The N13 road at Burt has reopened again after a serious accident there last night.The accident, between a car and a tractor towing bales of hay, happened just before 6pm.It is understood that a woman was taken to hospital with serious injuries. The road was closed for several hours for a technical examination.Road at Burt reopens after serious accident was last modified: November 17th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
25 May 2016West AfricaTinariwen – Cler Achel (Mali)Like the vastness of the Sahara desert on its northern border, Malian folk music is sparse and hypnotic, featuring loopy rhythms and melodies.Music band Tinariwen is the most established and renowned of the region’s artists, having been together in various forms over the last 30 years, performing around the world with some of the West’s biggest names including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock.Guided by the entrancing electric guitar melodies of bandleader Ibrahim Ag Alhabib, Tinariwen combines the traditional folk music of the region’s nomadic Tuareg tribe with both North African/Middle Eastern and Western blues rock influences. Lyrics have a strong poetic and political bent sung in French and the Tuareg/Berber indigenous languages.In 2012, the band won a Grammy Award for Best World Music Album for their album Tassili.Fela Kuti – Sorrow, Tears and Blood (Nigeria)Kuti is not only considered Nigerian music royalty, but also one of Africa’s greatest musical sons, combining soul and jazz with harmonic, upbeat West African rhythms to create some of the most original music ever recorded.As the main proponent of this hugely popular Afro-beat sound during the 1970s, Kuti brought the sounds of African funk to the world, enjoying success in America and Europe, and influencing generations of musicians. Against the backdrop of pulsating rhythms and stabbing, noisy brass arrangements, Kuti’s potent political lyricism – sung in Lagosian Pidgin English – commented unashamedly on both Africa’s challenges and the effects of colonialism.Kuti’s musical influence had a wide-reaching social and political impact on the continent. He died in 1997, leaving behind a vast discography of albums and unique live recordings.Kuti’s sons Femi and Seun continue the family’s music legacy to a worldwide audience.North AfricaKhaled – Didi (Algeria)Being at the epicentre of a circle of cultural influence that includes Africa, the Middle East and Asia, it is no surprise that music from North Africa is some of the most unique in the world. Khaled is one of the biggest superstar of the region, thanks to his instantly catchy crossover hit Didi which not only charted around North Africa but also proved popular on the dance floors of Europe and the US.The song became the first Arabic-language song to hit number one in France, starting an era when North African pop-dance left a subtle but indelible mark on Western pop music during the 1990s.Khaled performed at the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa and has also performed with Johnny Clegg, US rapper Pitbull and French electronica pioneer Jean Michel Jarre.Hamza El Din – Water Wheel (Egypt)El Din was an influential world classical music composer and ethnomusicologist from the lower Nile Nubian region.Specialising in the traditional stringed oud instruments, his meandering minimalist string and vocal recordings during the 1960s are recognised as some of the first world music recordings to influence Western classical music, including Steve Reich and the Kronos Quartet.Fans included Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead with whom he performed extensively during the 1970s. He later taught African ethnomusicology at universities in the US and Japan. El Din died in 2006.Central AfricaCorneille – Toi (Rwanda/Canada)Singer-songwriter Cornelius Nyungura, performing under the name Corneille, was a genocide survivor who lives and performs in Canada. He released his first album, a French-language soul album in 2002, charting in Belgium and France where it reached number 4. His song Toi is one of Canada’s biggest selling French-language singles.Corneille has performed with Jimmy Cliff and recorded with UK R&B singer Craig David. He returned to Rwanda to perform for the first time in 2005, and is currently the Canadian Red Cross spokesperson for the plight of child war refugees.Manu Dibango – Soul Makossa (Cameroon)Like Kuti’s afro-beat funk, Dibango’s African-tinged saxophone disco helped define the sound of Africa in the 1970s.Recorded in 1972, Soul Makossa remains an influential song, inspiring US producer Quincy Jones in emulating the bass-rich sound for Michael Jackson’s early solo albums and then later as a go-to source of samples for a number of modern hip hop and R&B hits. The song can be heard on Rihanna’s Don’t Stop The Music and Gettin’ Jiggy With It by Will Smith.His extensive 40-year discography features collaborations with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, reggae greats Sly and Robbie and funk rock keyboardist Bernie Worrell.While more commercially appealing than Kuti’s extended