By JASON ELMQUIST
STILLWATER — The Oklahoma State football team closed its final on-campus practice of the year Monday, with the next time the Cowboys gathering together being in Irving, Texas, for final preparations prior to the Cotton Bowl against Missouri.
With OSU breaking camp a few days before Christmas, most of the Cowboys will find themselves getting to spend the holiday week with family — a getting a break from all the game planning for the bowl.
“It’ll be nice to spend some time with my family and enjoy them,” OSU senior linebacker Shaun Lewis said. “Just going to do everything I can to really embrace those relationships back home over the holiday.”
The festive discussion of Christmas caused many Cowboys to recall some of their favorite holiday memories — or their most memorable gifts.
“I remember back when I get a PS2 for Christmas, I wasn’t expecting it,” Lewis said. “That has to be one of best.”
OSU senior receiver Charlie Moore recalls his best gift being a pair of dirt bikes for himself and his brother that took up most of the living room. The newly engaged Bullard, Texas, native is hoping to create a few more Christmas memories spending time with his and his fiancee’s families for the first time since getting engaged.
“It’s great having her around the family and I enjoy spending time with her family,” said Moore, who mentioned his family also spends part of the break duck hunting. “We haven’t really pushed toward any traditions for ourselves. It’s just so nice to get home from Oklahoma State and football that we don’t even think about traditions, we just time with our families.”
The most unique Christmas tradition of the players had to come from Guthrie native Kye Staley. The senior fullback said his family partakes in a competitive game of bowling.
“We actually go bowling. I don’t think we did it last year because it was just so busy and with the bowl game,” Staley said. “But normally we go bowling. And if you bowl a gutterball, you have to do a dance and if you get a strike you have to do dance, no matter what. It’s just a fun time.”
The fifth-year senior, who came just short of saying he was best bowler of the bunch, said the bowling is so competitive that one of his cousins actually works on his game in preparation for the family outing.
“I think he’s been going to the YMCA to practice,” Staley said. “It’s weird how he has so much time to practice on bowling, but we won’t go there.”
Jason Elmquist is the sports editor of the Stillwater NewsPress