A farewell to people with Oklahoma ties who enjoyed the game day experience:
*Charles Inglish was a World War II veteran who piloted glider aircraft in the European theater. Years before flying the 12th glider into Normandy on D-Day in June 1944, Inglish starred in golf and basketball. The Sapulpa High School grad won several tournaments, including the 1932 prep state championship and city titles for Sapulpa and Okmulgee. He played basketball at Phillips University in Enid; the Haymakers played in the first All-College Basketball Tournament in 1936, and Inglish scored the first bucket in its history. After the war, Inglish served as Dewar High football coach over the 1946-48 seasons. He entered school administration and worked mostly in the Mid-Del district. He continued to play golf, too. Inglish had 13 aces in a life that ended this month at age 99.
*Don Thummel, 69, spent time away from oil fields coaching athletes and supporting kids through numerous booster clubs in the Yukon area. He was president of the Yukon Home Run Club and was a member of the Quarterback Club, the Yukon Jays Athletic Club and Surrey Hills Colts Athletics Club. As a youngster, Thummel participated in the Little League World Series, where his native Kansas team finished second. He starred in high school sports, earning a scholarship to play football at Ottawa University (Kan.). Thummel later played semi-pro football and baseball.
*Bill Griffin, 84, was a football, basketball and track coach at Velma-Alma High School. The Waurika High School graduate had played football at Cameron Junior College, when the Aggies won the national championship in 1946. Griffin later played for the University of Central Oklahoma's conference title teams in 1949 and 1950.
*Dick Fleming, 78, a Tulsa Central standout who earned a football scholarship to Tulsa. ... Stillwater native Gayle Riggins, 64, coached high school golf in Missouri for eight years. She also had two holes in one. ... Herman Klepper, 83, an avid sand bass and striper fisherman at Lake Texoma. Also loved quail hunting. ... Gary Rosson, 67, played football and basketball at Wagoner High School. ... Nora Henderson, 72, of Lawton coached softball in the 1970s at Taft Elementary School. ... Chuck Krumtum, 89, played football and basketball at Wynnewood High School. ... C.C. Hardzog, 72, of Elgin was a rodeo stock contractor. ... Wyvette Jackson, 57, was a cheerleader at Muskogee High School. ... Jared Balfour, 33, played football at Midway High School and showed livestock.
Truth be told
The Oklahoman asked high school athletes: What has been your most life-changing event so far?
Taja Jones, track, Centennial:
“Meeting my father.”
Tyler Dang, tennis, Classen
“Joining the Chesapeake junior crew.”
John-Crawford Counts, golf, Southmoore
“When my mom got breast cancer. I realized how fragile life is.”
The local sports scene 10, 20 and 30 years ago Tuesday.
Huston Street worked out of a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth inning, then struck out two in the ninth inning for his ninth save as Texas trimmed Oklahoma State 10-7 in the Big 12 Baseball Tournament at Bricktown Ballpark. ... Texas A&M's Justin Ruggiano was 3 for 5 with three RBIs helping the Aggies rip Oklahoma 11-2 in the tournament. Editor's note: Street currently pitches for the San Diego Padres. Ruggiano plays for the Miami Marlins.
Phillip Barker, a 9-year-old hearing-impaired boy, was struck by pole from a chain-link fence that separates State Fair Speedway's dirt racing surface and the spectators' area. The incident occurred on the fourth lap of the sprint car division's A feature race. Gary Flatt spun on the front straightaway, and his disabled car collected those driven by Ken Whitehouse and Stan Constant. Whitehouse's car was thrown into the fence, and although the 1,600-pound racer was cradled inside the barricade, an attachment pole fell inward and hit Barker. He was released from the hospital four days later.
An Oklahoma City travel agency advertised a pair of OU football packages for the upcoming 1983 season. One was a trip to San Francisco to watch the Sooners play Stanford. The other was an excursion to Hawaii to see OU take on the Rainbow Warriors. Cost for the Stanford trip, which included hotel, was $174 per person. Football tickets were $13 extra. Cost for the Hawaii package was $198 per person — with an extra $8 for a ticket to the game. Editor's note: OU would beat Stanford 27-14 and Hawaii 21-17.