improvised jams, Dibango never shied away from using his music to deliver a message, particularly highlighting poverty and promoting social harmony in his home country. He is a fierce campaigner against music piracy and for artists’ rights, as well as a Unesco Artist for Peace since 2004. Despite being an octogenarian, Dibango still records and performs across Africa and around the world.East AfricaGigi – Abyssinia Infinite (Ethiopia)Ejigayehu Shibabaw, also known as Gigi, injects her Ethiopian musical heritage into a variety of genres, including jazz rock, reggae dub and soundtrack work. Working closely with husband, jazz producer Bill Laswell, Gigi’s ethereal and uninhibited vocal style has graced recordings with Herbie Hancock, Indian composer Karsh Kale and avant-garde rock guitarist Buckethead.Standout solo work includes a collection of acoustic Ethiopian music titled Abyssinia Infinite and the electronica-infused Mesgana Ethiopia.Lady Jaydee – Ndi Ndi Ndi (Tanzania)Judith Mbibo, known as Lady Jaydee, is one of Tanzania’s most popular singers, akin to the kind of status of Brenda Fassie has in South Africa. Her upbeat kwaito-infused pop songs are gaining her new fans across the rest of the continent.Lady Jaydee has been singing professionally since 2000, winning a number of national singing competitions and awards, including a Kora and a Channel O Music award.She has collaborated with the likes of Salif Keita, South Africa’s Mina Nawe and the cream of Tanzanian hip hop producers.Southern AfricaBanjo Mosele – Botsa Mmutla (Botswana)Botswana has a rich and diverse musical culture which covers traditional and pop music, jazz, dance music and outsider genres like heavy metal.The country boasts some of the best jazz and traditional instrumentalists in the world, including Banjo Mosele, founding member of the Kalahari Band, Hugh Masekela’s touring band during his exile in the 1980s. Mosele also played guitar in sessions with a number of music’s biggest names during including Peter Gabriel, Jonas Gwangwa and Bheki Mseleku.Mosele released his first solo album in 2003, selling strongly in Africa, Norway and the UK. He has won numerous music awards in Botswana and continues to tour the world as a solo act and with the world’s top jazz groups.Freshlyground – Doo Be Doo (South Africa)In a country as diverse as South Africa, it is difficult to pinpoint a single genre, traditional or contemporary, that could do justice to defining the South African sound or even its listeners. Rock, pop, kwaito, hip hop, jazz, classical, anything goes in Mzansi and each fan base is as fierce and loyal as the next.However, in recent years, there has been one band with one song that has gone a long way to encompassing the South African multicultural experience with the help of an inescapable feel-good earworm chorus. Doo Be Doo by Freshlyground was released in 2008 and the song was everywhere: on every radio, on every channel, on every South African’s lips.The song became a bona-fide cultural phenomenon. It topped every chart in the country, from YouTube views to radio and television rotation. It turned the band’s Nomvula album into an instant South African classic.South Africa.info reporter
Play as a true freshmanHelp lead Oklahoma State to a Big 12 titleChase Justice Hill and the records he’s breaking.I admire Justice Hill a lot and I’m really excited to be able to learn from him and hopefully be mentored by him.KB: There’s a lot of football players who have done track as well at OSU. Are you still planning to do both in Stillwater? And how do you think track helps prepare you / give you an edge as a football player?Chuba: Yes I still am planning to do both! I actually have 2 friends on the track team that I’ve known for awhile! I think track gives me my “self drive” in a sense. In track it’s individual, it’s all about how much work you put in and I think that’s what gives me that edge. Not knowing how far I can go but knowing there is a chance, and obviously it plays apart with the speed and keeping me in shape. They both correspond to each other! The two best sports!Hubbard says he is making his official visit to Stillwater next weekend.For those interested, you can follow him on twitter here. Oklahoma State loses the veteran presence of Chris Carson, Rennie Childs, and Barry J. Sanders this offseason. Outside of freshman all-american Justice Hill making his return as the starter, there is plenty of playing time readily available in 2017.Enter Chuba Hubbard, the Canadian speedster and four-star prospect who has been committed to OSU since May. I caught up with him earlier this week to talk about some of his traits he brings to the table, when he’ll be on campus, and more.Check out the full transcript below.KB: What is Oklahoma State getting with Chuba Hubbard?Chuba: The player OSU is getting is one that isn’t just coming to make a difference in himself, but also a difference in Oklahoma State, their program, and people.But on the field wise: They’re getting a versatile player. A playmaker. You know everyone talks about my speed, but in my senior season, I worked more on key things