The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

July 10, 2013

Players want an Olympic choice



When it was an Olympic sport, USA Softball was a year-round program with a year-round training budget, stipends for players that allowed them to stay in training and significantly greater corporate sponsorship.

Now it’s a summer program.

“We’ve done a great job with what we’ve had to work with,” Eriksen said. “And college players are going to be exposed to greater competition earlier. But it doesn’t lend itself toward training.”

The truth is, were it an Olympic sport, the national team might not have as strong an Oklahoma presence and certainly wouldn’t have near the collegiate presence.

Before, the college players were filling USA Softball’s developmental rosters. Now they’re the national team.

It’s hard to imagine a slugger like OU’s Lauren Chamberlain having to wait her turn to do anything, but that might have been her destiny had her game remained a part of the Games.

It’s an interesting deal.

If the vote goes the way of the diamond sports, they would return to the 2020 Olympics, when most players on the current national team roster would be in their late 20s.

The team that opens play at the World Cup of Softball VIII Thursday night at Hall of Fame Stadium might look a whole lot like the 2020 Olympic team. You know, if there is a 2020 Olympic team and the players choose to stick with the game.

Aimee Creger, the best pitcher ever to come out of Tulsa, who’s bound to see more time in the circle this summer since Keilani Ricketts left the team in a lurch with her sudden departure, doesn’t know what she would do if softball was picked back up as an Olympic sport.

“It’s a hard decision,” she said. “We’ve all talked about it … It’s a tough decision.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Norman football a hotbed for quarterbacks

    While Norman High searches for a new quarterback to take the reins, Norman North is entering the preseason with one of the most talented quarterbacks in the state in Oklahoma State commit John Kolar....

    August 1, 2014

  • 498415327SB20543_Sky_Shock How Paris got her groove back

    TULSA — 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 ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Three Tigers competing for quarterback

    While some teams have had questions surrounding the quarterback position in recent years, Norman High has seen relative stability. Thanks to a three-year run by Zach Long followed up by Jakcob Dean’s ascendance last season, the Tigers ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Brace yourselves for what is likely bumpy road to playoffs

    In October of 2005, back when Butch Peters had Norman High ranked No. 5 on the gridiron and Karin Sexson had Norman North ranked No. 1 on the volleyball court, I wrote a column under the headline: “Two great teams … Who cares.” It was all ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Clash Football It’s a whole new ball game for Tigers and Timberwolves

    With just over two weeks until football practice officially begins Aug. 11, everyone is busy preparing for the upcoming season. After all, it’s one that will be unlike any other....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • USA Basketball Durant tells media that he’s not looking too far ahead

    While most of the NBA’s offseason has been focused on players going home, max contracts and who gets Kevin Love, the reigning MVP has been pretty low key. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has stayed in the shadows for the most part while ...

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • OSSAA releases enrollment figures

    The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association released the preliminary 2014-15 ADM for classification purposes Friday and not much has changed for many of the area schools. Moore (2,265), Norman North (2,180), Westmoore (2,090), ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Swim regionals 1 Norman North’s Justin Wu qualifies for U.S. national

    Justin Wu made history last week when he qualified for the U.S. national swim meet. A senior at Norman North, Wu already owned several state records when he outpaced a field of college swimmers in the event....

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo