Cowgirl Standout Honored by State Publication

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Juliet Spangler Photo by Shannon McCord

Ryan High School track and cross country stand out, Juliet Spangler, has been named the Chickasha-Duncan Area Girls Spring Sports Athlete of the Month by VYPE magazine.

The award is sponsored by Arvest Bank.

The honor was determined by on line voting and Spangler received 11,509 votes – well ahead of Bridge Creek soccer star Skyli Lassiter who garnered 8,475 votes.

Spangler was one of four Cowgirls that participated in track this spring and she qualified for state in the 3,200-meters and helped anchor the 3,200-meter relay team that also qualified for the state meet.

Not only was Spangler a key participant on the Cowgirl track squad this past spring, but she also was a member of the Ryan cross country team last fall that became the first team from Ryan to qualify for state in the sport. The Cowgirls were regional runner up in cross country last fall.

Spangler is a four-sport participant for Ryan as she was a starter on the Cowgirl basketball team and the fast-pitch softball squad.

In all four sports, her dad, Steve, is the coach. The Cowgirl athlete credits her family’s support for helping spur her improvement over the course of this past track season in particular.

Spangler is not only an outstanding athlete, but she is also active in academic and other extra-curricular activities. She is a member of the Beta Club, FCCLA club and was an officer for her sophomore class.

“She always puts team ahead of self,” her dad, Steve, told VYPE magazine.

Spangler will be a junior for the Cowgirls next fall.

One More Go-Around For Three Jefferson County Grid Stars

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Two Ryan graduates and one Waurika graduate are set to compete in the annual Oklahoma Eight-Man Football Association’s all-star game in Miami which will feature nearly 80 of the top eight-man seniors from all parts of Oklahoma.

 The contest kicks off Saturday at 6 p.m. at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M’s Red Robertson Field. Game tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the gate. Concessions and game day merchandise will be available for purchase.

 This annual event was designed to recognize and honor the finest eight-man football players throughout Oklahoma. Around 3,000 fans from across Oklahoma are expected to attend the game.

 Dawson Tomberlin and Tate Kimbro of Ryan along with Waurika’s Seth Cathey will be competing for the Gold team in the annual showcase of eight-man football talent in Oklahoma.

 In addition two Ryan cheerleaders, Holland Carter and Laken DeBoard will be part of the cheerleader squads for the game.

 Serving as a counselor for the week-long all-star game preparation is Ryan assistant coach Tony Tomberlin.

Coaches for the Gold team include Tipton’s Travis White, Shane Weathers of Coyle, Gus Overstreet of Pioneer, Josh Been of Dewar and Cave Springs’ coach Tom Osburn.

The other participants from District B-4 of which Ryan and Waurika competed this past season are district champ Central High’s T.J. Birdwell and Hayden Cooper.

The Gold team is made up of all-stars from the even numbered districts in both Class B and C, while the Green team is comprised of players from the odd numbered districts in the two eight-man classifications.

This is the 16th year for the city of Miami to host the game. Prior to 2003, the game had been held in Alva since its inception in 1973. The first state champion for eight-man football was crowned in 1959.

Sponsors of the game include the City of Miami, the Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and the Oklahoma Eight-Man Football Coaches Association (OEMFCA).

The players and coaches from around the state arrived in Miami on Tuesday and participated in a full schedule of activities that will lead up to Saturday’s game.

Those activities include a night at the night at the Historic Coleman Theatre, a cook-out in Riverview Park and swimming at the state’s largest municipal pool as well as an evening with hypnotist Joe Comet. The players will team up with the Ottawa County Boys & Girls Club on Friday for an afternoon of bowling at PlayLand Lanes.

Tomorrow night (Friday), the players, coaches and cheerleaders will participate in the annual awards banquet. The OEMFCA and the local organizing committee will award some $11,000 in scholarships for 10 players. The OEMFCA awards an additional $1,000 in scholarships for two of the all-star cheerleaders.

More About the Decline in High School Football Participation

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Participation in 11-man football is on a multi-year decline according to studies done by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

This was mentioned in an earlier article but the issue was mainly looking at what is happening to the sport in relation to population shifts.

