The clock is ticking down for the senior members of the Oklahoma State football team.
With just two games remaining in the season, the OSU seniors are starting to realize their college careers as Cowboys are coming to a close.
For Lane Taylor, it’s been one illustrious career.
The offensive lineman has started in every game for Oklahoma State since the third game of his freshman season. And now, there’s just two games left to add to his starting total.
“It’s all really winding down. I played my last home game (against Texas Tech), so that was a really big marking point to make me realize that my career is coming to an end here,” Taylor said. “But it’s been a great run and I’ve had a lot of fun.”
The fact Taylor has never been supplanted on the line, or missed time due to injury, speaks to his consistency for the Cowboys.
“It’s not like he’s torn up the world, but he’s done a nice job, he’s consistent and we’re happy and blessed that we have him,” OSU offensive line coach Joe Wickline said. “But the biggest thing is just the consistency that he brings. He’s always there, he doesn’t make many mistakes and he’s solid and dependable.”
But Wickline admitted that he was taking a bit of a gamble when throwing Taylor into the starting rotation his freshman season.
“He’s been kind of surprising on the front end because you didn’t really know years ago what you had there for a year or so,” Wickline said. “... We had some issues there, we were trying to move some guys around because we had a bunch of tackles but not many guards and thought there for a while that he was too young. So we gave it a whirl and kind of tried him out there and he stepped up. So he really proved himself and took advantage of that opportunity given to him.”
The early success of Taylor made an impact on the young offensive linemen who came in with Taylor. Junior Parker Graham saw Taylor jump up the depth chart in Graham’s redshirt season — giving Graham a guiding light to make a similar move into the starting rotation as a sophomore.
“It was something that stuck so well with me that I just had to work hard and I could possibly get on the field,” Graham said. “... It just adds character to Lane — working so hard and overcoming a lot to get there.”
Taylor has been at the forefront of the recent success the Cowboy program has had. In his freshman year, OSU earned a trip to the Cotton Bowl and by his junior season Oklahoma State earned its first BCS bowl bid — and victory.
“I couldn’t imagine the amount of success that this program has had in just the four years I’ve played here,” Taylor said. “It’s just really gone to another level and it’s great to be a part of that.”
The Cowboy program has seen success in the running game in the four years Taylor has been on the line. From Keith Toston and Kendall Hunter his first two years to Joseph Randle these past two, the running backs have had success behind the OSU offensive line anchored by the Arlington, Texas, native.
“He’s had a very accomplished career. He’s probably one of the greatest lineman I’ve ever been around,” Randle said. “... He’s had a lot of 1,000-yard backs behind him. He’s had a 1,000-yard back running behind him for all four years that he’s played. That’s an accomplishment. He’s been a part of a great line every year, and he’s just a great player.”
Randle said having a player like Taylor on the line makes it easier for running backs to focus on their job running or pass blocking.
“I’m comfortable with Lane,” Randle said. “I always know he’s going to handle his business. When you’ve got guys like that, it makes you more comfortable with being able to just worry about your job.”
And it’s that type of player that will be difficult for Wickline to try to replace when Taylor plays his last game as a Cowboy.
“Other guys are taller, other guys are this or that, but he’s been a standard,” Wickline said. “He will definitely be hard to lose. He’s just been such a staple and a rock for who we are and what we’ve done for many years here.”
JASON ELMQUIST is the sports editor for the Stillwater NewsPress.
The clock is ticking down for the senior members of the Oklahoma State football team.
Blake Shelton brings relief concert to Oklahoma City
Blake Shelton has organized and will headline the telethon “Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert” on May 29, to take place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Grammy Award-winning artists Miranda Lambert, Reba and Vince Gill also will perform. Additional guests for the concert will be announced shortly.
The concert will be televised live at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. It also will air on cable networks Style, G4, Bravo, E! and CMT on either a live or delayed basis.
OCU’s Wright playing for Moore
Drew Wright’s heart will be with her hometown of Moore when her Oklahoma City University softball team competes in the NAIA Championships this week. Edmond Santa Fe graduate Kayley Humann, an OCU outfielder, is one of Wright’s teammates.
Wright and the fourth-ranked Stars (50-13) opened national-tournament play against fifth-ranked Cal State San Marcos Friday at South Commons Softball Complex.
The senior third baseman said it was difficult to leave Oklahoma City on Tuesday after a destructive tornado leveled several city blocks of Moore and south Oklahoma City on Monday.
Fortunately, Wright’s family is safe from the tornado that has been hailed as the most severe to hit the area.
Bronchos win 2 straight at NCAA Division II World Series
Kaylee Brunson and Kacie Edwards keyed an 11-hit attack that carried Central Oklahoma to a 7-1 romp over Molloy in the second round of the NCAA Division II Championship Finals in Salem, VA. Friday afternoon at the Moyer Sports Complex.
Brunson and Edwards had three hits apiece and both drove in runs during a big five-run, sixth-inning outburst that turned a precarious 2-0 lead into a comfortable 7-0 cushion as UCO coasted into Sunday’s winner’s bracket finals.
Area camps start May 28
Girls hoop camp kicks off Tuesday
The three head varsity girls basketball coaches (Dandy Peeler, Edmond Memorial; Karlie Free, Edmond North; Paul Bass, Edmond Santa Fe) of Edmond Schools will be hosting a youth basketball camp for girls entering kindergarten-ninth grades at Edmond Memorial High School May 28-31.
The younger kids, entering grades kindergarten-4th, will run from 9 a.m.-noon. The camp will focus on basic fundamentals of the game including shooting, passing, ball handling as well as defensive and offensive skills.
Girls entering grades 5-9 will be in the afternoon camp from 1-4 p.m. The camp will focus on offensive and defensive fundamental skills along with sharpening individual skills through station work and competitive contests.
Cost is $115. Contact Dandy Peeler at 250-4377 for more information.
Still time to register for UCO's Endeavor Games
Registration is open online for athletes and volunteers for the 2013 University of Central Oklahoma Endeavor Games, June 6-9, the nation’s largest multi-sport event for athletes with physical disabilities.
Athletes of all ages or sporting experience are invited to register for the event. Community members are also encouraged to register to volunteer with more than 300 volunteer opportunities available.
Similar to the summer Paralympic Games, athletes may register for multiple adaptive sports, which include cycling, indoor archery, outdoor archery, powerlifting, sitting volleyball, shooting, table tennis, track and field, wheelchair basketball, and, for the first time at the UCO Endeavor Games, paratriathlon. The paratriathlon will be limited to athletes over the age of 16 with previous paratriathlon experience.
UCO opens World Series with a victory
Kalynn Schrock dominated in the pitching circle and Kaylee Brunson came through with a tie-breaking triple to lift Central Oklahoma past fourth-ranked Armstrong Atlantic 5-2 in Salem, Va. Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Division II Championship Finals.
It was the sixth straight postseason win for the No. 19-ranked Bronchos, who improved to 48-11 and moved into today’s 3 p.m. semifinal game against either defending national champion Valdosta State or Malloy.
Schrock gave up just two hits and no walks while striking out 15 — including 10 of the final 12 batters she faced — in improving to 31-6 on the season and 6-0 in the postseason.
Edmond Santa Fe's Taylor heading to Central Florida
Danielle Taylor, fresh off a Central District Youth Rowing Championship victory on the Oklahoma River at the start of the month, followed up the success by signing a letter of intent in rowing with Central Florida at Edmond Santa Fe High School.
Though Santa Fe does not offer rowing as a team sport, Taylor competes for OKC Riversport on the Junior Crew which competes on the Oklahoma River.
Taylor missed her junior season due to an injury, but Coach Brian Ebke knew the Santa Fe athlete would be raring to go her senior season.
“She’s an extremely hard worker,” Ebke lauded. “Her work ethic is impeccable.”
Bronchos hit final match play spot in first round
Dillon Rust got off to a blazing start and ended up shooting a one-under-par 70 to lead Central Oklahoma in the second round of the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf Championships in Hershey, Pa. Tuesday.
Rust birdied four of his first five holes en route to his under-par round and the Bronchos ended up with a 300 on the day, giving them a 36-hole total of 597. The 300 leaves UCO eighth in the 20-team field heading into final round of stroke play, with the top eight teams advancing to match play that will determine the national champion.
Area players earn All-State honors on the diamond
Three area baseball players were selected to the All-State Team this week.
Right-handed pitcher Holden Lyons from Edmond North, made the team after posting a perfect 7-0 mark with an ultra-low 1.29 earned run average.
Deer Creek’s Cole Lindley made it as an outfielder and Oklahoma Christian’s Austin Brooks landed on the list in the designated hitter’s spot.
The threesome will compete on the Large West squad on July 30 at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.
Tennis camps offered in Edmond
Edmond Raquet Club is offering a pair of tennis camps beginning May 28.
For ages 5-8, a camp is offered from 8:45-9:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and for ages 7-15 a tennis camp is available from 6-6:55 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Both camps run from May 28-June 13 and cost is $99 per camp.
A camp session for ages 8-16 will run on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30-9:25 a.m. May 29-June 12 for the identical cost.
For more information concerning these camps and others, call 341-4241.
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