Broken Arrow Public Schools has named Krystin Delehanty as its new Broken Arrow Varsity Cheer Head Coach.
“Broken Arrow has had a long tradition of a very successful cheer team, and I cannot wait for Coach Delehanty to build on that success,” said Melenda Knight, BAPS Assistant Athletic Director.
Delehanty, a 2015 graduate of Oklahoma State University, joined the Broken Arrow school district in 2016 as a junior varsity cheer coach and sixth grade math teacher. In 2018 she added varsity assistant coach to her duties, including serving as Gameday Choreographer. Varsity Cheer won the UCA Gameday National Championship in Orlando in February.
“I’m so excited and can’t wait to get started,” Delehanty said. “There is so much support for the Broken Arrow Cheer program that I want to come in and make it even better than what it has been.”
Delehanty is a UCA Coaches Curriculum Certified instructor and has served as head instructor for several UCA camps since 2013. She has had extensive training in safety guidelines for cheerleading. She also is a certified STUNT Official.
She also has choreographed state routines for a variety of schools across Oklahoma.
“I want to unite the program from top to bottom, and make sure the junior high squad is improving just as much as our varsity squad is,” Delehanty said. “I want to build from the ground up, even with those kids who cheer as part of BAYFA (Broken Arrow Youth Football). The stronger our program is with the younger kids will enhance and benefit our entire school cheer program even more.”
Delehanty replaces Amy Howe, who resigned after 18 years of coaching in the varsity cheer program, including the last eight as Varsity Head Coach.
Four pitches. All can be thrown for strikes. That’s what you get with Broken Arrow Tiger sophomore pitcher Kai Fowler.
What you won’t see when he is on the mound is fist-pumping, glove-slapping emotion.
“His demeanor is real low key, but don’t be fooled by that because he’s a real competitor on the inside,” Dobson said of his young left-handed hurler who has allowed just one run in more than 15 innings on the young season.
Dobson went on to use words like “strike thrower,” “guy who pounds the zone,” and “typical left-hander” in quantifying the early success of Fowler. And, had it not been for an unfortunate elbow injury to senior Tate Robards, Fowler’s breakout season may have been limited to non-district games.
As it is, he is now the guy called on to start high-leverage district opening games.
“Guys that have never pitched on the varsity level; you never know until you get them out there in game situations,” Dobson said. “Obviously we trust him because he is pitching the front end of our district games. We feel like he has enough ability to keep us in games.”
To that end he has. He pitched 12 innings before allowing a run at Ponca City earlier this week. While he is not a pitcher that will “wow with power," as Dobson put it, his command is enough to register less than one walk or hit per inning.
“I didn’t expect it to go like this,” Fowler said of his unforeseen start to his 10th grade season. “It’s pretty crazy. But it’s exciting. I feel pretty good right now.”
And his coach feels pretty good about what he is seeing from Fowler on the mound.
“When you’re making guys hit to get on instead of walking them and giving up a hit, then that gives you your best chance,” Dobson said. “Along with his fastball, he has a couple of other pitches that he can throw for strikes off any count. He’s had success in keeping hitters off stride a little bit, so they haven’t been able to sit on his fastball.
“If he can continue to do those things then we have a chance to stay in every ball game. That’s what he’s been able to do so far.”
Fowler’s success in scrimmages prepared him for district play because “I got to see what it would be like in the real season and show me what I needed to work on.”
Dobson agrees with his pitcher’s personal assessment.
“He didn’t seem like he was in awe of anything,” the coach said. “He was able to keep his poise.”
Though Fowler admits he was “pretty nervous” for his first start against Union, those anxieties have somewhat diminished.
“I thought it would be super hard on me,” he confessed. “But I’m just going to keep on doing the same thing: hit my spots and trust my defense.”
That’s all that Dobson asks of his strike-throwing, zone-pounding, typical left-hander, who also happens to be just a sophomore.
With the OSSAA State Track and Field Championships just nine weeks away Brianna Hays is focused on bettering her sixth place 800-meter run state finishing time from a year ago while adding another race to her repertoire.
“I’m just improving on my form and getting in the groove of things,” the Broken Arrow High School senior said. “I’m working on my 800 time, but also learning how to run the 300 hurdles.
“We’re just getting used to being in season now and running outdoors.”
In Saturday’s Phil Sweeney Classic at Holland Hall, Hays showed she has more than the potential of being a champion in the 300 hurdles as she captured gold. She and teammate Auryana Johnson finished one-two in the event with runners from Jenks and Union finishing behind them.
Hays also was part of the meet-record setting 4x400 and 4x800 relay teams.
Lengthier runs, Hays believes, are key to helping her accomplish mid-distance race goals. One of those goals is a state championship. The other is eclipsing Jessica Eldridge’s 16-year school record 800 meter time of 2:10.72. That was a state record until last season.
“I’m mostly going to focus on a lot of mileage,” Hays said. “I think that would help me get the stamina I need.”
By timing herself, Hays has found another way to cut “seconds” off her time. She also credits the pushing and encouraging of Tiger track coach Scott Wilkinson.
“She was sixth last year, but I do think there's a good chance she can win it,” Wilkinson said, referencing the 800-meter. “She’ll have to train at a really high level to make that happen. She’s going to have to be fully committed to training every day for the next eight to nine weeks”
Wilkinson is counting on Hays to lead the team to a 6A State Championship. The last time that happened for the Lady Tigers was 2004.
“I expect her to do what she needs to do so we can win a state championship, and that's going to require her to do multiple events,” Wilkinson said. “At the state meet she is going to have to compete at a high level, but I think she is capable of doing that.”
A week after the state meet Hays will graduate from Broken Arrow and turn her attention to competing for the University of Tulsa, with whom she signed a letter of intent in February.
“I was thinking about going to OSU and was looking at Arkansas, but I decided to go to TU because I felt at home and I liked the coaches a lot,” she said. “The biggest thing to me was they are focused on your mentality and the sport. They weren't just focused on the physical aspect, even though that's a big one also.
“I like the smaller atmosphere and it’s still a D1 school. Plus, you get a top rate education, so I feel like I am getting the best athletically and academically for me.”
That “at home” feeling of Hays spoke to the ease she felt when visiting TU for the first time. It is similar to the connection she has with being a track athlete.
“I love track,” she said. “I just feel most at home on the track. It's really mental. You have to be strong mentally and physically to run track.
“I just thought that this is the sport that will be the hardest for me, but it's also fun doing different events and running relays. I love relays.
“It is just the atmosphere of track that I liked so much.”
In a little more than two months perhaps the Tiger track atmosphere will be filled with a state championship celebration.
Another track meet, another gold medal for Broken Arrow girls track 4x400 and 4x800 meter relay teams.
The defending state champions in both events set meet records over the weekend in the 18th Annual Phil Sweeney Classic at Holland Hall High School.
The 4x400 team of Kanisius Harding, Auryana Johson, Taylor Dozier and Brianna Hays turned in a 4:02.87, eclipsing the old record by nearly three seconds and beating second place Jenks by nine seconds.
Johnson and Hays were joined by Payton Hinkle and Allison Bonham on the 4x800 team that ran a 9:46.97, breaking the old record by six seconds. Jenks again came in second to the Lady Tigers, this time by nine seconds.
“At this point of the season, we are way ahead of the group from last year,” said Tiger track coach Scott Wilkinson. “We are much faster. We just have to keep improving and hope everybody stays healthy.”
This meet was not the only record-setting performance for a Tiger in the early season, however. At Owasso the week before, senior Brandon Hanoch broke the 25-year-old school pole vault record by clearing 16 feet. Aaron Smith, a Tiger state champion pole vaulter in 1994, held the record at 15’6 until Hanoch’s vault.
The Lady Tigers captured the team title at Holland Hall, outpacing Jenks, 188 to 153. The boys finished second behind Union.
Individual girls champions were Danielle Shaw, 100 hurdles; Payton Hinkle, 800 run; and Hays, 300 hurdles. The Lady Tigers also won the 4x100 and 4x200 relays.
On the boys side, Blake McConkay, 800 run, Crayton Shaw, Pole Vault and Brandon Zamarripa Discus and Shot Put were individual gold medalists. The boys 4x800 relay also took first place.
BA track competes in the Jesuit-Sheaner Relays in Dallas, March 22-23, before hosting the first-ever meet at the new Broken Arrow High School track on March 30.
Anmar Colmenares left the one place she called home for a better future.
Even as a child, growing up in the state of Bolivar, Venezuela, a country fraught with political unrest, violence and unmeasured hunger, Colmenares’ parents knew they needed to find a safer place for their family.
“I left Venezuela because my country is in a crisis,” said the junior tennis player, who is in her second year in the Broken Arrow school district. “There are a lot of bad things going on over there that my parents didn’t want me to go through.
“The Government didn’t help the people. There was no medicine, no food, no water. We just had to leave Venezuela.”
Tennis is the bridge that smoothed the move from one continent to another.
“The language cost me a lot,” said Colmenares, who was actually born in Miami, Fla., but moved to Venezuela when she was two years old. “It still does. But it’s easier now for me to express myself and make friends and talk to my teachers and understand my team and coach.”
That coach, Kelli Collins, has nothing but praise for the 17-year-old who will play both No. 1 and No. 2 doubles for the Lady Tiger Varsity tennis team this spring.
“I feel very lucky that I get to coach a young lady of her character,” Collins said. “She is so well liked by her teammates. I have had multiple girls ask me if they could play doubles with Anmar.”
Persuaded by her uncle, Colmenares first picked up a tennis racket when she was six years old.
“Tennis wasn’t a really big deal in Venezuela,” said the girl who has idolized Serena Williams since she began playing. “I would watch tennis on TV, and one of my uncles played tennis, and he said ‘Anmar, you should try it.’ I have played tennis ever since.”
Collins noted that Colmenares has “improved so much” in the one year she has been with the team. Whether in Venezuela or Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, it appears as if Colmenares has always pushed herself to get better.
“I try to get a large amount of practice in every day before and after school, and on weekends,” she said. “I like how I can express myself playing tennis. I just feel free when I’m playing, like there is nothing else going on in the world.”
For Anmar Colmenares the game she loves helps ease memories of the home she left.
Kasey Counts took one final look at the Kirkland Activities Complex scoreboard following the Broken Arrow Lady Tigers, 2-0, season-opening win over Fayetteville Friday night. It was déjà vu all over again and again and again, etc.
Zero on the opponent’s side of the scoreboard was common place a year ago when the Lady Tigers recorded shutouts in all but two of their games en route to a 17-0 season and a Class 6A State Championship.
“It’s been exciting, but I have also noticed the girls are pretty nervous,” Counts said in reference to being the defending state champions. “We kind of have a target on our back. We know that we are held to a high expectation and we want to meet that. We don’t want to break from our winning streak.
“The girls feel a lot of pressure. We’ve just been focusing on them settling down and playing their game. You know, doing what they love instead of trying to meet everyone else’s expectations.”
The coach’s goal may not be a shutout every game or even another perfect season, but Count’s asking for improvement from each player each game and repeating as state championship.
While this year’s team is talented, it is markedly different from the 2018 state champion squad.
Last year’s full roster was laced with as many as 16 seniors. This year, the most noticeable numbers listed in the “Grade” column are “9” and “10.” There are just six seniors on the 2019 roster.
“We’re really young this year,” an understated Counts said. “Last year we had a lot of leadership coming from our seniors. We have quite a few freshman and sophomores that are going to be starting for us.”
To that point, of the 11 Lady Tiger starters, seven were ninth and 10th graders.
In this case, however, young is a synonym for skilled.
“We’re going to be good this year,” Counts said, showing confidence in her underclassmen. “We have a ton of sophomores who came in very strong for us last year (as freshmen) and will be even stronger for us as sophomores this year. As those girls get older they’ll continue to get better and better.”
Offensively, the youthful Lady Tigers performed as their coach envisioned against the visitors from Arkansas.
Sophomore Amorette Ramos struck first with a goal outside the 18-yard mark. Freshman Brianna Castleberry beat a defender and knocked a shot past the Fayetteville goalie from eight yards away.
Though she didn’t put a ball in the net, last year’s leading scorer Hanna Chance, now a sophomore, is fully recovered from a broken foot and ankle injury she suffered in last year’s semifinal win over Norman North.
“It’s going to be fun because we get to play with our formation a little bit whether we’re going to play with one or two up top,” Counts said of the possible ways she can use Castleberry and Chance. “We’re going to be a little bit stronger than we were even last year. Our offense has started to flow, which is usually the opposite. It’s usually the defense that starts out strong early in the season.”
Such was the case in the spring of 2018.
“We were led from our back,” Counts said. “We lost our entire backline except for Mollie Breiner. She has slid to center back for us. She is going to play a very important role moving over from outside back this year.
“We have a whole new backline besides her. We’ve made some adjustments to get some speed in the areas where we need it.”