Participation in 11-player football was down 25,901 from 2015 to 2016. Just over one million high school students participate in 11-man football.

When you add the other types of high school football – six, eight and nine-player football – participation is still down 25,503.

With 14,099 high schools offering 11-man football, the decrease amounts to fewer than two individuals per school or a 2.5 percent decrease.

Football remains the top participatory sport for boys at the high school level by a large margin – even with the decline. Sports that follow include track and field, basketball, baseball and soccer.

The peak of participation with 11-man football came in 2009. Since that time participation has dropped 4.6 percent, which hardly seems like a big problem.

But, the small decline over a long period of time is not a good sign.

In 2009, 25 percent of boys who played sports were on the football team. Now that number is 23.2 in 2016, which was six-tenths of a percent drop from 2015. That is the sharpest decline in recent memory.

The recent finding of the impact of concussions has both parents and students thinking about participating in football.

But, there are other reasons for the trend of decreased participation in football. Increasing sports specialization has an impact as well as bench players deciding that football requires too much work for so little time on the field.

Some teens are distracted by other things our culture has introduced (social media being the main thing) that cause teens not to want to put forth effort required to be a participant at the high school level.

The decline of football could certainly have an impact on Ryan and Waurika schools. Just visit schools in communities such as Duke and Forgan (former eight-man schools with the latter having had great success) and Velma-Alma (an 11-man school that had to forfeit much of its schedule this past year).

A slow decline may keep football looking healthy on the surface, but there is some rotting underneath.

It is a reminder of a quote from noted author Ernest Hemingway, “How do you go bankrupt? Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”

Hopefully, students in Ryan and Waurika schools will continue to participate in football driven by not only a love of the sport, but also the desire to learn life lessons that participation in sports affords.

Woods and Waters June 7 2018

 As I write this, we are enjoying a fabulous Sunday afternoon with temps in the 80s and moderate winds. Quite a relief from last week – whew! It was flat hot!

 If you haven’t started fishing yet, then you better get going before the summer passes you by. It’s difficult for me not to think about fishing, living next to the Cathey boys and getting many calls a week from Hoot about his most recent lunker bass!

   Well, we have talked about getting our fishing gear ready and cleaned up for the upcoming season and with the current temps , it seems like the time might be here.

   In fact, as I was working on this article, I got a call from Houston Scott and was asked to accompany he and his brother, Lodge, for an afternoon of fishing on some of their ponds. We had a great trip, caught several bass and crappie, with all returned safely back to the water. No monsters but spending an afternoon with two quality young men in the outdoors is hard to beat! They certainly come from “good stock”!

Houston Scott

  Growing up it was different, fishing was such a simple affair back then. A quick trip to the barn or my mother’s flower beds and in a few minutes you would have dug up enough juicy worms to fill up a tin can; it was going to be a good day! It didn’t matter if you were after catfish, perch or anything, they were all suckers for a fresh red worm. A simple cane pole with a hook and cork was all you needed to be masters of the water. We could sit for hours and watch that cork “bob” on the water waiting for that slight twitch which signaled a fish was interested.

  Back then a mess of perch and yellow cats was a good day! My, how things have changed. With thousands of lure and bait options available it’s easy to get lost in the process and sometimes it gets so complicated you feel like you need a degree in fishology, if there is such a thing!

  On a brighter note, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. You don’t have to use a cane pole, but they are fun if you haven’t tried them. Just grab your rods and reels, hooks, sinkers and bobbers, if you wish, and some bait. As we mentioned, tried and true worms are hard to beat but if you are after catfish you might add some chicken livers and bait shrimp! I might add if you use bait shrimp be sure to wash your hands well before returning home. Your wife will appreciate it!

  Now that we have everything together let’s head out to our favorite fishing hole, whether a pond, lake or creek it doesn’t matter. This is a great time of year for creek fishing if you don’t mind snakes. A hot day in the shade of a tree while sitting on the creek bank is a pretty good way to spend the afternoon, especially if you have a nice breeze. An occasional bite and the company of a good buddy, like grandkids or your spouse just makes it better.

What a beautiful Monday!

  Fishing should be relaxing and a time of peacefulness and reflection. OK, I’ll admit those days when the sand bass are running, and you’re wearing out a silver jig or small spoon, thinking your arm will fall off from casting so many times are pretty hard to beat. But so is sitting on a quiet pond or creek in the early morning while watching the woods come alive with bird and wildlife – it is hard to beat!

Take a buddy!

  Remember our Saviour, Jesus Christ was the greatest fisherman of all time and he didn’t have a bass boat! Slow down and take time to witness and enjoy all that our Creator has blessed us with and get out and renew your acquaintance with our beautiful Oklahoma outdoors!

  And remember, take someone with you!

Trend of Increased Participation in High School Athletics May Be Changing in the Future

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While the statistics from nearly three decades show increased participation in high school athletics, that trend may be about to change.

An earlier article documented some of the reasons participation has been increasing, but let’s examine the possibility that the trend may reverse in the next few years.

In an article published in 2015 it was noted that over 70% of children drop out of organized sports by the age of 13.

There are some legitimate reasons for this as competition begins to increase as a child begins to compete at the junior high and high school level therefore eliminating the kids who may not be as gifted in the athletic arena.

What are some of the reasons for kids to quit sports? Here are five reasons that are bound to influence participation at the high school level at some points.

1. Playing sports is no longer fun.

The simple fact is that as kids enter junior high and high school there is increased pressure to win. In kids’ sports, that is not always the case, unless you have a parent or coach that has lost perspective on the purpose of kids’ sports. As mentioned above, the kids who may not be as gifted are not going to enjoy the experience nearly as much as the pressure to win increases.

2. They have lost ownership in the experience.

This is a most interesting reason and much of the reason for this is the influence of the video game industry. Once a kid gets a controller in his/her hands, they are in charge of the experience. If they are playing a sports video game, they can choose their own players and put together a customized team. They determine how much playing time each person gets. They choose a strategy. They are in control of the experience. Obviously, if they participate in kids’ sports or stay around until the junior high or high school level, coaches are in control of their experience for the most part. Anyone with some age on them will have to let this reason sink in a bit because before the video game experience, this was no doubt not a factor in someone deciding not to compete in sports.

3. They don’t get enough playing time.

This is certainly a factor at the kids’ sports level. It is certainly all right to play to win at any level, but winning at all cost – including not including all the players – at the younger levels is not all right. Once students reach junior and particularly high school, competitiveness becomes a greater issue and the best players should be put on the field, court or diamond to help ensure success. However, when a team is getting drilled, it is appropriate to “clear the bench” and give everyone some playing time.

4. They are afraid to make mistakes.

Grade school kids want to please their parents and their coaches. They begin to find some acceptance when they succeed. On the negative side, overzealous parents and/or coaches can influence kids to become timid. Their will to try is diminished by the reaction of the parents.

5. They feel disrespected.

A 2014 study of characteristics that make up a great coach reveals the number one thing that gives a coach that label is “respect and encouragement.” Kids today have it tough. Many kids have a difficult life because of family circumstances. Some kids are in very difficult environments. They need an adult to come alongside them and care about them and encourage them. That doesn’t mean that a coach has to be soft. Kids are primarily looking for an adult that will invest in their lives.

What are the answers to these factors? Probably the most important one is that parents, coaches and administrators have the responsibility to create an environment that serves the needs, values and priorities of the kids – not just the adults.

This can be accomplished by communicating better with kids, understanding what they want out of the experience of participating in sports and then trying as much as possible to give some ownership of the experience to the participates.

Other articles bring up other reasons why participation in sports may be impacted.

Skyrocketing costs, sport specialization and the need for coaches to have more training has impacted the participation in kids’ sports which will at some point impact high school sports.

Traveling teams have been the number one reason for increased costs for families.

There is a movement to try and overcome the impact of sport specialization. Professional sports leagues have actually been working together to encourage kids to play more than one sport.

“The best athlete is a kid who played multiple sports,” said Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred in a recent article. Manfred spoke with commissioners of the National Basketball Association, National Football League and National Hockey League to come to this conclusion.

One other disturbing trend is watching high school athletes – many of them very talented – suddenly decide to give up a sport when they hit their junior or senior years.

Burnout has caused this to happen with many kids. They have been playing the sport competitively since a very early age and are simply tired of it.

