Kinta, OK 74552
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| Ben Johnson
State tournament wrestling is this weekend, and small school basketball teams will be punching their tickets to the state tournament in area tournament play.
Listen in as we break it all down for you.
| Ben Johnson
Fort Coffee is headed for the big stage.
Wait, Fort Coffee? Where is that? Is it in Oklahoma?
It’s a town that might go unrecognized, outside of severe weather coverage in Oklahoma, but Fort Coffee sits in the Arkansas River bend near Skullyville and northeast of Spiro. Just find LeFlore County in far eastern Oklahoma, and it sits at the very northern tip of the county.
It’s where McKinley Whitfield has called home all his life.
Now Whitfield will fly the Fort Coffee flag proudly when he attends New York Giants mini camp.
“It means everything in the world to me to represent Spiro and Fort Coffee,” said Whitfield, a former standout at Spiro High School before playing college football at the University of Tulsa.
“I grew up there my whole life, and I just try my best to be a inspiration to all the younger kids there.”
Whitfield, measuring at 6 feet, 3 inches and 217 pounds, knows professional athletic endeavors don’t come along often for those growing up in Fort Coffee.
“Not many people from the area get changes like these,” he said, “so it’s a blessing.”
Whitfield, a safety by trade, recently watched the NFL Draft intently, hoping for his name to appear in the later rounds. But all seven rounds breezed by, despite a few draft boards mentioning Whitfield as a possible late-round candidate.
“It was very frustrating,” said Whitfield, who logged 264 tackles and 19 pass breakups during his collegiate career. “Everybody was thinking that I was going to get drafted, so I didn’t want to let anybody down. I just tried to keep myself busy during the whole process and be around my family.”
It didn’t take long for Whitefield to draw an invitation to New York’s minicamp, which begins this weekend.
“It feels good getting a chance to go play at the next level,” said Whitfield, who nabbed four interceptions while at Tulsa. “Of course I would rather have gotten drafted or a free agent deal, but it’s just more motivation for me.
Whitfield joins four other TU players as mini camp invitees. Justin Hobbs and Willie Wright will work out for the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns, respectively, and two other in-state talents, Tyler Bowling (Yukon) and Chandler Miller (Bixby), will try to earn a spot with the Atlanta Falcons.
Leading up to the draft, Whitfield never had much interaction with the Giants, chatting with the organization once while at a senior event in Texas. But now he gets a chance to prove Fort Coffee belongs in the NFL.
“I’ve always been a hard worker since I was a kid,” Whitfield said. “That definitely isn’t going to stop now.”
*Photo credit: University of Tulsa
| Ben Johnson
Medals and trophies have been handed out to wrestlers across the state. Now it’s time for basketball teams to start claiming hardware.
Ben and Michael dive into Class A & B state basketball tournaments on tap this week, and they guys also make their predictions in each class.
Ben breaks down what happened at the state wrestling tournament and some of the various highlights along the way.
Also added a new segment where the guys named their MVPs of the week. Listen in and find out who they dubbed as last week’s MVPs.
All that leading up to Michael's interview with Okarche coach Ray West. You don't want to miss what West had to say.
Thanks for listening & enjoy!
Have any feedback? Email the show at email@example.com
| Michael Swisher
Five coaches with nearly 200 years experience and more than 3,800 victories make up the 2021 class of the Oklahoma Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
The five – Larry Callison, Dan Hays, David Page, Bob Weckstein and the late Ray West – will be inducted during a luncheon in Edmond on June 5. Tim Bart, director of the OBCA Hall of Fame, revealed the roster of honorees this week.
The OBCA was formed in 1967 and the inaugural Hall of Fame induction was in 2002. The 2021 class brings the total of honorees to 115.
Ticket information and reservations may be obtained through Coach Bob Hoffman, University of Central Oklahoma, 580.478.9186 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2021 Hall of Fame selections:
Larry Callison. Coached boys and girls basketball during a 40-year career. Won state championships with boys at Ketchum (1995) and girls at Tahlequah Sequoyah (2015, ’17, ’18) and had three runners-up. Overall coaching record: 900-224 (552-117 in boys, 348-107 in girls), retiring in 2019. Coaching stops: Gore (1977-85), Ketchum (1985-97, 2010-12), Vian (1997-99), Stilwell (1999-01, 2005-06), Eufaula (2001-03, 2006-08), Boynton (2003-05), Tahlequah Sequoyah (2013-19). Member of Oklahoma Coaches Association and Oklahoma Girls Basketball Coaches Association halls of fame.
Dan Hays. During a 38-year collegiate career, compiled record of 724-470 at Northwestern Oklahoma State (five seasons, 71-68 record) and Oklahoma Christian University (33 seasons, 653-402). Holds record for most wins by men’s basketball coach at a four-year Oklahoma college. Spent three years as assistant at Southeastern Oklahoma State. Product of Albuquerque, N.M. Inducted into NAIA Hall of Fame, 1998.
