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Bad Start Signals Doom for Cowboys In Season Opener

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 Things did not start well for the Ryan Cowboys last Friday night in the season opener at Bray-Doyle.

And, things got increasingly worse as the Donkeys buried the Cowboys, 60-6, in a game halted at the half because of the 45-point mercy rule.

The Cowboys will be back in action tonight (Thursday) when they play host to the Geary Bison. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Bob Givens Sports Complex.

Geary fell to Canton, 50-16, last Friday night. The Bison are 0-1 for the season and this will be the first meeting between the two schools.

The contest with Bray-Doyle started badly as the Donkeys intercepted a deflected pass on the Cowboys’ first offensive play and returned it for a score.

On the Cowboys next possession, they were forced to punt and the Donkeys returned the punt for a score.

Bray-Doyle proceeded to score on seven of nine offensive possessions.

The Donkeys lost a fumble on one possession and took a knee to end the game on the final possession.

The Cowboys found themselves in a 16-0 hole after those first two scores, but the Cowboys were able to put together their only scoring drive of the night on the next possession.

The Cowboys went on a six-play, 57-yard drive for the score that included one play that lost 10 yards.

The big play in the drive came on Grayson Tomberlin’s 57-yard pass to Julian Rodriguez that set the Cowboys up at the Donkey 10.

Three plays later, Tomberlin scampered in from nine yards out for the score with 8:02 left to play in the first quarter. The run for two points failed, but Ryan had cut the lead to 16-6.

The rest of the night was filled with frustration for the Cowboys that was created by poor tackling, dropped passes, failure to convert on fourth downs and injury issues.

The Donkeys scored on drives of 77, 30, 76, 91, 59, 37 and 36 yards.

Trailing 34-6 at the end of the first quarter, the Cowboys opened the second frame by moving to the Donkey nine.

Racen Williams scrambled into the end zone from nine yards out, but the Cowboys were flagged for holding and that would be the final scoring threat for the Cowboys in the contest.

The Cowboy defense had no answer for Bray-Doyle’s Tyler Anderson who rushed 14 times for 185 yards and scored four times in addition to returning a punt 69 yards for a touchdown.

Cody Edwards also eclipsed the 100-yard mark rushing with nine carries for 113 yard and two touchdowns.

The Cowboys were unable to generate a lot of offense during the game, but Tomberlin did pass for 151 yards. However, the senior quarterback playing with a knee injury, was only nine of 32 passing.

COWBOY CORRAL: You have to go back to 1981 to find the last time the Donkeys defeated the Cowboys, however, the two schools did not meet between 1992 and 2015….The Donkeys broke a 16-game losing streak against the Cowboys…Ryan still leads the series, 22-4….The 60 points scored by the Donkeys is the most points scored against the Cowboys in a victory, but is the second highest total for Bray in the series…The Donkeys scored 74 points against the Cowboys in a wild 78-74 Ryan win in 2018….The six points scored by the Cowboys is the fewest by a Ryan team in the 26-game series with Bray-Doyle….The Donkeys did have six players on the field against the Cowboys that had not seen action in the season-opener or the pre-season scrimmage for Bray-Doyle.

 Game In Figures

                                    RHS           BDHS

First Downs                   6                13

Yards Rushing            14-24         28-385

Yards Passing               151               0

Passes                       9-36            0-0

Passes Int. By                0                1

Fumbles, Lost              1-1              1-1

Punts                           1-30             0-0

Penalties                      3-40            4-35

                  SCORE BY QUARTERS

RYAN     6                0              x                x—6

B-D           34              26              x                x—60

                  FIRST QUARTER

B-D – Sam Woods 31 interception return (Tyler Anderson run), 11:37

B-D – Anderson 69 punt return (Weston Edwards run), 9:55

RYAN – Grayson Tomberlin 9 run (run failed), 8:02

B-D – Anderson 71 run (run failed), 6:58

B-D – Cody Edwards 30 run (pass failed), 5:45

B-D – C. Edwards 38 run (run failed), 1:32

                  SECOND QUARTER

B-D – Anderson 1 run (pass failed), 9:23

B-D – Anderson 7 run (Anderson run), 6:22

B-D – Anderson 37 run (pass failed), 4:18

B-D – W. Edwards 35 run (pass failed), 1:48

                  INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RYAN: Rushing – Caleb Perrin 5-17, Racen Williams 7-6, Grayson Tomberlin 2-1; Passing – Tomberlin 9-32-151-1; Williams 0-4-0-1; Receiving – Skyler Wickware 4-36, Julian Rodriguez 2-83, Williams 2-27, Mason Adsit 1-5; Tackles – Rodriguez 6, Wickware 6, Perrin 6, Williams 5, Trey Bryant 3, Tomberlin 2, Ethan Burden 1, Adsit 1.

BRAY-DOYLE: Rushing – Tyler Anderson 14-185, Cody Edwards 9-113, Weston Edwards 3-80, Alex Alvarez 2-7.

Ryan Softball Squad Eyes Second Half of Season for Improvement

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 After a slow start to the fast-pitch softball season, the Ryan Cowgirls have shown some improvement and they hope the trend continues through the second half of the season.

The Cowgirls have had an extended layoff thanks to the schedule and to the weather which forced the postponement of a scheduled game with Waurika on Tuesday.

Photo by Shelley Villarreal

Ryan is slated to return to action today when the Cowgirls play host to conference rival Temple on Larry Ninman Field at the Bob Givens Sports Complex.

On Monday, the Cowgirls will host Wilson and next weekend will compete in the Temple Invitational Tournament.

Photo by Shelley Villarreal

The remainder of the regular season schedule will feature teams the Cowgirls have already seen during the first half of the schedule.

If the Cowgirls can continue to improve, a few more wins might be possible.

The Cowgirls have one scheduled game with Big Pasture and the two teams have split their two meetings.

The remainder of the schedule will prepare the Cowgirls for the Class B District Tournament that begins on September 24 and the site and pairings will be announced soon.

Photo by Shelley Villarreal
Photo by Shelley Villarreal
Photo by Shelley Villarreal

Ryan Looks to Overcome Depth Issues to Have Successful 2020 Season

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The move down to Class C for the Ryan Cowboys could not have come at a better time.

The Cowboys have battled a numbers problem the past two seasons and went into a couple of games in 2019 with only one or two players on the sideline.

But some talented players returning from 2019, the Cowboys hope the move to Class C will be a profitable one.

The 2020 season gets underway Friday as the Cowboys travel to Bray to face the Bray-Doyle Donkeys. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

While the Cowboys have won the past 16 meetings with the Donkeys, there have been some very competitive games – especially the past two seasons.

