Pryor, OK 74361
Record: 0-0 | Unranked
|@ Siloam Springs||9/6|
|@ Will Rogers||10/4|
|@ East Central||10/11|
|vs Tulsa Memorial||11/7|
| Ben Johnson
It's that time of year again. Summertime has arrived, and high school sports fans are left waiting for more games in August. But fear not! The Publics and Privates OKpreps Podcast will help get you through the slow months.
This week the guys recap some state tournament baseball, including Edmond Santa Fe and Pryor winning titles for the first time for both programs. The guys also look back on the memorable moments from the 2018-2019 athletic season, including some cross country, football, basketball and much more.
The podcast closes out with Swisher breaking down this week's Skordle Shootout in Cushing. A solid field of small school hoopsters will be at Cushing Middle School, and Swisher gives you all the details you need to stop by and watch some basketball.
| Ben Johnson
Michael and Ben return with a quick glimpse into spring sports across Oklahoma. The guys talk about some recent news items in Oklahoma, and spend some time talking about Broken Arrow's announcement of a girls varsity wrestling team - the first program of its kind in Oklahoma.
| Ben Johnson
No introduction needed. Here are the "expert" picks for state tournaments taking place this weekend. (Oh, and listen to the podcast while you're at it!)
Ben Johnson - Edmond Memorial: There are so many players to love in this field -- Putnam City West’s Rondel Walker, Sapulpa’s Camryn Dennis, Putnam City North’s Micah Thomas, Booker T. Washington’s Bryce Thompson and so many more. But Shane Cowherd is bringing a team with talent across the board. There’s a reason the coaches in the state have the Bulldogs as the top-ranked team, so I’ll side with Cowherd and Co. over Booker T. Washington in the finals.
Michael Swisher - Edmond Memorial: The Bulldogs snuck in after losing to Midwest City and squeaking by rival Santa Fe. They’ll play better this week and bring the trophy down south.
Whitt Carter - Booker T Washington: This will be a fantastic tournament filled with teams that can win it. But I’ll take the Hornets, as they have the experience in big games and are hungry for a title. They had to watch Memorial win two in a row in Class 5A and this year their get one of their own. Another side note, BTW’s Seth Hurd is my favorite and the most underappreciated player in the state.
Ben - PC West: Reckless abandon is what the Patrios will play with this weekend, just like they’ve done all year. Not a ton of big-time scorers for PC West, but last year’s runner-up will hoist the gold ball this year.
Michael - Putnam City West: No. 1 in Oklahoma. Nationally-ranked. Haven’t lost to a team from Oklahoma. Won’t this weekend, either.
Whitt - Putnam City West: They were right there last year and had their title taken in the waning seconds by Owasso. All they’ve done this year is go 23-1 with a loss to Skyline, TX and dominate the teams inside the state of Oklahoma. Their relentless style of play and approach will be the difference, as they finish on Saturday this time and cut down the nets.
Ben - Memorial: Boone twins. It’s that simple. The Chargers have been a dynamo in 5A with two straight titles and now going for a third. Northwest Classen is good, but can Davion Warden and Co. make it to the title game and then take down the Chargers? I don’t see it.
Michael - Memorial: Lenny Hatchett has Del City playing so well, but I can’t pick against Memorial. Neither should you.
Whitt - Memorial: Let’s all be honest, this is the easiest pick from any of the classes. Bobby Allison and gang are just on another level. The Boone twins will, once again, wow the crowds at the Mabee Center with their athleticism and impact on both ends of the floor. The Chargers get another one, sending Kalib and Keylan out with a bang.
Ben - Piedmont: Per usual, the 5A girls field is pretty much anyone’s for the taking. Rogers is dangerous, but then so is El Reno with Ashlyn Evans-Thompson leading the charge. Coweta is young but talented, and East Central is always a threat. But for this year, I’ll go with the Wildcats, led by Delanie Crawford (14.8 points a game) and Maci Attalla (13.6).
Michael - Piedmont: El Reno beating Ardmore at area put the bracket in a funk as it appears loaded at the bottom. Coach Carr’s team will emerge from that and then claim gold on Saturday.
Whitt - Ardmore: They suffered a surprising and tough loss to El Reno at the area tournament last week, but I think that may work to the Lady Tigers advantage by waking them up. This team rolled through the first part of the season, losing their first game in late January. Ardmore cuts down the nets and gets its’ third gold ball.
Ben - Kingfisher: Some unbelievable talent in this field -- Broken Bow’s Josh Jones (20.4 points per game), Central’s B.J. Jefferson (16), Elgin’s Conner Slater (16.3), Kingfisher’s Trey Green (17) and Heritage Hall’s Trey Alexander (24.8). And what’s scary is a lot of these teams will return a lot of talent next season. But for now, I’m zeroing in on a Kingfisher-Heritage Hall title game for a second straight year. This time the gold ball goes to Jett Sternberger, Matt Stone, Bijan Cortes and Co.
Michael - Kingfisher: I live in Kingfisher. I have to pay my bills. I have to pick the Yellowjacket. Oh, and they’re really, really good. And hungry. If they get by dangerous Elgin in the quarters, look out.
Whitt - Kingfisher: The class that everyone is excited for will take center stage at the Fairgrounds for all three days. Heritage Hall beat the Yellowjackets in the title game last year and are 26-0 this year. But the star-studded Kingfisher remembers that loss last March and will want revenge. They get it and send out their seniors with a second gold ball.
Ben - Anadarko: Top half of the bracket -- Holland Hall, Muldrow, Elgin and Classen SAS -- is STACKED. Again, STACKED. That’s part of the reason I went with Anadarko. The Warriors still have their work cut out for them, but I’m rolling the dice with Kaylee Borden (12 points a game), Averi Zinn and the rest of the Anadarko team to win its third gold ball.
Michael - Muldrow: Coaches tell me Classen SAS is as talented as they’ve seen in 4A in a while. And they’re young as they start three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior. That said, I’m going with Muldrow. Taylen Collins can match up with Littlepage-Buggs and Hannah Boyett can handle the pressure. And that’s just a semifinal. Don’t overlook Anadarko, either (it appears I am).
Whitt - Anadarko: A fairly wide open class, there are a handful of teams I could see winning it. I’ll go with the tradition-rich Anadarko, who beat one of the favorites, Classen, last Friday in the area finals. When the Lady Warriors get the press up and running, you better handle the pressure or things can unravel quickly.
Ben - Millwood: Kingston’s Jacob Germany is as good as it gets in this field, but I’ll side with the athleticism of the Falcons here. Give me Justin Wilson and Isaiah Williams and the rest of the Falcons.
Michael - Here’s hoping for a Kingston-Millwood final (all apologies to you other six). I’ve got personal ties to Millwood, so the fan in me is pulling for the Falcons all the way. The business side in me says Kingston won’t be denied.
Whitt - Millwood: I’ll take the Falcons to win the gold ball here. Several really good teams that you can pick here, including Kingston or Sequoyah on the other side. Ultimately, I think Millwood gets the winner of that eventual semifinal and beats them. Millwood has not lost inside the class this year and that won’t change this weekend.
Ben - Christian Heritage: Up from 2A, the Crusaders are still loaded. Tahlequah Sequoyah is probably the favorite, but I’ll side with Olivia Curtis and Rylee Langerman.
Michael - Sequoyah-Tahlequah: CHA has won the last two 2A crowns and is a sleeper, but this isn’t 2A and the Lady Crusaders aren’t as deep as they have been. Larry Callison rides into the sunset with another state championship.
Whitt - Christian Heritage: Another class with some big time teams, but I’ll take CHA to win another title as it took the jump up a class this season. They know how to win and ultimately get past Sequoyah in what would be an awesome semifinal. Side note, I am really picking my alma mater, the Sulphur Lady Bulldogs - in Toby Todd we trust.
Ben - Hennessey: Total guess here, so I’m siding with Hennessey, who -- along with Hooker -- has only lost twice this season.
Michael - Hooker: This is the most wide-open bracket in OKC, in my opinion. Any number of teams can win…and also get beat Thursday. Hooker is one of them.
Whitt - Dale: They are coming off a big win over Hooker last week to punch their ticket to the state tourney. They have played well inside the class this year, going 12-2, only losing to Cashion a month ago and Rock Creek back in January.
Ben - Dale: I’m programmed to believe that Dale wins everything when its in any state tournament field. Pirates win again.
Michael - Howe: No Cashion and no CHA this year, which have been Howe’s kryptonite the last three years. Dale is in the way, but Jalei Oglesby caps her stellar career with the gold ball.
