Tahlequah Daily Press


April 4, 2014

NSU taking it slow during spring practice


Some schools use spring practice as a period to move quickly through drills. That’s not Northeastern State right now.

Under recently-appointed head coach Rob Robinson, the RiverHawks have come to a grinding halt while players learn a new system.

“That’s kind of what we’re doing for this year,” Robinson said. “Once you get your base offense installed and I don’t even have to teach it, then, yeah, you’re going to work on some other stuff. But for now, we’re taking things slow.”

With the learning curve still intact, NSU will ease into its annual spring game, which is slated to be held at Doc Wadley Stadium on Saturday at 2 p.m. The event this year will consist of less of a game and more of what a basic practice session looks like.

Robinson said the lack of roster size is the cause for not splitting the club into two teams for a simulated game.

After spending more than the last decade at Washburn, Robinson has had to adjust from being the offensive coordinator of the Ichabods to the head coach of the RiverHawks.

“There was one instance where I was going to say something because the offense did really good, and you’re thinking, ‘wait, I’m the head coach now,’” Robinson said. “I used to have a lot of fun with the defensive players. We would talk back and forth and just have a great time with it. They’d throw some barbs at me, and now I have to make sure the defensive players know I have their back. At the end of the day, they have to know that I’m not just an offensive coach and that I trust them over there.”

As for NSU’s spring feature on Saturday, here are some things to look for:

• Who will take the most snaps at quarterback? After starting quarterback Johnny Deaton went down with a leg injury early in the 2013 season, Thor Long and Cory Meadors took over under center. Long is back to challenge Deaton for the starting spot, and so is Kevin Pantastico, a transfer from Phoenix College in Arizona.

“It’s a wide-open competition,” Robinson said. “Kevin is going against Johnny and Thor right now, and they’re all doing some pretty good things. We also have another curveball in there. Hayden Sharp is a kid that was a Yankees draft pick, and after three years with him he came back. We’re hoping he gets another shot with (the Yankees), because that’s a cool deal for him. But he’s come in and has done some good things.

• Will running back Joel Rockmore participant at all? After suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament against Missouri Southern in the second game of the 2013 season, Rockmore has been sidelined for the RiverHawks. That’s not expected to change at any point this spring.

“We’re not doing anything with Rock in the spring,” Robinson said. “There’s no reason for us to do it. We know what he’s capable of.”

Terrance Dixon will likely get the majority of the reps with Rockmore out. Steven Hooper is also in the mix.

• Who fills the void left by All-American linebacker Langston Jones? Replacing Jones’ 141 tackles and the rest of his intangibles won’t be easy for the RiverHawks. But Robinson has some guys in mind who might be up to the task.

“Kenneth Davis is a young linebacker that has made a lot of plays,” Robinson said. “I think if we get him fundamentally sound and we keep him locked in one position — probably at that mike backer — you’re going to see his name in the paper quite a bit. He’s a powerful, powerful kid.”

Text Only
  • Lamons-main.jpg Tahlequah wrestler Hestin Lamons adds to memorable season with All-State triumph

    Hestin Lamons’ fitness regiment has been a grueling one this summer. It paid off in a big way at the All-State wrestling dual on Wednesday night.

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • ropin-make-a-wish.jpg Dirteater, others help Make-A-Wish

    The event will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Tickets are $5, with kids 6 and under free.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Photo-for-Shinn-story.jpg Coaches preview Sooners season

    Toby Rowland addressed the elephant in the room even before Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and offensive coordinator Josh Heupel arrived at Journey Church on Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Date set for Keys football physicals

    Before scheduled practices can begin in order to prepare for the season, players must first receive a physical.
    Next Tuesday, Aug. 5, Keys High School will be administering physicals in the high school cafeteria.

    July 31, 2014

  • Keys-Dakota.jpg Playing both sides of the line

    Recently, Keys High School football standout Dakota Matlock was nearly severely injured in a terrifying car wreck.

    Matlock is coming off a stellar gridiron season for Keys High School. On offense, Matlock ran for over 1,000 yards for the Cougars. In his sophomore season, Matlock led Keys in tackles from the safety position.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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


Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction