Tiffany Jones, who served as Broken Arrow High School varsity girls basketball interim head coach this past season, has had the interim title removed and was officially named the Lady Tigers varsity girls head basketball coach Wednesday.
“Coach Jones is a tireless worker who is not only committed to putting the best team on the floor each game, but she is also all about the student athletes,” said Ken Ellett, Broken Arrow Public Schools athletic director. “She does a fabulous job helping young people make the right decisions in their day to day lives, while also helping them become the best basketball players they can be. I am confident she will continue to do all the right things to keep Broken Arrow Lady Tiger basketball as one of the top programs in the state.”
Jones took over a team that lost nearly 70 percent of its scoring to graduation. Led by all-state player Jalise Smallwood, the Lady Tigers finished 13-11 and reached the regional finals under Jones’ leadership.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this program,” Jones said. “Our goals as a program are to be successful on the court and produce young ladies who are equipped to be successful in college basketball if they chose to continue their basketball careers, or in life after high school.
“As coaches, we can teach life lessons through our sports that instill qualities and character traits that are foundational for success in any occupation. Success on and off the court is our goal.”
Jones joined the Broken Arrow High School staff in 2011 as a history teacher and assistant basketball coach. Before coming to BA, she was the head girls basketball coach at Duncan High School for two years.
While at Duncan, Jones was named the 2004 Lawton Constitution large-school Coach of the Year and the 2004 Region Coach of the Year from the Oklahoma Girls Basketball Coaches Association.
An undefeated start to the season, including a victory over a team ranked in the top 25 nationally by MaxPreps, has the Broken Arrow Tiger baseball team’s confidence peaking as a stretch of nine games over nine days begins this week.
The Tigers play a home-and-home series against Deer Creek, the district’s top-ranked team Monday and Tuesday. The Tuesday game of the two-game set is at Tiger Field. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. and will be streamed at Arrowvision.tv. The Tigers travel to Stillwater on March 27 and host the Pioneers the next day. Sandwiched between those district games is the BA/Jenks Classic, which begins Thursday.
“The kids really played well every game,” said head coach Shannon Dobson of the Tiger’s annual spring break trek to Arizona. “They stayed hooked up and played with a lot of energy. They did a lot of things that maybe weren’t expected of them this early in the season.”
Broken Arrow capped its undefeated Arizona trip with a 10-1 victory over then-nationally ranked Scottsdale Chaparral.
“Spring break is usually a time to see where we’re at and see how guys are going to react to situational stuff,” Dobson said. “We usually play a lot of guys just to get us set up for the rest of the season.”
If the trip west was an indication of what lies ahead for the Tigers then 2017 promises to be something special for a team loaded with several players who have three-years of varsity starting experience.
“A lot of the core guys have been playing since their sophomore year, so they know the expectations now,” Dobson said. “This group is a little more accountable to each other as far as pushing each other. If somebody is not hooking up like they should be then we have guys who are saying ‘hey, pick it up.’ That aspect has helped a ton. That will pay off a lot as we go through the season.”
While the team’s maturity and leadership is showing in the dugout, the baseball talent has been on display on a regular basis in the early season.
The Tigers are hitting .337 as team and have scored 86 runs. Defensively, BA has committed just 11 errors in 290 chances for a team fielding percentage of .962. Tiger pitchers have a combined earned run average of a 2.23 through 66 innings. They have walked just 30 batters, while striking out 56.
“We have a bunch of kids who are competitors, and they are strike throwers, which has been pretty good for us because we are pretty athletic and sound defensively…we can field it and throw it,” Dobson said. “I would say we don’t have a true No. 1 guy, they’re all pretty close to one another. There’s not a lot of separation. Fortunately, we have a lot of depth.”
Pitching depth at any level is a luxury. For the Tigers, it is a reality. During the first 10 games and those 66 innings, eight BA hurlers have logged at least five innings of work.
“Over these next few weeks, we play a lot of games,” Dobson said. “It’s probably the toughest part of our schedule as far as how many games we play, so every guy is going to have to be available to throw some. We’re going to get a real test this week and next week.”
Nearly 40 Broken Arrow High School (BAHS) athletes signed their national letters of intent, officially announcing where they will continue to showcase their athletic talents beyond high school. These signings were part of National College Signing Day on Feb. 1 in the indoor practice field at Broken Arrow’s Multipurpose Facility.
“National Signing Day is one of the biggest, most exciting days for our student athletes,” said Ken Ellett, Broken Arrow Public Schools (BAPS) athletic director. “We love the fact that we can showcase all athletes who will be continuing their education and playing careers at the next level. For the hard work they have put in, not only on the field or court but in the classroom, we feel they are worthy of a celebration of this magnitude.”
