Lady Bison Lacrosse routs Adams State

By Michael Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor

The Oklahoma Baptist women’s lacrosse team kicked off a six-game home stand with a 19-6 victory over RMAC foes Adams State University Saturday, March 23.

The Lady Bison entered the matchup on a five-game losing streak, all of which were on the road.

However, OBU showed up ready to defend Bison Hill.

“We knew we had to show up and work for every ground ball, every pass, and every goal,” sophomore Taylor Skomp said. “We are confident every time we walk on the field, but we knew everyone would have to show up ready to perform.”

The Lady Bison came storming out of the gates.

Junior Brooke Harden opened the scoring for OBU at the 27:41 mark in the first half, which sparked four more goals for the Lady Bison.

Skomp, freshman Shay Morgan, and junior Lauren McCormack all found the back of the net before Adams State.

Once ASU finally found a goal, OBU freshman Devin Miller followed up with a goal of her own, while Skomp completed a hat trick before 10 minutes were gone in the game.

ASU scored again to make it 7-1 but the Lady responded right back with a pair of goals from Morgan and freshman Emery Kennedy.

OBU would give up one more goal before halftime, but would respond again with scores from Miller, freshman Nina Handley and Kennedy.

Handley’s goal was her first career goal for OBU.

“Offense set the tone this game and it showed,” junior Brooke Harden said. “We really have started collaborating as a team.”

Every time ASU found a goal, OBU would come back with more of their own. This helped the maintain a lead into halftime.

The Lady Bison would keep the same intensity in the second half; Miller would add another goal within the first 50 seconds of the second half.

The Lady Bison scored four more goals after Miller’s opening goal to push the lead to 17-3.

McCormack and freshman Madison Gordon each scored one more time to put the finishing touches on the emphatic win.

“I’m really proud of the way our team came out and competed,” Harden said. “We are a newer team, so we have a learning curve, but as the season has gone on, we have really developed and gotten better with each game.”

The Lady Bison had eight different players find the back of the net as the offense continued to find its rhythm from earlier in the week.

This was OBU’s first conference win since April 1, 2017.

McCormack finished with a game-high five points on three goals and two assists, while Gordon, Harden, and Skomp each had four points apiece.

Also, Miller finished with a hat trick. Defensively, junior Courtney Barnickle picked up her third win of the season in goal, collecting 11 saves against just six goals allowed.

Though the team has a difficult start to the season, the OBU lacrosse team has been able to grow and get closer as a group because of it.

“Our biggest strength is we all love each other, and we walk on the field ready to play,” Skomp said. “We spend a lot of time together outside of lacrosse growing as friends and growing in our faith.”

The team leads the NCAA in draw controls and ground balls.

“We all view lacrosse as a job,” Skomp said. “We are there to work hard, give it everything we have and walk off the field knowing we played to the best of our abilities.”

The Lady Bison now sit at 3-5 overall and 1-4 in conference play.

Next up, the team takes on Midland in a nonconference match-up, Saturday, Apr 6.

“We have been putting a lot of work in on and off the field,” Harden said. “I think it’s going to show in our upcoming games.”

So far this season, the Lady Bison have traveled to Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah. They will head out-of-state for their April 27 meet in St. Charles, MO against Lindenwood University.

Walk-On basketball player has prayer answered

By Anthony Williams, Contributing Writer

When junior Shariah Anderson first came to Bison Hill, it was entirely for academics, not for her dream, to play college basketball.

It was not until the end of her sophomore year her dream became a reality.

She said her path to playing basketball for OBU was circuitous but absolutely driven by God.

“Being a walk-on was such an answered prayer,” she said.

In fact, in the tenth grade, one of her coaches once told her she would never be a collegiate basketball player.

“[That] fueled my fire to pursue my dreams of playing basketball at the higher level,” Anderson said.

Unfortunately, she later doubted her drive would impact the reality of the situation. When opportunities failed to present themselves for the sport of her dreams, she began to pursue other athletic options.

“Being recruited by OBU for track was not the route I saw myself going; however, I figured that I could try out for the basketball team, make the team and then continue to run track in the spring,” she said.

“Nevertheless, that was not God’s plan. For the fi rst two years I was unable to try out for the basketball team because their roster was full. But at the end of my sophomore year, I went into the tryout with hopes to make the team as a walk-on; I walked out of the gym that day as collegiate basketball player who was on scholarship.”
She said she always kept faith in God during the process. At times her faith was tested, but she never surrendered her high-school dream.

In the end, she said, she was rewarded with a feeling she will never forget.

“This was such a surreal moment and made me reflect on how good God is,” she said. “In the moment I thought of this verse: ‘Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or
think’ (Eph. 3:20, NLT). All I wanted was to play basketball and He [fulfilled] that dream.”

