All-State football: Tom Noles still loves high school athletics

1966 All-State guard went on to a successful high school coaching career.
by Ryan Aber Published: November 27, 2012
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photo - Moore head football coach Tom Noles gives instructions to his players during practice at Moore High School in 2002. Staff photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman Archives.
Moore head football coach Tom Noles gives instructions to his players during practice at Moore High School in 2002. Staff photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman Archives.

Tom Noles' grandmother, Verna Herrell, had never seen a football game until Noles was in college.

As his older brother, Danny, starred before him at Lindsay and then Tom moved up as a standout, Herrell's spot was the same each Friday night when Lindsay was playing at home.

She'd sit on her porch near the stadium and listen to the public address system relay the Leopards' accomplishments.

“When I got to OSU, the first game she went to was when we played Arkansas in Little Rock on a Saturday night,” Noles said. “It was supposed to be an equal crowd but it was 50,000 woo-pig-sooie Hog fans and 10,000 OSU fans.

“My mom and grandmother went down and watched me play for OSU at the Astrodome and in Austin. When she went, she went big time.”

But it was at Lindsay where Noles, who went on to coach 11 seasons at Moore, developed a deep appreciation for high school sports.

Noles was a guard on the South squad of the 1966 All-State team.

In observance of the 100th edition of The Oklahoman's All-State football team, to be announced in late December, the newspaper will recognize players from the previous 99 teams.

Noles knows the importance of high school sports.

“I was raised by my mother and grandmother,” Noles said. “Football, basketball and track was an opportunity for me to be around male father figures.”

None of those father figures means more than legendary Lindsay girls basketball coach Charlie Heatly, who coached both the boys and girls teams when Noles was in school.

Heatly was also Noles' junior high football coach.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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The Oklahoman will look back on the previous 99 years of Oklahoman All-State football teams, leading up to the unveiling of the 100th All-State team on Dec. 23. Each Sunday and Wednesday until then, we'll take a look back at a team from each decade. This installment of the series looks at the sixes — 1916, 1926, 1936, etc. On Sunday, we'll look back at the sevens.

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