THUMBS UP

Thumbs up for NOC Enid’s Raydon Leaton being named the NJCAA Division II Coach of the Year.

The American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) released the 2019 ABCA/Diamond National Coaches of the Year list and recently awarded Leaton the title.

“Coach Leaton has consistently led a program of academic and athletic excellence,” NOC athletic director Jeremy Hise said. “We are fortunate to have him at NOC and in our community. Coach Leaton is very deserving of this award.”

The recognition is just one of the several highlights Leaton and the Jets baseball club received this past season. The biggest highlight, of course, was winning the NJCAA Division II World Series on May 31 at David Allen Memorial Ballpark. The Jets capped a 42-18 season with a 5-4 defeat of Mesa Community College (Ariz.) in the national championship game.

Time and again, Coach Leaton’s told his players that any time the team achieves a high level of success, the individual accolades are sure to follow. The same is no different when it comes to the recognition a coach receives.

THUMBS DOWN

Thumbs down to Oklahoma’s air quality reportedly dipping after several years of gains.

New Environmental Protection Agency data shows air quality throughout most of the state declined during the past two years, bucking a trend in which Oklahoma saw significant strides in healthier air during the past decade.

In the 13 Oklahoma cities with monitoring stations, air quality was classified as “good” in 78% of days in 2018, according to an Oklahoma Watch analysis of the federal statistics.

That’s down from a record high of 83% in 2016.

Besides man-made pollutants, experts caution many factors — temperature, drought and wildfires — can affect Oklahoma’s air quality.

More data is required to determine if the air quality decline is an actual trend or not.

THUMBS UP

More thumbs up for the Rev. Alex Kroll for being ordained recently to serve as an associate pastor at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Edmond.

Kroll, who was raised in Enid, was ordained into the Catholic priesthood at Norman’s St. Mark Catholic Church.

Kroll studied for nine years in preparation for his ordination — four years at Conception Seminary College in Conception, Mo., and five years at Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver.

We wish this young priest the best of luck!

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