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.
Deer Creek loses nail-biter; Memorial boys fall to Tulsa Union
The Deer Creek Antlers were just seconds away from entering the Class 5A state tournament, but Del City’s Brett Cannon scored on a reverse layup on a back-door move with one second left to down Deer Creek 47-45 in overtime in an area championship contest at Catoosa High School.
“We’re playing really well,” Antler skipper Matt Bailey said following the nail-biter. “They got us with the last shot in overtime.”
Deer Creek will face the winner of the McAlester/Durant game Saturday at 6:30 at Sapulpa High School in the area consolation title game with a trip to the big dance on the line.
After impressive road series, OC’s Coats receives NCCAA pitching honor
Oklahoma Christian’s Shea Coats was honored Tuesday as the National Christian College Athletic Association’s softball pitching student-athlete of the week.
Coats, a freshman from Tuttle, was honored for her performance as the Lady Eagles won two of three games last weekend at Texas-Permian Basin. Coats threw a complete-game 1-hitter to lead Oklahoma Christian to a 3-0 win in the series opener, then threw two perfect innings in relief to earn the save as the Lady Eagles took the series finale 6-2.
In her nine innings of work, Coats struck out 11 batters while walking four. She currently ranks fifth in the Heartland Conference in strikeouts with 46, in 43 innings of work.
She is the first OC softball player to win a NCCAA weekly award this season.
Broncho Gibbs stacks up honors
Central Oklahoma’s Josh Gibbs was a repeat first-team selection on the All-Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Team that was released by the league office Tuesday.
The 6-5 senior forward is averaging 20.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.2 steals a game .
Gibbs, who leads the league in rebounds and ranks third in scoring, has had 17 double-doubles this season. He’s also second in the MIAA in 3-pointers per game with 2.4, having made 66 treys while shooting 38.8 percent from beyond the arc.
SLIDESHOW: Lady Wolves win Area basketball title
The Edmond Santa Fe Lady Wolves won the Area basketball title with a win over Norman North at Choctaw Thursday evening.
Santa Fe thwarts Norman North offense
The Edmond Santa Fe Lady Wolves added another plaque to their collection and took one more step toward a gold ball Thursday night.
Edmond took down a feisty Norman North squad 64-47 at Choctaw High School to win the Class 6A west area tournament and advance to the state tournament that begins March 13.
“We’re going to enjoy that for tomorrow and now we’ve got to go find who we play on Saturday and we’re going to focus,” said Paul Bass, Santa Fe head coach. “It’s one game at a time. We’re 24-1, but that really doesn’t matter because now we’re in the third tournament of the year for us. This is the one that’s most important — get to state and try to get that gold ball.”
Defensive battle falls in favor of Deer Creek
A pair of defensive teams coming out on each other, both 20-5 Deer Creek and 20-5 Collinsville played to a 20-19 score after three periods with the Lady Antlers on top Thursday night at Owasso High School in a Class 5A area championship game.
The final panel wasn’t much different, as Deer Creek used two mammoth defensive plays by Dakota Vann to stave off the Cardinals 31-28 and advance to the state tournament beginning March 13.
“Last week at practice, I told the girls that the road to get back to the state tournament was that somebody was going to have to make a play,” defending state champion Deer Creek coach Totsy Manning said after the victory over Collinsville. “I told the girls to go out and make a good play.”
Vann, a 5-10 junior, did just that — twice.
Bartlesville’s 6-2 star forward Hailey Tucker averaged over 22 points a game for the Lady Bruins this year.
But not with Edmond Memorial’s Elise Wyatt on her.
Thursday night in a Class 6A area consolation contest at Sapulpa High School, Wyatt and the Lady Bulldogs ended Bartlesville’s season and stayed alive in the high school playoffs with a 48-42 triumph. Memorial will tip off with Putnam North — a team that beat the Lady ‘Dogs at the final horn in the semifinals of the Bruce Gray Invitational — at 1:30 Saturday at Catoosa High School in a do-or-die contest to make it to the state tournament.
5 memorable college hoops tourney buzzer beaters
It's March, which means the NCAA Tournament is just around the corner. But before March Madness takes hold, the conference tournaments, which get under way this week, often provide their own share of exciting finishes. Here are five memorable buzzer beaters from conference tournament play.
USA sitting volleyball hires Kraeer as UCO-based mens sitting team head coach
The University of Central Oklahoma-based U.S. mens sitting volleyball team welcomes a new head coach, Quinton Kraeer. The university is the official training site for both the mens and womens sitting volleyball teams.
Kraeer will take over the mens program after serving as an assistant for the last several months. He brings nine years of volleyball coaching experience to the team and has served as a pipeline assistant for both the mens and womens teams since 2008.
2014 Majestic Roofing High School Baseball Series coming to Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
The Oklahoma City RedHawks have announced the schedule for the fourth annual Majestic Roofing High School Baseball Series, set to begin this week at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The series begins with three games Saturday and will culminate Saturday, April 5 during the Mayor’s Cup, featuring a triple-header between the three high schools from Edmond and Moore.
The Majestic Roofing High School Baseball Series gives teams and their fans from around the state a chance to have a “professional” experience complete with the use of batting cages, dugouts and state-of-the-art scoreboards.
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- Deer Creek loses nail-biter; Memorial boys fall to Tulsa Union