to prepare for Oklahoma State, like switching the ball, running harder, hands, etc. Now I feel I can break those long runs but when you need me on the third-and-3, I’ll be able to get that. I’m planning to come in around 205 pounds and after this track year I’m hoping to come in faster than ever.I’m confident in my work effort and believe I can make a big impact for Oklahoma State.KB: When will you be on campus to officially start school? And what are your personal expectations as a freshman of yourself?Chuba: It really depends on what happens with track! Could be June or earlier (before he makes it to Stillwater), maybe even later than June.I have three main goals as a freshman: While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Friday night Texas high school football is a story told on one of two sides of the same coin. There is the powerhouse — like Denton Ryan — whose players pull on their arm sleeves and wristbands in multi-million-dollar field houses. Their cleats aren’t worn out because they play on turf fields that are thrown out every couple of years. Their profiles on 24/7 Sports and other recruiting outlets are littered with offers from universities that perennially compete for national championships. And their reputations are glorified across town because they play for high school programs that boast state titles and current NFL standouts.Then there is the little engine. That’s Wylie East in this story. It wasn’t long ago that Garrett McCain and Marcell Ateman had “nothing” besides talent. A bunch of bonds had failed, which meant there was no incoming money to build up any kind repertoire for the program. They played on an old grass field, one of the only left in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex at that time. And they got ready for football practice and games in a P.E. girls locker room.“I can stretch my arms out, and I can touch each wall,” said Joe Lepsis, football coach at Wylie East.It fit about 20 girls comfortably, but that was if there wasn’t any equipment. When 35 varsity football players had to get in there with helmets, shoulder pads and a few more pounds on their bodies than the average P.E. girl, half of them had to change in the hall just outside the locker room.“It was ridiculous,” Ateman said with a laugh. “It was like a closet.”McCain, the quarterback turned Oklahoma State center fielder, and Ateman, the Cowboy receiver once high school hoops star, have tons of stories together. Their legacies — while still being written at OSU — are already in the books at Wylie East, a school that hasn’t had anyone play professionally in any sport anywhere.“Everything that they’re doing right now,” Lepsis said, “they’re trailblazing.”The First 2 NamesWedged between Lake Ray Hubbard and Lavon Lake, Wylie East is going on only its eighth year of existence. It was part of the big school, Wylie High, about 15 minutes down Brown Street, but after a population increase of more than a 170 percent from 2000 to ’09, a split was growing necessary.But there were problems with the new school. There wasn’t a budget, which meant no athletic facilities whatsoever. For Ateman and McCain’s entire high school career, they went without a weight room, locker room or coaches’ office. That was OK though because they had an opportunity.In Wylie East’s third season of football, Lepsis scheduled that powerhouse Denton Ryan. On the road. For Ryan’s homecoming game. It was meant to be used as a model, a prototype to show everyone around the program what Wylie East could be someday, maybe.Before the game, a Ryan cornerback was mouthing off to Ateman, who had already become a four-star receiver for the Raiders. Ateman held offers from 14 universities, including Michigan, Baylor and Tennessee. He was a stud, and that corner had to have known it. Lepsis watched and wondered how Ateman would respond. He wanted him to use his 6-foot-3 frame and show that (as Lepsis put it) he was the strongest kid at Wylie East, despite being a receiver. He wanted that, but he couldn’t know for sure. He knew there wasn’t a way to finesse Ryan. They were “a bully.” So he wanted Ateman to set the tone.Two of the first three plays, Ateman caught quick slants, leaving the mouthy corner yards behind. After every play, Ateman jawed back. He set that tone. The third play though, the play Lepsis said he will never forget, the corner tried to jam Ateman at the line of scrimmage. As even the corners at OSU have learned, that’s a horrible idea. Ateman “buried” him into the turf, broke inside, took a shot from the safety cracking down and plowed through for a few more yards. Lepsis still uses those first three plays to start every season as an example of strength and physicality.“Those three plays were what turned the corner for us,” Lepsis said. They beat Ryan that night 34-31.“We put it on ’em that game,” Ateman said.McCain had weapons all around him. Ateman was his No. 1 guy to the left side. Quan Jones, who plays at Baylor now, was to McCain’s right. Jesse Brubaker was the starting quarterback before he was moved to tight end so McCain could start. He is now playing on the defensive line at Tulsa. And their running back, Jabari Anderson, is at Tarleton State. McCain said Anderson might have been their best player.