By Cody Johnson
The Newcastle Lady Racers' Fastpitch team took home the State title from Shawnee last Saturday in a 7-1 defeat of Fort Gibson.
"We played really well in September. We were 22-3 over the last 25 games," head coach Mike Crossley said.
The Lady Racers advanced out of district play easily by beating Classen at home. In Regional play, Newcastle handed Anadarko a 7-1 defeat in the first round. In the second round, Elk City posed more of a threat for the Lady Racers, but Newcastle pulled out a win by scoring two runs in the last inning. In the finals of regionals, Newcastle beat Blanchard the first game 12-2 but struggled in the second game eventually coming up with a win after scoring two in the last inning to advance to state.
"You can throw out all the records and rankings when you play Blanchard, because they are going to come at you hard," Crossley said. "It [being down 4-3 in the fifth inning] was kind of a blessing in disguise, because we had been preaching all year that both good and bad things are going to happen; you just have to stay tough and fight through it. It is a game of failure, so that helped us going into the state tournament."
In the first round of the state tournament, Newcastle played No. 3 ranked Tecumseh and defeated them 9-3.
"We swung the bat well against a really good pitcher," he said "because Emily (pitcher Emily Cerny) was a little beat up. She threw 21 innings on Tuesday, so the first two days of the tournament you could tell she was sore."
In the second round of the state tournament, the Lady Racers were set to face off against Hilldale who was the returning State Champions and graduated no seniors last year. With Cerny hurting and sore, ice baths and massages were given to Cerny to try and loosen her up.
"She slowly started to loosen up in the Hilldale game and was able to pull out the 5-4 win," he said. "It was an awfully big win."
The win propelled Newcastle into the state finals and into defeating Fort Gibson 3-0 for the State Title.
"We had a great state tournament, we really played well."
Mike Crossley commented that it was ironic they defeated Fort Gibson in his first state championship title because they are the team Newcastle lost to in his first state title game back in 1989.
"This really solidified our program, because we have been to state 22 times, and it was always 'you never won state,'" Crossley said. "Other people may have only gone to state two times over the last 27 years and may have won it. It was like yes you were good that one-year, but we have been good year after year after year. Winning the State Championship solidified our program. There are not a lot of teams in the state that can say they have been to state 22 times out of the last 27 years."
By Cody Johnson
The Newcastle Racers defeated Clinton 41-7 last Friday extending their undefeated streak to seven when the Red Tornadoes whirled into town.
"We were behind the first quarter. It was a great test for us. Our kids responded to being down to a quality football team. The adversity of going against someone with tradition like Clinton and falling behind on the first play is tough," said head coach Keith Bolles. "The defense came off the field and no one was hanging their heads because everybody knew there were a lot more plays left in the game. That is one thing I am really proud of, they way they responded."
Clinton won the coin toss and elected to receive the football to start the game. After Newcastle downed their runner on the kickoff at the 30-yard line, the Red Tornadoes ran a 70-yard option to score the first touchdown of the game. With a successful point after touchdown (PAT) kick, those were the only points Clinton would put on the board for the game.
Newcastle's offense came back strong on their first possession but was unable to get into the red zone, however the Racers' defense shut down Clinton's offense from then on.
In the second quarter, senior quarterback Casey Freeman hit wide receiver Ben Persall on 56-yard touchdown pass to put the Racers on the score board and a PAT kick from Everett tied the game at 7-7. That was not the end of the quarter. Next Freeman hit wide receiver Gavin Garner and wide receiver Brady Davis with a 27-yard and 37-yard touchdown pass respectively. Two more PAT kicks from Everett put Newcastle ahead of Clinton 21-7. Before the half ended, Freeman hit Persall with another touchdown pass for 9 yards and another six for the Racers going into halftime.
The third quarter divided the teams even more with a five-yard quarterback draw by Freeman and a 71-yard run from senior running back Zach Bergt that put the Racers ahead 41-7. The fourth quarter was a draw for both teams offensively sending the Racers to 7-0 overall for the season and 4-0 in district play.
"Offensively, Casey had a great night throwing the ball and our receivers did a great job running their routes. It was the offensive line though that gave him time to throw," Bolles said. "Our defensive line played well against their offensive line and our linebackers played assignment football so after the first play it was a great night."
