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Fans turn out to honor Matthews, field house

By Zach West Published: February 2, 2008

Purcell won three state titles (1950, 1957, and 1961) and had just one losing season under Matthews.

And basketball wasn't even his favorite sport to coach. David Matthews said it was football.

Boney wasn't just a legendary coach, either. As a player, Boney still holds the state record for touchdowns (14) in a game. In 1927, Boney scored 98 points for Roff in a 142-0 win over Leigh. As the story goes, Boney had 14 touchdowns and 13 or 14 extra points, although no statistics have ever been found of the game.

Boney Matthews died in 1993 at age 83.

While the high school teams will no longer play in the field house, it will not close permanently. When the new Purcell High School opens in the fall on N. Green Avenue, the Purcell Junior High will play in the gym.

Son David Matthews said had his father attended Friday's event, he would have been a little nervous. The ceremony might not be the problem — he would've wanted to help coach the kids.

"He always got a little nervous (after he retired), because he couldn't control what was going on out there,” David said, laughing. "He liked to be in control.”

Commemorative T-shirts marked the finale of Purcell's Boney Matthews Field House. By BRYAN TERRY, the oklahoman


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