Anderson said she believes God worked with her to realize her goals and she knows He can do this for others as well.

“My advice to another walk-on would be to remain close to God, focus and to have fun,” she said. “I would encourage them to not try to accomplish a million things all at once, but to come to practice every day with a new goal and mindset to get better at a specific thing.”
Anderson said it’s important for athletes who are walk-ons not to doubt themselves because God has given them exactly what they need.

“I would tell them to pray often because the attacks of the enemy are real, and if they are not prepared it can be hard,” she said. “Lastly, I would tell them to enjoy it. It’s not about how many minutes you’re getting in playing time or stats, but the primary purpose is to bring God glory no matter what. Whether on the bench or on the floor, the purpose does not change.”
Her faith continued to motivate her fellow teammates—and allow her to share the joy she feels.
“Shariah’s testimony has so much motivation behind it,” teammate Charissa Price said. “Seeing her giving 110 percent at practice and seeing that passion she has in her eyes blesses me. It makes me realize I truly have the best teammates I could ask for, this is why I came to OBU.”
Although the Lady Bison basketball season has come to an end, Anderson said she is already looking forward to personal improvements this off season.
“I am looking to improve on my mental state,” she said. “It can be hard being the one with the least experience, so really just taking my own advice and trusting that God has me in His hands no matter what. Also, I’d like to improve my basketball IQ and [I’d like] learning how to build stronger relationships with my teammates. In basketball, or any sport really, chemistry is huge. Therefore, getting closer with my teammates is a pretty important improvement I would like to make.”

Anderson will be entering her senior year and looking nowhere but forward.

Remembering a legend: Campus mourns loss of acclaimed swim coach Dr. Sam Freas

By Jared A’Latorre, Sports Editor

A friend. A leader. A man of the Lord. An amazing legacy.

Legendary swimming and diving coach Dr. Samuel Freas passed away Sunday, Mar. 24 at the age of 72.

Freas has made an outstanding legacy on Bison Hill. He was responsible for founding the swim and dive program in 2011.

Since the creation of the team, Freas has led OBU to seven national championships in NAIA competition.

After moving up to NCAA Division II, Freas’ swimmers have won individual national championships in different competitions.

The Bison and Lady Bison finished fifth overall in the national contest.

Before making his way to founding the swim program at OBU, he was known for his remarkable achievements with LSU, Arkansas, Hawaii and Allegheny. Freas was also an author of many influential swimming books.

Freas was involved with his occupation internationally as well.

He coached the South African Olympic swim team as well as serving as CEO and President of the International Swimming Hall of Fame for 15 years.

Robert Davenport, OBU’s athletic director, talked about the fun side of Freas and his demeanor toward people.

“Coach was always fun to be around,” Davenport said. “One of his many nicknames was the Big Kahuna.”

People involved with swim knew his name, including people from across the world.

“There was no question he impacted the culture here at OBU,” Davenport said. “Student-athletes came all over the world just to swim for him.”

While Freas was an advocate for making his players perform better in the pool, he was also just as concerned about their relationship with God.

“I remember that Sam was more concerned about his student-athletes spiritual life than anything else,” Davenport said. “Their relationship with the Lord was the most important thing to him, even more than swimming or graduating. He was a bigger-than-life personality and there was never a dull moment around him.”

Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Susan DeWoody also had a take on Freas and how his spirituality impacted those around him.

“One of the things about Sam is that no matter what he had going on, he was always concerned about other people,” DeWoody said. “He seemed more concerned on how I was doing than what he needed to bring for questions or whatever he needed for me in my role.”

With DeWoody focused on how to organize everything on Monday morning to bring the swimmers and divers together to cope with the pain, she did not begin to react for herself once everybody was brought in together.

“I don’t really think I began to really recognize until [I met] with the swimmers and divers that day,” DeWoody said. “I began to slow down and feel the impact.”

The next step for the swimmers and for Bison Hill is to remember Freas for the person he was.

“We’re going to celebrate his life in a big way,” DeWoody said.

Freas’s players were vocal about their thoughts after his passing.

Junior Felipe Ramirez Zapata from Columbia shared his first experience with Freas on how the toll from transitioning to school in new country was taken right off his back.

Freas was a huge icon for international students who came to OBU.

“I was a person that was worried too much about the details and with him I learned how to just and not think about it and that helped me a lot,” Zapata said.

Zapata talked about how you didn’t have to be skilled or gifted to be with Freas. If you have the spirit, the work will show.

“You just have to do the work and have fun,” Zapata said. “Not just me but the world lost a person full of love. That guy would do anything for his people he was loyal to death and I admire that of him.”

