By Max Terrell
The Newcastle Racer football team has played its way into the NFL High School Player Development (HSPD) 7-on-7 tournament.
The national tournament has been held for the last seven years and has evolved since the first tournament in 2007.
The tournament places 32 teams from different regions of the country in competition against one another with each team representing one of the 32 NFL teams. This year Newcastle will be representing the Dallas Cowboys.
To qualify for the tournament, the team had to make its way down to Dallas and compete against a variety of other teams for the chance to represent the Cowboys. Each team in the 7-on-7 tournament can consist of 12 players and two coaches with seven players on the field.
Representing the Racers are: Zach Bergt, Parker Bolles, Brady Davis, Casey Freeman, Gavin Garner, C.J. Hill, Isaac Johnson, Shane Martin, Ben Persall, Kyle Rice, Britt West.
The tournament looks to help improve the skill set of the football players involved, and while it is a tournament format it is also a camp instead of just a tournament, Racer Head Coach Keith Bolles said.
This particular camp is not just about football. According to the NFL's official website, while the Racers will have the chance to compete against some of the best athletes in the country, the students will also be required to attend character development training. These training sessions will involve speakers, breakout sessions, and group activities in hopes of teaching the athletes from around the country about character and structure.
"I love the character development," Bolles said. "They will get to hear a lot of stories from different guys. If all 12 guys going to the camp take those lessons in then it will spread through the entire program."
Before heading to the 7-on-7 camp, the Racers spent a weekend at the football camp at Oklahoma Baptist University to focus on improving for the upcoming football season, Bolles said.
While the Racers and the coaches are keeping focused on the upcoming season that sees the Racers moving up to 4A competition, the athletes and the coaches are excited for the chance to play in the NFL and National Guard sponsored tournament.
"That's a great opportunity for them," Bolles said. "They competed hard to get in and are looking forward to the trip."
Be sure to pick up next week's Pacer for a follow-up.
Written by Max Terrell and posted to the website by Ryan Croft.
Q: How did you first get into buying Anytime Fitness gyms?
Well, I started buying under-performing clubs and started to turn the gyms around. There are two awards that the Anytime franchises give out each year. One is the Turn Around Club of The Year for the most improved club, which we have one.
Q: When did you purchase your first Anytime Fitness?
A: I purchased my first Anytime Fitness a little over four years ago. Now we have 14 different locations.
Q: Why did you decide to buy the Anytime Fitness in Newcastle?
A: Newcastle has a great demographic and it’s a great town. I wanted to bring a first-class facility with new equipment for people. Our treadmills, for example, all have flat screen TVs. So, you can plug your headphones in and watch some Sports Center or anything else while you are getting a workout in.
Q: How important is health and fitness to you?
A: It’s very important. The thing that’s great about Anytime Fitness is that it is a gym for anyone. Everyone can come in and work out and feel comfortable. Someone can come in and workout for thirty minutes and leave feeling good about themselves. To be able to do something like this that I totally believe in is rewarding.
Q: What sports did you participate in when you were younger?
Well, I was a collegiate athlete. I played tennis in college, and I played professional tennis for a little while. I also coached tennis at one point.
Former Racer makes it to the big leagues.
Story written by Max Terrell and posted to the website by Ryan Croft.
The Houston Astros drafted former Newcastle Racer Dean Deetz Saturday, June 7, in round 11 of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft.
Various major league draft websites and analysts ranked Deetz as a top 200 player in the country coming into draft day.
He suffered an ulnar collateral ligament injury (UCL) that made him miss the 2013 season after requiring Tommy John's surgery. Tommy John's surgery is a procedure that replaces the UCL with a tendon from another part of the body.
"It was hard coming off surgery," Deetz said. "I pushed myself everyday so that I could eventually make my dream come true and play professionally."
The Newcastle Racers soccer team played its final game of the season Tuesday night against the Woodward Boomers.
The Racers lost to Woodward, 0-2, in the first round of the class 4-A state championship playoffs.
“The boys played extremely hard the entire match, leaving everything on the field,” head coach Dale Berglan said in a written statement to the Pacer. “We could just never get it going in the right direction. It was one of those nights when nothing went right for us as a whole.”
The Racers finished the season with an overall 9-4 record.
“It was a great season,” Berglan said.
The Racers start back to practice in January 2015 and regular season play begins March 1.
The team will lose a few starting seniors to graduation but Berglan is looking forward to seeing the young kids step up and carry on the sense of teamwork and selflessness the Racers established this season, he said.
The Newcastle Racers baseball team beat the 10th-ranked Harrah Panthers Saturday to be third in the overall season rankings with a 19-8 record.
The boys will play Classen School of Advanced Studies in the district competition.
“I expect us to win,” Racers baseball coach Mike Crosley said. “Classen is not the strongest of teams and we shouldn’t have any problem with them.”
The team’s play has improved but its defense will need to be more consistent to make it to regionals, Crosley said.
At times we can really swing it well, he said. We’re showing signs of being a really good ball club but, at times, we’re our own worst enemies.
The girl’s softball team lost its final district game Thursday to Little Axe, finishing 14-20 for the season.
“The loss in the 5th game of districts was very disappointing,” softball coach Byron Mooney said in a written statement to the Pacer. “Unfortunately, we just didn’t hit the ball very well or score many runs.”
The Lady Racers were 4-2 early in the season, before sliding into a 12-game losing streak.
The team regained some of its momentum later in the season, going on to win the White bracket championship in the Harrah Tournament.
Playing consistently well was the main problem and it is what the team will work to improve in the future, Mooney said.
The Newcastle Racers are seeking runners for the Racer Run 2014 fundraiser.
