Tag Archives: Drovers


(Courtesy University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Sports Information. The parenthetical comments are mine alone.)

CHICKASHA – Not just one, but two USAO Drovers stood out among conference opponents as playing exceptional soccer last week — and became Sooner Athletic Conference Players of the Week.

Both Calli (“DB“) Cooper and Nikola Cakarevic (One half of Drover soccer’s “NC Hammer” duo along with Niall Crick, as readers of this blog will recall) were honored with Offensive Player of the Week. (Balladeer’s note: When Nikola scores a goal the Drover fans should chant Niiiiiiiiiiiiikolaaaaaaaaaa like in those old Ricola ads)

Calli Cooper, a sophomore from Norman, shined with back-to-back hat tricks (and hat-to-hat back tricks – rimshot) and four assists in the two games the Drovers played last week, first against the Bethel College Threshers and then the Tabor College Bluejays a few days later.

“Calli I feel is just starting to play to her potential this season,” Hampton said.

Cooper is by far the team’s leading scorer this season. She’s made more than 50 percent of her shots on goal so far in 2010, and she is eighth in the division in goals per game (1.5) and in points per game (3.83). Additionally, she’s 10th in total points with 23. She’s also ranked in the top 30 in seven other categories. (And the Top 7 in 30 other categories)

This season, Cooper has scored nine goals and had five assists.

With seven goals in two games, Cakarevic was crucial in the Drovers’ wins this week. In addition to tying his own school record with five goals in a game against Tabor College on Friday, (Five goals being more than some teams have scored so far this season) Cakarevic scored two of USAO’s three goals against Bethel College days before. He scored the team’s game-winning goal against Bethel. (Any odds on how long it will be before he marries a Spice Girl?)

He has scored 11 goals already for USAO and is third in the division in goals per game (1.67) and points per game (3.5). He’s also seventh in total goals (10) and ranked in the top 30 in four other categories. (And the Top 4 in 30 other- oh, sorry, I used that joke already)

“Nikola had a great week,” Hampton said. “He is an exceptional player, and we look forward to him continuing his success in SAC play.” (Don’t go there!)

The Drover men are undefeated (6-0) and ranked No. 10 in the country going into Tuesday’s game against conference rivals the Oklahoma City University  Stars . The women are 4-1-1 overall.

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The University of Science and Arts Of Oklahoma Drovers men’s soccer team is 4-0 and is now ranked #10 in the NAIA, the team’s highest ranking ever. This past weekend the Drovers defeated the Brescia Bearcats 3-1 and the St Thomas Celts 8-2. Nicolas “The Frenchman Freshman” Alberto (as I like to call him) has had 4 goals already on the season followed closely by the “NC Hammer” duo of Nikola Cakarevic and Niall Crick who have 3 goals each. Last year’s leading scorer David “Dr Drover” Otieno has had 2 goals and 4 assists in this young season. Goalkeeper Ryan “Force Field” Mcentee has played every minute of all 4 games so far and has allowed only 3 goals. The Drovers are the only Sooner Athletic Conference team in the NAIA Top 25 and are #1 in the conference standings.

You can’t cut it much closer than “Close Shave” Shelby Cummins did as she scored the winning goal for the Franklin and Marshall Diplomats women’s soccer team 3-2 over the Elizabethtown Blue Jays. Cummins scored the goal off an assist from “Kickin'” Carley Nicholson with just .9 of a second left in the game. The Diplomats are now 3-1 on the season. F&M had a 2-nil halftime lead which held up until the 71st minute of the game when the Blue Jays got on the board. They scored again less than 5 minutes later to knot the game up at 2 all and setting the stage for Cummins’ heroics. Diplomats goalkeeper Katie “Fort Katie” Golding had 4 saves and improved her personal record to 3-1. The ladies next play the Ursinus Bears on Sept 21st.***On the men’s side for the Diplomats Zach “Dr Z” Zamek became the all-time shutouts leader for F&M with 19 following a 3-nil win over the Lycoming Warriors. Dr Z is now tied on the all-time wins list for the Diplomats, too and can try to set the new wins record on the 19th against the Muhlenberg Mules.

For the 2nd straight week, Saint Xavier Cougars’ goalkeeper “Wild” Kyle Held has been “held” over as the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Defensive Player Of The Week. Wild Kyle had 8 saves in SXU‘s only game of the week, a 2-nil victory over the Goshen Maple Leafs. Held has had 26 saves and 2 shutouts for the season. He has a Goals Against Average of just .82 per game and the Cougars are 3-2 overall. SXU opens conference play this Friday on the road against the Saint Francis (IN) Cougars.