Alike with many others, Zapata expressed his thoughts on Freas and his spiritual life which is what people will remember about him most.

“His advices about life and about following Je-sus Christ, he was one of the persons that had an answer to everything and those advice helped a lot in every situation he was more than a coach, he was a guide for every single person in the team,” Zapata said.

Other students talked about Freas and his attitude toward the game.

Freas wanted to make it all about the players and credit them for their hard work.

Senior swimmer Jonathan Stewart expressed Freas’s view on individual accomplishments from his players.

“Sam never wanted an award for all of his coaching accomplishments and there were a lot that wanted to give him awards because of the fabulous coach he was,” Stewart said. “He always said it’s about the kids, let them get the awards because they’re the ones who deserve them.”

Graduate of OBU Jennette Lucia Morales talked about how Freas was more than just a coach. He was a mentor, coach and a friend to his players, she said.

“As a swimmer, he gave me an opportunity and helped me snap out of my mentality of what swimming was supposed to be,” Morales said. “He always pushed my limits and had more belief in me than myself,” Morales said.

His current players and former players knew what he cared about most and that was the Lord.

“I believe for Sam it was more than just swimming; I think it was about forming whole thriving kind characters who put God first,” Morales said.

Freas is survived by his wife, Rosemary, his four children, and eleven grandchildren. He will be greatly missed across all of Bison Hill.

OBU leads way in RMAC Championships

By Michael Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor

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The Oklahoma Baptist men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams took part in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Championships in Lewisville, Texas beginning Wednesday, February 13 and competing through Saturday, February 16.  

Heading into the event, the Bison were ranked 22nd in both men’s and women’s polls, according to Collegeswimming.com.  

Two other RMAC schools – California Baptist and Colorado Mesa – were ranked in the top 20 in national polls, just ahead of the Lady Bison and Bison. This set the stage for an epic, heavyweight bout in the conference championships.  

OBU knew they were going to be competing against some of the top swim and dive teams in the region. 

“We were expecting a dog fight from the very beginning,” junior Austin Saunders said. Everyone knew they were going to have to give everything they had to reach our common goal of winning the conference title.” 

The Bison and Lady Bison showed up ready to compete, earning several top finishes in the opening day of the event. OBU won both the men’s and women’s 200-yard medley relays, keeping its winning streak alive in the event.  

The women’s relay team consisting of sophomore Madelyne Carson, sophomore Victoria Fonville, sophomore Juliana Cifuentes, and sophomore Julia Day finished at 1:43.24, nearly two full seconds ahead of the second-place Colorado School of Mines team.  

The men’s relay team of sophomore Robinson Molina, junior Felipe Zapata, sophomore Davion Conley, and Gabriel Knaut finished at 1:28.25, which was a half-second faster than second-place Colorado Mesa.  

Additionally, OBU earned a first-place finish in the women’s 200-yard IM by freshman Marziel Van Jaarsveld and by Fonville in the 50-yard free. Van Jaarsveld cruised to victory, finishing with a time of 2:01.62, which was three seconds better than the second-place winner.  

However, Fonville inched out her opponents by 0.007 seconds with a time of 2:81 in the 50 free. 

“This team is very special because of the team’s chemistry and support,” Van Jaarsveld said. “We always stand with each other and push one another.” 

The second day saw more success for OBU in the event.  

The women’s relay team again saw great success in day two, winning both the 200 freestyle and the 400medley.  

The 200 team of freshman Jamie Edwards, Fonville, Day, and Van Jaarsveld finished in 1:33.04. In the 400medley relay, the team of Cifuentes, Fonville, Day, and Van Jaarsveld secured another victory, finishing with a time of 3:48.91. Also, Van Jaarsveld finished first in the 400 IM.  

“The way our team pushes through adversity is really amazing,” Saunders said. “I’m really proud of the way our team showed up.”  

The Bison also saw great success in day two.  

The men’s 200 freestyle team secured a win with a time of 1:21.12. The team consisted of Molina, Saunders, Gabriel Knaut, junior Alex Leff. The same group finished two-tenths of a second slower than Colorado Mesa in the 400 IM relay and earned second place. 

During the day, sophomore Alfredo Arrieche competed in the 1000yard freestyle event and although he came in second place, his performance did not go unnoticed.  

“From the very beginning he had taken the lead in such a long race and absolutely made it his race,” Saunders said. “Although he took second place in the event, the courage it took to go all out right off the bat showed his character and passion for swimming.” 

With momentum building, the Lady Bison and Bison entered day three still hungry for more success.  

On the women’s side, Van Jaarsveld took home her third individual race, finishing first in the 200 Butterfly, finishing with a time of 2:01.83.  

