Cameron closing book on 2017-18 season
After a busy season of athletic competition, Cameron University concluded the school year recently with the Annual Aggie Open golf scramble at the Lawton Country Club and nearly 20 teams competed and helped raise money for the various programs at the school.
It's been a good season for Cameron in that several programs competed in the NCAA playoffs and others made serious strides toward that goal next year.
To compete in NCAA Division II and the Lone Star Conference, it takes a good deal of financial support and the Aggie Open is the biggest fund-raiser of the year. After all the bills are paid, we will track down Athletic Director Jim Jackson and get an update on the final numbers in addition to comments about what the future holds for the ever-growing conference that will hit 19 members in the fall of 2019.
The LSC Council of Presidents voted unanimously last summer to offer full membership to the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, Dallas Baptist University, Lubbock Christian University, Oklahoma Christian University, Rogers State University, St. Edward's University, St. Mary's University, and Texas A&M International University.
Most of those trips are nothing new to the Cameron athletic teams but the benefit of having Oklahoma Christian in the conference will give the Aggies one more good league rivalry to go along with Midwestern.
Rogers State is another school that Cameron teams have played in the future and while it's not as close at Oklahoma Christian, it will still be an easier drove for CU teams.
Here's the deal, with 19 members, the LSC will become the biggest conference in NCAA Division II. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
There has been talk of two divisions but since none of the three Oklahoma schools have football, that sport may stick with one division. That might be another good question to share with Jackson.
The LSC Commissioner, Jay Poerner, thinks the additions will be a good thing, though.
"This is an exciting time for the Lone Star Conference. The addition of these eight schools makes the LSC the largest and most dynamic conference in NCAA Division II. These 19 institutions will represent the very best in Division II through a shared commitment to excellence in academics, athletics and student-athlete development," Poerner said. "I am thankful to the leadership of the LSC Council of Presidents for its guidance in leading this expansion effort."
Oklahoma Christian has a smaller enrollment of 2,600 students but the Eagles sponsor 16 NCAA Division II sports (men's and women's soccer, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, men's and women's indoor and outdoor track and field, men's and women's swimming).
Rogers State, which is located in Claremore, has an enrollment of 3,889 students. The Hillcats sponsor 14 NCAA Division II sports (men's and women's soccer, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, men's and women's indoor and outdoor track and field).
Currently the Lone Star conducts conference championships in 17 sports (eight men and nine women). Men's championships include football, cross country, basketball, baseball, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, golf and tennis. Women's titles are determined in volleyball, soccer, cross country, basketball, softball, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, tennis and golf.
Cameron added women's cross county and men's and women's track in the past two years and is slowly building those programs.
Softball signs another pitcher
Cameron softball coach Dennis Furr has landed the signature of another top state pitcher, Yukon High's Breley Webb.
The good thing about Webb is she is not only an All-State pick, she's also a lefty and that will give the veteran coach more options in the future.
Webb went 19-2 in the circle with a 2.20 ERA, however, she's also very much at home with a bat as she hit .432 with two homers as a senior. Those statistics earned her a spot on the Oklahoma Large School West All-State team in the fall of 2017.
Webb has been a four year starter at Yukon High School and was also named a 6A Division All-District and All-Conference pitcher in 2016.
During the summer she played for the Oklahoma Exclusive traveling team, where she put together a pair of solid seasons with ERA of under 2.5 and more than 55 strikeouts in both 2015 and 2016. She also hit more than .380 both years with a total of eight homers and 33 RBI.
Webb will be joining an already impressive pitching staff comprised of two All-LSC selections Rylee Willmon and Bethany Hines who that led CU to a 32-20 record and the South Central Regional 2 Final in 2018. The Aggie arms posted a 2.74 ERA with 243 total strikeouts and a .269 opponents' batting average. Cameron also set a program record with 12 shutouts this past season.