The Johns Hopkins Blue Jays women’s soccer team shut out the Stevenson Mustangs 2- nil this afternoon at Caves Athletic Complex. Sarah “The Sentinel” Gieszl scored her 1st career goal and “Power Puff” Pamela Vranis had the other JHU goal plus an assist. The Blue Jays have now posted back-to-back shutouts and at 5-1 are ranked 8th in the D3 women’s soccer poll. With the loss the Stevenson Mustangs drop to 3-3.

 The St Ambrose Fighting Bees men’s soccer team won in overtime against the St Francis (IL) Fighting Saints 2-1 at the Davenport Soccer Complex. The Fighting Bees went into halftime leading 1-nil on a KEndrick Tyson goal but gave up the tying goal in the 2nd half. St Ambrose goalie “Mighty” Matt Tucker had 5 furious saves in the 2nd half which kept the FIghting Bees’ hopes alive. Wes Erickson fulfilled those hopes 4 minutes and 6 seconds into OT by slamming home the winning goal for the home team.

Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams for the Lincoln Memorial University Railsplitters registered wins today! The Lady Railsplitters improved their record to 4-0 with a road win over the King College Tornado (singular) by a score of 2-nil. Sarah “The Midfield Maniac” Taylor had both LMU goals, one in the 25th minute off an assist from Becky “Tigress” Thompson and the other barely 11 minutes later off an assist from “Lethal” Leslie Wilson. 3 of the ladies’ team’s 4 wins have been shutouts. ***The men’s Railsplitters team beat out their counterparts from King College 1-nil to move to 3-0 on the season. Just like the ladies’ team all but 1 of their wins have been shutouts. “Gentleman” Jimmy Vandenhurk scored the lone goal of the match 5 minutes in off an assist from Mackenzie “Aces” Wilde. Railsplitters goalkeeper Michael “Brick Wall” Watkins then did his part by crushing every Tornado scoring attempt.

Kelly “Sunstorm” Sunstrom propeled the Alverno Inferno soccer team to a 1-nil victory over the Robert Morris (IL) Eagles today. Sunstrom scored in the 80th minute off an assist from “Kosho” Kelsey Koshanowski (Fans of The Prisoner will get it). It was Sunstorm’s 1st goal of the season and Kosho’s 2nd assist. The Inferno are now 3-0 and will try to burn the feathers off another Eagles team this Saturday at Wisconsin-Lacrosse.


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I know David Beckham had just gotten the surprise of his life but when I spotted him I recognized an opportunity for an exclusive interview. I was determined to get his views on the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Drovers soccer program. I cornered him and his wife and after making a few sympathetic noises about what had just happened to him I rolled into interview mode: 
“So, David'” I began, “What are your views on the USAO Drovers men’s soccer team being picked to win the Sooner Athletic Conference this year?”
“What?…Who are you?” he asked. “Blimey” he added emphatically.
“Well, Dave…Can I call you ‘Dave’? They are after all the defending conference champions and went 17-2-1 overall and 8-0-1 in conference play last season.” 
“Why,” Beckham stated, tentatively,”I can’t believe you’re bothering me with this after what just happened to me.”
“If you were wondering, Dave, the placement in that preseason poll is determined by the coaches’ votes.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Were you pleased by men’s head coach Jimmy Hampton saying ‘…Preseason polls won’t win games. We are…focusing on working hard and competing hard, in order to represent USAO in the best manner we can'”?”
 “That’s fine, but…”
“And don’t forget the Drover women, Dave,” I continued, “They should be conference contenders, too, having finished third in the women’s preseason poll. They went 13-6 last year, 7-4 in the conference and they bring back the same talent from last year, but with a bit more maturity and experience.”
“What does any of this have to do with me?” Beckham said, irritably, but I was rolling.
“The Drover women play a scrimmage against Northern Junior College on August 24th and the men kick off their regular season August 31st against Hillsdale College. Isn’t that right, Dave.”
“I…I guess so.”
And that wrapped up my exclusive interview with David (“Dave” to close friends like me) Beckham on the state of Drovers soccer. Now I just have to sit back and wait to hear from the Pulitzer Committee.
To read my interview with Posh Spice about her views on Non-Euclidian Geometry click here: http://www.usao.edu/usao-sports/
For more USAO Drovers stories click the links below:

Balladeer’s Blog is not affiliated with or operated by the NAIA or the NCAA or any of their member institutions. 