“It was easy to just throw the ball up to those guys and let them work,” McCain said. “I think we averaged 52 a game. It was insane. It was a video game.”McCain was on the freshman team only the year before. Brubaker was the only quarterback on varsity, and he got hurt early that season. The coaches told McCain they wanted him to come up with the big kids, but they needed his parents’ consent.McCain wasn’t needed to start that week or any other week that season, so Lepsis put him back in the secondary, and he returned punts for a time. That spring, Brubaker moved to tight end, and McCain was named QB1. As Lepsis found out, that was one of the best coaching decisions he ever made for reasons he learned a Christmas later.The Wylie East principal had allowed a dance room to be turned into a pseudo weight room. Finally, something. The football guys held an 2-hour open weight room session. As Lepsis walked into the school, he found McCain at the top of the steps. He was stunned to see him.McCain was scheduled to have knee surgery later that day. His mom was coming to get him in about 20 minutes.“Garrett, I thought you were having surgery today,” Lepsis said. “Why in the world are you here?”What his quarterback said next is why Lepsis told this story to every recruiter who came to see him and why he still tells it to his players today.“Well, it’s open, so I figured since some of my teammates are gonna be here, I needed to be here,” McCain said.Lepsis said that’s all you need to know about McCain. After his mom came to take him to the hospital, Lepsis thought to himself. It all started to hit him.“One of these days, that kid’s gonna graduate, and I may never coach another kid like that,” he said.It wasn’t because of his athletic ability. It was because of that “it factor.” Lepsis said he has had it since the day they met. McCain has always been “the guy.”“There’s not a kid, teacher or coach alive that doesn’t respect Garrett McCain,” he said. “He’s that kind of guy that you hope when you’re son grows up, he’s just like Garrett.”McCain and Ateman were stars at Wylie East. On and off the football field, baseball diamond and basketball court. While they were still there, Lepsis was talking to another player about staying out of trouble. He wanted to know who did and did not go to parties, drink or do drugs. He needed to know who he could rely on and who he should to keep watch over. He pulled out his roster and started at the top.“Tell me about Garrett McCain,” Lepsis said.“Garrett, he doesn’t get in trouble, coach,” the kid told him.“Why not?”“Because Garrett’s gonna do something with himself.”One name later, “Tell me about Marcell,” Lepsis said.“Marcell doesn’t do any of that stuff.”“OK, well tell me why Marcell doesn’t do that.”“Because Marcell’s gonna go do something with his life,” he said.Brothers For LifeAt first glance, they couldn’t be more different. McCain is almost scrawny for a baseball player, 6-0, 186 pounds. He is typically clean shaven, and he does everything with a sense of perfection. His stride, his speech, his attitude. Quick to talk to anyone. Ateman is a massive human, 6-4, 220. He often grows his beard out, and his right arm is covered in a sleeve of tattoos. He doesn’t get written about a great deal, and McCain said he thinks Ateman probably likes it that way.As soon as you start talking to them, they couldn’t be more similar. Both seem like your best friends after one conversation. They are heavy in their faith. McCain wears a large cross necklace for every baseball game, and Ateman has a cross tattoo right where the necklace charm would lay.Their passions have led them in similar yet not identical paths. Ateman committed to OSU his sophomore year, before he became a truly touted recruit. He played basketball before he got to Wylie East, but Lepsis convinced him to give football a try. McCain was always the multi-sporter, too. He just liked baseball more and was frankly better at it. He had offers from the academy schools and mid-major universities such as Houston to play both baseball and football, but he didn’t want to. He wanted to be in Stillwater.So here they are, two men from the same high school, who played on the same high school football team, who now go to the same university four hours from home, who wear the same jersey number, and who both are tearing it up in their respective sports.Ateman broke a bone in his foot before last season. The year before that, he had 677 yards receiving with five touchdowns. He handled the time away from football well, McCain said. He said he will bounce back strong.McCain is second on the Cowboy baseball team with a .353 batting average. He has started every game and leads OSU in at-bats, runs scored, hits, doubles and triples. He is one of the faces of Cowboy baseball.Still, their friendship remains. It’s not as strong as it once was. They don’t hang out after practices, go watch movies together or play video games. But when they see each other on campus, they still talk. When they see each other at the training table grabbing lunch, they always take time to sit together, catch up and trade scouting reports. One will text the other from time to time to see how he is doing. It’s hard though. Football is during the fall, and baseball is during the spring. With offseason workouts, practices and camps, it’s almost impossible to keep up.That doesn’t matter though. They have all the memories they need.