Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

May 9, 2012

Tahlequah trio, coach pick up All-State honors

She could hardly believe it when the message appeared on her phone. That’s when Jessica Blalock unleashed her emotions.

“When I got the text message, I screamed really loud,” Blalock said, rehashing the moment when she found out she had been named as an All-State slowpitch softball player.

Blalock, Tahlequah’s soft-tossing pitcher during the spring months, was one of three Tahlequah players to receive All-State nods. Third baseman Whittney Whittmore and rover Jenna Reed were also selected to the Large East team, which will take on the Large West in the All-State game on June 16.

“It’s a tribute to the work that they put in and the hours they spent doing it,” said Tahlequah coach Matt Cloud, who was also named as an All-State coach.

“They were just recognized for their hard work and the work that they’ve done.”

Batting in the clean-up spot all year, Reed led Tahlequah in several offensive categories, including doubles (19), runs batted in (74) and slugging percentage (1.085). She also had a perfect mark (1.000) in the outfield on defense.

“At the beginning of the year, I told myself I was going to try my hardest to get All-State,” said Reed, a Connors State signee who also a fastpitch All-Stater in the fall. “So it makes me feel good to know that I accomplished something.”

Like Reed, Whittmore was another offensive catalyst for the Lady Tigers. Whittmore finished with team-highs in hits (79), batting average (.622), on-base percentage (.628) and an impressive 41-game hitting streak — which spanned the entire season.

Being selected as an All-State player, “just lets me know that somebody actually notices that I work hard,” said Whittmore, who tied Reed for the team lead in home runs with nine.

For Whittmore and Blalock, the exhibition game this summer will likely be the last time either slips on a softball uniform. And Whittmore admitted there very well could be some sadness at the conclusion of the All-State contests.

“I was devastated at the state tournament,” said Whittmore, whose second-ranked team lost 12-5 to No. 7 Union in the first round of the Class 6A state tournament last week in Oklahoma City. “So it’s probably going to be way worse at the end of (the All-State games).”

More so than missing each three during games, Cloud said seeing the seniors leave is like watching a family member depart.

“People don’t realize how much time coaches spend with the kids, year after year,” Cloud said. “We go from August until June with fastpitch and slowpitch ... and the players are a big part of the coach’s life. The hardest part of this deal is every year you have someone going out the door that has been a part of your life.”

Departing from Tahlequah with Reed, Whittmore and Blalock will be Shelby Sanders and Kaitlenn Rippetoe — a group that can boast six softball state tournaments (between both softball seasons) during their four years in high school.

“There are not a lot of people in the state that can say they’ve been to more,” Cloud said. “Hopefully, we can get some of our younger kids that opportunity.”

As for his coaching accolade, Cloud deferred all the credit to his players.

“I make the lineup and I’m at practice every day,” he said. “You don’t see many All-State coaches from teams that go 0-38, so a lot of it has to do with the kids. I’m thankful that they bought into what we were trying to do.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Bassmaster.jpg Crossing, and fishing, the Delaware

    Bassmaster Elite Series anglers to compete Aug. 7

    BASS has fished out of some legendary venues over the years (including Chicago, Detroit and New Orleans), but never Philadelphia, which is host of the Bassmaster Elite at Delaware River, Aug. 7-10, 2014.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mison.jpg Mixon’s attorney says incident with woman self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hooper.jpg Sparking the flame

    Sequoyah High School’s Justin Hooper looking to lead this year

    Last season was Justin’s last chance to play alongside Cody at Sequoyah High School.
    Justin had to battle to win the Indians starting tailback. The coaching staff did not know who was going to be the Indians starting running back coming into fall practice.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NSU-fishing-team.jpg NSU teams compete in fishing tournament

    Three teams from Northeastern State University’s Bass Fishing Team competed in the Fishing League Worldwide College Fishing Tournament on Grand Lake in Grove on Saturday, June 21.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Johnson, East win easily at All-State

    Jake Johnson was able to hold off Lawton MacArthur’s Trent Meisel at the Class 5A state tournament in May. On Monday at the All-State tournament at Cherokee Hills Golf Club, Johnson had it much easier against Meisel.

    July 29, 2014

  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.

    July 28, 2014

  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Stocks