The Broken Arrow Tiger football team will begin the 2021 campaign as road-warriors with four straight away contests to start the season. The home opener will welcome the Jenks Trojans to Memorial Stadium in Broken Arrow on Friday, Oct, 1, in a district showdown with the defending Class 6A state champions.
The 2021 schedule features just four home games due to last season’s matchup with Bentonville West High School being broadcast to a national audience on ESPN and being moved to Broken Arrow. This created a six-game home schedule for the 2020 season.
The Tigers will host the Yukon Millers on the Thursday of Fall Break, Oct. 14, in a Homecoming game that will welcome back all of Broken Arrow graduates to Memorial Stadium. The following week, on Oct. 22, the Tigers will host the visiting Wolves of Edmond Santa Fe. Broken Arrow will close out the regular season at home on Nov. 5 against Enid.
All Broken Arrow home games are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.
The first round of playoffs is set for November 12. The state semifinals are scheduled for November 19. A week off will precede the state championship game, which will either be held on December 3 or 4 at Wantland Stadium on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma.
Season ticket renewals may be made during the weeks of July 19 and July 26, Monday through Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Broken Arrow Athletic offices on the second floor of the Varsity Training Center (directly south of Memorial Stadium on County Line Road).
As was indicated last year, the 2021 season ticket renewals will be for individuals who were season ticket holders in 2019.
Season tickets are $50. An Adult All-Sports Pass is just $50 with the purchase of a season ticket or $90 when purchased alone. Parking Passes, sold on a first-come, first-served basis, $100.
Upgrades and additional season tickets may be made the week of Aug. 2, Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the BA athletic offices.
New season tickets may be purchased beginning Aug. 9, Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the athletic offices.
The Tigers will participate in the Bixby Fall Classic scrimmage on Friday, Aug. 20.
Broken Arrow Athletic Department has named Jordan Schmoker as its new head boys soccer coach.
After serving as the head boys soccer coach at Booker T. Washington High School since 2019, Schmoker will lead the Tigers, who are coming off of their fifth state championship in program history.
“I’m excited because I’m inheriting a group of boys who obviously know how to win and know how to dig and pursue victories,” Schmoker said. “I’m excited to step into a program that is already established and I’m ready to grow it even more. I bring a passion for coaching, a passion for soccer, a passion for teaching and a passion for moving kids on to the next level.”
The Catoosa native was a two-time Daktronics All-American at Northeastern State University following a freshman season at Coastal Carolina University where he helped the Chanticleers win the 2011 Big South Conference Regular Season Championship and advance to the Second Round of the NCAA Division I Tournament. His NSU Riverhawks advanced to the Round of 16 in the NCAA Division II Tournament his senior year as the program captured both the MIAA regular season and tournament titles.
Schmoker was named the 2014 Daktronics Central Region Player of the Year after leading the region in goals (11), assists (13) and points (35). The 35 points marked the most in a single season in MIAA history. He also holds the MIAA's all-time assist record (36) and is second in league history with 68 career points. He finished his collegiate career as NSU’s all-time leader in assists.
Following his prep and collegiate career, Schmoker played professional soccer on the Caribbean Island of Antigua and for the Tulsa Athletic of the NPSL.
In Schmoker’s first season at Tulsa Washington he guided the Hornets to a 14-3 record, a district championship and trip to the state semi-finals. Riddled with injuries this season, Schmoker guided his Hornets to a 3-2 win over BA this year, one of only two losses suffered by the Tigers during 2021 state championship season.
“I’m excited to work with an administration that believes in their athletic programs,” Schmoker said. “Coming to a school like this was my end goal for my coaching and teaching career. I didn’t think it would happen this quickly, so I’m excited that it’s fallen into place and I am ready to get to work with a group of players that love to win.”
All Broken Arrow Public Schools athletes are required to have athletic forms filled out online. New forms must be completed each year.
Visit RankOneSport's website to start the online process. Instructions are provided on that website to help complete the athletic forms.
The online forms need to be filled out after tryouts and before the beginning of the new school year.
Physical forms dated after May 1 are also required to be turned in to the coaches for a student to compete in Broken Arrow Public Schools athletics.
Nine workdays into spring football and one day ahead of Friday and Saturday’s team camp, Josh Blankenship used words like “hardworking” and “coachable” to describe the 2021 Tigers.
One semester into his job, Broken Arrow’s new head football coach is anxious to see how players respond when not under a coach’s practice-controlled environment.
“I talk about this with the guys all the time, that there are things like the weather and how the referee will call a game that I cannot control,” Blankenship said. “The one thing I can guarantee is that in a game or in a football season we will face adversity. It’s hard to script adversity.
“In spring ball, the offense has a good day or the defense has a good day and somebody is feeling pretty good leaving practice. Adversity finally gets scripted a little bit when you have competition against other people. We’ll get that at team camp, and that’s the only way you can simulate a tough, adverse environment.”
Team camp will splash in the familiar – Owasso and Union – and some strangers – Bentonville, Stillwater and a few others. The two-day camp at Owasso begins at 5 p.m. Friday and goes from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Tigers will compete in two 45-minute rotations each day.
“My intent out of this is to have a blast and take advantage of the things you can’t script in spring ball,” Blankenship said. “I want us to come out of there a better team than we went in. You don’t win a team camp. You might win a competition drill here or there, but that’s less important to me than seeing how we respond to the competition and the adversity.
“We’re going to see who rises to the competition. We’re going to see how guys respond when things don’t go their way. I don’t think any of it will surprise me. It’s just the stuff that I’m anxious to put our team through.”
The short adjustment for a new staff – 11 new BA football coaches – to players and players to new staff has flowed smoothly.