“He was fun to play with, great teammate, great guy to be around in the locker room,” McCain said. “I really enjoyed getting to experience being on a team with Marcell.“It’s a great relationship Marcell and I have.”To this day, McCain still gets excited when he sees Ateman go up for a fade from OSU quarterback Mason Rudolph. He can sense when the ball is going his way before its is even snapped. He knows how his mind works, what he sees and what he thinks.“I feel like I’m out there going through the plays with him,” McCain said. “I get probably just as much adrenaline rush as he does when he catches the ball.”He knows his tendencies, and he thinks back to when he was the one putting the ball in his hands a lot.Ateman does, too.“High school football was some of the funnest times,” Ateman said. “Being able to play with people like Garrett, Quan, Jabari, we were all so close. We’ve known each other since we were little.“It’s all just a blessing. We never strayed away from each other.”Looking back at what he and McCain did in their time at Wylie East, Ateman said it’s just a honor to be one of the examples Lepsis uses for his younger players. They were a new generation, he said, a chance to establish what that football team would be like on the field and stand for off of it.When they go back to Wylie East now, they finds it like that old powerhouse Denton Ryan. There is a locker room now, a fully functional one, coaches’ offices and a field house. Turf is on the field now, not grass. They even have an indoor facility. None of that was feasible when they were there. But because of them, it evolved.There’s a high level of respect that flows between Ateman and McCain because of the things they achieved and the foundation they laid. A level of respect that never faded, even after their last game together.“If he needed anything, he knows I’m one call away,” Ateman said. “It’s a forever kind of relationship. He is like a brother.” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
The Oklahoma State spring game gave a glimpse of OSU fans what they could see in the upcoming 2017 season. Although the game plans of most spring scrimmages are fairly conservative, only using a handful of base plays, there were still some notable things that one might have noticed during the game. Here are three most noteworthy play observations in the Spring Game.Three Down/Four DownThe OSU defense has committed to using a more varied personnel in 2017. The Cowboys used some three-down fronts last season, and the recent hiring of Brian VanGorder has solidified their commitment to three-down sets. The Cowboys have clearly worked on three-down formations in the offseason. They used a nickel set on multiple occasions with the rush backer on the left side taking place of the end (most defenses will put their best pass rusher on the quarterback’s blind side).They also used a nickel set with two rush backers on each side and three lineman spaced between.This is a good sign for Cowboy fans. Last season, they used three-down sets conservatively, bringing it out in likely pass situations. There was little variety, but it makes sense considering they started using it mid-season. Now, they’ve added variety, and it’s not just for prevent situations anymore. Expect three-down sets to play a bigger role in the Cowboy defense next season.Y AlignmentA number of Cowboy fans thought that the OSU offense would minimize the cowboy back position in 2017 considering how many talented receivers they have. If the Spring Game was any indication, it’s not necessarily that the Cowboys aren’t using the cowboy back anymore.Rather, they’re adding more variation to the back’s alignment. The Orange team, for example, lined cowboy back Keenan Brown all over the field, often playing in the backfield, as a tight end and as a flexed receiver all in the same drive. The Black team did the same with Dawson Bassett on the first couple of drives.The Cowboys showed formations with the tight end flexed in the slot in both two-by-two and trips formations; in the latter, the cowboy back aligned on the line of scrimmage in both the inside slot, known as “trey” alignment, and in the outside slot, known as a “trio” alignment (terminology varies).When used correctly, flexed tight ends can be a headache to cover. If the strong-side linebacker plays the flexed end head up, then he leaves the box susceptible to the run. But if he stays in the box, then he has to leave the end uncovered before the snap which gives the offense an advantage in the passing game.If done correctly, this formational versatility should give opposing defenses headaches throughout the upcoming