Held on the first Wednesday of every February, National Signing Day celebrates the talented recruits in a number of collegiate sports, including baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer, softball, cross country, track and volleyball. A second signing event will be held in April for students who sign during the spring signing period.
“Our mantra at Broken Arrow is ‘Literacy, Engagement, Graduation,’” BAPS Superintendent Dr. Janet Dunlop said as she addressed the students and parents. “We know our students need to be engaged in the classroom, but athletics is an amazing way to engage students and make them proud to be a Tiger. And, they make us proud that they are Tigers.”
Guest speaker Sam Belt, a 2003 BAHS graduate who played college basketball at the University of Central Oklahoma and professionally in Australia, was this year’s featured speaker.
“Less than five percent of all high school athletes go on to play college, so you guys are an elite group of players,” said Belt, looking to his right and left at the line of athletes on each side. “As you go into college, if you start working hard now, you’re going to build a platform for the rest of your life. Once you find out you can work hard and are determined then you are going to have success.”
Congratulations to the following student athletes:
Colton Croft, Murray State College
Austin Hulet, Fort Scott CC
Landon Hulet, Fort Scott CC
Hunter Little, Fort Scott CC
Declan Spurlock, Northeastern State University
Claire Nichols, Southwestern College
Boys Cross Country/Track
Collin Carpenter, Dodge City CC
Blake Batson, Northeastern State University
Robert Calhoun, Missouri Baptist University
Skyler Haynes, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M
Jeremiah Holliday, Henderson State University
Carder Key, University of Montana
C.J. Myers, Pittsburg State University
Austyn Romine, Southwestern College
LeDarren Walker, Northeastern A&M
Cade Yeager, Northeastern State University
Harrison Gearhart, Northeastern State University
Andrew Skinner, Ottawa University
Baylee Brewer, Southern Arkansas University
Noah Harris, Fort Hays State University
Hunter Meeks-Riner, McPherson College
Paulina Chavez, Northeastern State University
Sommer Franks, Northeastern State University
Hailey Gonzalez, Allen CC
Kaylee Cheyenne Gragg, East Central University
Lauren Keck, East Central University
Jessica Misquez, Oral Roberts University
Mollie Nance, East Central University
Sarah Ward, Manhattan Christian College
Rachel Wilkins, Northeastern State University
Madison Henson, Independence CC
Elizabeth McKellip, Northern Oklahoma JC
Abigal Parks, Cowley County CC
Mikalyn Strother, Murray State College
Mia Bledsoe, Pittsburg State University
Kamryn Smith, Coffeyville CC
Tyler Lawley, Newman University
When all the splashing was over, it was obvious that including students in this year’s “Freezin’ for a Reason” fundraiser was going to make a difference.
The 110 participants more than tripled the number of those who jumped into the Forest Ridge pool at last year’s event, which is sponsored by the Broken Arrow Public Schools Athletic Department. The donations eclipsed year one’s mark by more than $2,000.
“Wow!” was the first word offered by event organizer Melenda Knight when informed of the $7,399.66 total. That goal was $6,000.
“It was a team effort,” the assistant athletic director said before beginning to verbally list names and “thank yous.”
One of the first she mentioned was Katie Fly, head coach of BA Special Olympics and special education teacher at the BA Freshman Academy, who also shared gratitude.
“We are so lucky and grateful to be in a district where all students are welcomed and recognized regardless of cognitive ability,” Fly said. “’Thank you’ cannot even begin to express the gratitude and appreciation our families and coaches feel. The families of our athletes do not get as many opportunities as others to see their children compete in athletic events and be part of a team.”
Money raised through “Freezin’ for a Reason” will provide uniforms and equipment to the athletes. It also will cover a majority of the team’s travel expenses to the Summer Games at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, May 17-19.
Parents of Broken Arrow High School, Freshman Academy and middle school student-athletes may go online to complete necessary forms to assure their child is eligible to begin participation in school athletics.
The completion of such forms as the Emergency Consent Form, Concussion and Head Injury Acknowledgement Form and the Risk/Insurance/Transportation Consent Form is required before a student is eligible to participate in Broken Arrow athletics. Click here to bring up the website that contains the required forms. Other online forms parents are required to complete include the OSSAA’s Eligibility and Recruiting Forms, the Social Networking Form and the Drug Testing Consent Form.
To begin completion of the forms parents will need to include their child’s first and last names and know their child’s student ID number. An electronic signature of one parent is required.
Student-athletes are also required to have a current physical on file in order to participate in Broken Arrow school-sponsored athletics.
Online completion of the required forms is more convenient for parents and will streamline the process for Broken Arrow athletic department administrators, coaches and trainers.
Parents with questions regarding the medical forms may email Daniel Steward. For all other questions, please call the athletic office at 918-259-5904.