By Cody Johnson
The air was tense when the Newcastle fans traveled to Blanchard last Friday for their annual rivalry game, more tense than usual. The tailgating continued the same as before every game with lots of homemade food and grilled meats but one thing was for sure, Newcastle was here on business.
Who could blame them?
Rumors began to surface on Thursday that someone in Blanchard had placed a "bounty" on Newcastle's senior quarterback Casey Freeman and senior running back Zach Bergt to be injured. But nothing could be confirmed beyond word of mouth.
One thing that was officially reported by Freeman's family, his truck had been vandalized.
Police escorts led the Newcastle buses onto Blanchard's campus no more than thirty minutes before the game was set to start. The Racers warmed up at home after the vandalism and potential threats took place. A few plays by the offense and defense along with some quick stretching was the only warm up performed by the Racers after their arrival in Lion territory.
From the first kick-off it was apparent both teams were here to play. The game was filled with diving leg tackles, lots of cutting by linemen, and what appeared to be jabs at each other, as the piles were slow to get up. In summary, it was a typical rivalry game.
Unwavering Casey Freeman led the Racers’ offensive in an unrelenting charge throughout to score 21 points, while the Racers' defense shutout the Lions with 100 tackles for the game.
As Newcastle racked up the points, their student section became louder and louder. Signs were held up, drums were beat, and towards the end of the game a lion’s head mask was hung from a flag pole and waved around as the students sang "na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye."
Freeman threw the ball for 134 yards and ran for another 20.
Bergt ran the ball for 76 yards on 15 carries, one of which was for a touchdown. Junior wide receiver Gavin Garner had hands of gold receiving for 62 yards and one amazing 41-yard catch.
Senior defensive linemen Tanner Robertson and junior linebacker Ty Smith made big tackles for the defense, each with a total of 13 for the night. Senior Shane Martin earned the most solo tackles however with six. Senior linebacker Parker Bolles was the only Racer to sack the Lions' quarterback.
Junior Cory Hill and Freeman both intercepted the ball for 19 yards and 13 yards respectively.
The Newcastle Racers are currently 3-0 for the season. Next week they will begin district play at Cache. Cache is currently 2-1 for their season having lost to Iowa Park Texas 12-38 before beating Hobart 36-26 and Chickasha 35-14.
Every game the Racers play between now and Nov. 7 will be district contests and will determine if they will make it to the playoffs, 3-0 is a great start.
By Cody Johnson
The Newcastle Racers' Cross Country teams traveled to Lindsay last week for the 2014 Canadian Valley Conference race. The junior high boys' team won their division, and the junior high girls' team placed third in their division. The girls' and boys' high school teams placed third in their respective divisions.
The high school and junior high teams then traveled down to Shawnee on Saturday for their next race. The high school girls’ team placed sixth overall in the 3200 meter run. The high school boys' team placed tenth overall in the 5 kilometer run. The junior high boys' placed fourth in their 3200 meter run.
Canadian Valley Conference Times
High School Girls
3 Alice Schummard 13:34:39.
4 Sydney Cannon 14:27:92
15 Aubrie Sanders 15:32:07.
25 Sarah Solina Newcastle 16:14:12.
High School Boys
2 Nick Tate 18:12:58.
13 Austin Hildebrand 20:37:05.
21 Josh McFarland 21:14:10.
22 Lucke Medrano 21:17:04.
24 Hunter Palacios 21:24:07.
Junior High Girls
13 Mackenzie Fink 13:05:33.
Junior High Boys
1 Taylon Chambers 12:34:01.
8 Tristian King 14:04:56.
9 Caleb Freeman 14:08:33.
11 Kaid Keininger 14:18:36.
12 Cole Johnston 14:24:09.
16 Garrett Rouse 15:01:84
19 Josh Lewis 15:27:50.
25 Caleb Wallace 15:50:51.
By Cody Johnson
The Newcastle Lady Racers' junior varsity volleyball team blew through the Elgin Lady Owls with a 3-0 win last Tuesday when they came to play in Racer territory.
The Owls lost three games straight with no need to play a fourth or fifth game. The Lady Racers took an early lead and did not slow down in the first game for a 25-6 victory. The second game looked almost identical with a 25-5 victory for the girls. In the third and final game, the Owls managed to just barely hit the double digits scoring before falling to Newcastle 25-10.
The ninth grade Lady Racers' volleyball team took on Clinton Monday as the Red Tornadoes rolled into Newcastle. The Lady Racers pulled out an impressive victory in the first game, but then turned around to drop the second game to the Red Tornadoes.