“There’s really good buy in with what the coaches are trying to do,” Blankenship said. “There’s an attitude of a fresh start, clean slate type of thing. Whatever they show us on the field, in the weight room and in the meetings, that’s our evaluation of them. We haven’t gone into this with preconceived ideas of what they are or are not. I think the guys have taken advantage of that.”
Perhaps one of the biggest adjustments on the practice field has beset Blankenship. Though he has been an Oklahoma High School Class 6A head coach before and a head coach at the college level, the full staff he has at BA has put him more in a practice-time administrative role.
“The funny thing for me is I have to watch myself and try not to coach a guy and step on that coach’s toes,” Blankenship said. “My job is to make sure that a coach knows what he’s supposed to be teaching those guys and not to go coach it for him.
“I get to cast the vision and direct. I’m able to rely on a good staff to get things done within their groups. That’s pretty neat.”
From the beginning of winter conditioning and into spring ball, Blankenship listed his expectations and continues to drive home to his players that everyone must be present, engaged, energetic, and fully committed to the team.
“We have 120 guys that want to give us everything they’ve got,” he said. “The really neat thing is that all these kids are showing us the work ethic and the attitude that they are going to do what we ask them to do and they are going to give it all they got. If you can get that then you can coach and teach and make corrections.
“I am pleased with how the guys have taken to what we are trying to get done and implementing it.”
After Friday and Saturday, he’ll have an idea of how that implementation went while facing adversity.
Broken Arrow slow pitch softball short stop McKayla Carney was named Oklahoma Slow Pitch Coaches Association All-State and is scheduled to play for the East in the June 19 All-State Game at Oklahoma Christian University.
Evie Herring, a senior outfielder for the Tigers, was originally selected as an alternate, will now be playing in the game.
Carney, who signed to play fast pitch at Missouri State, scored a team-high 61 runs this spring. Batting at the top of the lineup, her 68 hits also were best on the squad, as were her 13 doubles. She banged out 13 home runs and had 44 RBIs and batted .581. Defensively, Carney made just 12 errors in 33 games. She converted her 163 chances into a .945 fielding percentage.
Herring hit .535 and drove in 43 runs, with 12 doubles and nine home runs. Playing a solid outfield, Herring had 54 putouts and two assists.
Broken Arrow finished the season, 28-5, reaching the OSSAA Class 6A State Slow Pitch Softball semifinals.
Three football players, a high school All-American baseball player and a dual-sport female athlete will be joined by three “Friends of Athletics” as inductees into the 2021 Broken Arrow Athletic Hall of Fame.
The athletes are Andrea Avery-Cheatham, Derek Blackburn, Trey Cobb, Rick Myers and Zac Veatch. Being inducted as “Friends of Athletics” are Larry Clark, Linda Gipson and Richard Mosby.
Avery-Cheatham was a guard on Broken Arrow’s first girls state championship basketball team in 1983. During the six-on-six era, Avery led the team in steals and blocked shots, as a senior. Coach Jerry Waymire described “Andy” as “very quick and a great ball handler.” She was a four-year starter in softball, and hit a combined .350 during those four seasons. The four-year starting shortstop and leadoff hitter eventually signed with Northeastern State University, where she started as a freshman.
Blackburn, now the executive director of student services, was an all-state football player for the Tigers in 1989. He also earned All-Conference and All-Metro First Team recognition that season. Blackburn played four seasons at Pitt State University and was a member of one National Championship team and two runner-up squads. In 1993 he earned All-District Academic and MIAA All-Academic honors and was an all-conference defensive player.
Cobb, along with being a high school All-American, was a two-time Louisville Slugger honoree and was a starting pitcher for the 2011 State and National Champion Tiger baseball team. Cobb was a four-year letter winner at Oklahoma State University and was drafted in the eighth round by the New York Mets.
A three-year starter as a kicker, punter and receiver, Myers was named the 1989 Tulsa Tribune Player of the Year, Daily Oklahoman “Elite 24” kicker and OSSAA All-State. He set a school record with a 49-yard field goal that lasted until 2004. Myers was also a three-year soccer letter winner. He was a 1990 All-State Soccer Midfielder and earned All-State Honorable Mention in 1989. He kicked collegiately at Oklahoma State University, leading the team in scoring in 1991.
Veatch was a two-way starter for Broken Arrow’s 2011 state runner-up football team. He was named All-State tight end by the Oklahoma Coaches Association and All-State defensive end by The Oklahoman. He was ranked by SuperPrep as No. 39 among prospects in the Midlands region, No. 10 overall in the state of Oklahoma by Rivals, and No. 48 by Scout among all tight ends in the country. Veatch was a three-year starter at four different positions at Oklahoma State.
Clark served as “the voice” of Broken Arrow Tiger Football for more than 20 seasons, beginning at Kirkland Field and continuing his Friday night public address work at BA Memorial Stadium. He continues to serve as public address announcer for the Pride of Broken Arrow, basketball, baseball, softball, track and wrestling.
Gipson was an English teacher at Broken Arrow’s North Intermediate High School from 1991 to 2007. She and her late-husband Russ have been Tiger football season ticket holders since 1988. Since her retirement, Gipson has served the athletic department in several areas, including football season ticket sales and game-night Varsity Club events. She also is a long-time member of the Athletic Hall of Fame committee.
Mosby has been a part of Broken Arrow athletics for more than 50 years, starting his career as a teacher, junior high football, wrestling and track coach and bus driver. When Memorial Stadium opened in 2000, Mosby, who retired the year before after more than 30 years, came back to the athletic department part time as an event manager. He was responsible for things such a visitor bus parking, completion of event workers’ paper work, opening visitor and officials’ locker rooms and informational sign posting on game days.
The 2021 class will be inducted in the Varsity Club prior to the Tiger varsity football home-opener against Jenks on Oct. 1. The group will be introduced to fans at halftime of that night’s game.