By Michael Kinney and Corbin Hosler
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — It didn’t take Westmoore’s new skipper long to get into the groove of his new job. After being officially approved by the Moore Schools Board of Directors as the Jaguars’ head football coach, Adam Gaylor can be found at the school three times a week, despite still living in Broken Arrow.
Gaylor has been an assistant coach for Broken Arrow High the past seven seasons, where he rose to the defensive coordinator title. His name had been thrown around for several top coaching jobs in the state, including Lawton Eisenhower, where some considered him a front-runner.
But when Billy Langford resigned as Westmoore’s coach after the 2013 season, the cards seemed to fall into place for Gaylor.
Gaylor takes over a team that lost in the Class 6A semifinals to eventual state champion Jenks.
Broken Arrow finished 10-3 last season with a loss to Tulsa Union in the state semifinals.
All-conference hoops: The Mid-State girls all-conference teams were released and it features several area players.
Norman North’s Bri Kuestersteffen got the biggest award as she was named the conference’s MVP. The senior helped lead the Timberwolves to a spot in the state tournament and a top 10 ranking much of the season.
Norman High’s Taylor Ely took Offensive Player of the Year, while Bethany Franks was named the Newcomer of the Year.
Despite missing 11 games with an injury to her elbow, Southmoore’s Serethia Hawkins garnered Defensive Player of the Year. Westmoore’s Kaci Richardson took the Super Sophomore award.
The Jaguars’ Andrea Guziec shared Coach of the Year honors with Midwest City’s Art Bode.
Norman North’s Haley Woodard joins Kuestersteffen, Hawkins and Ely on the all-conference first team. Edmond Memorial’s Andee Decker and the Bombers’ Jasauen Beard also landed on the squad.
The second team was made up of Franks, Richardson, Moore’s Amanda Patterson, Southmoore’s Kyeria Hanna and Del City’s Piper Kalthoff.
With this being the final year of the Mid-State Conference, this goes down as the last All-Mid State Conference team.
Starting next fall, area teams will be part of the Central Oklahoma Athletic Conference (COAC). It will include NHS, North, Moore, Westmoore, Southmoore, Edmond Memorial, Edmond North, Edmond Santa Fe, Yukon, Mustang, Deer Creek and Stillwater.
Utility man: Sam Richison has done it all for the Tigers this season. The Norman High senior has been a big part of NHS’ 7-4 start, and he’s done it by playing all over the field.
Richison catches regularly for the Tigers, but this season he’s showed his range, playing in the outfield as well as at second base. His versatility has helped NHS to a 3-3 district start that represents the program’s best start in years.
“Look at a guy who caught every game for us last year in Sam, and this year he’s the type of guy we can throw anywhere on the field and he’ll do a good job for us,” coach Pete Sangirardi said after Richison helped the Tigers pull out a one-run victory over Sapulpa on Tuesday to pull back to .500 in district play. “He’s even come in and closed games out for us and gotten a win this year.”
Richison has helped to anchor a Tigers’ pitching staff that returns just one full-time starter from last season and has relied on the committee approach to keep the Tigers in games.
“I can’t ask for any more,” Sangirardi said. “All of the team this year, I just ask that they leave it all between the lines, and they’re doing a pretty good job of it.”
T-Wolves pitchers combine for no-hitter: The defending state runners-up haven’t gotten off to the start they hoped for, but Norman North has plenty of positives as they move into the middle of the season.
Two of those bright spots are Brad Kinsey and Austin Cranford, a pair of pitchers instrumental in last year’s run to the state title game. The two showed on Monday they’ve only gotten better, as they combined to throw a no-hitter in a win over Putnam City West.
It was the latest dominating performance for the pair, who are growing more comfortable this season and should continue to settle in as Cranford moves back to his familiar role as closer. Kinsey is 2-1 this season with a 0.46 earned run average, 28 strikeouts and just six walks. Since moving back to the closer spot, Cranford has earned a save in his only opportunity and struck out 12 batters.
Nostrand leading the way on offense: While Kinsey leads the pitching staff, it’s been senior Joe Nostrand doing the same on offense.
Nostrand, who has signed with Frank Phillips College, is batting a team-high .346 and sports a gaudy .514 on-base percentage.
He’s been a key cog in an offense that is averaging one run an inning this season and provides the T-Wolves the punch they’ll need if they hope to host a regional for the second straight year.
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