 Coaches and parents would be wise to help guard against this as kids grow up.

 Next Week: One Sport Suffers From Declining Participation Above All

Reasons for High School Sports Participation Varies

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Traditionally in small towns across Oklahoma and most of the nation, high school sports are a point of pride.

For instance, in most small towns in Texas, you will find a sign along the main highway through town that directs you to the high school football stadium.

In large metropolitan areas, high school sports are not as important to the population at large, but still participation in both large and small cities in high school sports is at an all-time high.

The reasons for high school students choosing to play sports will vary.

Some students love the cheer of the crowds, the talk in the locker room, the shared experiences of teammates, the ability to meet new people (usually in larger schools) and being able to represent their school or community.

On the negative side, some students are participating in sports because of pressure from parents or from their friends.

Others are simply trying to earn a college scholarship, although the reality of that happening is relatively slim if you look at statistics.

Many high school students have been playing their respective sports since grade school.

Some sports such as wrestling, gymnastics, swimming, baseball and basketball can start competitively as young as five or six years old.

Other sports such as softball, football, track and field, lacrosse (primarily a sport in the upper Midwest and northeast) and cross country come along a little later.

But, one trend that seems to be happening in schools both large in small is the specialization of sports. In other words more athletes are choosing to compete in only one sport and maybe two.

Most of the time the choice to focus on one sport is fueled that hope of furthering the athletic career beyond high school.

That is a somewhat unrealistic dream as only about two percent of high school athletes make it to the next level according to a study in 2012.

In 2017, the percentage increased slightly, but it is still not very high. The percentage of participants going on to compete in any level of college sports from the sports offered at Ryan and Waurika, for instance, would be approximately five percent. The percentage is the same for both boys and girls.

Whether the choice of playing only one sport is driven by the individual coaches or a parent, it is having impact at all sizes of schools.

Typically in smaller schools like Ryan and Waurika, the participation of every student athlete in most sports is necessary for the school to be competitive in the sports offered.

There are simply not an abundance of bodies in the local schools for that trend not to impact sports at Ryan and Waurika and schools like them across the state and nation.

But, it has a great impact on larger schools as well. It is just different.

A student-athlete that chooses to focus on one sport is potentially an outstanding athlete in other sports as well. So, at the larger schools, the impact of this is felt in the quality of the product placed on the field, court or diamond by the school.

Whatever drives student-athletes to compete in high school sports will hopefully motivate them to compete in multiple sports so that schools like Ryan and Waurika can remain competitive in all sports.

Next Week: Reasons for Lack of Participation in Sports

Participation In High School Sports Still A Popular Decision for Teens

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Over the next four weeks sports writer Trey Smart will take a look a trends of participation in high school sports and its impact.

 Some things have changed on the high school sports scene over the past 20 or so years.

 What hasn’t changed is the passion by participating athletes to perform well, represent their school and celebrate successes.

 Overall participation in high school sports is not down, but it is down for a few sports. This is mainly due to student athletes choosing to focus on one on two sports.

 Certainly there are always going to be young men and women that are just not athletes. They, like this writer, missed out on the athletic genes or they do not have an interest in sports.

 Those students have chosen other paths such as band, drama, vocal music, Future Farmers of America or academics in which they can excel.

 They are to be commended just as much as those that tend to get a little more publicity because of their achievements on the field, court, diamond or track.

 Research shows that participation in high school sports has increased 28 consecutive years.

 In 1971 – the first year a statistic is available – 3,960,952 student athletes participated in high school sports across the nation.

 However, the latest figure available (2017), shows 7,963,535 high school athletes participated in sports.

 This increase has been led by an increased number of participants in girls’ sports and by the number of sports being offered at the high school level.

 The top three sports that showed increased participation nationwide were soccer, track and field (outdoor) and cross country.

 Ryan and Waurika have both been offering cross country for a number of years, but it is a relatively new sport at the two schools.

 One sport is down in overall participation across the nation – 11-man football. But, involvement in six-man and eight-man football has increased over the years.

 One of the reasons for a decline in 11-man football in Oklahoma is that schools in rural areas are moving to eight-man football from 11-man football because of decreased population.