Whitt - Latta: I’ll go with what many would consider a sleeper pick here, but give me the Lady Panthers. They are a long team and present a bunch of problems defensively. They will have to get past top-ranked Dale in the semis and it would be the rubbermatch between the two.
| Ben Johnson
Made a big podcast addition this week. Ben & Swisher are joined by the Oklahoman's Jacob Unruh.
Jacob & Swisher recap the highlights and the championship moments from the Class A & Class B state tournaments.
Then the guys break down the state tournaments from 2A through 6A. And of course, PREDICTIONS! (Most sure to go wrong, in Ben's case).
And as always, thanks for listening!
| Ben Johnson
EMAIL ME - email@example.com | RELATED - State tournament wrestling predictions
Drake Barbee will take the mat at Jim Norick Arena on Friday. Impressive for someone who was near death 14 months ago.
“It was as severe as it could have gotten,” Barbee said, “other than death, of course.”
Barbee, attending Stilwell during his junior year at the time, was en route to his dad’s fiance’s house in Broken Arrow.
Then things went horribly wrong.
“I have no recollection of anything other then trying to avoid something that night,” Barbee said. “The people at the hospital told me there was a guy that crossed over the center line that was high on meth, and I should have died.”
Needless to say, Dec. 19, 2017, was a horrifying day for Chris Barbee, Drake’s dad.
“Hardest phone call I ever had to take,” the elder Barbee said. “A lot of stuff goes through your mind, and I didn’t know the extent of his injuries until I got to the hospital.”
Chris Barbee was about to be horrified all over again. The list of Drake’s ailments was painfully extensive.
- Broken hip
- Broken jaw
- Traumatic brain injury
- Brain bleeds
The injuries caused Drake Barbee to spend nine days in a coma. Then came “multiple months in multiple hospitals,” Drake recalled. “Then a rehab center for an additional month.”
Drake’s near-death experience came immediately after competing at the Tournament of Champions in Reno, Nevada. And it would be the last time he’d take the wrestling mat for a while -- and understandably so.
“It was hard; I looking anywhere I could to get on the mat,” Drake said. “I was decently moving after the rehab center, and my mentality was ‘just keep going.’ I was just trying to grind it out.”
But he pushed himself too hard. He ended up blowing out a knee while recovering.
His junior season was a lost cause. That prompted several months of rest for Drake, and it wasn’t long before he relocated to Blackwell.
But Drake also faced a harsh reality.
“It hit me,” he said, “I realized I might not be able to wrestle for a while.”
A crushing realization for someone who lives for the wrestling room.
“It’s my lifestyle,” Drake said. “I literally love wrestling. Call me crazy, but it’s what I do.”
For Chris Barbee, it was agonizing watching his son endure hardships that no high school athlete should have to entertain.
“It was very tough to see him go through that kind of ordeal,” Chris Barbee said. “I just knew it was gonna be a long road back.”
But Drake navigated the path back to full strength -- or as close to full strength as he can get.
Now he sports a 34-4 record and a regional championship as he enters the 195-pound field in the Class 3A state tournament in Oklahoma City.
“It’s been awesome,” Drake Barbee said of being at Blackwell for his senior season. “The wrestling tradition is what I like. It doesn’t get much better.”
Regardless of how Drake, an Arkansas-Little Rock signee, does at State Fair Arena, it’ll be impressive for a wrestler who was told he may never display the correct walking tendencies.
“The doctor said he’d never had someone recover and walk correctly,” Drake Barbee said. “So to recover and do what I’m doing now, I’m truly blessed.”
And Chris Barbee couldn’t be happier to coach his son for his senior season.
“It’s been very satisfying to see him get back to his old self and what he’s capable of,” Chris Barbee said. “He’s very driven and is a tireless worker. He’s wrestling really good right now, and he is gonna be tough to beat.”
Skordle shorts: Piedmont, Midwest City, Crossing Christian, Grove post big wins, plus news and notes
| Ben Johnson
Piedmont upends Weatherford
Quarterback Dylan Hampton scored on a 5-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, and Piedmont was able to hang on for a 21-10 victory over the Eagles in Week 2. The win over Weatherford was Piedmont's first since 2004, and it also helped the Wildcats atone for a season-opening loss to El Reno.
"Our kids played extremely hard and found a way," Piedmont coach Trent Worley said. "There were very resilient. Defense was outstanding all night."
