Going 5-2 after their last home game, the Newcastle Racers had the beginnings of a nice streak when they returned to the Racer baseball complex Monday, going 3-0 in their last three games.
It was not to be as the Racers fell 7-5 to Mt. Saint Mary's in extra innings Mar. 31 in Newcastle.
It is the second loss to the Rockets (5-5) this season after a 5-3 loss Mar. 10. The game was moved to Newcastle after re-sodding at Mt. Saint Mary's forced the game's relocation.
The Racers (7-4) were riding high after their three-game road win streak, with the most recent victory coming Mar. 29 at Rush Springs.
"It was a good win," Newcastle Head Coach Mike Crossley said. "They were 12-0, but they got beat the night before we played them ... They were 25-6 last year and didn't graduate any kids. It was a game that scared me a little bit, I admit."
Crossley hailed relief pitcher Eric Strangefeld and batter Keith Tarver for the 10-5 win over Rush Springs, considering the game came the day after prom.
Pitching remains a concern for Crossley as the Racers approach the midpoint of their season.
"We're awfully young on the mound," Crossley said. "Two of our main pitchers we used last year graduated, so it's a gradual process of building that pitching staff, making it better."
Crossley also hopes that hitting improves with the changing seasons.
"As the weather warms up, the bats warm up," he said.
The Racers remain in healthy shape as they prepare for the Newcastle Invitational tournament, beginning when Newcastle takes on Little Axe 11 a.m. April 3 at the Racer baseball complex.
Other teams participating include Latta, Classen SAS, Bridge Creek, Purcell, Christian Heritage and Community Christian School.
The Racers are 3-1 against the tournament field. Thursday will be the team's only meeting with Little Axe. The Racers lost 6-5 to Christian Heritage on the championship game of the Little Axe tournament Mar. 22, have notched two wins over Bridge Creek Mar. 7 and 20, and scored a 22-7 win over Community Christian Mar. 24.
While the rest of Newcastle High School was off for spring break, Racer head coach Mike Crossley and the Racer baseball team travelled to Little Axe for the annual Little Axe Invitational baseball tournament.
After advancing to the finals on wins over Bridge Creek and Lindsay, the Racers faltered as they fell to Christian Heritage.
“We didn’t play bad in the finals, we did pretty good,” Crossley said. “We can still improve. We’re getting better with time.”
The Racers (4-3) opened the tournament with a rematch against opening-day foe Bridge Creek. After throttling the Bobcats 21-2 on Mar. 7, the Racers faced stiffer competition from their rural rivals before putting them away 7-5 on Mar. 20.
On Mar. 22, the Racers faced Class 3A Lindsay for the first time in the season, smashing the Leopards 13-3. Newcastle will have a road rematch at Lindsay Mar. 27.
Finally, Newcastle lost to Community Christian, a 2A school, 5-3 on Mar. 24.
While the Racers ability to hit the ball consistantly has improved steadily with time, Crossley’s young pitching staff remains a work in progress, he said.
The Racers played a rematch at Community Christian on Monday, Mar. 24, however a score was not reported before press time Tuesday.
After a 3-1 start to the season including wins over Blanchard, Harding Charter and Putnam City, Lady Racers Head Coach Byron Mooney has to find a way to stop the slide.
The Lady Racers entered the Putnam North tournament 2-1 and started things off with a 18-3 clobbering of the Lady Lions on Mar. 13. After dropping a 12-0 loss to Westmoore later that day, Newcastle closed the day out with an 8-0 blanking of Norman North.
It was the next day that the Lady Racers started their slide.
“We played ten games in that first week, and I’ve got 12 girls out,” Mooney said. “We started out strong, but we got tired.”
This early in the season coming off of winter, much of his team is not in playing shape, Mooney said.
“We just have to put it out better,” the second-year coach said. “We need to come out of the break rested and not play ten games in a week, we’ll be okay.”
The schedule does not relent for Mooney in the following days. After Mar. 25 matchups with Little Axe and Bridge Creek, the Lady Racers turn around two days later for a road trip to Bethel. That is followed up Mar. 31 with games against Washington and Harrah.
Despite the early season slump, Mooney sees a marked improvement over his first year.
“We started much better this year,” Mooney said. “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish for sure. We hope to put it together and have a better run.”
The Lady Racers next home game is Mar. 31 against Washington.
Playing their first game of the 2014 season, Mike Crossley and his Newcastle Racer baseball team was looking to set a tone for the entire season when they welcomed Bridge Creek in their home opener Mar. 7.
What a tone they set.
The Racers (1-1) flattened the Bobcats 21-2 in a run rule-shortened first game at the Racer baseball complex.
“We started relaxing towards the end, swinging the bat a little better,” Crossley said. “They helped us out a bunch in the first, they walked a bunch.”
The Racers scored 11 runs in the first inning. Joseph Craig and Dylan Adams both notched two hits for the Racers, while Adams also drove in a home run. Reagan Able also registered two hits.
Despite jumping on the Bobcats’ (0-3) early pitching woes, Crossley chalked the lopsided score to inexperience on Bridge Creek’s roster.
“Bridge Creek is real young, they graduated a lot of kids,” Crossley said. “They played a real good ball game against Purcell the day before.”
Despite the big win, the Racers were not able to ride the momentum into a victory Monday, Mar. 10 against Mt. Saint Mary’s. Newcastle fell to the Rockets 5-3.