Additionally, Cifeuntes edged teammate Fonville at the wall to win the 100 Backstroke. Cifuentes touched the wall in 1:02.53, a half a second faster than Fonville’s 1:03.10.  

On the men’s side, Molina added another win to his total after taking the 100 Backstroke with a time of 47.71. Freshman Jordan Atkins secured a firstplace finish in the 100 IM with a time of 56.75.  

“We’ve been working all year,” senior Jonathon Stewart said. “I’m really proud of the team’s efforts.” 

In the final day of the competition, the Bison and Lady Bison brought all the energy and focus they had, and it paid off in a big way. In the end, OBU finished the competition with five first-place finishes.  

For the women, OBU’s Van Jaarsveld shared the women’s top performer award with Western State’s Randi Yarnell.

The two swimmers ended the competition with 77 points in total. Also, Van Jaarsveld finished second in the 100 backstroke and was a part of the winning 4 X 400 freestyle relay team. She joined teammates Fonville, Edwards, and senior Miram Avilla in a second-place finish.  

OBU finished the race with a time of 3:25.61, which qualified OBU for the NCAA Division II Championships next month.  

For the men, freshman Drew Dickson was the top swimmer for the Bison. He ended the competition in eighth place with 67 points.

Dickson secured a win in the 200 backstroke after finishing more than one-second ahead of the pack. He joined teammates Molina, Knaut, and junior Ryan Walker as the mens’ 4 X 400 freestyle relay winner.

Lastly, junior Genesis Veliz, the defending NCAA Division II champion, will have the opportunity to defend her title after winning the RMAC 3-Meter diving competition.  

“We had some amazing performances throughout the competition,” Stewart said. “Despite all of the adversity and the things not going our way, we still competed at a high level.” 

Next up for the OBU swimming and diving teams is the Texas A&M University Last Chance Meet in College Station, Texas beginning Friday, February 22.  

OBU Tennis team earns victory in Springfield, Missouri

By Courtlin Haygarth, Assistant Sports Editor

In search for their first win, Oklahoma Baptist headed to Springfield, Mo. to take on the No. 20 Drury Panthers Feb. 15 and then the Lindenwood Lions, who were also looking for their first win, Feb. 16. 

“We are going to have to play well to beat either of those teams,” Head Coach Jason Proctor said.  “I think we have a chance in both of those matches if we play as good as we can play.”

This will be the third year in a row that Oklahoma Baptist will have traveled to Springfield to take on Drury and Lindenwood. The Bison Men have split the series each of the last two years as each of the last two years OBU has found their first win of their season on this road trip. 

On Friday, things started out promising as they took the doubles point with wins at No. 1 with Gianlucca Galdi/Kevin Andrusch and No. 2 with Matias Le-Fort/Andres Graterol, both matches ending in a 7-6 score in favor of the Bison. With needing only three victories in singles to take the match, the Bison only got one from freshman Rhett Rollins 6-7, 6-4, 10-5 as the Bison fell 5-2. This was Rollins’ first singles win of the season. 

For the women, this was the first time in three years the Lady Bison headed to Springfield for their back-to-back against the Drury Lady Panthers and Lindenwood Lady Lions winless. The last two years OBU has made the trip with a win already under their belt. 

For the Lady Bison, doubles came and went pretty fast as both Drury’s No. 1 and No. 2 girl’s duos won 6-1 and 6-2. The up-hill climb facing OBU of needing to win four of the six singles matches was nearly completed as Tahlia Walsh, Ethne Dowling, and Stefy Varon all found the winning column.

Kim Moosbacher and Alex Bowers, after taking their respective first sets, could not close the deal as they both ended up losing in three and the overall match 4-3. 

In the Lindenwood match, Sweet Victory may not have been played at halftime of the Super Bowl, but the spirit lived on in Springfield on Saturday afternoon as both Bison teams logged their first wins of the season.

After capturing the doubles point, the Bison Men got all four of their singles victories in straight sets. Rhett Rollins left his first trip to Springfield as a Bison undefeated in singles. 

The Lady Bison continued their dominant streak over Lindenwood with a third straight sweep of the Lady Lions 7-0. Madeleine Boepple, who had been the Lady Bison’s No. 2, was put at No. 4 for this match after going 0-3 in singles to begin the season. Coach Proctor spoke on the issue of his teams’ winning formula and this position shift decision. 

“Proud of the way our players played today,” Proctor said. We have full confidence in what we are doing as a team and how we are going about it. We have lost a couple matches so far this year against very strong – but also beatable – teams. I’m proud of these wins because we didn’t change anything, we didn’t panic, and we continued to go about our business with the knowledge that, at the end of the day, our diligence will yield favorable results.” 

