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OCRA all-stars travel this weekend

OCRA all-stars travel this weekend

By Charles M. Murphy

Okeechobee News

The t-ball all stars head to Liberty County and the Dixie Boys, ages 13-14, head off to Spring Hill for the Dixie Youth baseball Florida State Tournaments this weekend.

The T-ball squad was able to raise $4,500 from the community to pay for hotel rooms in Bristol.  They will begin play with pool play on Saturday at 11:30 am against West Seminole.  They will play four games Saturday and Sunday and if they are in the top two in their pool they will play a double elimination tournament that begins Monday.

The teams in the tournament include Fort Meade, Baker County, Wesley Chapel and Okeechobee in pool one.  Pool two includes West Seminole, Shalimar, Wildwood, Marianna, and Bartow.

Okeechobee Coach Kyle Buckner said he thinks the team is prepared to compete, “We don’t know a lot about the teams but I’m excited, I feel we have a good shot.”

Buckner said last year’s champion was Sebring and Okeechobee eliminated them in the District 8 tournament last month.  He said the 2014 champion, Wesley Chapel, could be the team to beat.

“The tournament goes from year to year and from what we here there are no standout teams and its wide open,” he added.

Buckner said he really appreciated the individuals and businesses that helped raise funds for the team to travel to the tournament.  The created and sold t-shirts which included all the names of the sponsors of the team.

The Okeechobee roster includes Matthew Beville, Carson Buckner, David Busbin, Cody Clanton, Hunter Clark, Jesse Gabbard, Ruben Guerrero, Kylar Koedam, EJ McQueen, Juan Ramos, Nathan Santiago, and Kacyn Vaughn.  The Okeechobee coaches include James Beville, Bobby Koedam and Leighia Murphy.

The Dixie Boys team also has high hopes as they travel to Hernando County this weekend.  Coach Jeff Krall said the team squares off against the always tough West Volusia in the first game on Saturday which should give them a good indication on how they will fare.

Key players for the Okeechobee All-stars include James Ward, Ozzie Osceola, and Jay Krall.  The tournament is double elimination.  Krall said the team can score runs with six or seven kids capable of knocking out homerun balls.  “They have been doing well in our three weeks of practice.  We have good talent, great defense, and good pitching.  I don’t think any team should take us lightly.”

Sebring figures to be a factor in the tournament as they combined players from Avon Park and Lake Placid.

The entire team raised funds outside of Publix supermarket this past weekend.  Coach Krall said he was thrilled with the community support.  The Home Depot donated a smoker that the team raffled off to raise revenue.  “We had great support and the whole community was great,” he added.

Former OHS baseball Coach Dylan Tedders serves as Assistant Coach for the team.

The Dixie Boys earned a trip to the state tournament without a district tournament this year.

All of the action can be heard on your computer at home at

Sports Cast 7/6

Sports Cast for July 6th:

Shelby Kirton will compete in barrel racing, goat tying and pole bending at the International Youth Rodeo in Shawnee, Oklahoma next week. She said she works hard to compete on the Florida high school rodeo circuit. She started to rodeo two years ago.  Her father Dudley has been a calf roper throughout his life. Last year she was the national rodeo queen.

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She said in timed events you must practice a lot to improve Her horses are Scott and Gracie.  They also have to work hard.  Scott is 23 years and has been barrel racing and pole bending for many years. She thanked her parents and her trainer Kristen Hanchey for pushing her to improve in rodeo.

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Sports Cast 7/5

Sports Cast for July 5th:

Okeechobee Brahman boys’ basketball coach Demetre Riles said he is pleased with the 2 thousand 16 season where the team made regional for the first time in over 10 years. He said each year builds on the last and he thinks the program can take another step forward. Riles said the team’s improvement will have to come at the defensive end of the floor as he wasn’t happy with how many points opponents scored. The team also had an all-state player this year in Shaquoy Ferrol.  The team also hasn’t had an off season as they continue to play in several amateur youth basketball tournaments.

