The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

April 21, 2013

Chisholm sports gaining respect

By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Chisholm received an “A’’ in the controversial A-F grading system from the state — one of the few schools in the area to do so.

The respect Chisholm has in academics has carried over into athletics.

Take last week and this week. Chisholm has almost been the center of high school sports in the area because of its facilities and support staff.

The Longhorns hosted a district softball tournament Thursday and will host a district baseball and regional track meet this week.

The school has hosted the regional cross country meet at Crosslin Park the last 15 years and was the site of the 2A regional basketball tournament, a rarity for a 3A school. The two-year old indoor facility also was the home of not only Chisholm’s invitational powerlifting meet, but the regional as well, bringing in lifters from I-35 and I-40.

“They (Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association) know we will do a good job,’’ said Chisholm athletic director Joe Spurlock.

It’s not by accident.

Spurlock will have at least 40 volunteers working the track meet Saturday. There will be five computers going in the press box to assure a smooth-flowing meet. Work getting the computers ready starts today.

“We have good help,’’ Spurlock said. “The meets go on time and we get it done when we’re supposed to.We want to make sure everyone has a good time.’’

The three-year-old track was part of a $400,000 bond issue. Chisholm previously was virtually without facilities. The cost included pole vault, high jump and long jump pits, hurdles and a timing system. It’s been a good investment. Chisholm hosts up to six events, including two high school meets. The all-weather track gives more flexibility to practices than when Chisholm ran on the dirt outside the football field.

Instead of having to go to  Luther for a regional, they are at home.

“There are a lot more people wanting to come out for track now,’’ Spurlock said.

Chisholm’s indoor facility has benefited almost every sport. Its weight room is double the size of the weight room located in Paul Outhier Fieldhouse.

A indoor baseball practice area is one of the reasons why a once-struggling Longhorn program now is in the top 20.

When it’s cold, players can take batting practice inside.

“We have gotten better in every sport because of it,’’ Spurlock said.

The middle school gym, built four years ago, has eased the congestion problems at practices.  Chisholm was able to use both gyms for a seventh-grade tournament.

The baseball and softball fields both have undergone improvements. There are no weeds on the field. The coaches have done a good job in keeping the fields in shape, making CHS an ideal spot for regionals.

Outhier Fieldhouse, built about 30 years ago, has been maybe the wisest of investments.

CHS athletics is self-supporting, Spurlock said. It doesn’t have to take money from the general fund to survive. Spurlock said boosters have been generous with financial support also.

“I appreciate everything the booster club does,’’ Spurlock said. “We put a lot of pressure on them when we have all of this stuff. It takes everybody working hard for it to be successful.’’

The facilities not only save the district money from not having to travel as much, but benefit Enid as well.

Chisholm already has been named a regional site for next year’s cross country championships.

“Our reputation gets out there,’’ Spurlock said. “We do the best we can in whatever we do.’’

Give them another A.

Campbell is a News & Eagle sports writer.