season, especially considering how quickly the Cowboys operate. Four-receiver sets are effective, but the use of a tight end in this fashion has its advantages as well.QB Run GameThe Cowboys’ run game looked slightly different than last season’s in the spring game. It almost appeared as if they reverted back to their 2015 ways. They put a big focus on the outside zone out of the shotgun, with no use of the pistol (which, as we’ve talked about before, allows backs to utilize their vision better in comparison to the shotgun).They used inside runs with a wing tight end, but there weren’t any available running lanes because of the extra linebacker in the box due to the tight end’s presence. Their only successful play was an inside zone read. Mason Rudolph converted a 4th-and-1 with it in the game’s first drive, and the play was used in the latter half of the game to open up holes up the middle for the running backs.This play is an example of something the Cowboys never do enough of, and that’s to run against a six-man box. Yes, cowboy backs can help in the run game, but they can also help spread a defense out as well. This play also signifies the possibility of using Mason Rudolph in the run game more in 2017. Could we see more plays like this? That’s currently unclear, but the Cowboys consistently used this play throughout all four quarters.The Spring Game in its entirety was fairly lackluster, as OSU fans should come to expect. Gundy isn’t one to show too much before the season starts, and rightfully so. Although the scrimmage itself wasn’t all that special, the game was telling of what we could see in the future. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
“First of all I would like to thank God for blessing me with the opportunities that I have and the talent I have been given to be able to play football at the next level,” Williams posted on Twitter. “I would like to thank my wonderful family for their tremendous support throughout my recruiting process, my coaches and my trainer for mentoring me and shaping me into the player I am today, and all the recruiters, coaches and universities for giving me opportunities to play football for their programs. After talking with my parents, coaches and family members, I am truly blessed to say that I will be committing to Oklahoma State University!”Williams is the fourth verbal commitment for OSU’s offensive line class, and likely the last. More importantly, he’s the fourth high school product to join the mix — one of the biggest focuses for OSU in this cycle after striking out under Greg Adkins with high school recruits.Houston, Colorado State, Georgia Tech, California, New Mexico and Tulsa were all involved in his recruitment. He held 13 Division I offers. It’s taken less than three months for Josh Henson to fill an entire offensive line recruiting class for Oklahoma State as the line coach.He’s landed two stud offensive tackles in Hunter Anthony and Hunter Woodard, he’s grabbed a commitment from a top-10 offensive guard in Oklahoma in Bryce Bray, and now he’s got a center. Tyrese Williams, a product of Cy Ridge in Houston, committed on Tuesday morning. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The Big 12 has gone through a shake up over this offseason. Bell cows Oklahoma and Texas both have new CEOs for the first time in 70 years. A couple of teams look to take a step forward and a couple more may sink to the bottom.So, let’s look at take a look at the realistic expectations for each program. We’re only taking regular season records into account (not the Big 12 title game) and looking at them in alphabetical order.BaylorBest: 6-6, middle of the Big 12, Cactus BowlWorst: 4-8, bottom of the Big 12AdChoices广告Comments: Baylor may be the toughest team in the league to peg. It’s one of three teams with a new head coach in 2017, but unlike Texas and OU, the Bears are looking at a big rebuild. There is still some talent left on the roster, including ten returning starters from last year. But how quickly can Matt Rhule implement his new system, and how will that match up with some of the offenses he’ll face in the Big 12? Not to be underestimated, Baylor is undergoing a complete culture change, as well. This is a different team than the one Art Briles had, and I think expecting much better than 6-6 may be unreasonable.Iowa StateBest: 7-5, middle of the Big 12, Heart of Dallas BowlWorst: 3-9, bottom of the Big 12Comments: Can Iowa State take a step forward in Matt Campbell’s second year? There are some things to like about the Cyclones. They return plenty of skill players like Allen Lazard, David Montgomery and Mike Warren and Jacob Park has gone through his first spring as the No. 1 QB. The biggest question comes at the offensive line where they lose four starters from maybe their best position group last year. Former quarterback Joel Lanning has been moved to linebacker but they’ll need more help than that for a defense that finished ahead of only Texas Tech in points per drive allowed in 2016.KansasBest: 4-8, bottom of the Big 12, but improvingWorst: 0-12, last placeComments: Despite the obvious