The Cowboys will feature one of the top players in Class C at the quarterback spot in Grayson Tomberlin, who has directed the Cowboy offense in each of the past three seasons.

However, Tomberlin was hurt in the only scrimmage held by the Cowboys and will likely miss most of the non-district schedule for the Cowboys.

Racen Williams, a freshman, will get the nod at the quarterback position for the season opener.

“He can do a good job for s and is pretty athletic,” said third-year coach Tony Tomberlin.

One of the best linemen in Class C returns at center for the Cowboys in Trey Bryant. Bryant has been a three-year starter for the Cowboys.

Joining Bryant on the offensive line are returning starter Mike Regher and newcomer Clayton Applin.

There are still some question marks for Coach Tony Tomberlin and assistants Tony Roberts, Kenny Barnes and Zak Roberts.

The Cowboys will have to find a replacement for graduated senior Andrew Villerreal at the running back position and the defense will feature players in some new positions than what they have played before.

And, numbers will still be an issue for the Cowboys even against Class C competition.

Ryan has 12 players out for football and can ill afford a series of injuries. If that happens, the 2020 season that seems so promising could end abruptly.

Caleb Perrin returns for the Cowboys at fullback. Ethan Burden will see action in the backfield in the Cowboys’ new offense for 2020.

The Cowboys will be talented at the receiver positions. Julian Rodriguez will be the wide receiver, while Skyler Wickware and Mason Adsit will man the tight end positions.

“Offensively, we will be OK, but defense will be a question mark,” coach Tomberlin reflected. “But, the defense really played well in our scrimmage at Wilson.”

Bryant will return at nose guard and Adsit and Regher will be at the defensive end positions.

Perrin will man the middle linebacker spot with Williams and Wickware at the other linebacker positions.

Burden and Rodriguez will be counted on in the defensive backfield for the Cowboys.

“This is group may be the most fun group I have coached,” coach Tomberlin noted.

“We have good chemistry and they really get along well,” coach Tomberlin added. “They work hard and do everything we have been asking them to do and that will lead to success.”

The district competition will be top heavy, but the Cowboys could challenge for the title or the runner up spot which would feature a home playoff game.

Mountain View-Gotebo is the consensus favorite to win the district title and Maysville will be in the thick of things as well.

The other teams in the district will present a challenge to the Cowboys because with the lack of numbers, the Cowboys are not likely to dominate any team on the schedule.

The Cowboys were ranked 12th in The Daily Oklahoman’s preseason poll.

Here’s a preview of the 2020 Cowboy opponents:

at Bray-Doyle

Coach: Marcus Knight, 3rd year (5-16)

Last Year’s Record: 2-8

Preseason Ranking: Not ranked; 4th or 6th in District B-4

Last Playoff Appearance: 2018, lost to Snyder, 62-12 in the first round of the Class B playoffs

Last Meeting: Ryan 30, Bray-Doyle 14, in 2019

First Meeting: Ryan 21, Bray-Doyle 0, in 1977

Series Record: Ryan leads, 22-3.

Zero Week Result: lost to Maysville, 38-0

PREVIEW: While the record for 2019 did not reflect it, the Donkeys put an improved product on the field. With eight starters returning on offensive for Bray-Doyle, the outlook is optimistic after winning only 16 games over the past 12 seasons. Five of the eight returning starters are juniors. Tyler Anderson will likely lead the offensive attack for the Donkeys. The senior running back rushed for 973 yards a year ago. The Donkeys have a legitimate shot at the playoffs for the first time since 2004 and this will be a good test for the Cowboys in the season opener.

Geary

Coach: David Ellis, 1st year

Last Year’s Record: 1-9

Preseason Ranking: Not ranked; 6th or 7th in District C-1

Last Playoff Appearance: 2016, lost to Depew, 42-20, in Class B Quarterfinals

Last Meeting: N/A

First Meeting: N/A

Series Record: This will be the first meeting between the two schools.

PREVIEW: The Bison return five players on offense and three starters on defense and will be looking to improve from the 1-9 mark in each of the past two seasons. The Bison will be learning a new offensive scheme and a new defensive system, but with the returning experience for the Bison, they should pick things up quickly.

at Central High

Coach: Gerald White, 1st year

Last Year’s Record: 4-6

Preseason Ranking: Not Ranked; 6th in District B-3

Last Playoff Appearance: 2019, lost to Burns Flat-Dill City, 54-6, in first round of Class B playoffs.

Last Meeting: Central High 56, Ryan 20, in 2019

First Meeting: Ryan 50, Central High 0 in 1978

Series Record: Central High leads the series, 23-14.

Zero Week Result: defeated Paoli, 48-12

PREVIEW: The Bronchos face somewhat of a rebuilding year in 2020 and they will do it with a new first-year coach in Gerald White. White brings a wealth of experience, however, as he has been an assistant at Tipton the past few years and was part of the Tigers’ recent success. Quarterback Payton Spencer, who was a starter as a freshman a year ago, will head the offensive attack for the Bronchos. Three returning senior starters on offense will give Spencer some experience around him. Jax Hansen will spearhead the defense. The 5-10, 175-pound senior was a two-way starter last year for the Bronchos. This will be an excellent test for the Cowboys in a final tuneup before district play begins.

Thackerville (HC)

Coach: Hunter McCage, 3rd year (1-19)

Last Year’s Record: 0-10

Preseason Ranking: Not Ranked; 6th or 7th in District C-2

Last Playoff Appearance: 2017, lost to Pond Creek-Hunter, 48-0, in the first round of the Class C playoffs

Last Meeting: Ryan 40, Thackerville 8 in 2017

First Meeting: Ryan 44, Thackerville 18 in 1980

Series Record: Ryan leads the series, 21-9.

PREVIEW: The Wildcats have fallen on hard times the past two seasons as they have won only one of the past 20 contests. The two tough seasons followed seven straight years of playoff appearances for the Wildcats. Six starters return on offense for the Wildcats including sophomore running back Lucas Rickwa. Lucas Scarborough, a 6-2, 225-pound junior, will return at quarterback. His targets will likely be 6-2, 165-poound Blayne Giourgus and Brady Pendargraft, a 6-4, 155-pound junior. Six starters also return on defense where quickness will be the strength of the Wildcats on that side of the ball. The Cowboys will need a strong performance to open the district slate on a successful note.

Mtn. View-Gotebo

Coach: Jeff Coakley, 4th year (18-15)

Last Year’s Record: 8-3

Preseason Ranking: Class C: VYPE (3rd), The Tulsa World (2nd); The Daily Oklahoman (6th); 1st in District C-2

Last Playoff Appearance: 2019, lost to Timberlake, 28-24, in the first round of the Class C playoffs.

