The Norman Transcript

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May 27, 2013

Southmoore athletes, coaches work through tragedy

Despite loss of homes, SaberCats looking to future

MOORE — Brandon Dicks’ life is all about football. The Southmoore High School junior safety says he lives and breathes it.

So when Dicks’ house was leveled during the EF-5 tornado that carved its way through Moore for 50 minutes May 20, he reverted back to his gridiron lessons to help him endure the tragedy

“When you get out on the football field, you have to face adversity every single down,” Dicks said. “If you can’t adjust to that adversity, you are never going to win a game. In order to win this game, this tragedy, we have to adjust to adversity. We have to adapt and overcome. That’s exactly what we are doing.”

The homes of several Southmoore coaches and athletes were hit especially hard by the tornadic event. He was one of 38 SaberCats players and coaches who no longer have a home due to one of the worst natural disaster to ever hit Oklahoma.

Yet, Dicks, who was inside a closet at school when the tornado struck, didn’t believe right away the news he was getting about the destruction.

“My stepmom, she sent me a texted message that said ‘the house is gone. Go to your mom’s.’” Dicks said. “That was the last I talked to her for the next four hours. My phone died. Just the way my family is, we are kind of jokesters. I thought she was messing with me. I don’t know why. I guess I didn’t want to believe it. Then I started seeing people getting bad news and crying.”

It finally set in for Dicks when he was allowed to leave school and go home.

“I didn’t know how severe it was until I entered the neighborhood,” Dicks said. “I couldn’t see my street. I didn’t recognize anything in the neighborhood. I didn’t even know where I was in my own neighborhood. When I looked down the road, where my house was supposed to be, it was just flat. That’s when I realized my house was gone.

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