The Racers return to action on Friday when they travel to Weatherford for their district game at 7 p.m. No. 5 ranked Weatherford is currently 6-1 overall for the season and 4-0 in district play.
"I think it's a true testament to our district when we have three of the top five ranked teams in the state in our district so we going to play Weatherford this week, play Anadarko next week, finish up with Elgin and then get ready for the second part of our season," Bolles said.
By Jennifer Wynne
The Bridge Creek Bobcats hosted the John Marshall Bears last Friday night. Early in the game, senior Mason Trevino scored for the Bobcats taking an early lead of 6-0 against the Bears. With 1:50 left in the first quarter, sophomore Tyler Martinez intercepted a throw from John Marshal and ran it back to the 1-yard line. Trevino then took the ball in to the end zone, and the Bobcats continue their lead 12-0 at the end of the first quarter.
With 8:23 left in the 2nd quarter, the game was postponed due to lightening and was rescheduled to resume Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m.
It was clear Saturday that John Marshall went home Friday night and did their homework. With adjustments made, the Bears immediately got on the board and scored twice in the remainder of the first half bringing the score to 12-12 at the half.
After the half, John Marshall came back out even stronger and scored an additional three touchdowns in the third quarter taking the score toe to 36-12 with the Bobcats unable to answer to any of those points. The Bears put two more touchdowns on the scoreboard before the end of the game taking the final score to 50-12.
The Bobcats will travel on the road to face Blanchard this Thursday.
By Cody Johnson
The Newcastle Racers traveled to Elk City last Friday to hand a 41-12 victory to the Elks and extend their undefeated streak to six games.
"I was proud of the kids for having a slow start, but they kept going and never quit. We fought through it well," said head coach Keith Bolles.
Elk City won the coin toss but deferred to the second half leaving Newcastle to receive the ball to start the game. Despite several drives from both teams, the game was still scoreless at the end of the first quarter.
"We started very slow. We had a turnover in our first series, but our defense was really solid," Bolles said.
A touchdown pass from 20 yards out put Elk City up 6-0 after a missed point after touchdown, PAT, kick attempt. This was the first time all season a team has been ahead of the Racers during a game; it was a brief lived moment. Senior running back Zach Bergt ran the ball in for a touchdown on a two-yard carry midway through the second quarter. An extra point from the PAT kick put Newcastle ahead 7-6 going into halftime.
In the third quarter, the Racers did not delay. Newcastle picked off an Elk City pass in Elk territory. That was then followed with senior quarterback Casey Freeman running the ball in on a quarter back draw from ten yards out. Another extra point from a PAT kick and Newcastle secured their lead 14-6.
A scoring spree by the Racers left the Elks behind 41-6 at the end of the third quarter. The action during the Racers spree saw another interception for the Racers along with four more touchdowns: a 25-yard touchdown pass from Freeman to senior wide receiver Glenn Cerny, a 25-yard touchdown pass from Freeman to senior wide receiver Ben Persall and two touchdown runs by Zach Bergt.
"It is really good when the defense gives the offense the ball six times behind their 40 yard line," said offensive coodinator Scott O'Hara.
In the fourth quarter, Elk City tried to mount a comeback from the devastation in the third with a punt return that resulted in an Elk touchdown. The Racers quickly put an end to an Elk City determination by shutting down their offense and handing them a 41-12 victory.
Newcastle is now 6-0 overall and 3-0 in district play. They will return to action on Friday on their own turf versus the Clinton Red Tornados. The Red Tornados are coming off of a 27-13 victory against Elgin but are 2-4 for the season.
Bolles warned their record is deceiving and that Clinton has played some hard, close games with some tough opponents.
"They have a good offense and a running back that is the real deal, along with other players that have stepped up," he said. "It will be a good game to watch."
The Lady Racers rolled through their opponent Classen School of Advanced Studies last Thursday in the District playoffs. With Abby Sanners on the mound and Molly Crosswhite behind the plate, Newcastle ended the doubleheader 16-0 and 15-0 in the third inning both games. Emily Cerny sat out these games.
"I don't want to take any chances of injury," head coach Mike Crossley said.
Another change up in the starting lineup was Aurora Scott defending first base for the Lady Racers.
Sanners went to work immediately in the top of the first inning with three strikeouts in a row. The Lady Racers huddled together after running of the field and chanted "1...2...3... shake and bake!" before starting their batting lineup.