Last Meeting: Mt. View-Gotebo 64, Ryan 36, in 2015

First Meeting: Ryan 47, Mt. View-Gotebo 14 in 1990

Series Record: Ryan leads, 10-6

PREVIEW: The Tigers will try to build on last year’s 8-3 campaign and are predicted to do exactly that as they have been tabbed as the favorites in District C-2. Heading the bevy of experience returning for the Tigers is Rylan Belcher, a 5-8, 180-pound junior who had 1,110 yards passing a year ago. He added 1,305 yards rushing and scored 21 touchdowns. All of the returning starters for the Tigers are juniors or seniors. Two talented defensive ends, Connor Leiphardt and Jarrett Butler, will anchor the defense that will feature quite a bit of speed. The Tigers were ranked second in The Tulsa World’s Class C preseason poll. If the Tigers can avoid the injury bug, they could make a deep run into the Class C playoffs.

at Paoli

Coach: Lance Sumner, 1st year

Last Year’s Record: 2-8

Preseason Ranking: Not ranked; 5th or 6th in District C-2

Last Playoff Appearance: 2018, lost to Pond Creek-Hunter, 54-8, in the Class C semifinals

Last Meeting: Ryan 40, Paoli 0 in 2009

First Meeting: 6-6 tie in 1966

Series Record: Ryan lead the series, 20-12-1

Zero Week Result: Lost to Central High, 48-12

PREVIEW: It has been over a decade since these two teams have met on the gridiron, but the Pugs will pose threat to the Cowboys’ chances of making the playoffs. After two very successful seasons in which Paoli was 18-6, the Pugs slipped to just 2-8 in 2019. Four starters are set to return for the Pugs on offense and while Paoli will feature a lot of young players, the quarterback is the most experienced position with Chase Parker directing the Pugs’ attack. He threw for 987 yards a year ag and added 623 yards rushing. Andrew Finley should be the ringleader on defense from the defensive end position. He had 78 tackles for the Pugs last season. The Cowboys cannot afford a lost to the Pugs if they hope to make a playoff appearance in 2020.

October 15: Maysville

Coach: Dace Lemieux, 3rd year (11-11)

Last Year’s Record: 7-4

Preseason Ranking: Class C: VYPE (7th); The Daily Oklahoman (10th); 2nd or 3rd in District C-2

Last Playoff Appearance: 2019, lost to Waynoka, 52-28, in first round of Class C playoffs

Last Meeting: Maysville 54, Ryan 8 in 2019

First Meeting: Ryan 6, Maysville 0, in 1949

Series Record: Ryan leads, 4-3.

Zero Week Result: defeated Bray-Doyle, 38-0

PREVIEW: The Warriors have an abundance of talent coming back for the 2020 season after a 7-4 campaign in 2019. The Warriors have made the playoff in five of the past six seasons and are hoping for a deep run in the post-season for 2020. Noah Chambers, a senior, returns to direct the Warriors on offense. He will have a veteran running back  to hand the ball to in Gunner Chambers. Brodie Albright, a 6-6, 285-pound senior defensive end figures to be the top defender for the Warriors. He had 80 tackles and 10 sacks a year ago. If the Cowboys want to contend for the district title, this will be a key contest on the schedule.

at Temple

Coach: Barry Giles, 2nd Year

Last Year’s Record: Did not play season

Preseason Ranking: Not ranked; 8th in District C-2

Last Playoff Appearance: 2012, lost to Forgan, 64-0, in first round of Class C playoffs.

Last Meeting: Ryan 46, Temple 0, in 2018 before last year’s forfeit by Temple

First Meeting: Temple 35, Ryan 0, in 1921

Series Record: Temple leads, 49-32-5

PREVIEW: Hopefully the Tigers can return to the gridiron in 2020 after sitting out the 2019 season. Before that, the Tigers had suffered through back-to-back 0-10 seasons – and one of those seasons included four forfeits. Temple has not played a football game since October of 2018. The Tigers will be young and inexperienced and it could be another tough season for Temple.

October 30: Grandfield

Coach: Darren Lamar, 3rd year (4-15)

Last Year’s Record: 3-7

Preseason Ranking: Not ranked; 7th or 5th in District C-2

Last Playoff Appearance: 2017, lost to Tyrone, 76-30 in first round of Class C playoffs.

Last Meeting: Ryan 66, Grandfield 20 in 2019

First Meeting: Ryan 12, Grandfield 6 in 1923

Series Record: Grandfield leads, 36-25-5

PREVIEW: The Cowboys have had their way with the Bearcats the past two seasons, but Grandfield always poses a threat because they consistently have team speed and 2020 figures to be no different. Blake Houston returns at running back to provide a threat any time he touches the ball. Ethan Hammer, a junior quarterback, is small but has some ability. Defense may be the strong part of the Bearcats in the upcoming season with four starters returning. The Bearcats have not had a winning season since 2016 and with the inexperience of the 2020 squad, it figures to be another tough season. The Cowboys cannot afford an upset in this contest.

at Fox

Coach: Brent Phelps, 12th season (85-41)

Last Year’s Record: 3-6

Preseason Ranking: Not Ranked; 3rd in District C-2.

Last Playoff Appearance: 2017, lost to Carnegie, 62-16, in first round of Class B playoffs

Last Meeting: Ryan 42, Fox 6 in 2017

First Meeting: Ryan 20, Fox 6 in 1933

Series Record: Fox leads the series, 15-10-3

PREVIEW: Fox will be looking to rebound from a disappointing season in 2019 and will be the Cowboys’ chief competitor for a playoff spot in District C-2. The Foxes will have experience on their side as they return six players on offense including talented senior tight end Robert Davis. Davis will likely be the top target of returning quarterback Hawk Anderson and he will be a key blocker for returning senior running back Blain Anderson. Six starters also return on the defensive side of the ball. Davis figures to be a problem whether he plays linebacker or defensive end for the Foxes. This final game of the regular season could decide the third and fourth positions in the district.

Waurika Gridders Are Gunning For Third Straight District Title in 2020

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Coming off back-to-back double-digit win seasons the 2020 edition of the Waurika Eagle football squad will be facing somewhat of a rebuilding task and a more daunting schedule.

Waurika has three games on the schedule that feature teams that have won state titles within the past five years – a couple of them have more than one gold ball in that time.

And, the Eagles will be competing in District B-3 with three new district foes – all of which were playoff teams a year ago.

Waurika will open the 2020 football season Friday night as they host old rival Grandfield on Norman West Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

While the Eagles lost a number of contributors to the success of the team the past two years, the squad is not devoid of plenty of talent that it will take to put together another successful season.

For the first time in a number of years there will be someone not named Mora at the quarterback position.