 No doubt the same thing is happening in Texas and other states that play eight-man and six-man football.

 Two or three schools per year in Oklahoma make the switch to eight-man football from 11-man football.

 Plus, many schools that choose to start a football program begin at the eight-man level and then eventually move to 11-man football, while other schools stay at the eight-man level.

 That has been true in southwest and south-central Oklahoma dating back to the late 1970’s when Ryan made the switch from 11-man to eight-man football. It has continued as recent as last year when Empire dropped to eight-man football.

 One of the reasons for the increased participation in high school athletics across the nation over the years is the number of sports offered by schools both large and small.

 Waurika and Ryan both offer around 12 sports. Some sports come and go such as golf and softball and even track and field at Ryan.

 Nationwide, 60 different sports are offered by various schools around the country. Obviously, with more sports offered at a given school, participation in sports will increase.

 The number one sport nationwide for boys is basketball. That is followed by outdoor track and baseball.

 In girls’ sports, basketball is also the top sport followed by outdoor track and volleyball.

 Another fact that influences the nationwide statistics is the fact there were more high school students in 2017 than in 1971.

 Population certainly has an impact on participation. An increased number of high school students automatically results in increased participation on the national level.

 Next Week: A Look at Reasons High School Sports Participation Varies

New Ryan Boys’ Basketball Coach Knows The Territory

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Being familiar with your surroundings makes anyone a little more comfortable – even if it is your first job.

 Such is the case for the newly named Ryan boys’ basketball coach, Austin Masoner.

 If that last name sounds familiar, it should because Austin is a 2014 Waurika High School graduate.

 His father, Joe, has served on the coaching staff at Waurika for over 20 years, so he has been involved in plenty of competition between Ryan and Waurika.

 But, the coaching name doesn’t stop there. Austin’s grandfather, Roy, coached at Temple, Walters and Tipton.

 Roy Masoner actually coached a couple of years with Ryan graduate Doug Cathey when the former All-Big Eight defensive end was the head coach at Temple.

 So the territory which Austin Masoner enters with his first paid coaching job will be familiar. He grew up competing against Ryan as an outstanding athlete at Waurika.

 Masoner, who just graduated earlier this month with a bachelor of science degree in sports and exercise science from nearby Cameron University in Lawton.

 Last month, he was named the new junior high and high school boys’ basketball coach at Ryan.

 “I really am excited,” said the younger Masoner. “When they first called me and told me they would be meeting, I was really anxious.

 “But, they called me back late the night of the meeting and offered me the job,” Masoner noted.

 “It was surprising to get this job,” said Masoner. “I didn’t expect to be hired as a head coach right off, but it was a great experience.”

 Austin has hit the ground running as he met with potential basketball players for the 2019 season last Monday night.

 “It (the meeting) went well,” said Masoner. “It was kind of a last-second deal, so I am not sure the word got out to everyone.”

 Masoner will face a tough situation in his first year of coaching as he inherits a Cowboy squad that counted only four wins during the 2018 campaign. Two starters from that team are expected to return in 2019.

 Masoner’s expectations are realistic. “If they buy in and put fort the effort with the schedule we have I think we can be a .500 team,” Masoner commented. “I want to be competitive every night.”

 On that schedule will be Ryan’s long-time rival and Masoner’s former school – Waurika. And, the current boys coach at Waurika just happens to be his dad.

 “It will be real interesting,” said Masoner when asked about the unique experience of coaching against his dad who is a graduate of Walters High School. “We didn’t always see eye-to-eye when I was playing so it will be good to see who comes out on top.

 “I know he won’t let me hear the end of it if he beats me,” Masoner noted with some laughter.

 As Austin begins his coaching career he can draw on a varied number of experiences from his high school days competing in football, basketball, track and baseball.

 Masoner was all-area all four years in basketball for the Eagles and was also an Oil Field Conference and Southern Eight Conference all-star all four years. In his freshman season he was selected as the defensive MVP in the Southern Eight.

 In football, he was all-area for three years and possibly could have been his senior year, but a knee surgery forced him to forego his senior year on the gridiron.

 Masoner will likely try to employ a high-tempo, fast-paced offense as he takes the reins of the Cowboys.

