When the ball is in Warren Wand’s hands, good things tend to happen for Edmond Memorial.
Last year, the speedy back racked up nearly 2,000 yards of total offense and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore. He also wore many hats, filling in at quarterback early in the year before switching to his natural tailback spot.
Head coach Justin Merideth said Wand will again be their first option, but he certainly won’t be their only one.
“Our first goal is always to be as balanced as possible,” Merideth said. “This year, we just feel that we have the ability to do that.”
The Bulldogs have several other playmakers in Wayland Anderson, who accounted for 600 yards of offense last year, Evan Nicklas, Donovan Nunley, Jalon Moore-Smith, Tristan McBee and Sam Rolle.
While Merideth knows where he wants the ball, he’s not sure who will get it there. Luke Booker, Mick Mayerske and Greg Olson are in a tight race for the starting quarterback role.
“They’re all pretty similar in their abilities, but what is going to separate them is their decision making and their consistency,” Merideth said.
The offensive line continues to make strides. They are led by returning starters center Mason Hall and left tackle Jordan Weltzheimer. JD Hettinger, Brett Reid, Tyler Carlson and Hayden Kaaiohelo are competing for the other starting spots.
“We just feel like we’re getting better and better each day,” Merideth said. “We’re just really happy with how they’re progressing. They had a few questions back in the spring, but now we feel like we have a pretty solid group of seven or eight guys we feel can play.”
McBee, Rolle and Nunley will see time at tight end/fullback.
Defensively, the Bulldogs will be led by their front line. Kolt Van Meter, Bennett Stone, Kourtney Williams, Charlie Dutton, Trayvon Gamble, LaManuel Singleton and Sam Osborn will all play on the defensive line.
“Our defensive line will be a strength because of their athleticism and depth there,” Merideth said.
Memorial should also be set at linebacker with returning starters Jason Hand, John Meeks, Grant Carro and Jake Mammen.
“That’s a group we know we can count on to be very consistent,” Merideth said.
The secondary will be led by cornerbacks Ashton Antwine and Robert Charleton, and safeties Ben Moore and Tasden Ingram.
Justin Marcha will again handle place-kicking duties, while Braxton Pickard is the favorite at punter.
Merideth expects to see improvement from his squad this fall but wouldn’t make any predictions. The Bulldogs play in one of the toughest districts in the state in District Class 6A-4. Rival Edmond Santa Fe is the favorite to win a third straight title.
“This is the toughest district that I've ever been a part of,” Merideth said. “Every team can beat you, if you don’t come ready to play, and that’s not normally the case. Whoever makes it to the playoffs from this district is a good team.”
The Bulldogs finished 4-7 last season. They started the year with five straight losses, before winning four of the last five regular season games to clinch a playoff spot. They were eliminated by Edmond North in the first round.
Memorial opens its season Friday versus Edmond North at Wantland Stadium on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma.
When the ball is in Warren Wand’s hands, good things tend to happen for Edmond Memorial.
Wallar voted National Tennis Coach of the Year finalist
The National High School Athletic Coaches Association honored Dee Ann Waller, coach and teacher from Edmond North High School, as a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in tennis.
Eight finalists from across the nation were chosen to be honored during The National Coach of the Year awards banquet that took place during the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s national convention June 14-18, at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wy.
McKey to compete in North American final
Edmond’s Mary McKey, who attends John Carroll Catholic School in Oklahoma City, qualified for the Hershey’s Track & Field Games North American Final after winning the Hershey’s Oklahoma State Meet June 28.
McKey, 12, had the fastest time in the region that consists of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico and Puerto Rico. Hershey only accepts eight runners from North America.
McKey is a Catholic grade school champion and the first Catholic student to qualify for the North American final. She is also a Jim Thorpe Games 400-meter champion.
The North American final will run Aug. 2 in Hershey, Pa.
Former quarterback Bell has pedigree to dominate at tight end for Sooners
The question came quickly to Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. Are there any plans to use Blake Bell at quarterback — in some capacity?
