The Norman Transcript

News Features

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.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
News Features
  • March Against Monsanto Protesters rally against agro giant Monsanto

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Rain did not deter protesters at the March Against Monsanto in Bricktown on Saturday evening. A button on one man’s shirt was typical of the attitude of many of the marchers, “I’m one of those people,” it read....

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moore Med Cent Groundbreaking Community still grieving but looking toward future, new beginnings

    MOORE — One year after an EF-5 tornado devastated a core area of Moore that included the Moore Medical Center, the community gathered on the site of the former hospital to reflect and remember those who were lost....

    May 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple mourns loss of young lives

    When the tornado hit, Dennis and Wilma Chastain were holding hands. On May 20, 2013, the couple left their home in south Oklahoma City in Green Briar Estates near Westmoore High School around 2 p.m. to make it to a 2:30 appointment near ...

    May 20, 2014

  • Interfaith group invites women to join

    Women of a variety of faiths brought prayers and dinner and shared peaceful dialogue recently at a Norman home. Malaka Elyazgi’s prayer sounded like a song tripping off her lips in her native tongue. The translation was equally poetic....

    April 28, 2014

  • DUal-state advance Tough field awaits Southmoore at dual state

    Southmoore’s history at Dual State is a short read. The totality of it is a first-round loss to eventual runner-up Muskogee by one point in last year’s tournament.

    February 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Myths about obesity

    The obesity epidemic is among the most critical health issues facing the United States. Although it has generated a lot of attention and calls for solutions, it also has served up a super-sized portion of myths and misunderstandings....

    December 28, 2013

  • How to tame an out-of-control kid

    Edith, a retired Capitol Hill staffer from Washington, was at the end of her rope last year over the mayhem her 5-year-old great-grandson Wayne was causing at preschool. “I was on speed dial” at the school, says Edith, who is raising two ...

    December 28, 2013

  • Experts decry ‘resolution dependency’

    One of the country’s best-known fitness center chains is launching an initiative to wean people from what it calls an over-dependence on New Year’s resolutions....

    December 26, 2013

  • The 12 annoying songs of Christmas

    It’s that time of year, when Christmas songs fill shops, restaurants and your home. While anything on repeat can drive you mad, these 12 tunes are some of the most annoying....

    December 8, 2013

  • Caring for a cut Christmas tree

    Cut Christmas trees must be watered and kept hydrated to last through the holidays and to prevent them from becoming fire hazards. This includes small tabletop trees....

    December 8, 2013