With the final game being the deciding tie-breaker, the ninth grade team took to the court. Fought as they may, Newcastle could not score the 15 points necessary to win the final game and fell 1-2 to Clinton.
By Cody Johnson
Sulphur defeated the Bridge Creek Bobcats last Friday night 25-44 when they came to town, despite quite a fight from Bridge Creek.
The Bobcats were down 0-13 by the end of the first quarter. The second quarter did not see much action until the sophomore wide receiver Jack Williams caught a pass and ran it into the end zone putting Bridge Creek on the board. The point after touchdown kick was good.
In the second half Sulphur put up another six points and tried for a two-point conversion, but the Bridge Creek defense stopped them. Another touchdown and extra point kick by Sulphur towards the end of the third quarter left the score at 27-25.
Senior wide receiver Mason Trevino caught a deep pass from senior quarterback Jimmy Wynne and ran the ball in for Bridge Creek's second touchdown, but the point after touchdown attempt was blocked.
This was answered with another Sulphur touchdown, which fired up the Bobcats. Trevino ran the ball on a 40-yard carry to score again for Bridge Creek.
Sulphur once again ran into the end zone with 3:45 left in the fourth quarter taking the score to 19-44.
Despite the little time left, Bridge Creek managed to score again, but was unable to overcome Sulphur. Bobcats fell 25-44.
By Cody Johnson
Last year's small co-ed state champions, the Newcastle Racers' Cheer squad, will make a run at back-to-back titles starting this Saturday at Chickasha's regional competition.
The squad, made up of 20 students both girls and guys, will take their places on the mat with all new stunts.
"These kids are advanced stunters and have been that way for a long time," head coach Toni Kammerlocher said.
A new ruling from the OSSAA governing body allows for the use of inversions in stunt groups, a move that was deemed illegal and unsafe last year. An inversion is when a cheerleader's head goes below their waist. Newcastle is sporting three different inversions in their routine this year.
The reason OSSAA is allowing inversions this year is due to new regulations on learning the stunt. Kammerlocher was officially trained how to teach it to her squad in a new process by OSSAA.
"You can’t get a state championship without difficult stunts," she said.
The state competition, which will take place on Sept. 27, has been held in Stillwater for a number of years, however the site is being moved this year to the Loyd Noble Center in Norman.
Kammerlocher described the arena at Loyd Noble as more intimate than the stadium in Stillwater because the crowd is that much closer. With the crowd closer and cheering loud, it can be hard to hear each other on the mat, she expressed.
"The crowd is right in your face. We've worked hard to listen to each other on the mat," she said.
There was a huge crowd last year but an even bigger one is expected this year with the competition being held 15 minutes away from Newcastle.
"I am really proud to be a Racer when you look up and see that huge crowd," Kammerlocher said.
Newcastle's cheer squad this year is made up of 35 students, however only 20 students are allowed on the mat for competitions. No one is ever cut from the team, but try-outs are held in March.
"Whoever goes out on the mat is determined by skill, coach-ability and loyalty to the team," she said.
At try-outs the students are judged on five main elements: jumps, stunts, motions, tumbling, and character. The exiting seniors then have two months to build up the new leaders on the squad before graduating.
"I never want to use the word ‘replaced’ because you can't replace anybody. But the seniors this year have shown strong leadership. They've shown the will to win and the courage it takes to get there," Kammerlocher said.
With seven seniors, 12 on-mat returners, and eight off-mat returners, Newcastle is looking towards their fiercest competition, Bristow. The Purple Pirates handed the Racers a defeat two years ago in the state finals that came down to a tiebreaker, which ended in a one-point loss.
"That was a heart break, especially for my six seniors on the mat that year," she said.
Bristow always has a clean crisp routine, however Kammerlocker feels like the Racers' have the edge through difficulty and through their training, which has expanded to include cardio.
Newcastle is also looking at their neighbors at Bridge Creek, as well as Sulphur who are competing for the first time in the small co-ed division.
Kammerlocher expressed the unity of Newcastle's team through fundraisers like their annual firework stand and their community involvement.
"When you are in 100 degree weather selling gunpowder to people it builds unity," she said. "Back-to-back would be sweet because these kids are great kids. They are the face of Racer cheerleading."
By Cody Johnson
Led by senior quarterback Casey Freeman, Newcastle handed a crushing defeat, 45-13, to Tuttle last Friday in their first home game of the season.
The last time the Racers overcame the Tigers was over a decade ago in 2003. Winning the first two games of the season is a new feeling for Newcastle, having played Tuttle within those games in previous years.
