Northern Oklahoma College in Enid won the school’s first Division II NJCAA National Championship this season, and six Edmond High School graduates were a big reason for the hardware.
Edmond North’s Lawson Isaacs, Kaleb McCullough and Braden Hill teamed up with Edmond Memorial graduates Seth Graves, Dylan Caplinger and DJ Calvert to help lift the Jets to their first-ever baseball national title late last month.
Five of the six each had pivotal moments in the postseason run, too.
McCullough and Isaacs started things off. Pitching in tandem during the semifinal against Piasco-Hernado State, Fla., the pair lifted the Jets through a 15-6 win to reach the national championship game.
In that national final, Caplinger was the difference. With the game tied at four runs each, he hit a game-winning home run in the top of the ninth inning. The Jets would hold on through the bottom of the inning to clinch at 5-4.
For Graves and Calvert, their impact was felt throughout the tournament. Calvert played solid defense and contributed timely hits, and Graves went a combined 11-for-25 across the bracket. Graves was named to the All Tournament team for his performance.
Braden Hill was unable to compete due to shoulder surgery during the national championship run.
Hill, though, will be the only one of the ensemble to return to NOC-Enid. Just a freshman, Hill will return to the Jets lineup next spring. All five others will continue their baseball career and education at other colleges.
Isaacs will attend Edmond’s University of Central Oklahoma. Calvert will attend Valparaiso University to play and study engineering. Caplinger will continue his career at Pitt State; McCullogh will attend Oral Roberts University. Finally, Graves will attend Western Carolina University where he will play and continue studying for his mechanical engineering degree.