Story by Caleb Betterton - Managing Editor
Recruiting is an essential aspect of any college sport. The better the coach recruits, the better the team.
Recruiting can often be challenging and hard work, and different coaches have different styles and ways of recruiting the players they want to play for them.
Rose State Softball Head Coach Nickie Madden begins with making the rounds of different summer games and leagues, as well as holding tryouts to identify the players she wants to recruit.
After Madden has identified the players she wants, she finds out which high school they attend, then works on getting them on campus.
Most of the athletes Madden recruits are local, but she does reach out to the surrounding states as well.
Madden is looking “for freshman who are ready to start.”
Being at a two-year program, there is not a lot of time to develop players and have them sit out a year because the turnover is so fast. This can be a struggle for both the coach and the player.
Madden said she also looks for “good character kids that will represent the school well.”
Softball recruiting offers some unique challenges of its own. Because most coaches watch only summer ball and not high school teams, the players must stand out.
Camps are also a great way for players to get noticed, which is how catcher Macy Naylor was scouted by Rose State.
“For me it was a lot about going to camps,” Naylor said.
She attended a camp in Tulsa where she met Madden and invited her to Rose State’s camp. Naylor attended the Rose State camp for three years.
She eventually received an offer and the rest is history. Another aspect of recruiting is picking up transfer students such as pitcher and first baseman Hannah Dean.
“Rose was my second chance,” Dean said.
Dean originally went to Oklahoma Christian University; however, she became injured and was forced to leave because they could not figure out what was wrong with her. After she left, they found the source of the injury, and she had surgery a week later.
Soon after, Brian Madden, Nickie Madden’s husband and Dean’s former travel ball coach, asked Dean if she would like to play again. Dean said yes, and he connected her with Madden who signed her up to be a Raider.
For some players, it can be an unexpected blessing to be recruited at all.
“It was kind of crazy,” said Sydney Griggs, Rose State softball catcher.
Griggs went to a smaller high school where people are not usually recruited. She was first noticed when Madden was recruiting one of her teammates on the travel team. Griggs played for the travel team at the time.
At a Christmas party Griggs’ junior year, Madden invited her to come visit Rose State.
Griggs chose Rose State be-cause of what the college offered her academically.
“My No. 1 goal is to be anacademic all American,” Griggs said.
Recruiting is all about trying to be successful for both players and coaches, on the field and academically.
Rose State softball looks to be successful this season. To show support, find game locations and times at www.rscraiders.com/sports/softball/schedule .
His impact in OKC started in 2010. When the Thunder made it to the playoffs for the first time. Their opponent was Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
“They're here to play, they're here to win,” Bryant said in reference to that young Thunder team.
The Lakers would go on to beat the Thunder in that series and go on to become NBA champions.
Even though that series happened 10 years ago, he still has a strong impression on current Thunder Players.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to fully process it,” said Thunder guard Chris Paul, via Instagram.
Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari said in a statement, “ yesterday was a very tough day.”
It was a tough day not just for Gallinari but for every person that Bryant affected: players, coaches, friends and, of course, his family.
At Bryants “Celebration of Life” ceremony former teammate Shaquille O’Neal told the story of how Bryant gained his respect. Some of the players were upset because Bryant wasn’t passing the ball so Shaq said he would talk to him.
Shaq went to Kobe and said “there is no I in team”
which Kobe replied “I know, but there is M-E in that motherf-----.”
Bringing humor and laughter on this sad occasion .
During these times when we are reminded of how short life really is, it is important to take time to reach out to one another, especially those we are close to because none of us really know if this time will be the last time.
Bryant's legacy and where he falls as one of the greatest players of all time may be debated, but his impact cannot be. The “Mamba Mentality” will be something that players strive for and not just players, but every person who is striving to be great and to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
Kobe Bryant has passed on but the “Mamba Mentality” will continue to thrive.
If you would like to make a donation to the families who lost a loved one in this accident, visit https://mambaonthree.org.