David Page. 39 years as coach (36 as head coach). Ranks fifth all time among Oklahoma prep boys basketball coaches with 744 victories. Coached at Blackwell (1980-90), Hominy (1990-98), Yale (1998-2004), Pawnee (2004-current). Won state championships at Yale (1999, 2000) and Pawnee (2005, ’08-09-10) with two runner-up finishes. Product of Oklahoma’s cradle of coaches, Cleveland. Member of Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Bob Weckstein. Began coaching career with baseball (seven seasons) and girls basketball (four seasons) at Okarche before hitting his stride in boys basketball at Frontier in 1989. Has won six state championships at Frontier, the consolidated Red Rock-Marland schools, with a record of 650-240. Recently retired as superintendent at Frontier, but will remain as the head coach. Played for OBCA Hall of Fame coach J.V. Haney.
Ray West. Died in 2019 while in 45th year as head coach. Ranks No. 2 all-time among Oklahoma boys basketball coaches with record of 853-391. Coaching stops: Fort Supply (1974-76), Gould (1976-77), Purcell (1977-78), Mountain View (1978-81), Mustang (1981-82), Cordell (1982-94), Okarche (1994-2019). President of OBCA 1992-93. Will be inducted into Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame in July.
| Michael Swisher
Little did Fletcher Reed know that when he was coaching Snyder in the state basketball semifinals, he was also taking part in a job interview of sorts.
Reed on Wednesday night was named the new boys basketball coach at Garber High School when that district’s board of education unanimously approved the move.
He takes over for Will Jones, who coached the program for four seasons.
His tenure culminated with the 2020 Class A state championship and a runner-up trophy in 2021.
Jones, also Garber’s superintendent, stepped down from his basketball job shortly after the season ended and Reed was someone he had his mind on to take his place.
And it was mostly from what he witnessed a couple weeks prior at The Big House.
“I didn’t know much about him before the season,” Jones admits about Reed.
For good reason.
Reed was just in his second year as head coach at Snyder. Prior to that, he spent one season as a graduate assistant at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
In the high school coaching landscape, he was still getting his feet wet.
“Then I started hearing some rumbles about maybe Snyder being a contender from down in that part of the state,” Jones added.
Snyder finished the regular season 14-2 and was ranked 11th.
The playoffs hit and, in the regional, the Cyclones beat No. 7 Caddo.
In the area final, they were even more impressive as they handily beat No. 1 Fort Cobb-Broxton to earn their first trip to state since 2015.
“When I saw they beat Fort Cobb, I thought, ‘OK, there’s another bully on the block now’ and I really perked up,” Jones said.
He got some film on Snyder and was immediately struck by what he saw.
“I loved the edge his team played with,” Jones said. “They came out swinging every night.”
As Jones was coaching Garber through the Class A state bracket, he spent his time scouting future foes.
That included the semifinal matchup between Snyder and Hydro-Eakly.
Hydro-Eakly won - just as it did the next night against Garber - but not without being taken into overtime.
Jones was sold by what he saw on the court and on Snyder’s sideline.
“There was this really well-dressed, young guy,” Jones said. “But beneath that surface of those nice clothes was a fighter.
“He’s a young coach, but he doesn’t coach young.”
A Hobart native, Reed said he struggled with the choice to leave Snyder, but called Garber “the right fit.”
“Just watching Garber the last two or three years and seeing how they compete at a high level every night really intrigued me,” Reed said. “Their kids seem coachable and they’re very competitive and I know the community support is outstanding.
“And also, in getting to know Coach Jones, I knew he’d be great to work for.”
As he was coaching at the state tournament, Reed was quite unaware that Jones might have had some future plans for him.
“We were just in the midst of a playoff run and trying to do the best job to put ourselves in a position to win,” he said. “So I didn’t think of it that way, but when you put it that way, it’s cool to think about.”
Now Reed gets to think about taking from Jones the torch of a program that’s been to state three years in a row and won 84 percent of its games during that stretch.
Jones is confident he’s found the coach to do it.
“A goal of mine was to make sure the program didn’t take a step back,” he said. “We’ve built a good foundation here. I’m excited to see how high he can take it.”
| Ben Johnson
BROKEN ARROW -- Some results over the weekend were stunning. But none near as shocking as the news from Broken Arrow to start the week.
In a release from the school on Monday morning, Broken Arrow announced it was stripping David Alexander of his head coaching duties. A move no one saw coming, including Alexander himself.
Two years after leading the Tigers to their first state championship, Alexander, 56, now finds himself without a head coaching gig. He went 60-23 in seven seasons and finished with a state runner-up finish in 2015.
“We appreciate and thank coach Alexander for his dedication and time with the program," said Chuck Perry, associate superintendent of student services, in a statement released by the district.
"His legacy has been cemented in the fact that he came home to his high school alma mater and was the first coach to take the program to the top of the mountain. After much consideration, though, we feel the timing is right and is in the best interest of the district to move in a new direction.”
Alexander gradated from Broken Arrow in 1982.
The district said the search for the next head coach begins immediately.