Sophomore Treyton Torrez will be directing the Eagle offense in 2020.

“Treyton is explosive out of the backfield and has been impressive so far,” said head coach Joe Allen, who begins his third season at the helm of the Eagles.

“He (Treyton) is always wanting to figure things out and asking questions,” Allen added about the sophomore quarterback. “He is a natural leader for us at quarterback.”

The top offensive returning starter for the Eagles is running back Kevin Garcia.

Garcia has been a mainstay in the Eagle backfield the past couple of years and in 2019 rushed for 1,187 yards a year ago.

Garcia was also impressive as a receiver from his jet sweep spot in the offense.  He also returned two kickoffs for scores a year ago.

“I really like to get him (Garcia) out in space and that is where he is more effective,” Allen noted about the 2019 all-district back.

Waurika will have plenty of talent at the receiver positions. Octavio Gomez will get the start at tight end for a few games after Houston Scott suffered an injury.

Mason Houston will be the wide receiver for the Eagles and Trent Arellano will back up Garcia.

Gabe Jenkins and Matt Arriola will see action at the tailback position for the Eagles.

“We have more skill position kids this year than the previous two years at Waurika,” Allen said. “We are two deep and there is not much of a drop off at those positions.”

The defense for the Eagles is loaded with talent and experience.

Slade Cathey and Arriola will join newcomer Cory Sampson along the defensive line that will be tough to penetrate for most Eagle opponents this season.

Arellano and Jenkins will be the linebackers and Torrez, Garcia and Houston will roam the secondary for the Eagles.

Jenkins collected 68 tackles as a sophomore last season

Gomez will see action at both cornerback and linebacker to give some relief for the starts.

The Eagles have 23 players on the roster and will have the luxury of having depth to face the challenging schedule ahead.

“We scheduled these teams to give our kids a sense of where we need to be,” Allen said. “We will find out early what it takes to be in the spot of a true contender.”

Waurika’s district for the next two seasons will be a bit tougher than the past couple of years. Tipton moved up from Class C where they have been a dominant team the past few years. Snyder joined the district and they have made a playoff appearance the past two seasons.

Waurika is tabbed as the runner up behind district favorite Snyder which would mean a home playoff berth in the first round of the playoffs.

The Eagles’ final tune up scrimmage slated for last Friday against Thackerville was cancelled because of the COVID-19 virus outbreak in Love County schools including Thackerville.

If the Eagles can stay healthy throughout the season, they could be equipped to make a deeper run in the playoffs than the past two seasons – even if the win-loss ledger is not as good.

Here’s a preview of the Waurika opponents for 2020:

Grandfield

Coach: Darren Lamar, 3rd year (4-15)

Preseason Ranking: Not ranked; 7th or 5th in District C-2

Last Year’s Record: 3-7

Last Playoff Appearance: 2017, lost to Tyrone, 76-30 in first round of Class C playoffs.

Last Meeting: Waurika 64, Grandfield 0, in 2019

First Meeting: Grandfield 9, Waurika 3, in 1922

Series Record: Series is tied at 19-19-3

BEARCAT BEAT: The Bearcats are like a lot of Class C eight-man schools in that they are fighting a numbers game. The Bearcat offense will be led by junior quarterback Ethan Hammer. At running back, Blake Houston returns to provide a threat any time he touches the ball. Grandfield returns four starters on the defensive side of the ball. The 2020 squad overall will be young and inexperienced and it looks like the string of losing seasons may continue for the Bearcats that currently have 12 players on their roster.

Laverne

Coach: Tanner Woods, 2nd year (9-3)

Last Year’s Record: 9-3

Preseason Ranking: Class B: VYPE (4th); The Tulsa World (2nd); The Daily Oklahoman (8th); 2nd in District B-1.

Last Playoff Appearance: 2019, lost to Alex, 44-30 in second round of Class B playoffs.

Series Record: These two schools have never met in football

Zero Week Result: lost to Cherokee, 28-20

TIGER TARGETS: Laverne will make the long drive from northwest Oklahoma to south central Oklahoma after posting back-to-back 9-3 seasons. The Tigers have been a contender in Class B for a number of years and won a state title in 2016 with a 15-0 record. Laverne also won state championships in 2012 and 2013 and over the past seven seasons has won 81 games while losing only 11 contests. The Tigers return seven starters on offensive side of the ball. Peyton Freeman returns to direct the offense at the quarterback position and the junior compiled 886 yards rushing a year ago and passed for 843 yards on just 47 completions. Overall the Tigers are loaded with talented returnees – most of whom are juniors – and will present a tremendous challenge for the Eagles in the second game of the season.

at Wilson

Coach: Kenny Ridley, 3rd year (14-6)

Last Year’s Record: 8-2

Preseason Ranking: Competing as an independent this year

Last Playoff Appearance: 2019, lost to Snyder, 64-18, in the first round of the Class B playoffs.

Last Meeting: Waurika 62, Wilson 34 in 2019

First Meeting: Wilson 14, Waurika 0, in 1921

Series Record: Waurika leads, 52-20-3, in known results

Zero Week Result: defeated Cyril, 56-32

EAGLE FLIGHTS: Wilson will try to repeat the success of last season, but they have chosen to go to independent status for the next two years which means they will not compete for post-season play. For Wilson to have success in 2020 they will depend on some younger players that played behind the experienced players from the past two seasons. The top returnee is Tre Richardson a senior lineman that will anchor both the offensive and defensive lines. Two sophomores – Caylen Fulton and John Gunter – will be counted on to provide an offensive threat. The Eagles are entering the season with great enthusiasm and attitude, but will have to overcome the inexperience that will dot the lineup for the squad.

at Shattuck

Coach: Craig Hixon, 2nd year (14-0)

Last Year’s Record: 14-0, Class B State Champions

Preseason Ranking: Class B: VYPE (2nd); The Tulsa World (1st); The Daily Oklahoma (1st); 1st in District B-1.

Last Playoff Appearance: 2019, defeated Regent Prep, 25-19, in Class B state finals.

Last Meeting: Waurika 25, Shattuck 8 in 1988 Class B quarterfinals (11-man)

First Meeting: Waurika 25, Shattuck 8 in 1988

Series Record: Waurika leads 1-0

Zero Week Result: defeated Tipton, 46-0

INDIAN NOTES: The fourth week of the season will provide another stern test for the Eagles as they travel to northwest Oklahoma to face the three-time state champion Indians. The program has dominated eight-man football in the 21st century winning six straight titles from 2003 to 2008 and have won 11 titles overall since 2003. The first state championship won by Shattuck came in 1991 when the Indians downed Ringling, 18-0, for the Class A crown. The Indians will put a strong and experienced offensive and defensive line on the field, but will also future a great deal of talent in the skilled positions on offense. Jayden Frazier is a 6-1, 185-pound senior running back that will benefit from the bulky offensive line. Coaches believe Frazier could play at the next level. As the Eagles draw near to district play this game will provide a gauge on how much progress the team has made.