 “I hope we can get up and down the floor because that is what I like to do,” Masoner commented.

 The first-year coach will try to experiment a great deal on defense hoping to switch defenses on nearly every possession.

 Not only will Masoner be in his first year of coaching, but he should enjoy the new improvements slated to get under way soon for the Ryan gymnasium.

 The nearly 60-year-old facility will be undergoing a face lift with a new concession area, new entry, new home locker rooms for both boys and girls and additional seating on the south side of the gym.

 It will be the first major renovations since the gym was built.

 “It will be a great thing and it can also be seen as starting something new – both with the building and with the team,” said Masoner. “The job is always a little easier with new facilities.”

 So Masoner has his work cut out for him, but knowing the area and no doubt some of the people will be an asset as he launches what surely will be a fruitful and long coaching career.

Tomberlin Brothers Make Mark On Ryan Athletics This Year

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Sibling rivalry is a real thing

 Just ask Ryan High School athletes Dawson and Grayson Tomberlin.

 However, when siblings play on the same team, that rivalry tends to go out the window.

 Dawson, who graduated from Ryan High School last weekend, and Grayson, who just completed his freshman year in high school were starters on all three athletic squads this past year at Ryan.

 Both student-athletes, who are the sons of Tony and Mandy Tomberlin, competed in football, basketball and baseball. And, they did not just compete, but they excelled for most of the season in all three sports.

 “It was pretty exciting to play together,” said Dawson in a recent phone interview. “It was really a pretty good feeling.”

 Grayson echoed the sentiments of his older brother, “It was a pretty cool experience to be playing on the same team all season.”

 And while the outstanding pair of athletes enjoyed the experience of playing together for the Cowboys during the past nine months, it has not always been that way.

 Growing up in the Tomberlin home the two boys often engaged in backyard or driveway competition.

 “It (competing against each other at home) was pretty intense,” said Grayson.

 “A few times we ended up in a fight,” said Dawson, who admitted they spent a lot of time playing against each other growing up.

 While Dawson was winding up his high school athletic career at Ryan and Grayson’s high school career was just getting started this past year, both played key roles for the Cowboys in each of the sports.

 The most successful sport this past year for the Cowboys was on the gridiron. The Tomberlin brothers were a big part of leading the Cowboys to their first playoff berth since 2014.

 Dawson, a running back and linebacker, was named the co-most valuable player in District B-4 and was selected along with Tate Kimbro, to represent Ryan at the upcoming Eight-Man All-Star game in June.

 Dawson, who admits football is his favorite sport, was the third leading rusher for the Cowboys and caught five passes for 160 yards. He was also a defensive stalwart and was counted on to provide overall leadership to the team by veteran mentor Stan Mueggenborg.

 As a freshman, Grayson started at the quarterback spot for the Cowboys and was the leading rusher with 638 yards and he passed for another 731 yards. He was also the fourth leading tackler from the defensive backfield.

 Both brothers point to the football season for their most memorable moments of the 2017-2018 sports year.

 “My favorite moment of the year was when I caught a pass over my shoulder against Waurika,” said Dawson.

 It was the play that put the Cowboys in position for Skyler Parkhill to snag a 15-yard touchdown pass from Grayson with 14 seconds left in the game that sent the contest into overtime.

 The Cowboys went on to defeat Waurika, 44-36, in a come-from-behind, double overtime thriller. Grayson points to the entire game as his highlight of his freshman athletic year.

 On the hardwood, Grayson was counted on to direct the Cowboy offense from his point guard position and he led the team in scoring in seven contests during the season.

 Dawson was also a starter on the basketball squad and played in the Southern Eight senior all-star game. He was also awarded a scholarship by the Southern Eight conference for participation in athletics, academics and completing an essay.

 In the recently completed baseball season, which Grayson admitted was by far his favorite sport, the younger Tomberlin was the catalyst for the Cowboys’ run production. He set a school mark for most runs batted in during a single game with six against Grandfield.

 The brothers would be quick to recognize the contributions of their teammates. Both were somewhat reluctant to talk about their achievements in the phone interview.

 There was one incident during the football season that exemplifies what can happen when two brothers that spend years growing up together get to play on the same team in high school.

