MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

September 20, 2013

Reunion time as former Checotah coach to clash with former team

When Brandon Turley steps onto the Checotah football field tonight, he will do so from a different perspective.

Turley will be on the field as the head football coach at Henryetta, which faces his former team at 7:30 p.m. Turley was the coach of the Wildcats the previous six seasons and compiled a 43-22 record during his tenure.

“It’s nothing against the coach but those are my kids,” said Turley about the Wildcats. “And that’s just point blank just like the kids I got now are my kids as well. It’s kind of like showing up and having to go in the back yard to play a game. But that feeling will pretty much go away after we kick off.”

His Knights come in with a 1-1 record, coming off a 32-0 victory over Holdenville, against an undefeated Wildcats squad who blanked Keys 44-0 last Friday.  

Technically speaking, they’re now Chad Hendricks’ kids at Checotah.

“We’ve just approached this game as business as usual,” said  Hendricks. “That’s kind of what we’ve been telling them. It’s the next step in our goal to shoot for a district championship. We’ve got to prepare and get ready to go play no matter who it is.”

While some people might think that Turley’s decision to leave for Henryetta was to return to his alma mater, he’s quick to point out that it was a new atmosphere that led to the decision.

“It wasn’t necessarily because it was Henryetta,” Turley said. “In this business you can stay somewhere too long. I just kind of felt it was time to move on.

“We had done a tremendous job but I just felt it was time to make a change. It was just that’s the opportunity that presented itself but it was still a difficult decision because of the kids.”

Hendricks is aware of Turley’s scouting advantage with his hands-on knowledge of the kids and program.

“He knows the personnel,” Hendricks said. “But as far as the system, we’re completely different on defense. We’re similar on offense out of the pistol versus what he did out of the gun. He just knows who the kids are and knows what they can or can’t do.”

One thing Turley misses is the support he had in Checotah, from the school to the community.

“The support we had at Checotah was tremendous,” Turley said. “There were a few disgruntled people but that’s just the nature of the business. Coach (Brian) Terry, being the high school principal and the athletic director was another reason it made it tough to leave. He’s outstanding but it was one of those things. I felt it was time.”

Turley doesn’t want to lose this matchup either.

“We played Henryetta every year I was at Checotah,” he said. “We were in district for a couple of years together then (the matchup) wasn’t new when the districts split us up again. For the foreseeable future, we’ll continue to play each other. It’s a good game and has kind of developed into a nice little rivalry.”

His former program will eventually fade away from his association, but the kids on both sides of the field won’t.

“I’ll be 75 years old and in a wheelchair and kids that I coached when they were 16, those guys will always be my guys. But even though I’m on that other sideline, I still care for them, still worry about them and still want them to do well.”

1
Text Only
Prep Sports
AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks