The Edmond Sun


August 13, 2013

Central Oklahoma high schools form new conference

7 districts make up Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference

EDMOND — With scheduling concerns looming each year along with the lack of recognition of student players and coaches, seven districts decided to join together to form the Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference (COAC).

The districts include Edmond, Deer Creek, Moore, Mustang, Norman, Stillwater and Yukon all operating under the new conference as of the 2014-15 school year. These seven school districts represent 12 high schools. COAC will use the 2013-14 school year to elect officers, enact bylaws and schedule for the 2014-15 school year. The 12 schools will continue to include out-of-conference games on their teams’ schedules.

“About two years ago we started having discussions about what is happening in the conferences,” Edmond’s Athletic Director Mike Nunley said. “We started questioning whether or not we are getting out of our conference affiliation what we wanted.”

Nunley said all of the coaches agreed recognition of athletes and coaches and the ability to fill their athletic schedules was the most important thing and recognized these three areas were not being addressed in a way they wanted to address them.

“We had faded on the first two, and by forming the Central Conference we won’t have to run all over looking for teams to play the first three weeks of the season,” Nunley said. “We found the conferences we were in weren’t meeting those needs in boys and girls sports across the board. Not all of the schools had freshmen and junior varsity as well as varsity teams or they didn’t have both boys’ and girls’ teams.”

Nunley said most 6A schools (there are 32) will only play other 6A schools. One year the Edmond Santa Fe football team had to travel to Bastrop, La., to play a game and one time they had to play a school from Kansas City.

“We wanted to keep Edmond games and still fill schedules,” Nunley said. “When Memorial played Deer Creek last year (a 5A school) that led us to start having conversations about Deer Creek’s student population growth and the projection that it may be reclassified as a 6A school soon.”

Because football redistricts every two years, Deer Creek will be classified as a 5A school even though student population may push it up into the 6A range. Schools are classified a year in advance and keep that classification for two additional years.

Nunley said, “The school districts in the Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference have a regional aspect as to their location, they are relatively the same size, have relatively good following and all of the districts are interested in hosting events and want to share the responsibility and cost.”

Within the conference there are schools that share a natural rivalry, Nunley said. There is the Moore War in baseball, in swimming the Norman North boys and Edmond North girls and the intra- and inter-district long-standing school and district rivalries that have been around for years.

“We need to recognize who the outstanding conference coaches and students are,” Nunley said. “If Deer Creek and Edmond Santa Fe are first and second then we need to promote that and adjust. We need to learn from our mentors, the SEC and the Big 12.”

Nunley said in Oklahoma the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association determines who the district opponents are in football, soccer, regular wrestling, baseball and softball.

“Ten football games are set by the OSSAA a year and seven of those are set for the schools by OSSAA,” Nunley said. “Weeks one, two and three are up to the schools to arrange those games.”

He added other sports are just as important and coaches were having the same problems in scheduling because they needed to fill ninth-grade, junior varsity and varsity schedules.

Bob Diefenderfer, athletic director for the Deer Creek schools said, “I just feel there is a common vision here. For us it was simple. Since we are coming from 5A there is no guarantee we are going to be 6A in any sports next year. If we are going to project we might be on the line maybe number 30 to 34, but we may still be 5A in everything.”

Diefenderfer said the district will probably be 6A in some sports.

“I had told our suburban conference we would be looking for a 6A conference opportunity because of the way we are going in growth,” Diefenderfer said. “Then we started having the discussions about forming this conference. In one way or another teams are all leaving another conference.

“This fits the future needs of our student athletes very well. Timing was just about perfect for us. If we are 6A in anything thing next year it would be cross country, volleyball, track, golf, tennis or swimming.”

Diefenderfer said the district will be classified as 5A in football, softball, dual state wrestling, baseball and soccer this year and next year.

“These are done because in these sports you are locked in for two years,” Diefenderfer said. “In football we will be in 5A for three years because they plan a year in advance for the next two years.”

Diefenderfer said Deer Creek will have more chances to play 6A schools in the new conference.

“We will pick up non-district games in football and soccer,” Diefenderfer said. “It is a really good conference for Deer Creek’s future. The timing was good for us.”

Nunley said how the district schools were going to be able to build a schedule became a priority for him. “I had to find teams to play, leading to the next conversation. Before you knew it there were 12 of us sitting at the same table and the next thing we knew we had the new conference.”


Text Only
  • spts-DC Brock Ruminer dive TD catch.jpg Deer Creek 2nd largest in Class 5A

    With the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association releasing enrollment figures, Deer Creek stands as the second-largest school in Class 5A with 1,252 students.
    Lawton Eisenhower, which had been a very strong football program in 6A, is now tops in 5A with 1,281 students.
    Schedules in football classification still remain the same until 2016-17. Del City will move back into 6A beginning in 2016.
    The statistics will not be deemed official until pending approval at the OSSAA’s board meeting next month.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson, Grissom take on more suitable roles for 2015 season

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins.
    The moves were made to aid OU’s defense. They could benefit both in the future.

    July 28, 2014

  • spts-OSU Yurcich.jpg Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.
    Yurcich and most of the Cowboys’ coaching staff attended the annual media golf outing  Wednesday at Karsten Creek. He, along with the other assistant coaches, talked about the upcoming season.
    “Every offense is going to be a little bit different from year to year, depending on the personnel,” Yurcich said. “I think you learn a little bit more about the players, because you know them for a longer time. You know a little bit more about the coaches you work with because you’re around them a little bit longer. All of those things factor into one more year of experience.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-EN Jaci Smith long backhand.jpg 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.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-Hershey Mary McKey.jpg 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.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    July 25, 2014

  • 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.

    July 25, 2014

  • Blackmon.jpg 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.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.”

    July 22, 2014

  • spts-ESF Max McGreevy state champ.jpg 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.

    Qualifying Players
    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

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo