HENDERSON: Biggest storylines heading into 2019-20 OSU seasons

Jimmy Gillispie/Stillwater News Press Oklahoma State quarterbacks laugh with each other and fans during Saturday's Fan Appreciation Day event in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Just as soon as the summer break started, a fresh year of Oklahoma State sports is upon us.

This year comes with different layers from previous years, as many teams went through a lot of changes in the offseason, and many will have to evolve with new personnel.

There is a lot to look forward to from the Cowboys and Cowgirls this year, and here are my top OSU sports storylines I’m excited to see play out in the coming months.

Quarterback battle

This might be the easiest choice on the list.

Any time there is a sense of uncertainty, especially at the most important position in football, there is intrigue. Add in the fact that neither Dru Brown nor Spencer Sanders has thrown a pass in an OSU jersey during a regular season game, and the factor of the unknown only increases.

There are many ways this can go. One of the two might win the job before the season or in the first game and be the starter the rest of the season. They might split starts throughout the season. Or who knows, we might see Brendan Costello start if both Brown and Sanders flame out.

With Gundy’s vagueness on who has the edge in the race, OSU fans might as well draw names out of a hat to guess who will be under center for the first snap against Oregon State.

The success of the football team depends on this battle working out, which makes it one of the most interesting plot line going into the fall.

How Boynton’s recruits will fare

I don’t think I have ever seen as much excitement for a team coming off of a 12-20 season.

Credit Mike Boynton, for his national top-25 recruiting class is bringing in high expectations.

The group includes a quartet of four-star players in Marcus Watson, Avery Anderson, Kalib Boone and Chris Harris Jr. Keylan Boone and Netherlands native Hidde Roessink round out the first-year commits. Jonathan Laurent, a graduate transfer from the University of Massachusetts, will spend his final year of eligibility with the Cowboys.

It is a group that brings in a variety of skills, as well as depth that OSU did not have a year ago.

The novelty of seeing the new players in Cowboy jerseys will wear off after a while, though, and that is when the real storyline kicks in.

It will be interesting to see how well the young guys acclimate themselves to the college game. The speed of their adjustment will determine if the Cowboys can sneak into an NCAA Tournament bid for the first time since 2017.

With help from veterans Cameron McGriff, Lindy Waters and Thomas Dziagwa, the new players will have the setup to be successful, but it is just a matter if they can do it quick enough.

This could be the start of something great, which makes for a great time to be a Cowboy fan.

Was last year a fluke or the start of something great for OSU softball?

After losing to Washington 1-0 in the Women’s College World Series in June, Kenny Gajewski told his team in the locker room that the 2019 season was the beginning of a special run for OSU softball.

It sounded like a speech out of a movie, but many of the lines are still yet to be written for the new-age Cowgirls.

Samantha Show was the heart of the team, and she is now playing professionally. Rylee Bayless, Taylor Lynch and Madi Sue Montgomery graduated.

A couple of transfers have come in, but to count on the production that the seniors from last year have left behind is a lot to ask. The dynamic of the team might never be the same.

With all of the personnel changes, the dilemma facing the Cowgirls will be having to prove that 2019 wasn’t a fluke and that OSU softball can carve its name into the top-tier club.

It will be hard, but for Gajewski, it will come down to if he will rebuild or reload.

There will be no shortage of things to look forward to with OSU athletics this upcoming year. Some will be harder to go through than others as a fan, but that is life. Get ready, for the college sports craziness is about to resume.

Sam Henderson is a contributor for the Stillwater News Press and is heading into his junior year at Oklahoma State University.