University of Oklahoma
It’s nearly a foregone conclusion that OU is going to win its fourth straight Big 12 title. Yes, you read that right. FOURTH STRAIGHT. Although they lost most efficient quarterback to ever play the game, Kyler Murray is going to make Lincoln Riley’s offense even more explosive with his running abilities. One question still remains: Can the Sooners play defense? The side of the ball that cost them a shot at a National Championship in the Rose Bowl will be younger this year. However, look for Riley and Defensive Coordinator Mike Stoops to turn freshman and sophomores into grizzled ball hawking veterans by the end of the season.
Key Players to Watch: RB Rodney Anderson, QB Kyler Murray, linebacker Kenneth Murray, Defensive Secondary
Dana Holgorsen’s Mountaineers are led by senior quarterback Will Grier. The 23-year-old transfer from the University of Florida has the media buzzing about West Virginia. Grier is an early season favorite to be in New York at the end of the season for the Heisman ceremony. West Virginia plays an unconventional 3-3-5 defense which matches well against the air raid offenses of the Big XII, but that multidimensional offenses and bruising running backs at OU, OSU and Iowa State, West Virginia will need to rely on the leadership and poise of Grier and the rest of the offense to win ball games.
Key Players to Watch: QB Will Grier, wide receiver David Sills V, WR Marcus Simms, Defensive Line
Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs are returning one of its five starting offensive linemen from last year. The offense will be lead by true sophomore Shawn Robinson. Robinson, the second ranked dual-threat quarterback is the highest rated QB to sign with the Horned Frogs. Robinson beat out true freshman Justin Rogers for the job. TCU has by far the best defense in the Big XII and they will rely on it once again to keep them in the conference hunt late in the season.
Key Players to Watch: Offensive Line, wide receiver KaVontae Turpin, QB Shawn Robinson, linebacker Montrel Wilson
With all the buzz around Head Coach Mike Gundy and Athletic Director Mike Holder surrounding the Cowboys this offseason, the narrative is finally coming to OSU’s biggest problem heading into the season: Finding a quarterback. Fifth year senior Taylor Cornelius was announced the starter for the Cowboys week one matchup against Missouri State. Hawaii transfer Dru Brown, and true freshman Spencer Sanders are all fighting for the backup role and potential starting job if Cornelius under performs. No matter who is under center, they will have one of the best running backs in the nation to hand the ball off to in Justice Hill. Hill is anticipated to be the cornerstone of the offense with the departure of QB Mason Rudolph and wide receiver James Washington via the NFL Draft. The Cowboys need to improve in the trenches on both sides of the ball if they want to have a chance at a New Year's Six bowl. The defense doesn’t need to be great or even good for them to win games. OSU simply needs to take care of their home turf and improve on their 3-3 home record.
Key Players to Watch: running back Justice Hill, QB battle, linebacker Calvin Bundage
The Cyclones shocked the world last season when they went into Norman and beat the Oklahoma Sooners 38-31 and finished with an 8-5 record. Head Coach Matt Campbell enters his third year with big expectations. Iowa State wants to show the college football world that last season was not a fluke. Senior quarterback Kyle Kempt and former Lawton running back, junior Mike Montgomery lead the veteran offense. With 10 starters returning on offense and six returning starters on defense, the Cyclones are hungry to improve on their 5-4 conference record. Although they could easily be toward the bottom of the conference, ISU’s high side is being ranked in the top 25 to finish the year.
Key Players to Watch: running back David Montgomery, QB Kyle Kempt, linebacker Marcel Spears Jr.
Bill Snyder is back for his 26th season as the Wildcats head coach. Kansas State averaged 5.1 penalties per game last year, which was 35th best throughout FBS schools. The Wildcats were just four touchdowns away from being 12-1 instead of 8-5. K-State is a team that can fall forward or backward record-wise. The Wildcats will have two quarterbacks this season in junior Alex Delton and sophomore Skylar Thompson. The two will split time and maybe even starts. With no star talent, look for Kansas State to finish near the middle of the pack in conference.