Canton

Coach: Caleb Howell, 1st year

Last Year’s Record: 4-6

Preseason Ranking: Unranked; 6th in District B-1

Last Playoff Appearance: 2009, lost to Garber, 50-2, in Class B state finals

Series Record: These two teams have never met in football

Zero Week Results: defeated Okeene, 20-0

TIGER TALES: Canton has fallen on hard times over the past few seasons, but last year’s record was the best the Tigers have done since posting a 4-6 mark in 2012. Canton does return seven starters from the 2019 squad and four of those players are seniors giving the Tigers a boat load of experience. Seth Bromlow is a four-year starter that will play tailback, fullback and tight end and he will also be a ringleader on defense from the linebacker position. This game could give the Eagles some confidence as they head into the district season.

Cyril

Coach: John Williamson, 1st year

Last Year’s Record: 5-6

Preseason Ranking: Unranked; 5th or 4th in District B-3

Last Playoff Appearance: 2019, lost to Waurika, 54-6, in the first round of the Class B playoffs

Last Meeting: Waurika 54, Cyril 6, in 2019

First Meeting: Cyril 56, Waurika 28 in 2012

Series Record: Series is tied at 4-4

Zero Week Result: lost to Wilson, 56-32

PIRATE PREVIEW: Cyril made its fourth straight playoff appearance last season and for the last several years the Pirates have been competitive. The Pirates return four offensive starters including sophomore quarterback Kole Carlson who threw for 1,267 yards a year ago. Up front the Pirates will feature a mixture of youth an experience s they will start one senior, one junior and two sophomores. This will be the first district test of the 2020 season for the Eagles and after a blowout loss to Waurika in the 2019 playoffs, the Pirates will be looking for some measure of revenge.

at Central High

Coach: Gerald White, 1st year

Last Year’s Record: 4-6

Preseason Ranking: Not Ranked; 6th in District B-3

Last Playoff Appearance: 2019, lost to Burns Flat-Dill City, 54-6, in first round of Class B playoffs.

Last Meeting: Waurika 60, Central High 0, in 2019

First Meeting: Central High 50, Waurika 22 in 2012

Series Record: Series is tied at 3-3

Zero Week Result: defeated Paoli, 48-12

BRONCHO BITES: The last few seasons have been a struggle for the Bronchos as they have bounced between 11-man and eight-man football, but optimism is high in the Central High camp after they hired Tipton assistant Gerald White to man the sidelines at Central High for 2020. Ryan Minden returns from last year’s playoff team for the Bronchos and he will see action at tailback and receiver. Dylan Hargrove, a four-year starter for Central High, will be anchoring the offensive line and he will be counted on to provide leadership to some of the younger members of the 2020 team. Sean Klein, a 6-0, 280-pound senior, is another lineman that will give the Bronchos experience along the line on both sides of the ball. The Eagles cannot afford to look past Central High as they enter the closing stretch of the district schedule that features the three playoff contenders.

at Empire

Coach: Brant Hayes, 2nd Year (4-7)

Last Year’s Record: 4-7

Preseason Ranking: Unranked; 4th or 5th in District B-3

Last Playoff Appearance: 2019, lost to Alex, 52-6, in first round of Class B playoffs.

Last Meeting: Waurika 56, Empire 22, in 2019

First Meeting: Waurika 48, Empire 0, in 1974

Series Record: Waurika leads, 22-11

Zero Week Result: defeated Wellston, 66-20

BULLDOG BARKING: Empire returns seven starters on offense and the plan is to use an up tempo offense for the 2020 season. Mitchel Monteith returns to guide the Bulldog offense at quarterback. Monteith passed for over 1,500 yards a year ago. Kaden Pekah will be the key cog along the defensive line for the Bulldogs after recording 48 tackles a year ago. Santos Benitez also returns along the defensive line and he was the leading tackler for Empire a year ago.

vs. Tipton

Coach: Travis White, 7th year (69-10)

Last Year’s Record: 9-3

Preseason Ranking: Class B: VYPE (unranked); The Tulsa World (8th); The Daily Oklahoman (12th); 3rd in District B-3

Last Playoff Appearance: 2019, lost to Waynoka, 72-48, in Class C semifinals

Last Meeting: Waurika 29, Tipton 0 in 1989

First Meeting: Waurika 50, Tipton 0 in 1935

Series Record: Waurika leads, 7-2

Zero Week Result: lost to Shattuck, 46-0

TIGER TALK: Tipton will be looking to make its 14th straight playoff appearance but will have to do so in Class B instead of Class C were Tipton has been competing for the majority of those years. The Tigers have seven state titles in school history and five of those championships have come in the past eight years. For 2020, the Tigers will depend on a big and experienced offensive line and the experience of senior signal-caller Tayler Waugh who threw for 512 yards and 10 touchdowns last year. Defensively, the Tigers will be led by senior defensive end Trey Mains who had 48 tackles and three sacks last season. The move to Class B may present some challenges for the Tigers early in the season but by the time they head to Cy Sloan Stadium, Tipton will provide a stiff challenge for the Eagles.

Snyder

Coach: Joe Garrison, 4th year (27-9)

Last Year’s Record: 8-4

Preseason Ranking: Class B: VYPE (8th); The Daily Oklahoman (10th)

Last Playoff Appearance: 2019, lost to Cherokee, 52-6, in the second round of the Class B playoffs

Last Meeting: Snyder 22, Waurika 20, in 2019

First Meeting: Waurika 23, Snyder 8, in 1982

Series Record: Snyder leads, 6-3.

Zero Week Result: defeated Corn Bible Academy, 52-6

CYCLONE COMMENTARY: The Cyclones nipped the Eagles a year ago in a contest that saw Waurika commit eight turnovers in a two-point loss. A couple of the offensive performers that hurt the Eagles a year ago are back for the 2020 campaign for the Cyclones including veteran quarterback Ryan Kelley who rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns a year ago against the Eagles and threw for another 123 yards. Jervon Galvan returns at tailback for the Cyclones and he scored a touchdown and added a two-point conversion last year against Waurika. The Cyclones have size and experience up front on both sides of the ball as well and that is why they are tabbed as the district favorite for the upcoming season. The district title could come down to this final game as the Eagles will be after their third straight district crown.

Lady Eagle Softballers Extend Winning Streak to Three Games

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The Lady Eagles softball squad is putting together one of the best seasons in recent memory.

