Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

January 16, 2013

Clifton signs with NOC-Enid

CLAREMORE — Claremore High School senior Dalton Clifton made a life-long dream come true Tuesday morning with his signing to play college baseball at Northern Oklahoma College-Enid.

Clifton, who is expected to compete for the starting second base position this spring, said he’s glad to get this decision behind him and focus on the upcoming season.

“I’ve always wanted to go JUCO and then move to a bigger school,” Clifton said.

The decision to sign with NOC-Enid became rather easy for Clifton after seeing the facilities and meeting the coaching staff.

“Their indoor facility is top of the line and their stadium reminds me of a Minor League park,” Clifton said. “Plus, everyone down there felt like a family with their closeness.”

Clifton credited Claremore head baseball coach Brent Payne for his tutelage to helping him take his game to the next level.

“Coach Payne makes me work a lot harder and appreciate the coaching a lot more,” Clifton said.

“Also, the competition I face every day in practice makes me better.”

NOC-Enid assistant coach Scott Mansfield said he noticed Clifton at the O’Brien Showcase in Owasso and quickly envisioned the Claremore infielder making a difference in 2014 in Enid.

“Dalton’s one of those dirt-bag players that possesses good hands, swings the bat well and has a strong arm to make those difficult throws across the diamond,” Mansfield said.

“He’s definitely going to fit in well with our program and we’re excited to have him.”

Mansfield added that Clifton will be looked upon as a middle infielder or third baseman.

“Hopefully, if he comes in and does everything right, he’ll being getting a lot of reps,” Mansfield said.

What sold Mansfield the most on Clifton was his competitive spirit.

“All he wants to do is play baseball,” Mansfield said. “He’s got that competitive mentality and the tools that you can’t teach.”

Mansfield also credited the Claremore baseball program as being a strong asset to the state of Oklahoma.

“The kids that we get from Claremore come in knowing how to compete,” Mansfield said.

“That’s a credit to Coach Payne and his assistants. Year in and year out, they’re always competing at the highest level and playing for championships.”

For Clifton, the transition from Claremore to NOC-Enid, according to Mansfield, should be easy.

“Dalton shouldn’t have that big of shift,” he said. “He’s the kind of player we want representing our program.”

Clifton added that NOC-Enid’s motto was another selling point to his overall decision.

“Their motto is to outwork the nation, and that’s what sold me,” Clifton said.

For now, though, Clifton plans to ‘outwork the state’ and help lead Claremore back to the Class 5A State Tournament.

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

  • Iowa offers free tuition to boost football sales

    The University of Iowa is offering a year's worth of free tuition to five randomly selected students who've purchased season tickets for the 2014 football season.

    July 30, 2014

  • FOOTBALL: Auburn, Clemson agree to play in 2016, 2017

    Auburn and Clemson have agreed to play a home-and-home series in 2016 and 2017.

    The schools announced the deal on Wednesday.

    July 30, 2014

  • QB questions abound in SEC

    Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league.

    Big names, not so much.

    Division favorites Alabama and South Carolina will be banking on new starters. Ditto for Texas A&M, Georgia and defending East Division champion Missouri.

    July 30, 2014

  • MLB: Indians trade starting pitcher Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    Justin Masterson began the season as the Indians' ace. He'll end it with a different team in a different league.

    Cleveland traded the disappointing Masterson on Wednesday to the St. Louis Cardinals, a deal that will allow the Indians to get something in return for the 29-year-old righty who was in his final year under contract.

    July 30, 2014

  • Cop once drew gun on squirrel-hunting QB Winston

    Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and Florida State teammate Chris Casher were held at gunpoint by campus police nearly two years ago while hunting squirrels with a pellet gun, police say.

    July 30, 2014

  • NFL: Cowboys sign OL Tyron Smith to 8-year deal

    Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo.

    The Pro Bowl left tackle signed an eight-year, $98 million extension Wednesday that pushes the total value of his deal to $110 million over 10 years, locking him up through 2023.

    July 30, 2014

  • NCAA proposed settlement raises medical questions

    A key feature of a proposed settlement of a head-injury lawsuit against the NCAA is the creation of a $70 million fund to pay for medical evaluations of current and former college players in several sports. The provision raises some sticky medical questions.

    July 30, 2014