Peyton Pearson, a junior like Breiner, will be in goal again for the Lady Tigers. So, along with Eden Coffman, at center-mid, and midfielder Rebeca Garcia, who scored the winning goal in last year’s title game, the Lady Tigers aren’t fully devoid of experience on the backend.
With players in different positions and inexperienced players in other key spots on the defensive side of midfield, Counts does expect growing pains.
The defense will be tested Friday night at 6 as BA hosts Bishop Kelley, who is 2-0 on the young season with wins over two Arkansas teams – Conway and Bentonville West.
“I think our defense is where we really have to work this season,” the coach said. “Are we good enough to do a bunch of shutouts? Absolutely. It’s going to come down to if the girls can grasp the concept.”
After game one; so far, so good. The zero on the visitor side of the scoreboard was proof.
The last week of February was a relaxing seven days for Shawn Jones.
It was a week of coaching from an easy chair. A week of designing a state championship ring. A week of reflecting on numbers that pointed to the 2019 Broken Arrow wrestling state champions as being one of the most dominant in the history of Oklahoma Class 6A.
Jones’ relaxation period came nearly 12 hours earlier than he anticipated. And, truth be told, perhaps even 24 hours.
“We had those six kids in the consolation semis that morning, so you really couldn’t even take a breath before then because you wanted those kids to get into the finals,” Jones said about the second day of wrestling at the OSSAA Class 6A State Wrestling Championships a week ago Saturday. “But as soon as that round was over, and we had our three kids push through to the consolation placements then yeah, we were relaxed. We knew it was over. That was a pretty good feeling.”
With two consolation winners and seven Tigers wrestling for an individual title in the night session, Broken Arrow was well on its way to fifth Class 6A team crown and ninth overall.
There has been no 6A team dominate the state championship weekend like Broken Arrow did at the OKC State Fairgrounds Arena the weekend on February 23-24, 2019.
The 62 point differential – 158-96 – between first place Broken Arrow and second place Mustang was the greatest margin of victory ever by a 6A team. For a point of reference, the 2001 BA team that crowned five champions scored 156 points. Midwest City placed second that year with 124.5 points.
Though the 2019 Tigers did not have the meet mathematically wrapped up on Friday, it would have defied all logic to think the Tigers would not be crowned champions. Broken Arrow had a 121 to 68 lead on Mustang after the first day. In hindsight, Mustang’s 28 points scored on Saturday, meant the Tigers could have played the role of spectators and still walked away with the team trophy.
That wasn’t going to happen though. Mustang, according to point analysis, was still in the tournament. They could have finished with 154 points had all their wrestlers earned falls on the final day. So yes, according to the most extreme analytical numbers, one could infer that Mustang had a chance at nabbing the title. But with seven Tigers wrestling in the finals the odds favored BA so tremendously Jones’ voiced the assessment “that we had it all but wrapped up.”
Broken Arrow came into the tournament with a Class 6A record-setting number 13 wrestlers. In 2001, the Tigers qualified 11 wrestlers. Twelve of the 2019 group made it to the semifinals. Ten of those placed.
The Tiger coaches dubbed “One-and-Done” as the season’s theme from the first day of practice. The question from each wrestler was “What does that mean?”
Jones had an explanation.
“We just told them that if you do something right the first time then you don’t have to do it again.”
While there is a great deal of truth in that adage, it was not the true meaning behind establishing this “One-and-Done” mantra.
Jones did not tell his wrestlers the coaches’ authentic thought behind the phrase until Saturday of the tournament.
“We told them that when we were talking about ‘One-and-Done’ and what that means is that we’re going to wrap this thing up on Friday night and come back Saturday and you guys are going to get to wrestle for yourselves,” Jones said.
It was the first time a Jones coached Tiger team had the lead after day one.
“We have always had to come from behind,” he said. “We had a pretty good feeling about things. A lot of stress had gone away.”
With the nearly stress-free championship, Jones now stands alone as the winningest wrestling coach in Broken Arrow history. Since 2006 Jones’ teams have amassed 144 dual wins, five State Team Championships and four Dual State Championships. This is the second year under Jones the team captured the Triple Crown of wrestling: regional championship, dual state championship and team state championship.
With that week of relaxation behind him, Jones and his staff are now beginning work for 2019-2020.
“Mustang’s returning 85 points and we’re returning 81,” Jones said of the underclassmen from each school who competed in the team state tournament. “So we think we’ll be right back in the mix.
"When this week is over it will be time to get back to work.”
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. 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. Visit RankOneSport's website to start the online forms process.