Key Players to Watch: offensive lineman Dalton Risner, QB Alex Delton, running back Alex Barnes, QB Skylar Thompson
TEXAS IS BACK! ... Well, sort of … not really. Head Coach Tom Herman is in his second season and trying to rebuild the Longhorn legacy. Herman named Ehlinger his starting quarterback just this week. Ehlinger may be on a short leash as former starter Shane Buchelle lurks in the wings. Texas signed three quarterbacks from the 2018 class, including former Newcastle star Casey Thompson who should have a crack at the starting job next season. The Longhorns lost left tackle Connor Williams to the NFL Draft as well as linebacker Malik Jefferson and safety DeShon Elliott. Texas needs to win and win soon, to keep not only their brand alive, but the Big 12 as a whole. If the Longhorns are good, the Big 12 is more respected.
Key Players to Watch: cornerback Kris Boyd, QB Sam Ehlinger, wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey
Kliff Kingsbury's Red Raiders are underwhelming. With a weak defense in the Big 12, Tech did show improvement on the defensive side of the ball in 2017. Linebacker Dakota Allen will be the leader of an improving but still bad defense. Replacing QB - Nic Shimonek will be the biggest test for the offense. Coach Kingsbury named junior McLane Carter as his No. 1 quarterback on Tech’s depth chart. Carter is built like every other Texas Tech quarterback: tall, solid and has a rocket for an arm. No matter how potent the Red Raiders are on offense, their defense will keep them out of most games. Key Players to Watch: linebacker Dakota Allen, running back Tre King, wide receiver De’Quan Bowman
Ever since the sexual assault scandal in 2016, the program has fallen back to the bottom of the Big 12. Matt Rhule is in his second year, and trying to not only make Baylor competitive again, but to change the culture of the football program. With a back-loaded schedule, the Bears could be out to an above average start and fizzle out to finish the season. A young team, the Bears are looking toward building for the future. The offensive line has 11 underclassmen ready to take the reins over the next three seasons. Defensively, the Bears look more like cubs. This program is simply treading water until the NCAA comes down hard with sanctions stemming from the 2016 scandal that continues to get worse and worse.
Key Players to Watch: running back Dru Dixon, tight end Christoph Henle, wide receiver Denzel Mims, LB Jordan Williams
To sum up the Jayhawks season in five words: Is it basketball season yet? The Jayhawks have little to look forward to despite having a $300 million donation to the football program this past offseason. David Beaty is his fourth year of being tasked with making Kansas a non-laughing stock throughout college football. The Jayhawks have not had a winning season since 2008 nor have they won a road conference game during the same time period. With the highlight of the past 10 years being a home win against Texas two years ago, Kansas fans are already looking to fill Phog Allen Fieldhouse come October.
Key Players to Watch: cornerback Deante Ford, defensive end Vaughn Taylor Jr.
Story by Haley Humphrey - Photos courtesy of Bayley Marshall
Blink-182 blares from the 6-foot-3, nearly 200-pound University of Central hockey player’s headphones. The element of concentration engulfs him as he begins his pre-game ritual of getting ready. Left side gear on first, then the right side. He’s preparing for what comes next. One focal point replays in his mind: To win. The warmup is on fast-forward. The next second, the Broncho is up for the faceoff. The puck drops and the game begins.
But this game, this life, will soon end, forever.
Raised in St. Charles, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, Bayley Marshall decided to leave home for a larger hockey platform. Transferring from Aurora, another suburb of Chicago, where he played Division III NCAA last year, Marshall was ready to tackle new heights. UCO hockey has endured exponential growth and success after being established in 2006 by program builder Coach Craig McAlister. Marshall was ecstatic to share his team’s achievement in winning the last two of three National Championship titles.
Marshall’s hockey career is supported by his family, who loves the sport as much as he does.
“I’ve been skating since I was 3. I love it,” Marshall said.