“That’s funny, it keeps coming up,” Stoops said Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days. “Blake was recruited definitely as a quarterback. But when you look at him now after three years, he is the pro-type at tight end. He’s got great hands, great size. He can run. Natural spacing as far as where to be in his routes.”
So, the answer is no.
Smith ready to begin the next chapter with Ravens
During his long drive to Maryland from his North Carolina home Sunday, veteran wide receiver Steve Smith had plenty of time to think about an offseason defined by a dramatic change in his life.
After 13 years with the Carolina Panthers, Smith was cut in March following one of the least productive seasons of his career. The Ravens promptly signed him to a three-year, $11 million contract.
Smith remained in a reflective mood as veterans officially reported to camp Wednesday. Smith, however, showed up Monday eager for his new start.
Local cops arrest NFL player on marijuana complaint
The Edmond Police Department has released the incident report related to the arrest of ex-Oklahoma State star and current NFL player Justin Blackmon.
Blackmon, 24, a product of Plainview High School in Ardmore, is a 6-1, 210-pound wide receiver in his second year with the Jacksonville Jaguars. At Oklahoma State University, he was a two-time Biletnikoff Award winner as the country’s best collegiate wide receiver.
Former OSU line coach having impact on Texas staff
It was quite possibly the biggest coaching coup of the offseason and Oklahoma State was at the wrong end of it — former Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline joining the staff for Charlie Strong’s Texas Longhorns.
“It’s always good when you go hire staff and you look at just getting the right people within your program. And, a lot of times, guys know a lot of Xs and Os, but it’s all just about developing a player,” said Strong, Tuesday during the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days. “Joe and I, we’ve coached together at two different places. But just with him being within his conference and knowing the conference, he’s been a great asset.”
Santa Fe alum McGreevy makes U.S. Amateur
OU’s Max McGreevy, an Edmond Santa Fe graduate, and University of Tulsa’s Logan McCracken qualified for the 2014 U.S. Amateur, the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) prestigious annual event featuring the world’s finest amateur golfers. This year’s championship will be held at the venerable Atlanta Athletic Club (AAC) in Johns Creek, Aug. 9-17.
Max McGreevy, Edmond 67-65—132
Logan McCracken, Oklahoma City 69-66—135
1st Alt. Garrison Mendoza, Clinton 69-71—140
2nd Alt. Thomas Johnson, Norman 71-69—140
Gibson closes British Open with a 78, 3 birdies in final 6 holes
Even if he didn’t post the score he wanted, Rhein Gibson left Royal Liverpool Golf Club on Sunday knowing he at least finished strong.
Gibson’s final-round 6-over-par 78 at the British Open looks a lot better when one considers he birdied three of his final six holes. The Oklahoma Christian alum finished his first major championship at 10-over-par 298 — in 72nd place overall — earning himself a paycheck of $20,840.
Edmond’s Reid comes back to win Senior Stroke Play
James Reid, of Edmond, rallied to win the OGA’s Senior Stroke Play Championship with a smoking 67 July 15 at the Trails Country Club in Norman. Edmond’s Jon Valuck tied for fifth place.
In the pro series, Cameron Meyers of Edmond shot 68-70 for the top prize while Andrew Green of Edmond finished third.
Oklahoma Golf Association
Senior Stroke Play Championship
The Trails Golf Club
Air Force kicker Conant named to Groza Award watch list
Air Force senior Will Conant, an Edmond Memorial graduate, is one of 30 players nationwide to be named to the 2014 Lou Groza Collegiate Placekicker Award watch list, as announced by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.
Conant hit 32-of-33 PATs and 11-of-13 field-goal attempts last season. He ranked third in the conference in field-goal percentage with an 84.6 mark that is the fourth-best in school history and best since Joey Ashcroft hit 88.8 percent (16-18) in 2002.
Conant is one of two kickers in Air Force history to hit three times from 50-plus yards in a season. He hit three 52-yard kicks last season (versus Colgate, San Diego State, New Mexico), matching Ryan Harrison’s three 50-plus field goals in 2007. Conant’s three 50-plus field goals already rank him third in school history in career 50-yard field goals.
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- Wallar voted National Tennis Coach of the Year finalist