Local state champion coaches speaking in Tulsa
What's the old saying, "to the victor go the spoils?"
Well, that's just what is happening to local coaches Brett Manning and Bruce Harrington after leading their teams to state titles in the two most popular sports, football and basketball.
Manning led the MacArthur football team to the Class 5A state title in December, then in March, Harrington led the Eisenhower basketball team to the Class 5A state basketball crown. Now both have been invited to be speakers at the Oklahoma Coaches Association Convention later this month in Tulsa.
Manning is expected to speak about the Mac spread offense that he and his assistants improved and tweaked from the older version of the "pop offense" they used to perfection for several years. Manning's goal each week is to spread defenses and make them cover the entire field and he has the proof that it is indeed possible.
Several years ago the Highlanders gambled on a first-and-10 from their own 1-yard-line and completed a 99-yard touchdown pass in one impressive victory. That "keep-them-on-their-toes" philosophy has worked very well for Mac and I'm sure young coaches will enjoy hearing Manning share his knowledge at the convention.
For Harrington, he will probably be asked to share the secrets of his trademark half-court trap that has become a defensive staple for Ike teams under his tutelage. These two great friends deserve this honor and I'm sure they will offer information in an entertaining manner that will keep the room packed.
And speaking of coaches, Lawton Public Schools continue to have some changes among the coaching ranks at all levels. We recently learned of the resignation of Lawton High School softball coach Kyle Brierton, who will no longer coach but continue to teach. Brierton built a business in the past year Twisted Taco and we've heard from several friends that it is tough to teach, coach and run a business at the same time, so he had to reluctantly step down. Coach Brierton was always very helpful to the Constitution staff and we appreciate what he did to make our jobs a little easier.
It appears that several candidates have been interviewed and reportedly a choice has been made. However, that choice will have to go before the Board of Education and according to our records the next meeting will be July 16, which is when practice should be starting. So, it seems imperative for that hire to be made before mid-July, which would necessitate a special meeting. If we hear about any action on this job we will share it with you as soon as possible.
Word has also come across the desk that the board will also be approving two new assistant football coaches for Eisenhower High School. And, currently LPS Athletic Director Mike Moore is conducting a search for both a head and assistant swimming coach for the three city teams. He's hoping to present that hire to the board as soon as possible as well.
Waiting for activity at Cameron
Every time we drive down West Gore Boulevard we check out the Cameron University golf practice area hoping to see signs of construction at the new Terry Bell Golf Center, however, as of yesterday there still was nothing new to report.
The Terry Bell Trust donated $250,000 last spring to build the facility and everyone hoped that it would be ready before next spring. However, that doesn't appear like it will happen. From what we're hearing the plans are sitting at some state office waiting for final approval before construction can begin.
Our state is always anxious to have donations for our state colleges and universities and when somebody makes a sizeable donation like the Bell Trust, every effort should be made at the state level to get the project moving along as fast as possible as a sign of good faith.
Hopefully we will soon be able to report that a dozer or grader is out there moving soil.
Evans continues to shine for USA
The more we hear about incoming Oklahoma State University freshman basketball prospect Jawun Evans, the more we like this young man's game.
Tuesday Evans and the USA Basketball team cruised to a 92-50 win over Egypt, which clinched the top spot in Group A at the FIBA U-19 World Championships.
Evans hit both the shots he launched from the field for four points, with one bucket coming after a mid-court steal that led to an easy layup. He also tallied three assists.
Today the USA (3-0) will enter the first round of knockout play, where it will face Argentina (0-3). After a rest day on Thursday, the tournament picks up Friday, Saturday and Sunday with the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, respectively.
The USA is hoping to win back-to-back FIBA World Championships for the first time since winning gold in 1979 and 1983. Cowboy Matt Clark was a member of that 1979 squad, while Marcus Smart won gold with the 2013 team.
WOSC rodeo team sixth in nation
The Western Oklahoma State College rodeo team had just four qualifiers for the College National Finals Rodeo but those four performed well enough to capture sixth in the team competition at the elite event in Casper, Wyo.
The four-man team of Jacob Edler, Hunter Munsell, Douglas Rich, and Bryson Sechrist competed against contestants from more than 150 university and college teams from across the country. And the lofty finish represented the highest national team ranking Coach Guy Smith has achieved in his eight-year tenure at WOSC.