Proctor is willing to do anything to lead the team to victory and will take advantage of the players he has. 

No strategy there. Just putting together the best possible lineup we can on each day to give OBU Tennis a chance to win. This situation is very fluid right now as we have a lot of girls who are evenly matched with one another. It all comes down to who is playing the best tennis at the moment.” 

Whatever message Proctor was or was not sendingBoepple heard it loud and clear as she played her best tennis of the short season on Saturday as she was a terror to her opponent, winning 6-0, 6-0 with each Lady Bison winning in straight sets. 

Oklahoma Baptist Tennis will make their first appearance on Bison Hill of the season on Saturday, Feb. 23 when Kansas Wesleyan comes to town. Match time is at 11:00 that morning. Both Bison squads will look to make it two in a row.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lady Bison softball takes one and loses one on home field

By Jacob A’Latorre, Sports Editor

The OBU Lady Bison softball team defended home plate in Shawnee for the first time against Colorado Christian University in back-to-back games during the week.  

The match on Tuesday and Wednesday night brought an emotional aspect to the game with Coach Maples facing her former squad.

The game was quiet up until the fourth inning when CCU hit a two-run homer to make the score 2-0. In the fifth inning, Shelby Savage connected on a triple, bringing in two runners to tie the game.

Later in the inning, McKenna Anderson earned an RBI on a hit toward left field. With that hit, OBU took the lead, 3-2. Later in the fifth, Anderson was at bat once again and acted calm on a wild pitch where OBU scored again and the game was 4-2.  

In the next inning, CCU scored on a fly out and only trailed by a run. The OBU pitching did their job toward the closing moments of the game and was able to get the win, 4-3. 

Assistant coach Jade Rhodes thinks the team is connecting well with the coaching transition.  

The team as a whole has come together very well, us being a new coaching staff you always have that worry if the girls will adapt,” Rhodes said. 

Rhodes thinks that the team learns more than just the physical side of earning hits and fielding balls.   

“I love coaching these girls because they actually want to learn more about the mental side of the game instead of relying solely on the physical aspect of the game.” 

Rhodes has a very close friendship with Head Coach Samantha Maples and thinks that their chemistry can lead them to success on the team.  

“Coaching alongside [Coach Maples] is a blessing itself but being able to grow my faith at OBU has been a blessing for myself,” Rhodes said.  

They were once separated but now they are back doing what they love most.  

“You never know what God has in store for you, Coach Sam and I parted ways when we went to college, but God had a plan for the both of us and being able to coach next to her has been the best I could ask for,” Rhodes said.   

In the next game on the day after, the Lady Bison went down, 9-1. The only bright spot was early in the game when Demi Dobbs hit a solo home run to tie the game at 1-1. Colorado Christian scored eight runs unanswered to win the game, 9-1.  

Last Friday, the Lady Bison went to Tucson, Ariz. to take on Biola University. The Lady Bison were down 1-0 in the first inning. Franki Hull singled and Bry Flanagan got hit by a pitch giving the Lady Bison room to score. They came back and took the lead with Savage and Kristen Grabin walking in runs to make the score 2-1. 

From there, Biola earned runs on three home run shots. They scored nine consecutive runs and taking a commanding 10-2 lead. Anderson doubled to score a run and Flanagan homered with a chance to get back in the game, but it was not enough. The Lady Bison would go down by six runs.  

Rhodes puts the emphasis on wanting to put the mental capacity on the game.  

“Everyone can go out and try to field a ball or swing a bat but it’s the thought process behind fielding a ground ball and your thought process when you’re approaching the plate for your at-bat,” Rhodes said.  

The next game was against Black Hills State University where the Lady Bison went down by a score of 2-0.  

Last Saturday, the Lady Bison were still in Tucson to take on Texas-Permian Basin. Both teams got off to good start with the game being 2-2 at the end of the first inning. Cheyenne Demaree recorded an RBI single and Flanagan recorded an RBI double.  

With the Lady Bison being down 5-2, the Lady Bison scored off a walk, a sacrifice groundout and an RBI double from Grabin. The game was tied at five going into second half of the sixth inning.  

Texas-Permian Basin scored off singles in the bottom half of the sixth inning to make the score 7-5. In the top seventh, hits from Demaree and Flanagan were the key to win the game for the Lady Bison and hold on by a score of 9-7. 

With the Lady Bison at a 4-5 record, they will look to get back to a .500-win percentage against Northwestern Oklahoma State this weekend.   

 

   

 

Bison football falls despite high scoring match

By Jared A’Latorre, Sports Editor

Even with a valiant effort, the OBU football squad were still downed by Southern Arkansas.