punchline, David Beaty has shown improvement over his 2-22 first two seasons. The Jayhawks were at least disruptive on defense last season and return several leaders on that side of the ball. The question is whether or not they have an offense that can at least give the defense a break. A 4-8 record is optimistic, but I see a couple other Big 12 teams falling off as well. Kansas’ non-conference is not a gimme with Central Michigan coming to town. No comment.Kansas StateBest: 10-2, Big 12 title, Sugar BowlWorst: 7-5, middle of the Big 12, Cactus BowlComments: I’m not sure what to think about this team. I can understand why some are picking K-State as a dark horse Big 12 pick and I could also see them finishing fourth to fifth in the league. They do welcome Oklahoma, TCU and West Virginia to Manhattan, and they have an established, returning QB which normally makes for a tough Bill Snyder-coached team.OklahomaBest: 12-0, Big 12 title, CFP berthWorst: 8-4, middle of the Big 12, AutoZone Liberty BowlComments: Oklahoma probably should be the Big 12 favorite based on history and the talent on their roster. But the Sooners lost their winningest head coach and Baker Mayfield’s three best weapons — by far. An improved defense will go a long way in securing another conference title and possible College Football Playoff berth, as well as a Bear Bryant Award for Lincoln Riley in his first year.Oklahoma StateBest: 12-0. Big 12 title, CFP berthWorst: 9-3, 2nd place in the Big 12, Camping World BowlComments: The orange Kool-Aid is flowing like a mullet in September. We could see the best Gundy-led team since a trip up in Ames kept them from a National Championship game in 2011. How good is Oklahoma? What effect does the change in schedule — or the changing of the visor — make on Bedlam? How much better is this defense? A 9-3 record would be a disappointment. The ceiling is the roof.TCUBest: 7-5, middle of the Big 12, Cactus BowlWorst: 4-8, bottom half of the Big 12Comments: TCU has a ton of questions heading into the fall. Can Kenny Hill salvage a career as a starting QB? How much does the offense miss Doug Meacham? Their defense has a chance to be good again, but it had that chance last year and got embarrassed a few times down the stretch.TexasBest: 9-3, 3rd in the Big 12, AdvoCare V100 Texas BowlWorst: 5-7, middle of the Big 12Comments: Is Texas back? No. It’s July. But new front man Tom Herman brings with him plenty of, uh charisma, and his coaching chops are well-documented. He inherits some decent talent from Charlie Strong. Is he the right fit? How long does a rebuild take? Does he have a quarterback? Time will tell.Texas TechBest: 6-6, middle of the Big 12, Heart of Dallas BowlWorst: 2-10, bottom of the Big 12Comments: My 6-6 ceiling may be generous. The Red Raiders lose Pat Mahomes to the NFL Draft as well as receivers Jakeem Grant to graduation, Jonathan Giles and Tony Brown to transfer. We like to look at their offense as a plug-and-play system but it’s hard to not expect at least a step back in production without Mahomes. And their defense has an uphill battle — with no clear path — to mediocrity. Mahomes’ arm and legs kept them in games last season. Tech may be historically bad in 2017.West VirginiaBest: 10-2, 2nd place in the Big 12, Valero Alamo BowlWorst: 7-5, middle of the Big 12, Cactus BowlComments: West Virginia, like Baylor, is hard to peg. On one hand, they add what appears to be a talented passer in Florida transfer Will Grier. On the other, they lose key pieces on both sides of the ball, including seven offensive linemen. This could be a huge year for Dana Holgorsen. He’s off the hot seat after churning out his first 10-win season a year ago, but drop back down into the middle of the pack and the groaning will return. If he can pilot the Mountaineers to a 9- or 10-win season, he sets himself up nicely moving forward.
Seven days. That’s right, guys. We are about to enter #GameWeek. Let’s finish this thing out right starting with one of the most polarizing players — and characters — that’s been through Stillwater in some time.How he got to OSUVersatility has been an attribute of Ramon’s since well before he got to Stillwater. At Brackenridge High School (San Antonio, Texas), he played quarterback and safety, scoring 63 touchdowns his final two years (31 passing, 32 rushing) despite missing a chunk of his senior year due to a concussion. Richards was named to the Texas High School Football All-Elite Team for Class 4A Region IV as senior.And he excelled in the classroom even receiving offers from Harvard and Yale as well as Houston, Rice and Sam Houston State. A Renaissance man of sorts, but you can call him Ramon or Honcho.AdChoices广告What he’s done in StillwaterRichards played in every game as a true freshman and was thrust into a starting role after Ashton Lampkin when down with injury in Week 4. There were some growing pains in his first year but his athleticism and play-making ability showed. He grabbed three interceptions including a 38-yard pick-six against Kansas State.Since then Richards has grown into one of Oklahoma State’s leaders — and its best quotes. His 23 career starts is second only to fellow safety Tre Flowers (32) on defense.Role in 2017Prior to the start of spring practice, Mike Gundy surprised us, announcing that his only cornerback with any experience to start with — much less starts — would move to safety. The hows, whys and huh???s were quieted a bit with the addition of Adrian Baker but it’s apparent that Glenn Spencer isn’t worried. In fact, the move of Richards to safety was motivated by confidence in that young group of corners.Which meant Ramon had to show another form of leadership that didn’t include climbing atop lockers or frantically engaging the fanbase. He changed positions without regard for how he might be viewed. Because it’s what was best for the team.