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Filed under college sports, humor



Jacob Crase signs his letter of intent to play for USAO surrounded by his family and USAO coaches at the USAO Fieldhouse in Chickasha.


Dateline Chickaska, OK   The sports media was out in full force to cover the baseball world’s latest big event. While many other reporters were covering some little-known slugger named Rodriguez getting his 60th or 70th homerun or something like that those of us with a real nose for news were in Chickasha to get the lowdown on a real sports story. 

“Joltin'” Jacob Crase, an 18 year old pitcher for Moore High School signed his letter of intent this week to play for the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Drovers.  In high school Crase pitched an ERA of 3.22. The six-foot five freshman will serve as both a pitcher and first baseman for the Drovers baseball team. I muscled my way to the front of the enormous crowd of reporters and asked why he couldn’t also play pitcher and first baseman for the Drovers basketball team but Crase just said “Next question, please.”

Smelling a cover-up I hammered the young man with another hard-hitting question:

“What made you decide to sign with USAO?”

Crase replied that it was because of the baseball program and the school’s good selection of classes. Sensing that I now had him on the run I pressed my advantage with another probing query:

“What will you be majoring in? And do you really expect America’s  disillusioned baseball fans to believe your answer?”

Jacob anwered the first question by saying he planned to major in business administration. He ignored the second question, leading me to believe I was getting into a very sensitive area. Like the journalistic equivalent of a shark I moved in for the kill with an explosive tidbit my research had provided me with:

“Is there any truth to the rumor that you are the son of Eddie and Diana Crase of Moore?”

Jacob cleared his throat, stared defiantly back at me and gave his answer:

“Yes”, he said. 

Next thing I knew every other reporter there was racing out of the room to phone  their papers about this bombshell I had just dropped in their laps. As for me, I had what we in the business call a money quote (“Yes”) and was content with another job well done. 

To read the full story on this whole “Jacob Crase is Eddie and Diana’s son” expose click here: http://www.usao.edu/usao-sports/

Balladeer’s Blog is not affiliated with or operated by the NAIA or any member institutions. 
© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Filed under College Baseball



Tashina Ototivo, a two-sport student at the University Of Science And Arts Of Oklahoma (or “USAO”) has been awarded the Bill and Pat Smith Scholar-Athlete Scholarship (or “BAPSSAS”). That scholarship is awarded for both the recipient’s academics as well as their athletic performance. It’s difficult to think of a more deserving candidate since this sophomore is basically the definition of a student athlete. Unlike another well-known sports figure whose initials are T.O. Tashina is the ideal role model for young women and men everywhere and is pretty much a paragon-at-large on the USAO campus.
As well as playing for the USAO Drovers basketball and softball teams, she was President of her freshman class last year and has a 3.74 grade-point average. This music major from Walters, OK probably also knows how to deal with the Gulf oil leak, too, if only someone would ask her.  
Ototivo was nominated by three faculty members including her basketball coach, Laci Tompkins.
“Tashina is one of those rare individuals that stand head and shoulders above the rest. This girl has the world by the tail,” Tompkins wrote in her nomination. “One cannot go wrong with her. This would be an investment.”
Dr Ken Bohannon’s nomination of Tashina read in part, “(She’s a) very good academic student. Her personality and work ethic are outstanding.”
When I reached myself for comment I replied “No doubt about it! Tashina Ototivo puts the “sass” in BAPSSAS.” 
Tashina herself was ecstatic.
“I was very excited and erupted with joy,” Ototivo said, “Money is hard to come by in college, especially playing two sports, and being honored with an award for sports and academics is a huge blessing. I think this is just another thing that will encourage me to strive to be a good example and the person that God wants me to be.”
Ototivo further stated that the scholarship has only encouraged her to work harder and keep her grades up.
“I’m thankful that my teachers have recognized the work I put into my academics as well as my athletics. I pray that I will continue to impress them with my hard work.”
The scholarship is traditionally given to one sophomore or junior student athlete who best reflects USAO’s creed: Physical, Spiritual, Mental, Social. After Tashina was chosen, long-time Drover supporter Bill Smith offered a matching scholarship. The University’s committee will choose a male recipient next week.
For streaming video of Tashina Ototivo rescuing puppies from a fire while simultaneously composing music and performing surgery click here: http://www.usao.edu/usao-sports/

Balladeer’s Blog is not affiliated with or operated by the NAIA or any member institutions.

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Filed under College Basketball