Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

July 9, 2013

Women referees set to break NFL's glass ceiling

NEW YORK — Sarah Thomas was a 23-year-old ex- college basketball player when she was thrown off a Mississippi church-league team because she was female. So she joined her older brother at a football officials' organizational meeting as a way to stay in sports.

After 16 years of calling high school and college games, she is poised to become the National Football League's first permanent female game official, possibly as soon as the 2014 season.

"I didn't set out to break a glass ceiling or a gender barrier," said Thomas, a 39-year-old from Brandon, Miss. "If you're doing things because you love them, then things have a tendency to just kind of fall into place."

Thomas and Shannon Eastin, who broke the gender barrier last season as a temporary official while union referees were locked out by owners, are among 35 officials in the NFL's training pool. Eastin is at the lower level and Thomas, a line judge, is one of 21 from whom the NFL will choose the next time there's an opening.

"Sarah's at the top of our scouting program," Dean Blandino, the NFL's vice president of officiating, said in a telephone interview. "Now we're taking an even closer look as part of this developmental program to see who distinguishes themselves and give them a taste of the NFL speed, rules and mechanics."

Thomas' promotion to the NFL would be a "good positive first step that begins to reflect the gender dynamics of the NFL audience," said Aine Duggan, president of the New York-based National Council for Research on Women. "It's important for women to see themselves reflected on and off the field. Having a woman referee is a good step that begins to do that."

Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0237web.jpg Hrdlicka, Teter pour ‘heart’ into Zebra soccer program

    For the past four years, Claremore High School seniors Katelin Teter and Nick Hrdlicka have represented the ‘heart and soul’ of the Lady Zebra and Zebra soccer programs.
    The soccer duo will join seven other seniors on Friday night for Homecoming against Collinsville at Lantow Field.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • DSC_0014web.jpg 9 straight for Lady Zebras

    Claremore sophomore forward Bailey Steckline got the ‘hat-trick’ plus one Tuesday night in the Lady Zebras’ 10-0 win over Tulsa Memorial at  LaFortune Stadium.
    Steckline tallied two goals in the first half, and added two more in the second to complete her impressive night.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0156web.jpg Tulsa Memorial holds off Zebras, 2-1

    Tulsa Memorial scored a pair of first-half goals  to steal the momentum away from the Claremore Zebras, as well as the 2-1 win Tuesday night in Metro Lakes Conference action at LaFortune Stadium.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0015web.jpg BASEBALL: Whatley, Howe power Zebras past Tahlequah

    Claremore’s Matt Whatley has proven over the past four years that he’s one of the toughest outs in the Metro Lakes Conference.
    On Tuesday, Whatley went 3-for-4 with two singles and a triple while sparking the Zebras to a 12-2 win over Tahlequah in five innings at American Legion Park.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • BASEBALL: Dewey takes pair from Sequoyah

    It’s very difficult to win when you can’t score.
    Class 4A third-ranked Dewey blanked homestanding Sequoyah 7-0 and 2-0 in a district doubleheader on Tuesday, improving to 21-3 with a dominating two-hit pitching performance in the opener and a four-hitter in the nightcap.

    April 18, 2014

  • SOCCER: Sequoyah topples No. 15 Catoosa, 1-0

    Sequoyah boys soccer coach Bob Campbell had one phrase to sum up his feelings following the Eagles’ game with 15th ranked Catoosa at home Tuesday night.
    “We’re in the driver’s seat.’’
    Alex Bourgeois scored late in the first half and Sequoyah made it stand up for a 1-0 victory over the Indians in a showdown for the district lead.

    April 18, 2014

  • Jackson sprints Zebras to 1st place at OBU Relays

    Claremore senior sprinter Tyler Jackson felt the need for speed Wednesday afternoon at the Oklahoma Baptist University High School Invitational.
    Jackson notched a pair of first-place victories in the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash to help Claremore earn 130 points for top honors.

    April 18, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Arkansas Tech roughs up ‘Cats

    The Rogers State University baseball team had a disappointing finish in its home finale as No. 12-ranked Arkansas Tech blanked the Hillcats 11-0 Tuesday evening in non-conference action from the Diamond Sports Complex.

    April 18, 2014

  • BASEBALL: West Virginia slides past OU, 9-5

    The University of Oklahoma baseball team surrendered nine straight runs as a four-run lead disappeared in a 9-5 loss to West Virginia in front of 1,211 at L. Dale Mitchell Park, Saturday afternoon. The Sooners dropped to 25-16 overall and 5-7 in the Big 12, while the Mountaineers improved to 19-15 and 4-7.

    April 20, 2014

  • SOFTBALL: OU run-rules Texas to control Big 12 race

    “The beauty of this team and this program is that you can hit us hard one time and we usually respond, so I expect that we’ll be completely ready to play tomorrow. You’re going to see a completely different look from this team that’s ready to fight.”

    Those were the words of Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso following Friday night’s 9-0 loss in six innings to Texas. Based on Saturday’s result, the hall of fame coach couldn’t have been more right.

    A four-run first inning set the tone early and No. 16/12 Oklahoma (34-10, 11-2) captured the series finale over Texas (27-18, 7-3) in dominant fashion, winning 8-0 in five innings.

    April 20, 2014