lilly Poage, Stony Sellers, Cassidy Shea, Jaxon Torrez, Jesse Vega, Lilly White, Maci Wilkerson

 

Ryan Kindergarten Class
Left to Right:
LILY ADCOCK, CRUZ CHAPMAN, JODEE CHARMASSON, HUNTER LOFTIS, ISLA MARTIN, TINZLEE PARKEY, JAKE REAGAN, CASON ROLLINS, SIMON ROLL, JAIME SALINAS, TEMPER SPANGLER, PAYTON WILLIAMSON.
Not pictured is Joey Aycoth

Waurika School Board Hires Bryan Plant as New Teacher and Hires Pat Cook as the New Elementary Principal

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 It was a bitter sweet meeting for Roxie Terry as he finished his last school board meeting as the Superintendent of Waurika Schools. 

He looks forward to retirement. Terry said he wants to enjoy time with his family and friends.

In other business, the school board hired a teacher and a new principal for the Elementary school.

Bryan Plant

Bryan Plant, a graduate of Waurika, was hired to teach the second grade.  

He has taught school at Fox and Elmore City and is looking forward to teaching here in Waurika during the 2018-19 school year. 

Pat Cook

Pat Cook has been teaching in Waurika Public Schools for the past 16 years. She was hired by the board as the new Elementary Principal. 

After the meeting she expressed that she is excited about the upcoming school year and looks forward to working with the students and the teachers. 

The board approved a one year contract with Craig Computers for computer maintenance. The contract was approved for around $15,500.00.

The contract for lawn maintenance for the school and the athletic fields was awarded to Joe Masoner. 

Allied Lab Inc. of Lawton will handle the drug and alcohol testing for the school during the next term at the same price as last year’s agreement.

Mr. Hodges reported that starting next summer the OSSAA has mandated 9 days around July 4 when coaches can have no contact with athletes. This will allow the coaches and the players to have some time off. Hodges said this is something he voted for and will be good for everyone. 

Last but not least, the board approved a new policy allowing the Waurika Schools to add “weighted” classes to the curriculum. This will encourage more students to take challenging classes. (More about that in another issue).

Waurika Celebrates Homecoming; Crowns Queens

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Aaron Nitka crowns Lily Jones as the High School Homecoming King and Queen for 2018. The Crown Bearer is Rowdy Dyer and the Flower Girl is Bean Walker. Photo by Adam Brinson

Waurika High School and Junior High crowned their respective Homecoming Queens at the Homecoming Football game this past Friday evening.

Homecoming King and Queen Candidates

7th grade- Aubree Showalter and James Breitigan 

8th grade- Liberti Simmons and Trenton Torrez 

9th grade- Tallin Mora and Gabriel Jenkins

High school attendants:

Freshmen- Tallin Mora and Gabriel Jenkins

Sophomores- Kaci Reynolds and Bowden Forsyth

Juniors- Kameron Zaciek and Edwin Garcia

Senior queen candidates:

Madison Roberson 

Katelyn Washburn

Lily Jones

Senior King candidates:

Zachary Brown

Colton Bryant

Austin Dyer

Gatlin Black

Aaron Nitka

This Year

This year’s Homecoming King and Queen are Aaron Nitka and Lily Jones

Aaron Nitka crowns Lily Jones as the High School Homecoming King and Queen for 2018. The Crown Bearer is Rowdy Dyer and the Flower Girl is Bean Walker.
Photo by Adam Brinson

 

This year’s Junior High Homecoming King and Queen are Gabe Jenkins and Aubree Showalter

Gabe Jenkins and Aubree Showalter are this year’s Junior High King and Queen. Aspyn Fox is the Flower Girl and the Crown Bearer is Jason Chumley. Photo by Adam Brinson

Samantha Horner is one of Waurika’s Valedictorians

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 Samantha Horner is one of the Valedictorians of this year’s senior class of Waurika.

Besides being a cheerleader, she has also enjoyed showing pigs and playing basketball. 

Her love of working with pigs began when she was in the 7th grade and inspired her to found Sam’s Show Pigs, a business that breeds, raises and sells show pigs. 

Horner has a huge love for all animals and plans to be a veterinarian when she graduates from Oklahoma State University. 

She is currently working at Chisholm Trail Animal Hospital on Fuller Road near Duncan and has even earned her certification of veterinary assistant. 

Horner says she has known since  her sophomore year in high school that she wanted to be a veterinarian. 

When she starts college in the fall she will  be classified as a second semester freshman because she has already earned 12 hours of college credit. 

Her most memorable moments from high school are from her experiences showing pigs. 

Purple is her favorite color and her favorite genre of music is country. 

She has been involved in Oklahoma Honor Society, FFA, 4H, Student council, National Honor Society, scholastic meets, Cross-Country, basketball, golf, cheer leading, and track. 

Horner has also served as President of Beta Club and her senior class, treasurer for National Honor Society, student council representative and captain of Waurika Cheer. 

At times she has volunteered at the Waurika Public Library and has served as a mentor to incoming 6th graders. 

She served as a mentor at middle school cheer tryouts, leader for little eagle basketball camp, and was a spokesperson for the local effort to support the hurricane Harvey relief project. 

Horner has earned many awards and honors. She has received FFA awards and 4H awards such as Junior, Intermediate, and Senior Swine Showmanship. 

She was the recipient of the Hollis Dickey Award and the HOBY Leadership Conference Ambassador honor. 

She has also received academic awards in physical science, biology, US History, Oklahoma history, anatomy, and the OSU Academic Excellence Scholarship. 

Honer was Homecoming Queen. 

Samantha Horner has a great future in front of her and will continue to excel at college and in her chosen profession.