Kobi Crossley started the bottom of the first with a bunt to get her to first. The next batter bunted a ball that resulted in an out but pushed Kobi to second. After two batters were hit with the ball on the pitch, the bases were loaded. Kindle Nelms then hit a single, which propelled Kobi into home, scoring the first run of the night.
That was followed by a ground ball by Karmyn Pearn that barely missed the second baseman and sent four more runners through home base. Five more runs scored by the Lady Racers before the end of the first inning followed.
Three more outs by Sanners, two of which were strikeouts, opened the top of the second inning. In the bottom of the second inning, Newcastle continued to score six more runs to close out the bottom of the second.
After a single strikeout, an out trying to steal second, and an out at first by Classen in the top of the third the game was called at 16-0. The second game of the double header was an identical blowout that ended with the Lady Racers ahead 15-0 and moving forward out of district play. The Lady Racers will host a regional tournament this Thursday.
Other teams that will be present are Anadarko, Elk City and Blanchard. The Lady Racers are set to play Anadarko first round at noon. Adults and Students are $5 for admission because it is a play off game.
"It will be tough," head coach Mike Crossley said, "but we are excited to host. We have beat them all before, but they were all tough games."
The Lady Racers ended their first volleyball season in school history last Thursday at the regional tournament in Cache.
"We played really well. We went to five games with Sante Fe South, who beat us earlier in the year," said head coach Melissa Johnson "They beat us by one point. We just had one little error."
Sante Fe went on to play Cache who was the regional champion.
"I think the season went fantastic. The girls really worked hard in the off-season to prepare for the season," Johnson said. "I feel like they have the fever now and we are going to be really good next year."
The one thing the Lady Racers will focus on for next year is serving. Good teams have six servers that can jump serve the ball and get an ace almost every time.
"We just need that consistent really strong serve," Johnson said.
All of the varsity starters will be returning next season except one senior, Danielle Palmer who will be graduating in the spring. Many of the girls have joined club leagues for the off-season and the Lady Racers will be going to clinics as well.
Volleyball was new to the town of Newcastle this year. So new that the girls had to be taught where the out of bounds lines were in June, she said.
"I was really proud of the girls this year. For starting a new program, we won ten games, which is in double digits," she said.
Johnson is not worried about participation levels for the sport moving forward. The Lady Racers have larger numbers in the younger ages than in the older ones, which make the main focus developing the younger girls. It was harder to recruit the older girls with it being the first year, because they would only be able to play for a year or two.
"Volleyball is a fun sport; it's a sport that you can pick up quick. There is a girl at Stanford that never played high school ball, but she started on a division one team. She is six nine, " Johnson said. "You couldn't do that with basketball or you couldn't do that with softball, but you can with volleyball."
This year, Newcastle saw over 30 kids participate in the middle school alone, which is seventh and eighth grade. Around 90 percent of the varsity team this year was made up of sophomores. Johnson predicts that some of the eighth graders moving up to freshmen will be able to start at the varsity level come next July.
"I would like to thank the community for coming out and supporting," she said. "We had just as big of a crowd as any other town we visited. For it being a new sport, I was really impressed with that. The student section did a fantastic job of cheering at home. Our administration supported our program. I was very impressed with the quality of support from our school the first year."
The Newcastle Racers hosted the Woodward Boomers last Friday and shut them out 12-0 in their 2014 Homecoming game.
Spirits were high last Friday as the Homecoming festivities began. A parade at 1:30 p.m. started the day with 33 float entries driving through town throwing candy and other goodies to crowds lined on the sidewalk.
A carnival followed the parade over by the Library. Booths were set up and run by students with games to entertain children. From car smashing to kisses by cheerleaders, there was fun for everyone in attendance.
The tailgating began at 5 p.m. with people bringing all sorts of dishes and grilling pork chops, burgers, steaks, and hotdogs. As the time for the Homecoming ceremony drew near, the stadium filled with people and at 6:45 p.m. the royalty marched onto the sidelines. Two by two they were announced as they walked on the field.
When the moment came Jordyn LeClaire was named Homecoming Queen along with her escort Colton Bridges as Homecoming King. The crowd cheered.
The focus was then switched to the game at hand. The student section was in especially high spirits.
