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Thorpe banquet notebook: Derrick Strait wants to get into coaching

A dozen previous Jim Thorpe Award winners attended Tuesday night's banquet, including the inaugural winner, Baylor's Thomas Everett
BY JASON KERSEY AND RYAN ABER, Staff Writers,; Published: February 7, 2012

“It's not about me,” Troy Bullard said. “The kids that played for me, and the coaches that were with me were the biggest part of everything.

“I just fell into a great situation.”


Elgin agreed to move its boys basketball game at Anadarko back to 4 p.m. to accommodate Sheldon Wilson, who was at the Jim Thorpe banquet in Oklahoma City on Tuesday. He was honored as The Oklahoman's All-State Offensive Player of the Year.

Wilson, who rushed for 3,335 yards and scored 64 total touchdowns as a senior, also plays basketball for Anadarko. He will start his college career at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College in Miami.

Wilson scored 17 points in Anadarko's win and then made it just in time for the start of Tuesday's banquet.


Rickey Dixon was coaching high school football in Texas but is now a stay-at-home dad in Red Oak, Texas.

His wife is an attorney for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Dixon said the annual Thorpe banquet is a time of reflection for him.

“When you've been gone, it's nice to reflect on what you've accomplished and be among the other winners,” Dixon said.

“The award is getting bigger every year.”

Dixon, who shared the second-ever Thorpe Award in 1987 with Miami's Bennie Blades, said he enjoyed visiting with his old coach, Barry Switzer, at Tuesday's event. He said the two talk every couple of months.

“Barry is always number one,” Dixon said. “I wasn't highly recruited out of high school, but he gave me an opportunity.”


Last season, four juniors were honored on The Oklahoman All-State first team.

Three of them — Anadarko's Wilson, Norman's Donovan Roberts and Heritage Hall's Sterling Shepard were back Tuesday night to be honored for the second consecutive year.

The other, Jenks' Alex Ross, missed significant time with injuries.

This year, just one underclassman was picked for the first team — Lawton defensive end D.J. Ward.

Ward was also recently named No. 1 on The Oklahoman's Super 30 list of the state's top football prospects for 2013.

Ward missed on Oklahoma's first junior day last week because of family issues but has invites for upcoming junior day events at OU, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M.

“I'm looking forward to them,” Ward said.

Ward said he was wanting to gain some weight during the offseason.


Edmond North offensive lineman Cole Parsons is still waiting to determine his football future.

Parsons, an Oklahoman first-team All-Stater, didn't sign with anyone on national signing day. He visited Dartmouth recently but decided it wasn't for him.

Parsons (6-5, 250) has an offer from Weber State, but said he will wait and see what else comes.