His father, Robert Marshall, began the hockey legacy, being the first in his family to show interest in the sport that his parents found dangerous. He explained how he practically had to beg his parents to let him play. At age eight they were convinced. Rob Marshall eventually ended up playing college hockey at Lake Forest Academy in Illinois. His passion for the game inspired Marshall, his two brothers, and sister to continue their family’s legacy and learn the techniques of the sport.
“I never thought they would love it as much as they did,” said Rob Marshall.
He passed on his position as center to his son Marshall. However, Marshall soon began playing forward, which was second nature to him. He lived and breathed hockey.
Hockey players are some of the most aggressively tough athletes, mentally and physically. On the ice, Marshall exemplifies this behavior. However, off the ice, he shows a unique dichotomy to this stereotype. The 21-year-old has interests that would shock most of his University of Central Oklahoma fans who are only familiar with him suited-up in the Broncho uniform.
His Instagram is filled with photos portraying a classic, almost Kennedyesque, style that he embraces and personifies. This Cape Cod look does not go unnoticed in Oklahoma, especially on a man who, on the ice, is aggressive and gruff. Maybe it can be attributed to his upbringing.
“We just like to look good,” Marshall concluded.
Marshall explained how he, along with his two brothers and father, would like to open a clothing shop. Given the obvious styles of the Marshall men, it is not a pipedream. Their target audience would be men and they would sell sport coats, dress pants and shirts, the most important fashionable necessities. Marshall channels his businessman approach when he discussed how the fashion line will start out affordable, and they would work their way up from there.
Growing up, Marshall also played baseball, but it held no comparison to the way he felt about hockey. He despised the practices; but with hockey, he enjoyed going to the rink to perfect his skills. Hockey practices cease to be monotonous, as anything can happen. For an hour and 15 minutes every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, UCO’s players make their way to practice at the rink. Each day presents a specific focus Coach McAlister wants them to emulate. On his own, Marshall trains in the gym, totaling seven hours per week. Oddly enough, he still has time for school and sleep.
When asked about any setbacks that have occurred during his hockey career, Marshall discussed how the game is “the luck of the draw.” A player could suffer from a deafening blow during a seasonal game or sit out a few days to heal from a broken finger that happened during a skills practice, which, besides a chipped tooth, is the only minor injury from which Marshall has had to recover.
Marshall played forward on several hockey teams. Through his time playing on Team Illinois, a club hockey organization, he expanded his talent. Since Marshall has played his entire life, he shares unbreakable bonds with many players, some of whom he watched make it to the NHL. All the teams he has been part of have been close-knit, with his teammates getting along well.
“[Bayley] likes to have a great time,” said Tyler Minx, senior defenceman for UCO’s hockey team.
Traveling to different locations (Wisconsin, St. Louis, Alaska and South Dakota) and being a member of a new team can be strenuous on a person, but not for Marshall. He fits in where he is needed, where his team can rely on him. The impression that he treats every practice and every game as an opportunity to be better is recognizable.
“He has a mindset that he will outwork anyone in order to meet his expectation,” McAlister said. “Bayley has the skill and work ethic not only to be one of the best in the WCHL, but the entire ACHA.”
But it is not just about him. Marshall is not the only player shining on the ice. He is a player that makes his teammates shine as well.
“He has the unique ability to make other players around him better,” McAlister noted.
Whenever UCO scores a goal, Marshall delights in being the first to celebrate with his teammates in a tight huddle of helmet-hitting excitement. However, enthusiasm is not the sole feeling hockey players exude on the ice. Brawls commence when the querulous nature of a game is pushed a little too far, which almost every fan loves to witness. Marshall is not a petulant player; he is depicted pulling the suit of his teammate to drag him away from the dispute on multiple occasions, no matter the call made by the ref or the instigating words said by the opposing team. The game must always go on. Hockey is similar to life in that aspect. A person can choose to harp on the trying scenarios of life, or they can keep moving forward. Whether it be a lucky coincidence or grandeur purpose, Marshall’s position is forward.
