A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience:
*Burl Bartlett was a successful high school football coach in Oklahoma and Texas. The Ingalls, OK, native led Blackwell and Kingfisher to a combined 44-13-5 record over the 1951-56 seasons. The 1953 Kingfisher team finished 10-0-1, losing a playoff tiebreaker (on penetrations) to Tonkawa, which went on to beat Cleveland for the Class B state championship. Bartlett was just as successful in Texas, guiding the Dumas Demons to a 33-20-1 record, including the 1961 Class 3A state title. He was later hired as an assistant coach at Texas Tech, where he recruited and signed Lawton wide receiver Danny Hardaway, the first black athlete to play for a Red Raiders team. Bartlett was an Enid resident at the time of death at age 85.
*Former Putnam City North pitcher Jake Orem died in Morgantown, W.Va., where he was attending school. Orem played baseball last season for Clarendon College (Texas), where he was 1-1 with 14 strikeouts in 16 innings. The right-hander transferred to the University of West Virginia as a junior to study nursing.
*The former Wilma Jean Robinson was a cheerleader in 1945 for Cushing High School. Wilma Jean Rueb, a mother of four, died recently at age 84.
*James Fisher was inducted into the Greater Oklahoma City Bowling Council Hall of Fame in 1991. Thea Harrah native was inducted for service; as a member of the Oklahoma Men's Bowling Association, he held every league office at least once. Also a former president of the Oklahoma State Bowler's Association. Participated in 30 American Bowling Congress Tournaments over 1974-2005. Spent several years as a Youth Bowling Association coach at the Penn 44 Lanes. Highest sanctioned game was a 279, and highest sanctioned series was 691. The retired FAA instructor died three days before his 80th birthday.
*Former Bartlesville Schools administrator Ron Jared died recently at age 71. Jared played football and marched in the band at Allen High School.
*Woodward resident Bill Smithton was a star athlete at old Rosston High School. He ran track and helped the basketball team to the Class C state tournament. Smithton attended Oklahoma State on a track scholarship. Smithton drove a 1952 Studebaker in car races and also enjoyed fishing. He died at age 66.
*Frances Misialek of Edmond enjoyed horse racing at Remington Park. For more than 40 years, she and husband Chet, were horse enthusiasts. The Misialeks entered several horses in Remington Park events. Frances, a Canton, N.C., native, died Dec. 3 at age 81.
*According to reports from oklahomatidbits.com, sprint car driver Matt Clevenger of Flower Mound, Texas, died after years of battling cancer. Despite the disease, Clevenger continued to travel and race, including several dates in Oklahoma City, when the American Sprint Car Series made stops at now-defunct State Fair Speedway.
*Della Schwartz was a coach's wife, lending an ear when games went bad and a pat on the back when games went well. Schwartz was the wife of John Schwartz, retired director of the Sunbelt Classic and a member of the Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Mrs. Schwartz, a retired first-grade teacher, died at age 82.
*Fayzon Richey of St. Gregory's University in Shawnee set the school's career scoring record. The former El Reno standout passed Patrick Jones, who held the previous record of 1,793 points. Richey was honored by the Sooner Athletic Conference, naming the scoring machine its Player of the Week for two consecutive weeks.
*Former Casady School star Meredith Geiger will be inducted into the U.S. Tennis Association Missouri Valley Hall of Fame. Geiger, who is now Meredith Geiger Walton and a mother of two boys, finished her high school career unbeaten. She won 10 gold balls and four silver balls while playing on the USTA junior circuit. Geiger was an All-Pac 10 Conference player in 1994 and 1995 while playing at Arizona State. She has since served as an assistant coach at the University of Texas and head coach at William & Mary (Va.). The Edmond native currently lives in Kingwood, Texas.
*The Mark Allen family of Edmond was named 2012 USTA Missouri Valley Family of the Year. Mark Allen and wife Jennifer have had a significant role in the renovation of the Will Rogers Tennis Center in Oklahoma City. They have contributed to the $3 million project called “First Serve,” which emphasizes year-round instruction for inner-city junior tennis. The Allens' children, Matthew, Claire and Katherine, have combined to win nine state medals for Heritage Hall High School.
“Over her four years, she was the No. 1 goalkeeper in college soccer, and her being a three-time All-American validates that a lot of other coaches also feel that way. What AD accomplished during her career here is remarkable.” — Oklahoma State soccer coach Colin Carmichael on senior goalkeeper AD Franch, who became the first three-time All-American in Cowgirls soccer history. Franch finished her career with a school-record 38 shutouts.
People in sports with Oklahoma ties who celebrate birthdays on Tuesday:
*Former Oklahoma City 89ers pitcher Bob Sebra turns 51. Sebra pitched the 1984 and 1985 seasons with the Niners before playing six seasons in the big leagues.
*Josh Scobey, who starred for Del City High School, turns 32. Scobey played running back at Kansas State, and then for three NFL teams.
*Ted Hampson, a player-coach and general manager for the old Oklahoma City Stars of the original Central Hockey League, turns 75. Hampson skated in 32 games over the 1978-81 seasons for the Stars. He had played 981 games in either the National Hockey League or World Hockey Association before taking the front office/player role with OKC.
*Former Oklahoma City Blazers star J.P. Parise turns 70. Parise played with the Blazers of the original CHL.