There was plenty of action in this high scoring affair. Redshirt sophomore Preston Haire totaled for 530 yards and was responsible for six touchdowns. Haire threw for 39 for 60 completions and made the offense look bright. The Southern Arkansas Muleriders prevailed and went to 5-0 while the Bison were in a desperate need of a win.

In the first quarter to start the game, OBU started on offense. The Bison were in Mulerider territory when they missed on a field goal to capitalize first.

It seemed as if OBU started out slow on the defensive side as well as they were already down by a touchdown. The Muleriders drove down the field on a 12-play, 77-yard drive that took seven minutes.

In the second quarter of play, the Muleriders had the ball and scored again to take a two-touchdown lead. The next drive, Haire completed big passes down the field to redshirt senior Josh Pettijohn and senior Cagney Roberson.

The Muleriders completed another long drive as they were able to score again on a run from 10 yards out. On the next OBU drive, the offense relied on Haire to drive them down the field and he did just that. Haire threw a touchdown pass to junior Noah McGraw from 25 yards out.

In a last attempt to put points on the board at the end of the half, the Bison drove down the field with 50 seconds left in the half. Completions to Roberson and Pettijohn were able to bring the Bison closer in position to score.

The Bison got some help with offside and pass interference penalties to help the Bison go for a field goal at the end of the half. Redshirt sophomore Luke Wendl was able to put it through and the score was 21-17 at halftime in favor of the Muleriders.

In the third quarter, the Bison defense came out strong and forced a three and out. The Muleriders were forced to punt, and the Bison were able to strike early in the third with Haire throwing a touchdown pass to Pettijohn from 30 yards out.

The Bison took their first lead of the game with a threepoint lead. On the first play for Southern Arkansas on the next drive, the Muleriders quarterback Barrett Renner completed a 50-yard pass down the field to Karonce Higgins. He completed two passes to Jared Lancaster with one of them being for a touchdown.

On OBU’s next drive, the Bison drove down the fi eld and scored with an 11-yard rush from Haire. Haire was effective in the air and on the ground. On the Muleriders next possession, the rushing attack was clicking on all cylinders. There was a touchdown run from eight yards out and the Muleriders regained the lead.

On the next OBU possession, Haire had a big run for 36 yards. With the Bison just outside of the 20-yard line, Haire had a pass intercepted, taking away the Bison momentum.

In the fourth quarter, the Muleriders started to pull away. On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Muleriders scored on a touchdown from 26 yards out.

The Bison were haunted by a holding penalty moving them back and eventually forcing a punt. The Muleriders were able to march down the field again with a touchdown pass to Lancaster. The score was 48-31 with the Muleriders pulling away.

With the Bison showing urgency, Haire had his chance to shine. Haire completed the drive with another touchdown pass to redshirt junior Jacques Henderson.

The Muleriders had the ball with a short field, and Lancaster scored on another touchdown. On the next OBU drive, Haire completed more passes resulting in another touchdown to Pettijohn. The Bison fell, 55-45.

Even with the loss, the Bison still have plenty of brightness to look at with a hard-fought game over an undefeated team. Pettijohn and Roberson both went over 100 yards receiving with Pettijohn scoring two touchdowns. Haire throwing for 476 yards and fi ve touchdowns were both school records.

Unfortunately, it was not the ending he wanted to a historic game. Redshirt sophomore Josh Arnold was responsible for 12 tackles. Redshirt freshman Felipe Alvear recorded 11 tackles and an interception. Junior Hayden Ashley had nine tackles.

With this loss the Bison have dropped three straight contests after starting out the season out at 2-0. In week three and four, the Bison were downed by Arkansas Tech and Harding for a miserable 87-14 combined score. The team looked more effi cient on offense but the defense also gave up 55 points.

The Bison will look to regroup and earn their third win of the year when they take on Henderson State in Arkadelphia, Ark. Saturday, Oct. 6.

Bison football prepares for next game

By Jared A’Latorre, Sports Editor

For the first time this season, the Bison tasted defeat against Arkansas Tech, 31-7.

It was a game full of more mishaps than successes for OBU.

On OBU’s first possession, they were forced to punt in Arkansas Tech’s territory.

The Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys drove down the field with the help of a long catch and run and scored on their first possession.

After a three and out for OBU’s next possession, the Wonder Boys drove the ball down the field again to set up a field goal to make take a 10-point lead.

The game worsened for the Bison in the first quarter as the Wonder Boys were able to force a fumble.

Arkansas Tech was able to pick up even more momentum when they scored a touchdown in two plays following the OBU turnover.

The Wonder Boys put up 17 points in the opening quarter.

Early in the second quarter where OBU was forced to punt yet again, Arkansas Tech took the ball down the field in nine plays to score another touchdown.

