PREPS NOTEBOOK: Playoff pushes, coaching changes highlight busy week


Claremore tennis teams faced off against Grove in a Senior Day dual on Monday.

On the boys side, the Zebras demonstrated their skills by winning three out of four events. Kaden Holland secured a victory in No. 1 singles, defeating Julius Karleskint with a score of 6-2, 7-5, while Mackinley Sisovsky dominated in No. 2 singles, triumphing over Jared Russell with a score of 6-0, 6-2.

Despite a valiant effort, Claremore's No. 1 doubles tandem of senior Drew Mason and Kaden Salcido ultimately fell to Grove's Draper and Brodrick in a tight match with a score of 6-2, 1-6, 10-7. However, the Zebras managed to secure a win in the No. 2 doubles event, with Ben Forbes and senior Will Jones avenging their teammates by defeating Mitchum and Schartz.

On the girls side, the Lady Ridgerunners turned the tables by winning three out of four events.

Anastasiia Denysenko emerged victorious in No. 2 singles, triumphing over Celest Davis with a score of 6-2, 7-6. However, Ella Ramsey faced a tough opponent in Elle Russell, falling short in No. 1 singles with a score of 6-1, 6-0.

Grove proved formidable in the doubles events, with victories in both No. 1 and No. 2 doubles.

Karleskint and Silvers claimed victory over Claremore's Kizer Ballard and Claire Hardage in a closely contested match with a score of 6-1, 5-7, 10-7, while Taylor Phillips and Ella Ralsten were unable to secure a win against Grove's Boyett and I. Davis, with a score of 6-3, 6-0.

In addition to Mason and Jones, the following Zebra seniors were celebrated: Rex Clark, Kasey Filipek, Linden Humphrey and Emily Lege.

Claremore tennis will return to the court for its final home dual on Friday, April 26.


Rogers County sports teams are surging as the postseason looms, with baseball and soccer squads making significant strides in their respective campaigns.

In baseball, both Verdigris and Inola have clinched district titles, showcasing their dominance on the diamond. The Cardinals emerged victorious in District 4A-7 with a district record of 12-2, narrowly edging out Oologah by one game for the title.

Verdigris boasts an overall record of 20-7 and is in peak form, winning 12 of its past 14 games. Meanwhile, the Longhorns secured the District 4A-6 championship with a district record of 10-2 and an overall record of 24-6, winning 18 of their last 21 games.

In soccer, the Claremore girls faced a setback with their first district loss of the season to Pryor, 1-0, on Monday, but they remain in contention for second place in District 5A-4.

However, the boys team has stumbled after a strong 7-0 start, losing four of their past five games and now face the risk of missing the playoffs.

In Class 4A girls soccer, Oologah leads the District 4A-4 standings with a perfect record of 6-0, showcasing its dominance on the field with a 12-2 overall record. Catoosa, positioned third in the district, aims to secure a playoff berth next week.

In Class 3A girls soccer action, three Rogers County rivals — Verdigris, Sequoyah and Inola — are deadlocked in second place in District 3A-3, each with a district record of 5-2.

Recent matchups have seen intense battles, with Sequoyah prevailing over Verdigris in a shootout Thursday night, 3-2, while Inola emerged victorious against Sequoyah 4-3 on April 9. The upcoming clash between Verdigris and Inola on Monday promises to be another thrilling encounter as these teams vie for playoff positions.


Verdigris, Oologah and Catoosa athletes have been honored in the prestigious Verdigris Valley All-Conference Awards.

In the girls division, Kate Wiginton from Verdigris was named the North Division MVP, highlighting her skills and leadership on the court. Mike Buntin, the coach of the Lady Cardinals, was recognized as the North Division Coach of the Year for his guidance and support in leading Verdigris to an 18-10 record.

Additionally, Maddy Daniels and Kailee Seaba, representing Verdigris and Oologah, respectively, earned a spot on the second team.

The Honorable Mention category included Brynlee Brown, Bobbi Jones and Adalyn Waters from Verdigris, as well as Lexi Buckmaster, Jaque Cornwell and Kloie Bristol from Catoosa.

Moving on to the boys division, Eli DeSpain from Oologah was named the North Division MVP, showcasing his skills and contributions to the team's success during a 15-12 season.

Elsewhere, Titus Miller from Catoosa secured the South Division MVP title, highlighting his performance on the court as the Indians finished 18-10.

Chris Houk, the coach of Verdigris, was recognized as the North Division Coach of the Year for his leadership in guiding the Cardinals to a 12-15 mark.

The first team included Tyler Willis from Verdigris and Sutton Woods from Catoosa.

Finally, Maddox Mason from Verdigris earned an honorable mention, further solidifying the team's strong presence in the conference.


Oologah has announced a series of coaching changes, bringing fresh faces and expertise to its athletic programs.

In a significant move, the Mustangs have appointed Sam Noble as the new football coach, succeeding Darrin Wegner, who held the position for four years. Noble, a familiar figure within the Oologah community, steps into the role with a wealth of experience and a commitment to continuing the Mustangs' football legacy.

Joining the ranks is Clif Warford, who takes over as the coach of the girls basketball team, succeeding Matt Sweeney. Warford brings his coaching acumen from Ketchum, where he recently led the girls basketball program, and is poised to lead the Lady Mustangs to further success on the court.

In softball, Cody Robinson assumes the role of coach, succeeding Aaliyah Sebock. With Sebock's tenure spanning one year, Robinson steps into the position with a focus on fostering the growth and development of the Lady Mustangs' softball program.

Adding to the coaching lineup is Kala McElhaney, who takes the reins as the new cheerleading coach. McElhaney, with her experience teaching and coaching at Catoosa, brings a fresh perspective and enthusiasm to the Lady Mustangs' cheerleading squad, promising to inspire and elevate school spirit.