"I think we played pretty well from the start. That opening drive was a big one especially going into the wind," head coach Keith Bolles said. "We scored within three and half minutes then defense went out and got a big stop. We got the ball back and scored again."
With protection from his offensive linemen, Freeman marched down the field leading the Racers in rushing with 106 yards and threw for an additional 237 yards. Freeman ran in two touchdowns personally and threw another two to Ben Persall in a 39-yard pass and a 17-yard pass each for a touchdown. One of those touchdown runs by Freeman can be viewed on The Newcastle Pacer Facebook page.
"One of the best things about our defense is that we have had quite a few three and out, which keeps our offensive churning on the field," Bolles said.
Sophomore kicker Hunter Everett was consistent in his kicking game obtaining six point-after-touchdown kicks. Everett also kicked a 39-yard field goal for the Racers.
Senior running back Zach Bergt dominated the field with a total of 38 yards rushing on 14 carries, one of which included a 3-yard run into the end zone. Senior Colton Scott also carried the ball well with a 3-yard run for a touchdown later in the game.
The Racers seemed to dominate the Tigers throughout the whole game and the statistics show it. Newcastle's offense ran 73 plays while Tuttle's offense only ran 55 plays.
"Defensively our two inside linebackers Colten Scott and Ty Smith played outstanding," Bolles said. "When you hold a team that is the caliber of Tuttle to sixteen or seventeen yards in a half, that's an impressive outing."
Newcastle marched down the field gaining 26 first downs, while the Racers’ defense held the Tigers' offense to 9 first downs. Newcastle also led the way in penalties, having nine called against them, losing 70 yards throughout the game. The Tigers only had three penalties, losing 29 yards.
This win took Newcastle up in the state rankings, placing them at second in class 4A behind Anadarko who also holds a 2-0 record for the season. In the overall rankings of Oklahoma schools Anadarko holds the third place ranking behind Jenks and Union, while Newcastle holds the 17 ranked position.
However, the most anticipated game in class 4A between Newcastle and Anadarko will not have to wait until the playoffs. It will take place at Newcastle in the regular season on October 31.
With the Tigers at their back, the Racers are looking to hit the road Friday to take on the Blanchard Lions on their own turf. Blanchard defeated Tuttle 39-27 in an all out brawl in week one of the season, after losing to Kingfisher in a scrimmage the week before.
During week two of the season, Blanchard lost to Casady in a 43-21 defeat. Their current ranking stands at 5 for class 3A and 28 in the overall state rankings. The Lions hold a 4.5-yard average on their rushing and a 15.2-yard average on their passing.
"They have some big offensive linemen. They run the ball and throw the ball really well. Coach Craig over the last couple years has been in the state finals twice. They have an experienced team," Bolles commented. "Overall they are just a really good team. This game and the ones over the last couple weeks are preparing us for our district play."
Despite winning Fans' Choice Player of the Week after his first week's performance, Blanchard's senior quarterback Kanon Kirchner's season totals on Maxpreps.com say he has rushed for 125 yards and has passed for 285 yards, statistics that are eerily close to Newcastle's senior quarterback Casey Freeman's single game statistics against Tuttle. Kirchner did sit out of last week's game briefly after some hard hits.
Newcastle is not relaxing in their training. Head coach Keith Bolles continues to push the Racers to improve each and every day, working towards an undefeated season one game at a time.
"We aren't really going to change a lot this week. Our goal each week is to go in and get better and improve on last week's performance. That's why we watch film. We are going to correct some of the mistakes we made in the Tuttle ball game to prepare for the Blanchard ball game. Hopefully after ten weeks of that we will be where we want to be," Bolles said.
By Cody Johnson
Newcastle Lady Racer Volleyball hosted Noble on Monday night in a match that went into four games.
The Lady Racers Varsity team started the night off well winning their first game but then lost three in a row to fall to a 1-3 defeat. Junior Varsity did not fair well either, losing 0-2 to the Lions.
Ninth grade volleyball split games 25-23 and 25-27 with Noble but came up short in their final tie-breaking game 13-15.
The Lady Racers also hosted Oklahoma Centennial last Thursday in a 3-0: 25-9, 25-7, 25-12 blowout.
Newcastle looked strong and confident as both the Junior Varsity and Varsity went uncontested through the Bisons lineup.
"We did a lot of things really good. They made things happen, and we got to work on bump, set, spike," assistant coach Dana Chambers said.
In the first varsity game of the night the Lady Racers took no mercy scoring 25 points before Centennial could even reach the double digits.
In the second game of the night, the girls did not relent scoring 25 and holding the Bisons to 7. In the final game of the night, at first it looked like Centennial might form a comeback, but then the Lady Racers pulled away once again to win 25-12.
