Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

October 12, 2012

‘Fierce Hitters’

Zebra linebackers focus on stopping Pryor’s Smallwood

CLAREMORE — Claremore’s linebacking unit believes in the old cliche ... “No pain, no gain”.

Seniors Jordan Cunningham and Brycen Short, along with junior Gage Meisinger and sophomore Baron Hope are the driving force behind Claremore’s 5-1 start and defensive success.

“It’s definitely one of our most athletic group of linebackers in a while,” Claremore head coach Rob Gilbreath said earlier this season. “They are fast, smart and fearless.”

In six games this season, Cunningham and his three ‘Blitz Brothers’ have anchored a defense that is holding opponents to 12 points per game.

Gilbreath said the success of the Zebras season so far has been attributed to the defense — all three phases (front four, linebackers and secondary).

In last week’s 20-19 loss to No. 2 East Central, the Zebras held one of the most explosive teams in Oklahoma to 154 total yards.

East Central rushed for 68 yards on 22 carries and passed for 86 on 8-of-18 completions with one interception and two touchdowns.

“We give up two big pass plays on defense, and that’s pretty much their offensive production for the night,” Gilbreath said of East Central.

“When you can stop a team as athletic as East Central, you’re definitely doing something right and opening eyes.”

Two weeks ago, Claremore’s defense held Tahlequah senior running back Mason McMillan to 64 yards on 25 carries and the Tigers’ only managed 100 total offensive yards.

Claremore’s linebackers — Cunningham, Hope, Meisinger and Short — have accounted for 223 of the Zebras’ 450 total tackles.

Cunningham leads the team with 85 while Hope follows with 76. Safety Hunter Garroutte also has 49 on the season.

This week, though, the Zebra defense faces a huge test in stopping Pryor tailback Carson Smallwood, who gained 382 yards on 19 carries in the Tigers’ win over Grove last Friday.

“Carson Smallwood, according to stats, is the best running back in Class 5A,” Gilbreath said. “He is a big physical runner that possesses great speed.”

So far this season, Smallwood has 126 carries for 1,053 yards and 18 touchdowns. He is averaging 8.4 yards per carry.

Against Grove, Smallwood scored on runs of 72, 49, 24, 55, 2 and 45 yards.

“Pryor is coming in with a lot of confidence and enthusiasm,” Gilbreath said. “They are coming off two victories over Grove and Central and they’ve beaten us the last two years.”

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0344web.jpg ‘Lucky 7’ comes through in the 3rd

    Over the course of his four-year baseball career at Verdigris High School, third baseman Ryan Skalnik has had his share of memorable at-bats.
    None more important than Tuesday’s appearance in the Large School East-West All-State Game at J.L. Johnson Stadium in Tulsa.
    Skalnik, who was the lone senior this season for Verdigris and a four-time Class 3A state champion, thrived under pressure in the top of the third inning for the East.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • BASEBALL: Larue, Skalnik power East to 3-0 victory

    The East blanked the West 3-0 in the Large School All-State Baseball Game Tuesday night at J. L. Johnson Stadium on the campus of Oral Roberts University.
    Claremore catcher Matt Whatley and third baseman Ryan Skalnik of Verdigris represented Rogers County in the contest.
    Skalnik finished 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI's.  Whatley was 0-for-1 with a walk.

    July 30, 2014

  • FISHFRYweb.jpg Claremore QB Club holds Fish Fry Aug. 2

    The Claremore Zebra Quarterback Club will hold its annual Fish Fry fundraiser on Aug. 2 at the Claremore High School cafeteria.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • RSU places 77 student-athletes on Heartland Conference Academic All-Conference Honor Roll

    The Heartland Conference announced that more than 1000 student-athletes from its 12 member institutions landed a spot on the Academic All-Conference honor roll, including 77 from Rogers State.
     
    The Hillcats had 33 student-athletes named to the President's Honor Roll while 44 earned Commissioner's Honor Roll recognition.

    July 31, 2014

  • Indoor football coming back to Enid?

     Is Enid ready to give professional arena football another try? Oklahoma City businessman Antwone Taulton and Enid Enforcers owner Mark Timberlake think so, and are in the early stages of a plan they hope will see the return of arena football in 2015 to Enid after an absence of more than 10 years. And if things progress as one league executive expects, an official announcement could be forthcoming in the near future.

    July 31, 2014

  • OU holds Mixon out of practice, investigation continues

    Preseason practice begins for Oklahoma today, but freshman running back Joe Mixon will not be there, the school announced Wednesday night.

    The university, in its statement, said “Joe Mixon is not reporting for team activities at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation.”

    July 31, 2014

  • Ticket options available for Arkansas women's basketball

    The excitement surrounding head coach Jimmy Dykes and the 2014-15 University of Arkansas women’s basketball season is building every day in Northwest Arkansas.

    As the excitement builds, the Razorback Ticket Center has announced the availability of women’s basketball season ticket plans including several new options for this season.  Tickets go on sale beginning today and can be purchased online at ArkansasRazorbacks.com or by calling the Razorback Ticket Center at 800-982-4647.  Current season ticket holders will receive renewal forms in the mail the first week of August.

    July 31, 2014

  • Ex-OSU baseball players Oliver, Hague on new paths in All-Star season

    Matt Hague has transitioned to being a power hitter and Andy Oliver has evolved into a shutdown closer.

    The former Oklahoma State players were both named International League All-Stars after reinventing themselves this season with the Indianapolis Indians, the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    July 31, 2014

  • Ex-Sooner Courtney Paris finding niche with Shock

    It looked like it came easily to Courtney Paris. The minute she stepped foot on the campus at the University of Oklahoma in 2005, it seemed she was already an All-American and destroying the competition in the Big 12 and across the nation.

    July 31, 2014

  • MLB: Keuchel tosses 4-hitter, Astros roll past A's

    In at least one category, Dallas Keuchel is Clayton Kershaw's equal. For at least one three-game series, Houston was better than Oakland.

    Keuchel pitched a four-hitter and Robbie Grossman homered to cap a six-run first inning that sent the Astros past the Athletics 8-1 Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014