MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

December 14, 2013

Cowboys’ seniors dress in different uniforms before practice

By Derek Brown

CNHI News Service

STILLWATER – Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf has kept quiet since recaliming the starting quarterback job. He broke his  silence on Friday afternoon at Boone Pickens Stadium following the Cowboys’ first bowl practice.

“It’s not a big deal to me,” Chelf said.

Chelf and the Cowboys were in control of the Big 12 conference after beating up on the No. 4 ranked Baylor Bears in Stillwater. Even then Chelf was unavailable to speak. Just two weeks later, all the Cowboys needed was a win against their in-state rival, Oklahoma. But things fell quickly when the Sooners left Stillwater with a 33-24 win. Chelf and the Cowboys felt the loss during their practice on Friday.

“We were in a little bit of a funk today. That’s understandable,” Chelf said.

Oklahoma State has until Jan. 3 to get ready for SEC opponent and former Big 12 member Missouri in the Cotton Bowl.

“We have to refocus and regroup and get ready for Missouri,” Chelf said.

Chelf is excited about playing an SEC defense in the Cowboys’ bowl game. The last time Chelf has faced an SEC defense was in Oklahoma State’s first game of the year against Mississippi State. Chelf started the game but was quickly taken out. Chelf finished the game completing 3 of 6 passes for 11 yards.

“Any time you can play an SEC team I think that’s what you want to do. They are regarded as the best conference. Getting a shot at a team that was in the conference championship is something we are excited about obviously and it’s a good challenge for us,” Chelf said.

For the senior from Enid, the Cotton Bowl will be his last game as a Cowboy.

“I haven’t really thought about it yet,” Chelf said.

Chelf was named to the All-Big 12 second-team. Oklahoma State had 11 players named to All-Big 12 teams.

“It’s exciting. That’s something that obviously at the beginning of the year you want to be on,” Chelf said. “It’s a tribute to my teammates.”

Before getting back to the practice field Friday, several Oklahoma State seniors, including Chelf, decided to take in the midnight release of ‘‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” at a local movie theater.

But they couldn’t just see the movie. They elected to have their very own Star Wars moment, and dressed as characters from the J.R.R. Tolkien novels — and sent a picture of themselves on Twitter.

“It was awesome. When we walked into the movie theater, I guess some people had seen one of us tweet it out, and people started clapping,” Chelf said. “So it was kind of fun.”

Joining in the adventure was senior linebackers Shaun Lewis and Caleb Lavey and junior offensive lineman Jake Jenkins, getting the idea from their roommate.

“It was our fourth roommate, Tanner Newby, one of my best friends from high school that lives with us,” Chelf said. “I think within the first month of first Hobbit coming out on TV, he watched it 11 times. So he’s a big Hobbit guy.

“(Dressing up) was something he wanted to do. He wanted to take Christmas pictures, as well. So if we do that, I’ll have to make sure to get them out there.”

Several of the Cowboy players truly got into the spirit, sporting wigs and beards — including Chelf wearing a long blond wig to go with a bow for the character of Legolas the Elf played by Orlando Bloom.

“I was actually the third pick. Gandalf was claimed first and then Caleb for some reason wanted to be Radagast, the other wizard. I don’t know why, Caleb’s just kind of quirky I guess,” Chelf said. “There was no question in my mind I wanted to be Legolas. I think he’s probably the coolest character, in my mind.”

As for Chelf’s assessment of the second movie in the Hobbit trilogy?

“It was awesome. It was really, really great,” Chelf said. “The ending will kind of make you mad, but I guess that’s how it goes when it’s a series of movies — they want to leave you on a cliffhanger.”

– Jason Elmquist, Stillwater NewsPress sports editor, contributed to this story.

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