"I think the biggest thing is we are still figuring out all of our athletes and where to put them," Chambers said. "Volleyball is a sport where you have to have confidence. There are not very many sports where every mistake is a point. That's what is most different for our athletes to understand. We understand it is emotional, but you have to move on so you aren’t living in that moment behind it."
Next week the Lady Racers will host Clinton on Monday. Then they will travel to Centennial on Tuesday for their rematch. Thursday night Newcastle will host Chickasha for their First Annual Seniors’ Night that will take place between the junior varsity and varsity matches. All lineups next week will begin with ninth grade at 4:30 p.m. with junior varsity and varsity following.
"We are excited everyone is coming out and supporting them," Chambers said.
By Cody Johnson
Newcastle Fastpitch took out the No. 4 ranked Blanchard Lady Lions last Thursday in a game that went two extra innings.
It seemed like no one could score. Each team would get runners on base but no one could hit them home before three outs were made.
"We should have won it early. We threatened three times and then came the big hit. We had runners at second and first. I thought the ball went further, called her on to third base and she gets thrown out," head coach Mike Crossley said.
Then in the bottom of the eighth inning, with a runner on third, Karmyn Pearn hits one to the fence to win the game for the Lady Racers.
Emily Cerny has been on fire on the mound this season. In one stint she struck out 57 batters in 4 games.
The Lady Racers then traveled to Jones for a tournament over the weekend. At the Jones tournament Newcastle played the 5A school Bishop McGuinness and walked away with a 4-3 win last Friday.
Next up the Lady Racers squared off against Luther. Yet again Newcastle walked away with another victory, 4-1.
Newcastle has been winning but actually dropped in the rankings from the No. 14 spot to the No. 15 spot despite already having shut out four teams this season that are currently ranked ahead of them.
When you step up to the plate, it does not matter what the rankings say. You better be ready to play.
By Cody Johnson
The Newcastle Racers rolled through Pauls Valley on their own field last Friday with a 47-7 win.
"The offense and defense executed really well," head coach Keith Bolles said.
Led by starting senior quarterback Casey Freeman, the offense marched over Pauls Valley's defense, scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter putting the Racers ahead 21-0.
Senior running back Zach Bergt scored the first touchdown of the night on a 25-yard break away run. A 19-yard pass from Freeman to senior running back Kyle Rice followed soon after.
Driving down the field towards the end of the first quarter, Freeman ran a 1-yard quarterback sneak up the middle for the third touchdown. Sophomore Jose Ramirez kicked three field goals for extra points.
In the second quarter, the Racers didn’t slow down. A 32-yard pass to junior wide-receiver Gavin Garner from Freeman and another extra-point kick from Ramirez continued the Newcastle dominated game. Bergt ran in another touchdown from 61 yards out, however the extra point attempt was no good. This put the score at the end of the half at 34-0.
In the second half, Newcastle began rotating out their starting lineup after Freeman hit senior running back Whispern Williams with a 15-yard touchdown pass followed by another Ramirez kick for an extra point.
"They went in and did not want them to score, and I was really proud of them," Bolles said about the second-string players making a defensive stop ten yards shy of the end zone.
Pauls Valley was able to score one touchdown and extra point towards the end of the third quarter, however neither team put any points on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter.
"Overall for the first night and having missed our second scrimmage, I was really pleased with our execution," Bolles said.
The Racers will return to action on Friday at home against the Tuttle Tigers at 7:30 p.m.
Tuttle is coming off a 27-39 home-field defeat that was handed to them by Blanchard last Friday in their season opener.
By Cody Johnson
The Newcastle High School boys and girls cross country team traveled to Purcell last Thursday for their season-opener. The boys' team won first place with a team score of 52. The girls' team took third with a team score of 99.
In the girls' division, runners ran a 1.3 miles course and there were 98 runners. Allie Shumard won first with a time of 9:04. Sydney Cannon took eighteenth place with a time of 10:22. Aubrey Sanders followed in nineteenth place two seconds after Sydney.
In the boys' division, 120 runners ran a 2 miles course. Nick Tate was the fastest Racer coming in third with a time of 10:57. Austin Hilderbrand ran the course in 11:30 and came in eighth place. Hunter Palacois was hot on Austin’s heels coming in at 11:52 and in eleventh place.
Josh McFarland came in thirteenth place with a time of 11:54 while Joey Rice placed seventeenth with a time of 12:01.
On Friday the High School teams will travel to Norman for their next race at 9:30 a.m.