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Sports Cast 6/22

Sports Cast for June 22nd:

Sarah Davis of Okeechobee qualified to represent the United States at the World Powerlifting championships in Poland this August. Davis won the USA Powerlifting National championships junior division in Colorado this spring.

She said she really has trained hard and been determined to excel in power lifting. Davis also finished second at the USA Powerlifting Collegiate championships in Rhode Island in April.

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She said representing her country will be a great moment in her life. Davis attends Texas A&M University and is an honors student in biological and agriculture engineering.

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Sports Cast 6/21

Sports Cast for June 21st:

Okeechobee basketball players have had a busy off season with several AAU and other basketball tournaments.

Okeechobee itself hosted two tournaments that brought in teams from across Florida to our area.

Jhovani Torres coached an incoming ninth grade team over the summer. He said these tournaments not only benefit the Chobee Nation program but the community as a whole.

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Torres said the players also benefit as they have won several games against quality opposition.

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The Chobee Nation program is hosting youth basketball camps throughout the month at the Okeechobee High School gymnasium.

Sports Cast 6/20

Sports Cast for June 20th:

Jacob Myers was named the rookie of the year for the Okeechobee Brahman wrestling team this year.

The incoming sophomore said a lot of the kids deserved the award but he was glad he stuck with the sport. Myers said he was kidded for his loud noises and grunts during matches but said it may have distracted his opponents.

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He said his best match of the year was at Port St. Lucie. Myers wrestled at 106 pounds this year. He is working out in the off season with weight lifting. He said the team has the talent to be a factor again next year.

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Sports Cast 6/17

Sports Cast for June 17th:

Bubba Fludd was named defensive player of the year for Brahman boys’ basketball, he set a new school record for steals, 96 this year. He broke the school record held by his father in the early 1990s. Fludd said he liked the trophy and his role on the team

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Fludd has gotten several offers as well to play college football and has been busy visiting college campuses this summer. Fludd expects to get even more offers during his senior season and is in no rush to make a college choice.

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Sports Cast 6/16

Sports Cast for July 16th:

Yearling middle school volleyball returned to glory this year with a 9-3 record after a few down years.

The school held camps last Thursday and Friday and again today and Friday for various age groups.

Coach Kellyann Campbell said she was very excited about the camps. She said while the team lost some solid 8th graders this year, the core of the team should have some experience next year.

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Unlike basketball, volleyball will continue to compete with Indian River County schools in the fall.

Sports Cast 6/15

Sports Cast for June 15th:

Brahman cross country coach A.J Mayernik was very pleased with how the teams improved this year. The boys made it to the state finals, and the girls showed steady improvement. He said the runners are willing to put in the time, are willing to listen, and want to take the program to the next level.

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He said the boys met all of their goals. Mayernik said as a former high school state champion, it helps when he coaches and encourages the runners to do better.

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He said he is fortunate to have the talent available.

Mayernik said kids want to join a winning program and enjoy the sport of cross country.

Sports Cast 6/14

Sports Cast for June 14th:

Shaquoy Ferrol was named All State for Class 6A basketball by the Florida Athletic Coaches Association.

The 6’5 incoming senior averaged a double-double, points and rebounds, with over 18 points and 10 rebounds per game.

Ferrol said he’s glad he came to America to play basketball. Ferrol has been busy playing AAU ball throughout the summer.

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Coach Demetre Riles was proud to have a Brahman make all state in the sport.

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Chobee Nation basketball is holding basketball camps throughout the next three weeks for various age groups at Okeechobee High school.

The OCRA T-ball all stars won the district 8 tournament and have qualified for state in Bristol, Florida next month.

The team swept Sebring 29-20 and 24-23 in the tournament over the weekend.

They will be trying to raise 5 thousand dollars to make the trip to the Panhandle through a variety of fund raisers.

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