It was a 24-point lead for the Wonder Boys and it seemed like the Bison could not get anything going for them.

The peak of low-lights for the Bison came in the second quarter.

On two drives inside the 20-yard line, the Wonder Boys came up with two takeaways on interceptions.

This was crucial for the Bison because they were in position to score.

The result being with still no points on the board for OBU. It was a 24-point lead for Arkansas Tech going to halftime.

To start the second half, OBU was looking to come out strong on defense and gain momentum.

The outcome to start the third quarter was just how they pictured it with a blocked field goal by nose tackle Ashton Vickers.

The offense was hoping to take the energy off the blocked kick and make something of it.

The possession ended on another interception for Arkansas Tech.

Nothing seemed to be going right for the Bison.

The Wonder Boys took advantage of the turnover and capitalized for another touchdown to make it a 31-point lead.

The Bison had another chance to get themselves on the board but missed on a field goal attempt.

Life was more miserable for the Bison as they still could not get anything going.

The chances were there, but they kept coming up empty.

In the fourth quarter, the Bison continued to come up empty with another three and out.

There were some successes for the Bi-son in garbage time as they were finally able to get something going.

Quarterback Pres-ton Haire threw a touchdown pass to receiver Jacques Henderson from four yards out.

Arkansas Tech won the game by 24 points.

While the Bison rushing attack was shut down, they won the battle in passing yards.

It did not seem this way due to the turnovers.

Haire went for 31 of 52 completions but the defense of Arkansas Tech came through.

Redshirt freshman Joshua Cornell led in receiving yards with 54. Senior receiver Cagney Roberson led in receptions with six.

This was not the best of days for the Bison. They have definitely seen much better in front of their home crowd.

The Bison were looking for a 3-0 start to the season and the dreams were swept away. It would have been the first time for the football program to win the first three games since joining the NCAA Division II.

With this being the first loss for the Bison, they will look to move forward and turn around last week’s loss when they go on the road to face Harding next Saturday.

The Bison stand 2-1 on the season.

They will look for better results in front of the home crowd when they go up against Southern Arkansas University at 1:00 on Saturday, Sept. 29 at Crain Family Stadium in Shawnee.

Lady Bison volleyball spends week on the road

By Michael Stewart, Assistant Sports Editor

The Oklahoma Baptist Women’s Volleyball team had an action-packed week.

In four days, the Lady Bison played four away matches, earning two wins and two losses. The week started off in Durant, OK Tuesday, September 11 as the Lady Bison faced off against their Great American Conference (GAC) foe Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Heading into the match-up, the Lady Bison knew it would be a difficult challenge.

“We knew we had to play with a winning mentality from the beginning,” senior Hayden Blair said. “It was going to have to be a team effort.”

The Lady Bison came ready to play as they dominated the match from the start.

The first set saw two 4-0 runs bring OBU out to an early 8-5 lead. From there, the Lady Bison would only surrender six more points to SOSU for the rest of the set, which was the fewest points allowed in a set by OBU this season. This claimed a 25-11 win in the first set, putting OBU up 1-0. After a slow first frame, SOSU was able to keep pace with OBU for more of the second frame as the match was tied 15-15 at the midway point.

However, a string of errors by SOSU saw OBU inch past them and ultimately gain a 2-0 set lead. The third set featured a solid defensive effort by OBU, recording five blocks in the set to close out the match.

“The team did a great of job of serving and defending all night long,” Blair said. “The girls rallied together and really played for each other.”

Sophomore Malia Leatherland finished with a team-high nine kills, and freshman Jenna Gremmel led the team with 17 assists. The win moved OBU to 2-0 in the GAC, something the team has done for the fourth straight year. The Lady Bison had a quick turnaround as they faced off against Southern Nazarene University in another GAC match on Thursday, September 13 in Bethany, OK.

“We knew it was going to be another difficult road test,” senior Nicole Fleitman said. “They always put up a good fight and play to win.”

After a slow start, OBU had to battle its way back from an early deficit. The Lady Bison were able to take advantage often attacking errors by SNU and level the score at 1-1.

In the third set, the OBU offense was able to find its rhythm and earn a 2-1 set lead over the Crimson Tide. With their backs against the wall, SNU was able to rally against OBU and would steal a tightly contested fourth set and eventually snatch the win from the Lady Bison in a fifth set.

“Although we didn’t get the win, we had a lot of things to be proud about,” Fleitman said. “Everyone worked together and battled to the very end.”