“Ramon’s all about what’s best for us,” Spencer told PFB “and to get the best 11 on the field, that’s the best move. If something was to happen at corner, Ramon and Darius can always go back to corner.”There also appear to be tangible motivating factors to get Richards into centerfield full-time.“That position in certain areas, in certain areas, where Ramon might have been deficient in some technique things at corner, might be to the advantage at safety,” Spencer said. “Just some things you have to do with your eyes, discipline issues.“He might have the ability of being in more of the middle of the formation to make more plays. We’ll see, but he had a good spring doing it.”I’ll go ahead and translate: Ramon is a crazy man and a crazier player, and we need to take him off the island and set him loose on opposing teams’ passing games like a Tasmanian Devil.Ramon does seem to have a nose for the ball. Without fact checking, I’m going to proclaim that 90 percent of Ramon’s INTs were because he was in the right place at the exact right time — which is a skill (one that Gundy loves) — and that when he is disciplined and within his coverage assignment the ball simply ricochets off of his mitts.Exhibit A:And Exhibit B:By my unofficial count, he got his hands on about 15 balls that looked like picks during that game. The good news is that Ramon gets to just be Ramon this year. And that’s all we could ever want for (and from) him. Also, he seems to be the guy OSU’s offensive players struggle against the most in scrimmages.Noteworthy stats and highlightsRamon was fourth on the team with 64 total tackles in 2016, which is impressive from the corner spot. He’s behind only Chad Whitener (71) in returning tackles from a year ago. He’s tallied eight interceptions during his three years in orange. With his new position which seems to fit his aggressive style, look for an uptick in both numbers. And most importantly, in “Ramon” plays. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Proud Queenslander and Australian front rower, Steve Price has achieved the pinnacle in Rugby League. Price spoke to the Mixed 20’s team before their first clash with New Zealand. A school friend of Mixed 20’s coach Karley Banks, Price took time out to visit the Trusts Stadium in his adopted homeland, Auckland.The hosts are the kings of the Mixed game and the Karley Banks side is determined to knock them off their perch. A difficult task indeed.Price spoke of a similar situation of when the New Zealand Warriors where to face the Melbourne Storm in the 2008 Finals Series. Few people gave the Warriors any chance aginst the defending premiers on their home ground, a venue of which they had only lost a few games in three years. The first placed team had also never lost to the eighth placed team in finals history.The Warriors went on to win that game against all odds. They had self belief and confidence in the players to make a difference.Price challenged the players to do the same in this all-important clash. He urged them to have the time of their life, support each other, and do everything they possibly can to make a difference, to triumph against all adversity.Price said it is an honour to represent your country and those individuals in the room should be proud. They represent all Australians from across the globe as the best of the best.Price wished the players the best of luck and to come off the field with no regrets, with a feeling they have done all that they can.The presence of Price motivated the players immensely and we wish the best of luck to the players.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea striker Abraham: Ajax clash massive, massiveby Paul Vegas3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea striker Tammy Abraham has declared their Champions League clash with Ajax as “massive, massive”.Abraham insists they’re capable of winning in Amsterdam.He said, “We know it’s a massive game for us. “Massive, massive. Ajax are like us, they have a lot of young players who like to keep the ball and play good football. Off the ball as well they like to win it back quickly.”We know it’s not going to be easy, but I believe in myself and my team that we can hopefully get a result there.”We got ourselves back on track in Lille. It’s not an easy place to go to, we dug deep and got that win. Who says we can’t do the same at Ajax?”