Proceeds from the run benefit the Racers wrestling program, including grades seven through 12.
The course will have a series of challenges including three mud pits, logs floating in a creek that runners must maintain balance across, tire flips, climbing ropes and a spear throw challenge.
Mud run obstacle course races have become a growing fitness trend across the United States, with Oklahoma hosting 10 different mud run races between throughout the late spring and summer seasons, according to MudRunGuide.com.
Hale modeled The Racer Run based on Oklahoma City’s larger Ultimate Mud Warrior obstacle course race, which participants have called, “the best mud run ever,” according to its website.
Hale believes better funding for the wrestling team is essential to its success in competitions, he said.
“The football team will make it to the playoffs and the whole town goes crazy,” Hale said. “I want the community to recognize these boys … the wrestlers’ hard work. We can’t even always afford for everyone to have the same uniform.”
The Pacer’s own staff writer, Ryan Croft, will chronicle his participation in the event with a high-impact, high definition video camera strapped to his head.
Anyone interested in entering the race can visit newcastleracerun.com and use the promotional code, “racerrun14,” to receive $15 off the entry fee.
The Newcastle Racers boys and girls soccer teams ended their district series Tuesday April 22, with wins against The Cache Bulldogs.
The boy’s team clinched the district 4-A championship with a 4-0 victory.
Senior Greg Gibson scored the first goal of the night, followed by Shane Martin scoring the other three goals.
The win follows a season of progression that has seen the Racers “getting better each week,” Head Coach Dale Berglan said.
The Racers were ranked seventh going into the last week of the regular season but won all five of their district games to bring their overall record to 9-3. The last three district games were all shutouts.
Forwards Shane Martin and Tyler Fielder led the team’s offense with a season total of 17 goals, six assists and 12 goals, four assists, respectively.
The team will play its first match of the state championships May 6, after receiving a first round bye in the tournament.
“This is a great group of boys. They are the true sense of a team,” Berglan said. “One of the hardest working groups I have ever been associated with. They do not care who gets the accolades. They just want to win.”
The girl’s team won 2-1 against Cache but ended their season with an overall 6-7 record.
Berglan attributed the team’s struggles to losing seven total starting players to injuries and other circumstances beyond the team’s control.
“Although our overall record is not the best it could be our girls gave their best,” Berglan said in a written statement to the Newcastle Pacer. “It was a season that our team handled as well as they could.”
The team placed third in a Bethany tournament earlier in the year and third in the overall district rankings.
NEW YORK (AP) — Army graduate Mike Krzyzewski will lead a U.S. national team practice at his alma mater, and the U.S. women will train at the Naval Academy as part of an increased partnership among the NBA, USA Basketball and the Department of Defense.
The NBA and its teams will also organize job fairs and other events to support military personnel in their transition back to civilian life.
The plans were announced Friday following the completion of the NBA's board of governors meeting. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addressed owners at the meeting.
The U.S. men will hold an open practice at West Point on Aug. 18. The women will practice at Navy from Sept. 7-10 as both teams prepare to defend their world titles.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Tulsa businessman George B. Kaiser has joined the Oklahoma City Thunder's ownership team.
Thunder chairman and CEO Clayton I. Bennett made the announcement Friday.
Kaiser is president, CEO and primary owner of GBK Corp., parent of Kaiser-Francis Oil Company, which he has managed for 40 years. He also is chairman of the board and majority shareholder of BOK Financial Corp. and a major shareholder in several energy, oil and gas, mining and technology companies. He is purchasing the ownership interest of Tom L. Ward.
In addition, through a transaction approved by the NBA Board of Governors, Bennett, Aubrey K. McClendon, William M. Cameron and Jay Scaramucci have each purchased ownership interests from G. Jeffrey Records Jr. Records remains a significant owner of the team, and MidFirst remains a major sponsor.
Going 5-2 after their last home game, the Newcastle Racers had the beginnings of a nice streak when they returned to the Racer baseball complex Monday, going 3-0 in their last three games.
It was not to be as the Racers fell 7-5 to Mt. Saint Mary's in extra innings Mar. 31 in Newcastle.
It is the second loss to the Rockets (5-5) this season after a 5-3 loss Mar. 10. The game was moved to Newcastle after re-sodding at Mt. Saint Mary's forced the game's relocation.
The Racers (7-4) were riding high after their three-game road win streak, with the most recent victory coming Mar. 29 at Rush Springs.
"It was a good win," Newcastle Head Coach Mike Crossley said. "They were 12-0, but they got beat the night before we played them ... They were 25-6 last year and didn't graduate any kids. It was a game that scared me a little bit, I admit."
Crossley hailed relief pitcher Eric Strangefeld and batter Keith Tarver for the 10-5 win over Rush Springs, considering the game came the day after prom.
Pitching remains a concern for Crossley as the Racers approach the midpoint of their season.
"We're awfully young on the mound," Crossley said. "Two of our main pitchers we used last year graduated, so it's a gradual process of building that pitching staff, making it better."
Crossley also hopes that hitting improves with the changing seasons.
"As the weather warms up, the bats warm up," he said.
The Racers remain in healthy shape as they prepare for the Newcastle Invitational tournament, beginning when Newcastle takes on Little Axe 11 a.m. April 3 at the Racer baseball complex.
Other teams participating include Latta, Classen SAS, Bridge Creek, Purcell, Christian Heritage and Community Christian School.
The Racers are 3-1 against the tournament field. Thursday will be the team's only meeting with Little Axe. The Racers lost 6-5 to Christian Heritage on the championship game of the Little Axe tournament Mar. 22, have notched two wins over Bridge Creek Mar. 7 and 20, and scored a 22-7 win over Community Christian Mar. 24.