Once again, Leatherland led the way offensively with 19 kills, and Gremmel had a team-high of 34 assists. The close loss bumped OBU from a perfect start in GAC play to 2-1 overall. After their two GAC matches, the Lady Bison played a pair of non-conference matches Saturday, September 15 in Denton, TX. OBU began the day with a matchup against Dallas Baptist University and ended the day versus Texas Women’s University.

“Coming into the day, we were expecting DBU and TWU to be good competition,” sophomore Mikayla Watson said. “When looking at their records, we had all beat the same teams and lost to the same teams. With this in mind, we knew we would have to push ourselves to come out on top.”

The Lady Bison came into the first match firing on all cylinders. In the opening set, Fleitman and Watson each had three kills, with Fleit-man hitting an efficient .750 for the frame. This saw the Lady Bison earn an early 1-0 advantage over the Patriots. OBU continued their efficient attacking into the second frame, connecting on 35.1 percent of all their attacks.

Leatherland and sophomore Taylor Williams combined for nine kills and helped lead OBU to a 2-0 lead. The Lady Bison were able to secure a 3-0 sweep of DBU after an impressive third set. Watson posted six kills and Blair dished out 12 assists in the third set alone.

“We really came out firing and limited our errors,” Watson said. “We did a good job of fixing things throughout the game, and we never let up.”

In their second match of the day, the Lady Bison fell short against Texas Women’s University. OBU would steal the second set but would ultimately fall 3-1 in the end.

“We were able to bounce back and steal the second set, but they took the momentum and ran with it in the last sets,” Watson said. “We fought hard throughout the match, which was good to see.”

In the match, Wat-son scored 18 kills and Leatherland had 16 kills. Blair led the way with 25 assists and Gremmel added 18 more assists.

“Something that has stood out to me is our teams fight,” Watson said. “We may have gotten off to a slow start a few times, but we always turn around and fight until the end.

OBU senior cross country runner recognized as runner of the week

By Jared A’Latorre, Sports Editor

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Courtesy Photo / OBU Athletics

The Great American Conference (GAC) recognized senior Sydney Lawrence as the women’s cross-country runner of the week.

The UCO Land Run took place Sept. 1 where Lawrence ran for 18.33.7, which was an individual best.

Along with Southwestern State Oklahoma quarterback Casey Freeman, Lawrence was recognized as one of Oklahoma’s college players of the week for Aug. 27 thru Sept. 2.

This was the first race of the season for Lawrence. Despite feeling shaky about the race, Lawrence adjusted quickly.

“It was September first and I was pretty excited about getting things started again,” Lawrence said. “I knew that this being the first race it was going to feel a little rough, but it always feels good to get into the racing groove again.”

In her first meet back, she and five other runners from OBU finished in the top nine.

“It was great to finish first and contribute, but I definitely believe that I was an equal contributor with the rest of the teammates,” Lawrence said.

However, Lawrence felt as if her teammates were right by her side. She was not alone in her personal contribution to her victory.

“These girls are so dedicated and get the job done and that is the difference maker between winning and losing,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence is a senior from Stilwell, Okla. and has only continued to receive more recognition during her tenure on Bison Hill.

Last year as a junior, she was recognized as an NCAA All-American, All-Region, First-Team All-GAC, a GAC Scholar-Athlete and GAC Runner of the Week in September.

“It’s really cool to have opportunities like this point to Christ as my help and source of strength,” Lawrence said.

Like many other athletes, Lawrence has been through battles of effort and hardships through running.

“The accolades are great, but they didn’t come without work and hard times,” Lawrence said. “I’m so thankful for the platform he has given to me to glorify his name.”

Many have heard the saying, “saving the best for last.” Lawrence said she has confidence in herself and her teammates to make that same outcome possible.

“I think we are about to see the best season yet,” Lawrence said.

The squad is currently led by coach Ford Mastin. For Mastin, this is his 23 years serving as head coach for OBU. Since Mastin took charge, there have been over four hundred All-American awards. He has turned OBU into a historic program. Mastin has coached numerous legendary athletes during his tenure as the head coach of OBU.

Lawrence says that the best of her and her teammates is yet to come. The early boost of this season will drive her to accomplish more.

“I think we are about to see the best season yet,” Lawrence said. “I am so impressed and encouraged by these girls every day and their desire to be the best.”

Just recently, Lawrence appeared in Joplin, Missouri for the Missouri Southern Stampede and did not miss a single beat from her previous accomplishment.

Lawrence finished first for OBU with a time of 17:59.2 in an ugly meet with plenty of heat. Overall, the team finished first in terms of Division II opponents and only lost to two Division I teams. With this result, the team has proved that they can run well in poor weather conditions and look to have a bright future with the season moving forward.

Lawrence and the team will make an appearance in Fayetteville, Arkansas for the Chili Pepper Festival Sept. 22.