Baylor Hendren led the way for Piedmont (1-1) with three interceptions, three tackles, one pass break-up and a fumble recovery. The Wildcats limited Weatherford to 10 points, and Hampton capped the game off for PIedmont with a 37-yard touchdown run with 1:34 left.
"Great win over a very good Weatherford team," Worley said. "We cleaned some things up, especially defensively. Proud of how our kids responded to the El Reno game and the adversity we faced during the Weatherford game."
Midwest City holds off Muskogee
Midwest City moved up from No. 3 to No. 2 in Class 6AII, after holding on for a 16-14 victory at Muskogee in Week 2. Muskogee's Caleb Webb was tackled in the end zone by Midwest City to give the Bombers a two-point lead late in the first half.
From there, Midwest City (2-1) was able to deny the Roughers from scoring the rest of the way.
"The defense has been playing extremely good," Midwest City coach Darrell Hall said. "The safety proved to be the different in this one."
Cameron Wilson was Midwest City's offensive catalyst, racking up 135 yards and one touchdown on 27 carries. On defense, Kyle Lindsey had 14 tackles and two for loss.
"We knew our offensive line would weight heavy in the game's decision," Hall said. " They put the game on their backs. It was a total team win, and I'm proud of the team because there is no quit in these guys."
Midwest City was able to block a field goal attempt by Muskogee with 8:54 left, and the Bombers never gave the ball back to the Roughers. Midwest City marched down the field and chewed up the clock along the way and escaped Indian Bowl with a two-point victory.
"With hard running from our running backs and great blocking by the wideouts," Hall said, "we were able to move the ball and run out the clock."
Crossings Christian tops Minco for A-3 win
Unranked Crossings Christian made its presence known in Class A with a resounding 14-6 victory at top-ranked Minco in Week 2. In overtime, Crossings Christian's Hunter Johnson scored on an 8-yard touchdown run, and Jacob Snyder added the two-point conversion score.
From there, the Knights (2-1) kept Minco (2-1) out of the end zone for the victory.
"We just gutted out against a great team on their home field," Crossings Christian coach Jonathan Keathly said. "It was muddy and wet, and it was great to see our guys make the plays when they had to."
Trent Miller led the Knight's defensive effort with nine tackles, five tackles for loss, including one in overtime, one sack and a forced fumble. Together, Crossing Christian's defense limited Minco to 232 yards of offense.
"It is a huge shot of confidence for our guys," Keathly said. "In our last five games, including last season, we've beaten two great programs in Wynnewood and Minco. Those are the kinds of programs we want to be and we're gaining fast."
The win also moved Crossings Christian to 1-0 in District A-3.
"It's huge because every week in this district is a battle," Keathly said. "There's going to be some good teams that get left out of the playoffs, and we're going to fight to be sure it's not us."
Grove routs rival JayBragging rights along Highway 59 returned to Grove following the Ridgerunners' 33-6 win over Jay last week. Jay won the 2017 showdown between the two Delaware County rivals, but Grove has now won three of the last four Delco Bowl trophies.
"It felt good to get the Delco trophy back," Grove coach Ron Culwell said. "Our kids have worked hard, and they played hard. We try to control what we can control, and that's attitude and effort. So far it has been awesome."
And so was Grove's defense against the Bulldogs (1-1). Defensive end Dawson Tanner spearheaded the Ridgerunners' defensive efforts with 10 tackles, two sacks, one tackle for loss and a fumble recovery for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
"This is a huge rivalry," Culwell said. "Some strange things happen in this game. That makes it special to win. All these kids know each other, so we knew we had to play together to make things happen. And we did that."
For Grove (1-1), Dalton Cash scored a pair of touchdown runs -- a 1-yard run in the first quarter and the game's final score, a 6-yard TD run in the fourth period. Cash also had a 19-yard TD pass to Mason Baxter, and Nick Estrada also chipped in with a 7-yard touchdown run for the Ridgerunners.
News and notes: Wagoner coach Dale Condict posted his 200th career coaching victory, thanks to the Bulldogs' 35-17 victory over Pryor last week. ... Sulphur tailback Trey Kiser set a school record with 403 rushing yards in the Bulldogs' 47-9 win over rival Davis. Kiser also scored six touchdowns, and he did it all on only 15 carries.