While Marshall has the natural aptitude and drive to pursue the NHL out of UCO, he does not see himself following that path. That is something the 3-year-old Marshall would have never imagined thinking. However, his father has known that he would not go to the NHL. Playing the role of father and coach can be difficult at times, but Rob Marshall has refrained from pressuring his children. He wants them to pursue hockey as far as they want.
“They and they alone determine their own destiny,” Rob Marshall said.
This ideology has been transferred to Bayley Marshall. Though he loves the sport wholeheartedly, he is aware of his years left in college, his years left of competitively playing.
“I would not be making enough money to make a living without having a job as well,” Marshall said.
The finance major is realistic about where life may take him. Hockey has been Marshall’s life; however, he does not plan on the game making a life for him. He wants to do that on his own. Like any honest college student, Marshall just wants to make some money. Although he has a realistic plan, Marshall is still determining what he wants to make of himself in the business world, where he will put his entrepreneurial abilities to play.
Marshall is rough, yet sleek; a realist, yet an optimist. His complex nature will have any expert analyst’s mind spinning. Can a realist have dreams? If the question was directed toward Marshall, the answer would be “yes.”
Life is taken day by day. Big plans will come for Marshall, but for now, he is still living out his hockey days—celebrating wins and embracing losses. Hockey has taught Marshall a plethora of life skills. Most of all, it has ingrained in him the significance of hard work and self-determination, character traits he will always carry with him.
Moving on from hockey will be bittersweet, but Marshall will have the opportunity to share the appreciation of watching the game with his father, maybe eventually reminisce on celebratory highlights with his future legacy.
UCO was awarded their third WCHL title Feb. 9 after beating OU 6-2. The announcer addressed the excited, thundering fans to come on the home ice and congratulate their players. Marshall rips off his helmet, pure elation envelopes him as he skates around his teammates, hoisting the trophy in the air. He stops for photos, grabbing other players to include in the electronic memories. On the ice, Marshall flashes the “I’m here for a good time” smile.
By Brayden Conover & Danny Fritts
Story by Scott Sharkey - Photos by Brayden Conover
The National Hockey League elected to pull all of the players they have out of the Winter Olympics to be held February in Pyeongchang, South Korea. There are many reasons why the NHL decided to make a move like this. However, the two main reasons are because of the threat of North Korea and the International Olympic Committee.
The IOC covers about 90 percent of the cost for the NHL players to play in the Winter Olympics. According to time.com, the IOC was not willing to cover the cost for the upcoming Winter Olympics because of the hassle it creates for the league. The NHL players do not agree with the decision, and many players have gone on record and stated they still want to go and
represent their countries in the Winter Olympics.
According to NHL.com, any player who does not follow these orders and still goes to play will be fined and punished for breach of contract.
“The NHL players made a commitment in all of their contracts that they would agree to any terms and follow the orders given to them by league owners and team management,” said Tyler Bowden, Rose State student.
This will not keep hockey, as a whole, out of the Winter Olympics, but NHL players will be replaced with players from leagues like the East Coast Hockey League, Swedish Hockey League and other European hockey leagues. The order will not bar the United States from competing in the Winter Olympics either, but hockey may have other players participating in the Winter Olympics who normally may not have had a chance.
One player in particular, Matt Donovan from Edmond, plays in the SHL for the Frolunda Indians and is currently trying out for the United States Olympic hockey team.
“It is an absolute honor to have the chance of representing my country in the upcoming Winter Olympics; it is truly a dream come true,” Donovan said.
Many NHL players are trying to fight the league’s decision on not letting them represent their countries in the Winter Olympics, according to theguardian.com. The league fears that this may ultimately lead to a player protest and perhaps even a lockout like the during the 2012-2013 season. It was only half of the season, but it was caused by the same scenario of the IOC being unwilling to cover the costs for the Winter Olympics. Back in the 2012-2013 season, players were still able to represent their countries in the 2014 Winter Olympics. This will be the first time the NHL will not attend the Winter Olympics since the 1994 winter games, according to sbnation.com.