Waurika picked up a couple of victories last Thursday when Temple hosted the Lady Eagles and Geroimo.

Games that were scheduled for Monday against Frederick and Tuesday at Ryan were postponed because of rain.

The Lady Eagles and Frederick were in the second inning when rain and lightning halted the contest and after a delay another storm came through forcing the postponement.

Tuesday the Lady Eagles were set to take on Ryan, but additional rains overnight on Monday and Tuesday morning forced the game to be postponed.

In the first game last Thursday at Temple, Waurika held off Geronimo, 7-6. In the second contest, the Lady Eagles pounded Temple, 13-9.

The Lady Eagles are back on the diamond today with a contest at Grandfield.

The Lady Eagles will be on the road again Tuesday when they travel to Central High.

Next weekend the Lady Eagles will return to Temple for the Temple Invitational on Thursday and Saturday.

Waurika is 8-5 on the season heading into today’s game and just need one more win to equal the number of wins from the three previous seasons.

Waurika 13, Temple 9

The Lady Eagles used a 10-run third inning to build a big lead and held on for the win.

Temple scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning on three hits, an error and a pair of stolen bases including a steal of home. This gave the Lady Tigers a 3-0 advantge.

The Lady Eagles came back in the top of the second with a pair of tallies.

A lead-off single and a stolen base by Gracie Walling helped get the uprising started.

Alana Lewis followed with an RBI-double and she scored on Riley Howell’s run-scoring single. This trimmed the Temple lead to 3-2.

In the top of the third the Lady Eagles sent 16 players to the plate.

Aubree Showalter and Faith Roberson led off the inning with infield singles and scored on Walling’s double.

Lewis had another infield single and she scored on a single by Hope Cummings. Howell walked and Grace Hill produced a two-run single.

Faith Hill walked and eventually stole home to increase the lead to 10-3.

After two were out Roberson and Landry Forsyth came up with infield hits. Walling walked to load the bases and the back-to-back walks by Lewis and Cummings produced the final two runs of the inning that put the Lady Eagles in front, 12-3.

Temple answered with a four-run rally of their own in the bottom of third that narrowed the gap to 12-7.

The Lady Tigers added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth to close the gap to 12-9.

The Lady Eagles added a run in the top of the fifth inning as Lewis drove in Roberson with a two-base hit.

The Tigers put the lead off runner on in the bottom of the fifth, but the next three batters were retired to end the game.

Eight Waurika batters had at least one hit in the game.

Walling and Lewis led the way with 3-for-3 performances.

Lewis had three runs batted in and Walling and G. Hill each had a pair of runs batted in.

Waurika 7, Geronimo 6

Waurika had a seven-run rally in the third inning and made it stand up in picking up the win against the conference tournament champion Lady Bluejays.

Geronimo got out on top with a three-run surge in the bottom of the first inning.

Two walks, a pair of fielder’s choices and an error led to the three runs.

In the top of the third inning Faith Hill led off with a single. Aubree Showalter singles and Faith Roberson reached on an error to load the bases.

Landry Forsyth picked up an RBI-single and Gracie Walling cleared the bases with a three-run triple.

Alana Lewis followed with a run-scoring double and she scored on an error that led Hope Cummings to reach base.

Grace Hill came up with a big two-run single to center field to close out the scoring and giving the Lady Eagles a 7-3 advantage.

Geronimo picked up a run in the bottom of the third after an error and an RBI-single to trim the LadyEagles’ lead to 7-4.

There was no more scoring until the bottom of the fifth inning. Geronimo led off with a single and the runner scored on a ground out to put the score at 7-5.

A two-bagger produced another run, but the Lady Bluejays could do no more damage.

Forsyth was the big hitter for the Lady Eagles as she went 3-for-3 at the plate and had an RBI. Lewis was 2-for-3 with a run batted in. Walling finished with three runs batted in.

Waurika Runners Post Impressive Performances in Initial Meet

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The Waurika high school cross country squads opened the season last Saturday by competing in the Duncan Invitational at Duncan.

The Lady Eagles managed a fourth-place finish competing against several of the best teams in this part of the state – including two that will compete in a higher class.

Blanchard was the team champion with 46 points, while Merritt finished with 56. Waurika came in with 91 points.

In the boys’ competition, the Eagles finished 10th, but had to run against the likes of Duncan, Cache, Elgin and Lawton Eisenhower. Cache was the team champion with 45 points and Duncan finished second with 98. Waurika had 241 points – just one point behind Lawton Eisenhower.

Tallin Mora led the way for the Lady Eagles as she earned ninth place with a time of 13:34.21, which is her second best time ever.

Asia Smith also earned a medal by finishing 17th place with a time of 13:50.66.

Aubree Showalter came in at the 27th spot in the crowded girls’ field with a time of 14:53.21.

The fifth runner for the Lady Eagles, Faith Roberson, managed to finish 39th giving the Lady Eagles five runners in the top 40 of the meet. Roberson’s time was 15:40.11.

Brooklyn Barnes headed the junior varsity group for the Lady Eagles. Her overall finish of 55th was good enough to medal among the JV competitors. She finished the two-mile course with a time of 17:34.55.

Kaci Reynolds was 63rd (19:44.52) Savanna Ritter was 65th (20:27.45) and Hope Cummings was 67th (21:22.53) to round out the Lady Eagle competitors.

Waurika was competing against teams from Class 4A through Class 2A.

The Eagles had to compete in one division that included schools from every class – from Class 2A to 6A. Waurika held their own, however, against the bigger schools.

Cache Dunn paced the Eagles on the day with a 31st-place finish. His time was 20:00.30.

Gustavo Gomez was 51st with a time of 21:41.05 for the Eagles, while Trent Arellano earned the 62nd spot, but was just behind Gomez with a time of 22:20.17.

Alex Gomez was 64th (22:22.80) and Kevin Garcia earned 74th place (23:11.83) to round out the scorers for the Eagles.

Octavio Gomez (81st, 23:32.64), Malachi Dodson (117th, 29:06.55) and Colby York (121st, 30:24.30) rounded out the competitors for the Eagles in the meet.

Waurika will return to action Saturday when they travel to Madill for the Madill Cat Run.

Junior High Results at Duncan

Waurika Boys

Team Scoring: Elgin 63, Altus 73, Blanchard 74, Hollis 87, Duncan 106, Waurika 113, Cache 126.

15. Aiden Jenkins 13:45.33; 32. Jaxson Simmons, 14:58.83; 36. Ryder Watkins, 15:15.99; 38. Ledger Watkins, 15:53.63; 41. Austin Eck, 16:48.64; 

Waurika Girls

Team Scoring: Merritt, 47, Hollis 72, Comanche 50, Altus 108, Rush Springs 121, Blanchard 121, Duncan 184, Waurika 190, Ryan 226.