Adams banged home a two-run homer in the first inning, but it was not enough to overcome Mt. Saint Mary’s (2-0) momentum, cruising on a 15-3 walloping of Santa Fe South.
Aftr a Tuesday matchup on the road against Oklahoma Christian Academy, the Racers will return home Mar. 13 to host Class A Binger-Oney (0-1) before a Mar. 14 road date against Tri-City rival Tuttle (2-0).
A Newcastle swimmer has swam her way to state titles for the third year in a row.
Senior Jessi Hildebrand took first place in the 100-yard butterfly and the 500-yard freestyle events during the 2014 OSSAA Class 5A state swimming championship, held Feb. 22 at the Edmond Aquatic Center in Edmond.
Sophomore Racer swimmer Sarah Soliman placed seventh in the 500-yard freestyle, and 10th in the 100-yard backstroke.
Together the two combined to give Newcastle, which does not have a formal swim program and competes alongside Norman North, a 13th place overall finish out of 30 schools.
Brady Cox, the only male swimmer competing for Newcastle, failed to qualify for the final events.
This is Hildebrand’s third state championship in freestyle.
With impressive wins over Tecumseh on Feb. 22, the Newcastle Racer and Lady Racer basketball teams move on as district champions, headed for a tough Regional matchup on a neutral site.
Both teams will face Inola High School in the first round of the Class 4A, Area Two regional tournament Thursday at Henryetta High School. The boys tip off against the Longhorns at 8 p.m., while the girls face the Lady Longhorns at 6:30 p.m.
The Racers (14-9) cruised to a 58-49 victory over the Savages under Interim Head Coach Eddie Miller.
“The boys played hard, it was a physical game and they responded,” Miller said. “Tecumseh’s a pretty good team, they were physical, but our kids didn’t back down. They got after it and fought through adversity.”
Miller was named interim coach after head coach Wes Pulliam was suspended from coaching duties due to an incident during practice before the Racers’ game against Dale. Newcastle Public Schools officials declined comment.
The Racers relied on the efforts of Caleb Nichols throughout the game, as well as the shooting arm of Casey Freeman and the defensive acumen of Gavin Garner.
Senior Lauren Martin signed her letter of intent to play soccer for Southwestern Oklahoma State University Lady Bulldogs with (from left) mother Vicki Martin, sister Rileigh Martin, father John Martin, and sister Brittany Martin-Wells on Feb. 10.
SWOSU is a four-year public university located in Weatherford.
The Lady Bulldogs compete in the Great American Conference of the NCAA, Division two.
Senior Corbi Parasich signed her letter of intent to play softball for the Oklahoma Baptist University Lady Bison with (from right) mother Renee Pendergraft-Parasich, father John Parasich Jr., and OBU head coach Pam Fink on Monday, Feb. 10
OBU is a private four-year school located in Shawnee.
The Lady Bison play in the Sooner Athletic Conference of the NAIA.
After opening their season with a 39-64 road loss against Tuttle, Wes Pulliam’s Newcastle Racers had dreams of revenge when the Tigers paid a visit to Newcastle High School Feb. 7.
Revenge was precisely what they got when the Racers pulled off a spectacular upset against the former one-loss team, trouncing the Tigers 51-43.
The Racers (12-8) have been on a 4-1 run since taking third in the Newcastle Tournament, delivering the Tigers (17-2) their second loss of the season.
Casey Freeman led a Newcastle squad that saw three players record double digits in points, notching a team-high 15 points and eight rebounds. Caleb Nichols contributed 11 points, while Issac Johnson recorded 13 points and two assists.
Tuttle’s Dalton Secrist contributed seven points, 10 rebounds and a block for the Tigers, but it was not enough to stop the Racers from their second straight win.
The loss bumped Tuttle down two spots to #9, while the Racers remain unranked in Class 4A.
Newcastle girls' head basketball coach Brett Sanders is returning to the sideline.
The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association (OSSAA) lifted Sanders’ month-long suspension Wednesday, Feb. 12 during their February board of directors meeting in Oklahoma City, effective immediately.
Sanders was suspended following two technical fouls being called against him during a 9th grade game Jan. 18 in Tuttle, where the Lady Racers were playing against Blanchard. Video of the game obtained by the Pacer shows that during a timeout, Sanders was quietly talking to his team on the sideline when an official at half court calls two technical fouls on him, resulting in an automatic suspension.
The official claimed that Sanders came on to the floor and was yelling at him, Sanders said. No yelling is heard on the video, and Sanders did not leave the sideline.
Despite the reinstatement, the technicals and suspension were not adjusted.
"They are always going to be there," Newcastle Athletic Director Dale Berglan said. "The procedure had to be followed. When a coach is suspended, the board of directors had to reinstate him."
Newcastle Schools did not seek to have the fouls struck from Sanders' record, Berglan said.
Sanders will return for his first game with the Lady Racers Feb. 14, when Newcastle's girls face Washington in match play at Bethany High School, followed by Senior Night Feb. 17 when the Racers welcome Dale.
When asked for comment, Sanders said that he was happy at the outcome and is glad to return to coaching.
The school district has no plans to pursue penalties against the official who issued the technicals, Berglan said.
Sanders had requested an emergency meeting for reinstatement before Feb. 12, which the OSSAA board of directors denied Jan. 27.
The Lady Racers (15-6) were 6-4 without Sanders on the bench. They are currently ranked 16 in Class 4A.