"What a great job by our student body coming up with those signs themselves," said head coach Keith Bolles, "and a big thank you for the intros on the jumbo-tron Nate Owens put together for us."
The Racers took an early lead but not by much in the first quarter when senior wide receiver Parker Bolles caught a long pass and ran the remaining ten yards into the end zone. Newcastle was unable to secure the point after touchdown kick and took a 6-0 lead.
That lead carried throughout the remainder of the half, with Woodward threatening several times but unable to put points on the board.
In the third period the game went back and forth with Woodward just on the brink of scoring before Newcastle’s defense would shut them down. Senior wide receiver Brady Davis caught a touchdown pass in the end zone. Once again the Racers were unable to gain any point after touchdown points and went ahead 12-0.
This remained the score till the end when the Racers ran out the clock.
"I thought the defensive, especially the front seven played well," Bolles said. "I think Zach and Parker did a great job of stringing it out when they tried to go outside. Colton Bridges, Tanner White, Dakota Norman and Tanner Robertson did a great job when they tried to go between the tackles. Our safeties were there to fill when they needed," he said.
Newcastle had 23 first downs compared to Woodwards 13. In total plays the Racers snapped 63 balls while the Boomers only snapped 54.
"That was a good hard fought game," Bolles said.
Senior quarterback Casey Freeman once again put up triple digit passing yards, 196 on 14 throws. Senior running back Zach Bergt lead the Racers in rushing with 121 yards on 22 carries.
Friday the Racers will travel to Elk City for their next district game. The Elks come into the game with a 3-2 record after defeating the Elgin Owls 22-21 last week.
The Racers remain undefeated with a 5-0 record overall and a 2-0 district record.
"It is a very long road trip. It's a district game and that is how we are looking at it. They are coming off a big win against Elgin." he said. "It's probably going to be the longest trip we have had in a long time. We are going to go there, see what we can do and take care of business."
The Newcastle Lady Racers had their hands full last Thursday night when they defeated the Chickasha Fighting Lady Chicks at home in their first annual Senior Night.
All grades played, from seventh grade through varsity, however the seventh and eighth grade teams were combined to save time.
The seventh and eighth grade game started the night with a match win from the Lady Racers in a 2-1 decision. Newcastle established their dominance on the court 25-4 but then turned around to lose 27-29 in a tough game. The match deciding set ended with a 15-7 score in favor of the Lady Racers.
Next up the ninth grade team took to the court with complete ownership winning two games back to back and shutting out the Fighting Chicks 25-12; 25-15.
Newcastle suffered their only match loss of the night from the junior varsity team, although the Lady Racers won a hard fought 27-25 victory in the second game. The Fighting Lady Chicks were too much for Newcastle to handle in the first match losing 11-25. Even after a hard fought win by Newcastle in the second game, the third match was identical to the first with an 11-25 loss.
Before the varsity game began the Newcastle Lady Racers took time to honor the first graduating class from the volleyball team. Newcastle has seven seniors this year, including their team manager, Bryan Smith. The six senior players that are graduating are Shayla Williams, Shadi Joshua, Lauren Triplitt, Carlee Triplitt, Taylor Paige, and Danielle Palmer. You can see their favorite high school memories in the Community Quotes.
After the seniors walked across court with their parents and were handed flowers from head coach Melissa Johnson, the varsity match started with full intensity. From the first game, it was apparent the teams were closely matched. Newcastle took the first game 25-22, but fell victim to the Fighting Lady Chicks nasty serves in the second game losing and putting the match score at 1-1.
In the third game of the match, the Lady Racers showed their determination handing the Lady Chicks a 25-10 defeat. In the fourth game however Chickasha returned the favor to Newcastle with a 12-25 loss for the Lady Racers.
It all came down to the last game and the first team to 15 points. Newcastle was down early in the game but came from behind to take the 15-11 win and the match in a 3-2 decision.
The Newcastle Lady Racers celebrated their one graduating senior, Kobi Crossley, Monday night before beating Anadarko 5-1.
"It's definitely hard [being the only senior] but also good at the same time. I love spending time with my team," senior Kobi Crossley said. "I did have to step up into the leadership role, but I also have a lot of help. They all step up and take the leadership role, it's not just me."
Not only is Kobi the only senior, she scored the first run of the night for Newcastle in the first inning off of a single by Mikaela Workman while the bases were loaded.
"After I graduate, I am going to play ball at USAO and major in psychology. They recruited me for third baseman but said that I wouldn't only be playing that position," Kobi said. "I am just happy for my team. I love them. And a big shout out to my uncle, coach Crossley, he's the best!"
Leading the team on the mound, sophomore Emily Cerny took the Lady Racers through three innings with Anadarko batters unable to connect with a single ball she threw. By the time they could, Newcastle was ahead 2-0 going into the fourth inning but Anadarko was still unable to score.
Anadarko mounted a comeback in the top of the fifth inning with three singles that pushed a runner home and put them on the scoreboard. The Lady Racers however ended the inning with a forced out at home base the very next play.
The bottom of the fifth opened with Kindle Nelms hitting one to the fence and making it to second. Nelms making it home off Karmyn Pearn's double followed that play.
The Lady Racers then racked up some more runs in the sixth inning off of stolen bases and ground balls to pull ahead 5-1. They closed out the seventh with two strikeouts by Cerny and a caught fly to left field by Amber Kammerlocher.
"Overall, I was pleased with tonight. It was good for us to play in front of a big crowd, because there is a good chance we will host a regional and Newcastle fans love their fastpitch. They support us well," head coach Mike Crossley said.
Last week the Lady Racers beat the number seven ranked Cache Bulldogs, which propelled them into the top eight teams. Playoffs will begin Thursday at home versus Classen, a fairly new school to fastpitch. In the district playoffs, the two teams out of each district play the best two out of three. Thursday night will be a double header and a time on Friday is not yet determined because it might not be necessary.
The Newcastle football team handed Cache a 26-11 district defeat last Friday to remain undefeated for the season with a 4-0 overall and 1-0 district record.
"I think our defense played outstanding. We had some turn-overs, but we also created some turn-overs," head coach Keith Bolles said.
The first quarter of action saw nothing more than Cache inside Newcastle's 20-yard line, however the Bulldogs were unable to make it into the end zone due to a Racer interception.
In the second quarter, Newcastle was first to make it on the board when senior quarterback Casey Freeman hit junior wide receiver Cory Hill for a 16-yard touchdown pass. The point-after-touchdown kick was missed, Newcastle went ahead 6-0.
With five minutes left in the half, senior running back Zach Bergt found his way into the end zone on a five-yard carry. Sophomore kicker Hunter Everett placed the ball between the goal post to put the Racers ahead 13-0. The answer from Cache was an offensive drive that ended with a 35-yard field goal from kicker Austin Greene. This put the score at 13-3 at halftime.
To start off the second half, Cache kicked off to Newcastle who had deferred after winning the coin toss. Offensively the Racers march down the field within Cache's red zone. Freeman scrambles around behind the line and takes off on a ten-yard run to score another touchdown for Newcastle. The Racers tried for a two-point conversion but the attempt failed.
After a big stop by the Newcastle defense, which included another interception by Hill, Bergt managed to find the end zone again on a 25-yard rush that was followed by a point-after-touchdown kick from Everett to put the Racers up 26-3. Cache responded with a touchdown and a two-point conversion that was successful, but there was not enough time left in the game for the Bulldogs to play catch-up. The game ended 26-11.
"There were some things that went against us like the long drive down there, having to be finished warming up and be off the field forty minutes prior to the game," Bolles said. "I felt good after the fact. Our kids had all these disadvantages, but were still able to come in and get a fifteen-point victory in a district game."
Casey Freeman managed to have another great passing game with 142 yards on 11 catches, one of which was for a touchdown. Zach Bergt led the Racers rushing with 77 yards on 15 carries. In the receiving game, senior wide receiver Parker Bolles took over the statistics with 46 yards on 2 catches, although Hill had the only touchdown pass of the night.
Newcastle will return home to take on the Woodward Boomers for their homecoming game on Friday. Woodward is currently 3-1 for their season. The Boomers are coming off a 22-7 win over the Elgin Owls in a 4A District 1 game.
Homecoming can be both a motivation and a distraction, Bolles said.
"The things I worry about are kids working on floats, staying out a little bit later and not getting the proper nutrition. We will stress things like that this week," he said. "Homecoming is a great thing for our town and community, because it is such a special event. We just have to remind our kids that they still have a job, to prepare to take care of Woodward."