20. Charley Sellers, 12:38.21; 47. Niesca Camarillo, 14:15.78; 50. Destiny Foster, 14:36.96; 77. Gabby Gunter, 17:20.55; 85. Chancy Sellers, 18:19.99; 87. Paisley Young 18:28.27.

Cowgirl Harriers Finish Seventh In First Meet of the Season

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A pair of outstanding individual performances highlighted the first meet of the season for the Ryan cross country teams.

The Cowgirls posted a seventh-place finish in the Class 4A-2A division with two runners earning medals and another battling a nagging injury during competition at the Duncan Invitational last Saturday.

Photo by Shelley Villarreal

The Cowboys took only one runner – Mason Adsit. The sophomore runner, however, recorded his second best time of his career which was good for 78th place in the crowded field of competitors.

His time over the five-kilometer course was 23:19.83.

Alicen Williams and Jasmine Villerreal led the Cowgirls to the seventh place team finish and both runners earned medals in the highly competitive meet.

Photo by Shelley Villarreal

Williams recorded a personal best time over the two-mile course. Her time of 13:54.22 was good for 18th place overall.

Villarreal, running in her first meet at the high school level, finished in 24th place with a time of 14:29.55.

Lilybet Harmon, the Cowgirls’ top returning runner from last year’s regional title team, has been battling an injury, but she still managed to finish 34th in the meet with a time of 15:16.21.

Rounding out the performances for the Cowgirls were Katelynn Dabbs who finished 58th with a time of 18:05.22.

Libby Carter was 69th in the race with a time of 24:42.01. Carter is a recent addition to the Cowgirl squad and has had limited time conditioning for a cross country race.

Blanchard won the high school girls division meet with 46 points, while Merritt was second with 56 tallies. Ryan’s point total of 151 was seventh among the eight teams in the meet. A total of 70 high school girls competed in the meet.

Ryan will return to competition on Saturday when they travel to Geronimo for the first meet ever hosted by the school.

Duncan Invitational Junior High Results

Boys

9. Andrew Scott, 13:18.24; 12. Koble Lewis, 13;38.58

Girls

Merritt 47, Hollis 72, Comanche 90, Altus 108, Rush Springs 121, Blanchard 121, Duncan 184, Waurika 190, Ryan 226

41. Lilah Regehr, 13:55.68; 65. Harleigh Loftis, 15:54.40; 71. Lynnlee Tomberlin, 16:29.08; 80. Alyssa Harrison, 17:58.46; 82. Heather Poage,18:03.02; 89. Kayleigh Hodges, 20:29.52

Hastings Was First Jefferson County School To Play For State Title

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Hastings High School last played in a district tournament in 1958 – the final year Hastings had a high school.

But, the school was the first Jefferson County school to make an appearance in a state basketball tournament.

The town of Hastings, which was once known as Bayard, was established in 1902.

When the area was opened for settlement as part of the Kiowa, Comanche and Apache reservation, it was discovered the name of Bayard already existed in Indian Territory.

This forced the locals to come up with another name when the post office was established in 1902. Two residents suggested the community be named for their hometown – Hastings, Nebraska.

Hastings was a thriving community in those early years. Several businesses including a pair of banks, cotton gins and grain elevators along with a brick company were part of the new town.

There was even a Baptist college located in Hastings, but it was relocated to Mangum, Oklahoma by 1912.

The community hit its population high in 1910 when 727 residents were counted.

Since that time, the community has dwindled.

As early as 1914, however, Hastings had a high school boys’ basketball team.

The first district tournament appearance by the Bulldog roundballers came in 1924 when the squad lost to Lawton, 40-7, at Waurika.

No district tourney results are available from that time until 1929 when Hastings dropped a 19-17 decision to Waurika in the first round of the tourney at Waurika.

It was not until 1934 that the Hastings boys picked up their first win in district tournament play. The opponent and score are not available for the semifinal game.

The Bulldogs fell to Union Valley-Randlett in the finals at Walters, 34-30.

The first district title won by the Bulldog came in the banner year of 1939.

Hastings won three straight games to claim the district crown at Waurika.

In the first two games, the Bulldogs picked up wins over Ahpeatone and Union Valley-Ryan. Hastings edged Terral, 39-37, in overtime, in the championship game.

With the district title in hand the Bulldogs headed to the Class C regional tournament at Comanche to continue the quest for a state tournament berth.

In the first round of the regional tourney, Hastings eliminated Burrow School, located near Foster in Garvin County. Hastings moved into the regional finals with a 46-36 victory.

This set up a meeting with Orr, a small community in Love County, and the Bulldogs rolled to a 52-20 victory to qualify for the state tournament.

In the first round of the state tournament played at Central High School in Oklahoma City, Hastings met up with Caddo County school Bridgeport. Bridgeport came into the tourney as the second seed, but the Bulldogs whipped Bridgeport, 36-10, to move into the Class C semifinals.

The Bulldogs met Butner of Wewoka in the semifinals. Hastings held a slim 12-9 advantage at the half. Butner’s missed free throw with five seconds remaining in the game helped Hastings advance with a 21-20 victory.

Earlier in the contest Butner had called a timeout without possession of the ball which resulted in a technical foul. Roy Johnson, the star forward for the Bulldogs, calmly sank the free throw.

In the championship game Hastings met Nuyaka, which was located near Okmulgee.

Nuyaka came into the game undefeated and kept an unblemished record for the season with a 39-36 win over Hastings. Nuyaka finished 34-0 for the year.

Hastings actually led, 11-4, after the first quarter, but Nuyaka rallied in the second frame to take the lead at the half.

Johnson had 18 points in the losing effort for Hastings. Johnson and Elmer Kincannon were named to the all-tournament team for the Bulldogs.

That proved to be the only district title won by the Bulldogs and the only regional and state tourney appearance for the Hastings boys.

The first appearance in a district tournament for the Hastings girls came in 1929 when the Lady Bulldogs fell to Comanche, 25-6, in the quarterfinals of the tourney at Waurika.

After only one known appearance in a district tourney from 1929 to 1945, the Lady Bulldogs were able to pick up their initial district tourney win – a 34-30 victory over Addington in the tournament at Waurika.

The only district tournament won by the Lady Bulldogs came in 1957 – just a year before the high school was closed.

Hastings scored a 54-36 victory over Geronimo in the semifinals of the Class B tournament played at Walters.

In the championship game the Lady Bulldogs defeated Union Valley-Randlett, 55-37, to advance into the regional tournament.

The Lady Bulldogs traveled to Marlow for the Class B regional and in the first round, Hastings managed a 41-34 victory over Middleberg.

