Sports

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Goucher joins list of El Reno All-Staters

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Growing up as a football ball boy, Rafe Goucher watched many talented El Reno High School athletes earn the highest honor handed out to prep players in Oklahoma – All-State laurels.

It drove him to become one of the program’s better two-way linemen in school history and eventually earn him the chance to don the coveted blue and yellow jacket reserved for those selected as All-Staters by the Oklahoma Coaches Association.

Fishing Report - July 29

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Texoma:
Lake level normal. Water temperature 80 degrees.

Striped bass good on Alabama rig, hair jigs, live shad, sassy shad, top water.
Catfish fair on chicken liver, punch bait, shad.
Crappie fair on hair jigs, minnows.

Fishing is good early mornings and anglers should use top water lures when surface feeding is present and transfer to slabs and down rigging umbrella rigs as the morning
progresses. Top water action has been good on the Denison Dam. Channel cat are being caught on baited holes in shallow water.

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From the sidelines: Hill makes Major League Baseball debut

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El Reno native Cameron Hill made his Major League Baseball debut Sunday afternoon, retiring the side in the top of the ninth inning to preserve the Cleveland Indians 9-2 win over Kansas City.

In the process, Hill recorded his first MLB strikeout to end the game, getting Royals left-hander Erick Mejia to chase an 83-mph slider in the top of the zone. Hill threw 10 pitches in the debut, six of those strikes.

“Game doesn’t change, only the person playing it,” said Hill after the game.

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Gliding across the waves

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Either on the 660-foot shortened course or the full 1,000-foot tracks, the 2020 Smoke on the Water Drag Boat Races produced some of the fastest speeds on Lake El Reno since the event moved here seven years ago.

“Without timing lights I would guess they were hitting well over 150 miles per hour in the Unlimited Top Fuel. That’s some of the biggest speeds we have ever had,” said co-organizer Josh Finnigan.

High winds on the lake forced day one racing to be delayed over an hour and the course shortened to 660 feet.

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El Reno softball remains locked out due to virus

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While band and volleyball began preseason work last week, El Reno High School’s softball program remains closed due to complications with COVID-19.

“Softball will be shut down until Monday (July 27) because we had a second player test positive.

“They have not been together out there since July 13 and that gives us two weeks that the facility has been locked up,” said El Reno Athletic Director Rodney Haydon.

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Volleyball opens

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El Reno High School’s volleyball team kicked off preseason workouts last week at the Jenks Simmons Field House Annex. Head coach Kristen Koehler said her varsity players self-quarantined for two weeks prior to starting drills to ensure they were not exposed to the COVID-19 virus. “We wanted to make sure we could get started,” said Koehler. The Indians are set to have a preseason scrimmage Aug. 4 and open the season Aug. 10.

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Smoke on the Water draws fans, drivers

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After overcoming planning hiccups associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers of the 2020 Smoke on the Water Drag Boat Races had to deal with the queen of all elements – Mother Nature.

“She seems to always want to rear her head and let us know she is in charge,” said co-organizer Josh Finnigan.

The first day of racing was delayed more than an hour by high winds on Lake El Reno, which forced race officials to trim down the length of the course.

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COVID-19 shuts down EHS softball

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Just one day after having her program shut down temporarily due to a positive COVID-19 player test, El Reno High School head softball coach Kylee Webb says reopening steps are well under way.

“The majority of the team has gotten tested but we don’t have any results back yet. As far as I know they all went to an urgent care or somewhere to get it (test) covered by insurance. I don't know how many went and got the rapid test,” said Webb.

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Throttle down for SOTW

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While they were held at the starting line due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Smoke on the Water organizers have been throttled down for the past month as the 2020 races will take place as scheduled.

Set for July 17-19 at Lake El Reno, the drag boat racing event was in jeopardy for just the second time in its 20 years of existence. This year’s races mark the seventh year to be held in El Reno after moving from Fort Cobb Lake.