BRUIN HIGH SCHOOL
Bruin High School Program started as a result from WCSC in 1983
In January of 1983, Bartlesville High School started a soccer team as an offshoot from the Washington County Soccer Club. The Bruins were part of a 12 school soccer league in Tulsa. Jenks and Bartlesville were the only non-Tulsa teams in the league. The season was played during January and February, the year's two coldest months in the area. The team was coached by Bob Van Hover, a two-time All American at John Wesley College, and a one-time All American at Bartlesville Wesleyan College, Van Hover played goalkeeper during his college days.
Bob Van Hover works with Scott Lehman and Jackie Damrill after school.
The major problem facing this Bruin team was the lack of experience. The Tulsa teams had much more experience because they had been playing competitive soccer for quite a few years in the "classic" leagues outside of the school. The private high schools in Tulsa had been playing soccer for 10-15 years against teams from Texas.
The Bruins were in the Blue Conference of the Northeast Prep Soccer League which included the Holland Hall, Union, East Central, Hale, Kelley, Memorial, and Sand Springs.
The first Bruin team had 40 players try out for the team. Van Hover selected 21 and finally reduced that to 19. The tryouts lasted a week and were a difficult decision for Van Hover. He had to choose players coming from teams in the Washington County Soccer Club. Eligible players were from one Under-19 year old team, and from three Under-16 year old teams. Others who showed up for tryouts were also eligible. Van Hover wished he could have kept all 40 boys and has an A and a B team.
The first team consisted of four seniors (Kevin Gegrenger, Bill Miller, Toby Taylor, and Kent Vaubel), three juniors (Grant Chapman, Leo Schmidtlein, and Ken Wehmeyer), five sophomores (Brendan Blanchette, Clark DeShon, John Finno, Jim Gottardi and Scott Lehman and seven freshmen (Chris Bullen, Paul Fritsch, Kendall Lee, Charlie Sipe, Jon Waedekin, Scott Whites and John Williams).
BHS Soccer Team
Front row: Hung Bui, John Williams, Jim Gottardi, John Finno, Brian Pitaniello, Ken Wehmery and Matt McCoy.
Back row: Jackie Damrill, Leo Schmidtlein, John Waedekin, Kendall Lee, Scott Whites, Brooks Davis, Grant Chapman, Ricky Kirchner and Charlie Sipe.
Not pictured are Brenden Blanchette and Scott Lehman.
A soccer booster Club was formed to help promote and support the new Bartlesville High School soccer team. Officers were Neal Lehman, President, Wally DeShon, Vice President, Clarence Lee, Treasurer and Joe Williams Secretary.
Bartlesville's Scott Lehman dribbles past a Tulsa Central defender on his way to scoring a hat trick in 1983.
In the Bruins' second season, in 1984, the team finished the season at 6-6-1 improving on their record of 1-7 the previous year.
In 1985, Bartlesville High School soccer became a varsity sport and started playing in the Spring season, rather than the winter. Both boys and girls teams were added with the sport actually being a bit newer for the girls' team. Previously only the Green Country Soccer Association provided the leagues and that stopped at the Under-16 age for girls.
Unlike the boy's club teams which competed for the previous two years virtually as a varsity sport, there was not competition for the senior-age girls who wished to continue playing. Mary Ann Waedekin was the Lady Bruin coach. She has coached for teams in GCSA as well as for schools in Texas. Waedekin was assisted by Gloria Franks and Mary Lou Bray.
This team had to survive its first season without any school funding because the existence of the girls team was still pending at the time that the school budget was drawn up.
Bartlesville was not the only area high school to start varsity soccer in 1985. Most Tulsa schools, Ponca City, Sapulpa, Broken Arrow and Pryor were among those introducing soccer as a varsity sport in 1985. BobVan Hover, the boys coach, noted that one of his goals he had set when he graduated from Bartlesville Wesleyan College was to organize a varsity soccer team on a high school level.
When the season started, there were 40 schools divided into eight districts. The champions of round-robin district play advanced to an eight team single elimination playoff to determine the state champion.
The Lady Bruins were leagued with Washington, Bartlesville, Broken Arrow and Bixby. They ended the season at 5-5.
The Bruins were leagued with Washington, Bartlesville, Broken Arrow, Webster and Bixby. They finished the season at 4-6.
Lady Bruin Soccer - Members of the first Lady Bruin Soccer team in 1985 were:
Front row: Wendy Bray, Cindy Kinney, Wendy Miller, Tammy Dull and Dannon Earle.
Back row: Assistant Coach Gloria Franks, Amy Powell, Julie Gottardi, Wynee Warren, Assistant Coach Mary Lou Bray, Jennifer Franks, Christy Featherston, and Coach Mary Ann Waedekin.
Lady Bruin fullback, Dannon Earle (right) attempts to steal the ball from a Broken Arrow player during the 1985 season.
Bruin Soccer players work the ball against Tulsa Washington in 1985.
John Timmons took over as the Bruins soccer coach in 1991. He replaced Lonnie James.
Wendy Bray, a member of the first Lady Bruin soccer team, took over as Coach of the Lady Bruins in 1996 replacing Mary Ann Waedekin. The program has improved each year with 1997 marking another milestone with the program. This was the first year that a Junior Varsity team for the girls was created.
Ross Naylor became the Bruins coach in 2000.
Ken Copeland became the Bruins coach in 2001.
2001- Lady Bruins win their first ever playoff game against Owasso IN Owasso.
They also hosted their first playoff game by hosting Union in the second round of the playoffs. The Lady Bruins also won the State Academic Award for the second consecutive year with a combined GPA of 3.826.