In the semifinals, Hastings nipped Leon, 33-31, to earn a spot in the regional finals.

Sickles, which is now consolidated with Lookeba to form Lookeba-Sickles schools, edged the Lady Bulldogs, 44-42, in the finals and moved on to the state tournament.

While success for the Hastings basketball squads was limited, the town can always say they were the first from Jefferson County to make the state basketball tournament.

Here’s a brief summary of the playoff history of Hastings High School.

Cowgirl Fast-Pitch Squad Hopes To Rebound From Winless 2019 Season

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It was a tough season last year for the Ryan High School fast-pitch softball squad.

The 2019 team was 0-19 for the fall season and is looking to improve that mark as the 2020 season kicks off Tuesday at Waurika.

The Cowgirls will stage the home opener one week from today (Thursday) when they will play host to Big Pasture on Larry Ninman Field at the Bob Givens Sports Complex.

Youth will be counted on by third-year coach Stan Mueggenborg as last year’s team featured four seniors. This year’s roster has only three seniors.

But, while the Cowgirls may be short on experience, they will have more talent on the field.

Mueggenborg is looking to start as many as three freshmen, including the likely starting pitcher, Jasmine Villerreal.

“She (Villerreal) has good speed and has a good fast ball and has been working on some off-speed pitches,” Mueggenborg said.

With Villerreal in the circle for the Cowgirls, that leaves a hole at shortstop where Villerreal was slated to play when pre-season practices started a few weeks ago.

Three returning starters – Kodi Duke, Diamond Chazaretta and Linsdsey Reake will be counted on to provide the offensive punch for the Cowgirls.

“Diamond has been hitting the ball well and a lot better than last year,” Mueggenborg said of the Cowgirl senior.

Reake, who returns a first base for the Cowgirls, should provide some power as she will probably hit in the four spot.

“Lindsey has a great attitude and works harder than just about anyone,” Mueggenborg noted.

Emily Harris, a sophomore, will see some playing time in the circle for the Cowgirls and will hopefully provide some offensive punch.

Harris and Reake were cited by Mueggenborg as two of the hardest working girls on the team.

“We are a little more talented and faster than a year ago,” Mueggenborg said. “We have the opportunity to do some things on the base paths that we have not been able to do previously.”

That speed will not only be an asset to the Cowgirls on the base paths, but also in the field.

The Cowgirls will have a bit of depth as Mueggenborg has 13 players currently preparing for the upcoming season.

Kyla Este’Phillips is one senior that will hopefully provide some depth in the outfield when needed.

Carter Combs looks to be the starter behind the plate, while sophomore Libby Carter will probably be holding down the second base position.

“Libby loves playing softball,” Mueggenborg said. “She is here every day and works at it and has gotten better every year.”

Kaitlyn Dabbs, another speedster for the Cowgirls, will be joining Duke and Chazaretta in the outfield.

Alexis Shockley is the other infielder for the Cowgirls and will see action at both shortstop and third base.

Overall the Cowgirls may be better, but with the schedule loaded with teams that return most or all of their players from a year ago, the Cowgirls may find a difficult time finding the win column.

But, as the younger players progress through the early part of the season, Mueggenborg is hopeful the wins will eventually come.“We are going to hustle every chance we get,” said Mueggenborg.

Look for the Cowgirls to be a bit more competitive on the diamond, but without the experience in the circle and teams such as Geronimo, Grandfield and Waurika returning key players from a year ago, it will be tough for the Cowgirls especially early in the season.

Cowgirl Fast-Pitch Softball Schedule

August

11: at Waurika; 13: Big Pasture; 17: at Wilson; 20, 22: Southern Eight Conference Tournament; 24: at Geronimo; 25: Grandfield.

September

1: Waurika; 3: Temple; 8: Wilson; 10, 12: Temple Tournament; 14: at Grandfield; 15: Frederick; 17: at Big Pasture; 21: Empire; 24: District Tournament.

Lady Eagles Look To Build On Last Year’s Diamond Success

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 A year ago first-year coach Everett Hodges put a young squad on the diamond for the Waurika fast-pitch softball squad and experienced limited success.

 The 2019 version of the Lady Eagles fashioned a 5-16 mark, but that was a vast improvement over the previous few seasons and the outlook for the 2020 campaign is optimistic as the Lady Eagles return all the starters for last year’s team.

Waurika will open the season Monday when they host Wilson and Big Pasture. The Lady Eagles will return to action Tuesday by hosting Ryan.

Grandfield will come to Waurika one week from today to close out a busy first week of the fast-pitch season.

Besides being long on experience, the Lady Eagles will also feature some depth for the first time in a number of years as 14 players make up the pre-season roster.

Leading out in the circle for the Lady Eagles will be Riley Howell. Liberti Simmons, Alana Lewis and Faith Roberson will also be counted on to provide Coach Hodges with some options with the pitching staff.

One of the areas of concentration in pre-season workouts has been at the plate and Coach Hodges thinks fans will see the difference.

All the leading hitters from last year return for the Lady Eagles including two seniors – Hope Cummings and Landry Forsyth. Gracie Walling will also be counted on to provide some offensive punch for the Lady Eagles.

Cummings, Simmons and Forsyth were all-conference selections a year ago for Waurika.

“This might be the first year I feel we can have all nine hitters in the lineup able to hit,” said Hodges in talking about the upcoming season.

“We also might have the fastest outfield in this part of the state with Simmons, Showalter (Aubree) and Barnes (Brooklyn),” added Hodges.

Simmons recently was cleared to play after a recent ACL injury.

Look for Faith Hill, MacKenzie Taylor, Alexia Henry and Harley Bradshaw to also provide help off the bench in the 2020 season.

“Our season sets up to have a little success early,” Hodges noted.

In reflecting on this year’s schedule Hodges believes with the strength of the pitching staff for the Lady Eagles they can compete with anybody.

“Ringling is always tough and Temple will be improved,” Hodges said.

Kassie Bohot is serving as an assistant coach this fall for the Lady Eagle fast-pitch squad.

With experience, depth and talent, the Lady Eagles are poised to have the best season in years and could possibly contend for their first district title in school history.

Lady Eagles Fast-Pitch Schedule

August

10: Wilson and Big Pasture; 11: Ryan; 13: Grandfield; 17: at Ringling; 18: at Velma-Alma; 20, 22: Southern Eight Conference Tournament; 27: Temple and Geronimo at Temple.

September

1: at Ryan; 3: at Grandfield; 8: at Central High; 10, 12: at Temple Tournament; 14: at Wilson; 15: Ringling; 17: Temple; 21: Velma-Alma; 24: District Tournament.