By Dave Ruthenberg, Sports Editor
Enid News and Eagle
It was a nice sight last FrIday at Selby Stadium, with several members of the 1983 Plainsmen championship football team assembled again in honor of the 30th anniversary of their 5A state title.
Of course that was long before my tenure started here at the News & Eagle, but after communicating with past members of the team via email, phone or in-person, it wasn’t difficult to get a handle on what a special time that was for the players, coaches and fans. Nothing seems to bring a community together like a championship, or make for lasting memories.
Maybe one of the more poignant remembrances came in an email I received from another member of that 1983 team, Troy Dunn, who has gone on to fame as a TV show host, most notably his show “The Locator.”
Dunn, who just made a recent appearance on the Dr. Oz Show and is in the process of developing a new show, wrote, in part:
Those wonderful days in Enid are what dreams are made of — my dreams anyway ... nothing has caused any of those fantastic EHS glory days to fade in my heart, not even a little. In fact, every visitor to my Florida office is greeted by a large framed museum quality frame which holds within it my championship jersey and team photo. Anyone who sits across my desk, immediately notices my championship ring displayed proudly on an oak box. And any time any of my 6 sons (I have 8 children) are preparing for their own football game, I pump them up by sharing with them memories of those Plainsmen days when a little team from Enid did the impossible.
It was fun to re-live those days, or in my case, to get a little lesson in Enid sports history.
The only downside was the relatively small crowd that turned out for the game Friday night. Those who were there did right by the ’83 Plainsmen and the current team.
It’s easy to get on board for a championship team, but the team also needs support when it is building toward success as this year’s crop of Plainsmen are doing. With two games left, they are in position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009 and would control their own playoff destiny with a pair of wins to close out the season at Stillwater and at home against Sand Springs.
The Plainsmen put a scare into Owasso last week, holding a 13-3 lead at halftime before a tough third quarter did them in. But, there are definite signs of improvement. Head coach Steve Chard rightly noted after the game the team has “turned the page,” as evidenced by playing Owasso tightly and exacting revenge over Bartlesville and Ponca City.
With one home game left, Senior Night on Nov. 8 against Sand Springs, it would be nice to see the community come out in better numbers to show support for the kids who make up this year’s edition of Big Blue. They have earned it.
Recently, there was a Facebook post by somebody complaining about the cost of the games. At $7 it hardly seems that should be an issue. In fact, consider this: With five home games, that’s a total of $35 for an entire season, or less than a tank of gas. Surely, the kids here in Enid are worth at least that much.
Ruthenberg is sports editor at the News & Eagle. Contact him at email@example.com.