Sports

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Getting back in the groove

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El Reno High School athletes returned to their venue of choice Monday morning, ending an 11-week hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, don’t expect to see the Indians playing head-to-head action with other schools anytime soon as the district has opted a phased approach to sports moving forward from the virus with caution.

“I want kids to be healthy come August so we can get school and our seasons started and have no delays. If we have to give up some summer league games to do that, we can make it work.

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El Reno athletics get back to business

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El Reno Public Schools coaches and administration were scheduled to meet Tuesday to formulate a plan to bring back athletes for summer workouts after a plan by the state’s governing body failed by a vote from its board of directors.

The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association took a three-step plan to a board vote last week but the measure failed by a 7-6 margin.

One of those voting against the plan was El Reno Superintendent Craig McVay, who sits on the board through the end of June.

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‘Play Coronaball’

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“Play Ball!”

That's the phrase that Oklahoma youth baseball and softball players have been waiting to hear since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic back in March.

That came to an end last week as El Reno co-hosted a youth softball tournament along with Harrah. Baseball started its league season last Monday and softball followed suit three days later.

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Players earn postseason accolades

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While their seasons were cut short due to COVID-19, several area baseball and softball players recently picked up postseason honors for the 2019 spring campaigns.

The Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association released the All-Star by Class teams last week with El Reno senior Gabe Ruoff making the Class 5A West Team as an outfielder, and classmate Brice Hill as a pitcher. Players must be on the All-Star by Class team to be eligible for All-State consideration.

Oklahoma Coaches Association cancels July’s All-State Week

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Since 1935, the Oklahoma Coaches Association has held its annual Coaches Clinic and All-State Games for coaches and athletes across the state.

This year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the OCA board of directors have made the difficult decision to cancel all activities during the Coaches Clinic and All-State Week.

With an attendee rate of around 4,500 during the annual convention, health concerns and the ramifications that could be presented to attendees were a major factor in this decision.

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Back to the future

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Rodney Haydon was digging in the dirt and planting the flowers he had bought his wife for Mother’s Day when he got a call from El Reno Superintendent Craig McVay.

“I was in the backyard working and had my phone connected to the stereo and waiting on Craig’s call to hear what the board had decided on the direction of the basketball program,” said Haydon.

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Plumley says sting of lost title shot still hurts

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While he’s excited about the possibility of a re-start to pro basketball, El Reno High School alum Dyson Plumley knows that any National Basketball Association game he watches will bring up some sore memories.

“I’m glad the NBA season could be coming back but it still hurts the way our season ended and not getting to go to the national tourney,” said Plumley.

On March 11, the NBA suspended the Oklahoma City Thunder game with Utah just minutes before tipoff when the news of Jazz player Rudy Gobert’s positive test for the coronavirus surfaced.

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Lights on parade

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In an effort to honor the Class of 2020 athletes who had their seasons cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, El Reno High School organized a nighttime parade through its sports venues. Each site turned on its lights for two hours and well-wishers drove around the sites with banners and car signs.
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Shooting the breeze

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Long before he became an All-State player at El Reno High School, Callen Haydon would spend his youth shooting countless jump shots through the Oklahoma wind in his driveway.

As fate would have it, and a never before seen COVID-19 pandemic, Haydon is once again back in his driveway shooting hoops in the state’s gusting winds.

“Just like a kid, putting up shots in the driveway. I’m trying to get some cardio going in the driveway and some shots but that’s pretty hard to do in the Oklahoma wind,” said Haydon.