Written by Corbett Smith
OSU duo does Celina proud in Fiesta Bowl
Blatnick, Lavey shine on defense, advance connection with Oklahoma State
With two of his former players on the field, Celina coach Butch Ford said that he would have been quick to watch Oklahoma State’s thrilling overtime win against Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl on Monday, if not for one small problem.
“I don’t get ESPN,” Ford said. “All I’ve got is an antenna.”
Don’t worry about Ford, though.
He got plenty of updates about how Oklahoma State starters and former Celina stars Jamie Blatnick and Caleb Lavey did in their 41-38 overtime win from the multitude of Celina faithful who have switched their allegiances — at least on Saturdays — from Bobcat Orange to OSU Orange.
“Once you get that orange in your system, it’s hard to get it out of you,” Ford said. “That might have been one of the reasons they picked there.”
Lavey said that wasn’t too far off.
“In Celina, the whole town shuts down for games, and that’s pretty much the same in Stillwater,” Lavey said.
That atmosphere was a big reason why Blatnick, a senior, chose Oklahoma State in 2007 — and inadvertently started a pipeline between the two schools.
Along with Lavey, a sophomore middle linebacker, redshirt freshman Sawyer Levit is also from Celina. Levit walked on this season.
“I chose OSU because there were a lot of people interested in making the school great,” Blatnick said. “There’s a big football emphasis from a lot of people around here, and that’s kinda like Celina. … Doing the right things, it pays off.”
Blatnick finished his college career by making the highlight reel — hurdling an attempted block to register his eighth sack of the year, a team high.
Lavey, who finished third on the team with 74 tackles, made a key stop in overtime, corralling Mansfield’s Stepfan Taylor for a 3-yard loss. Stanford missed a 43-yard field goal attempt two plays later, allowing OSU to win on a 22-yard field goal by Mansfield Summit’s Quinn Sharp.
Oklahoma State has been one of the most active recruiters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Of the 68 Texans on the OSU roster, 32 are from the D-FW area. Denton Guyer has also become a hotbed, with three signees from the Class of 2011 — J.W. Walsh, Josh Stewart and Jimmy Bean. Guyer has another pledge this season, Dominic Ramacher.
“When Coach [Mike] Gundy was in my office a few years back, he said that he wanted to start a pipeline from here,” Ford said. “We’d certainly like that; we’d like to have the guys to keep doing it.”