STILLWATER, Okla. – Oh, to have watched this game from inside the mind of Gary Pinkel. What a whirlwind of thoughts might have been spiraling through the head of Missouri’s football coach as he watched a 22-point lead slowly disintegrate in the second half of Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State.
STILLWATER, Okla. — Brad Ekwerekwu promises he didn’t play quarterback in high school. He says he never threw the ball. Of course, that didn’t stop him from launching an important second-quarter touchdown pass that made Missouri’s usual pass-thrower proud in the Tigers’ 38-31 win against Oklahoma State on Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium.
STILLWATER, Okla. - There’s smiles all around at Stillwater’s best-known bar. From signs, to t-shirts, to cups, it’s hard to go more than a few steps without seeing Eskimo Joe’s ear-to-ear grin. The bar, which was named as one of 10 perfect college sports bars by Sports Illustrated on Campus, offers patrons a fun, unique environment just a couple blocks from Boone Pickens Stadium. Customers are greeted with no cover charge, a casual atmosphere, and an “I know Stan” stamp.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy was in a candid mood Monday. It was two days after his then-unbeaten Cowboys lost their first game of the season, a 34-0 whitewashing from Colorado in which Gundy’s freshman quarterback Bobby Reid threw footballs like a sprinkler — sprayed all over the place — and ran as if he were going the wrong way on a escalator — lots of steps, little progress.
Last year’s Class 6 championship football game produced memories Hickman players won’t soon forget. Byron Bundy, then a sophomore wide receiver playing mostly junior varsity, remembers the devastating block he delivered when he was put in at the end of the Kewpies’ 34-7 rout of Hazelwood East.
At the Rock Bridge football team’s practice Tuesday, senior Josh Conyers stood at his safety position while his defensive coordinator looked on behind him. Conyers said to his coach, “Watch how a real man hits.” His coach approached him and said, “Watch how a real man is going to hit you,” while jokingly jerking Conyer’s face mask.
Although the calendar says it’s October, it certainly felt like December on Thursday night at the Rock Bridge softball field. With temperatures dropping into the low 40s, the Hickman and Rock Bridge softball teams were forced to adjust to the weather in the Class 4 District 10 tournament.
Rock Bridge tennis players Ashley Miles and Karla Kruse have spent the past week singing karaoke, running around the school selling “random things”, being escorted in Jeeps and enjoying a bonfire. “This week has been crazy,” Miles said. “But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
The Missouri volleyball team had created a buzz this season with its No. 7 ranking and a 12-game winning streak heading into Wednesday’s game at Hearnes Center. Although the Tigers lost their first match of the season against No. 1 Nebraska, the buzz around the MU volleyball team should remain and get louder. A buzz became a roar during the match. A record 7,298 people attended. The team had been averaging 1,241. The crowd filled sections A, B and half of C at Hearnes Center.
This isn’t what Lindsey Hunter had in mind for Wednesday night. Hunter’s 55 assists weren’t enough for the No. 7 Tigers to upset the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the top team in the country. The Tigers lost 30-26, 22-30, 30-23, 30-27 at the Hearnes Center.
Tony Palmer, a senior offensive lineman on the Missouri football team, doesn’t care if it’s his longtime friend and teammate Lorenzo Williams in practice, or a Big 12 Conference foe on a Saturday. He gives all defensive linemen the same, tough treatment. “He’s a person who uses all of his strength all the time,” said Williams, the Tigers’ sophomore starting defensive tackle. “He has a very strong upper body and once he gets his hands on you, you’re not going anywhere.“
Senior Stefani Worley understands it’s win or go home for the Hickman softball team. This is Worley’s third year preparing for the district tournament and she wants to make sure the whole team knows the situation. So Wednesday after practice, she called a team meeting, without the coaches, to re-emphasize the importance of the tournament.
Jake Hoffmann is entering the 2005-2006 season with an impressive track record. In his case, it is more of a pool record, which is not to be confused with the seven high school swimming records that he has broken. Hoffmann is one of 25 freshmen who were not only recruited for MU’s Swimming and Diving team, but were expected to start swimming as freshmen.
For girls growing up in Nebraska, volleyball isn’t just a sport. It’s a lifestyle. Tonight at Hearnes Center, 14 girls from the state of Nebraska will display their lifestyle when No. 7 Missouri faces No. 1 Nebraska. Each team has seven players from Nebraska and all of those girls, at one point, played for the Nebraska Juniors club team.
Ever since watching his first football game as a young kid, John Stull has dreamed of playing college football for the Missouri Tigers. That dream is now reality. The senior from Rock Bridge gave Missouri a verbal commitment Tuesday night. “It lifts a tremendous amount of pressure off my shoulders,” Stull said. “I’m really excited and I feel I can play better in the games now because I can play without a worry and get after it and do my thing.”
Turnovers might have put the Missouri football team in a hole during Saturday’s 51-20 loss to No. 2 Texas. But special-teams play kept it there. The special-teams unit had been arguably the most consistent aspect of Missouri’s play through the first three weeks of the season. The return teams had made big plays, kicker/punter Adam Crossett had improved considerably since the conclusion of last season, and there was a general air of confidence when offense or defense wasn’t on the field.
Opinions differ as to what characterizes a rivalry. Some say it’s proximity. Others say it is the history between the teams. Still others say it is an increase in intensity. For the two major Columbia high schools, separated by just more than four miles, playing one another is always an anticipated matchup.
Columbia was well-represented in Tuesday’s Class 2 District 4 Tournament and will be in the state tournament later this month, too; Hickman and Rock Bridge will send a combined six golfers to the state tournament later this month. Rock Bridge shot a 362 to place second in the district tournament and will take three golfers to state. It was only two strokes behind Helias, which clinched the district title. Hickman shot a 372 to finish in third place.
The lights on the Hickman football field were bright. The smells of grilled burgers and hot dogs wafted through the muggy, late-autumn air. A large crowd roared with every pass, run and strong defensive play. But, this wasn’t a Friday night Hickman home football game. This was Senior Night for the Hickman boys’ soccer team.
After a frustrating defeat in which a ranked team lost to an unranked one, game-tying shots ping off goalposts, and your team falls just short of a win that would keep it in consideration for postseason play, there’s not a lot of positive things to say. Unless, of course, Justin Robinson is on your team.