 In a key district football contest with Central High that decided the district title, the two brothers took matters in their own hands on a fourth down during the game.

 Coach Mueggenborg had directed the team to punt the football, but as the Cowboys approached the line of scrimmage, Grayson, who was slated to punt the ball, gave some hand signals to Dawson that he would look for him to complete a pass on a fake punt attempt.

 The play did not end well as the pass fell incomplete and Central High took over on downs. Both coaches, including assistant coach and dad, Tony, reacted strongly to the antics by the brothers.

 After a cool down period, the two brothers and dad were able to find some humor in what happened.

 Some people would call it a foolish thing. Others might label it a freshman mistake. More than likely it was just two brothers who had spent lots of time together in the yard just trying to make a play to help their team rally in an important contest.

 It has not been a unique experience for the Tomberlin boys to have their dad on the sideline or the dugout over the past football and baseball seasons. The elder Tomberlin serves as assistant coach for both sports and is also the principal at RHS.

 “It has been an awesome experience having dad coach us,” said Grayson about his father who has been involved with both boys’ teams since T-ball days.

 “It was great,” added Dawson, “it might have been a little tough at home after the game and it was harder, but it was cool to have him with us.”

Grayson looks forward to furthering his athletic career at Ryan. He is not only an outstanding athlete, but is also active in Future Farmers of America and Beta Club.

 “At the first of the season it (playing with all upper classmen) was a bit intimidating, but after a while I was comfortable,” said Grayson of taking on the quarterback role as a freshman. “It was pretty much the same way with basketball.”

 Grayson will spend the summer working on improving his skills particularly in football and baseball. He will participate in the team football camp at Shattuck in a few weeks and has a baseball opportunity for the summer. He also plans to work at the school for the summer.

 Dawson plans to further his education at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant and is set to major in Occupational Health and Safety. He was also active at Ryan in FFA and Beta Club.

 Dawson’s summer plans include working around the school. He is also looking forward to the eight-man all-star game in Miami.

 “Coach Mueggenborg told me it will be the most fun week of my life and I’m ready for it.”

 While there have been many sibling combinations through the years compete for the Cowboys and Cowgirls through the decades, these two boys have represented their school and their family well in being teammates at RHS.

Ryan’s Martin, Three Eagles To Participate In All-Star Grid Game

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Four Ryan and Waurika seniors will see the gridiron one more time as they have been selected to play in the Southwest Senior Bowl football game.

The contest will be Saturday at 2 p.m. at Cache High School’s Ulrich Stadium.

Joseph Martin of Ryan and Seth Cathey, Devin Dobbs and Scott Showalter of Waurika will play for the West All-Stars in the game.

Cathey was also slated to play in the Senior Basketball Classic at Cache High School last Tuesday for the Middle West team.

The West football squad features players from Altus, Cache, Cyril, Frederick, Hobart, Hollis, Lawton Eisenhower, Lawton High School and Mountain View-Gotebo.

Martin, who was a defensive stalwart for the Cowboys last football season, was the team’s leading tackler. He was also the District B-4 Utility Player of Year. When the Coach Stan Mueggenborg’s Cowboys needed a big stop on defense, Martin was usually found in the middle of things.

Martin also contributed to the Cowboys’ 6-5 season with 174 yards rushing on just 27 attempts and caught 15 passes for 171 yards.

Cathey, who will also represent Waurika in the Eight-Man All-Star game in June, was the district’s player of the year on defense. He was second on the squad in tackles with 104, but also had 30 catches from the tight end position for 555 yards and 10 touchdowns.

He also contributed to the Eagles’ rushing attack with 286 yards on 50 carries and five touchdowns for Waurika that made their second straight playoff appearance.

Dobbs and Showalter were both picks on the second team for District B-4. Dobbs was a reserve running back for Coach Glenn Howard’s squad. He saw most of his action on the defensive side of the ball with 65 total tackles, including four tackles for losses.

Showalter contributed 52 tackles for the Eagles on defense and also had 156 yards rushing on just 27 attempts. He also added 10 receptions for 284 yards and five scores.

 The West All-Stars will be coached by Cache’s Les Abbott and the Cache football staff.

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