The Norman Transcript


June 16, 2013

Recalling run to the ’63 title

NORMAN — (Editor’s Note: Joe Claxton is a member of the NHS Class of 1963. He has written sports for the greater part of the past 50 years for the Ada News, Pauls Valley Democrat, The Oklahoman and others as well as teaching journalism at Ada High. The following are his impressions of the reunion. Oh yes, some of you may remember him as Derrell Claxton.)

NORMAN, 1963.

The Norman High Class of 1963 50th reunion kicked off Friday night at Stepbrothers with the traditional squinting of name tags and trying to visualize what late age 60s faces looked like back in the early ‘60s. It was almost like introducing a new kid to the class.

The gathering featured most of the Class AA state championship basketball team of 1963, hence our story.

Jack Herron was still just as tall and somehow was still recognizable with a full head of white hair instead of the crewcuts of the day.

Herron was a Norman boy several times over as his dad’s career took him in and out of the town, but as a grade schooler he did get to see Denny Price lead Chet Bryan’s team to the first of Bryan’s four state titles.

“I remember thinking, I want to do that when I get to Norman High,” he said.

A later move back to Norman in the early ‘60s reunited him with players and friends he already knew. He fit right back in.

In 1963 they were ranked No. 1 at the start of season.

“I would check the paper each Monday to make sure we were still No. 1,” Herron said. After a 43-42 squeaker over Duncan for the title that capped a 22-1 season they were, of course, still No. 1.

“... And we still are,” said Herron, a career educator who ironically was superintendent at Duncan at one point and recently launched a campaign to become the next state superintendent of schools.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Clash Football It’s a whole new ball game for Tigers and Timberwolves

    With just over two weeks until football practice officially begins Aug. 11, everyone is busy preparing for the upcoming season. After all, it’s one that will be unlike any other....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brace yourselves for what is likely bumpy road to playoffs

    In October of 2005, back when Butch Peters had Norman High ranked No. 5 on the gridiron and Karin Sexson had Norman North ranked No. 1 on the volleyball court, I wrote a column under the headline: “Two great teams … Who cares.” It was all ...

    July 30, 2014

  • USA Basketball Durant tells media that he’s not looking too far ahead

    While most of the NBA’s offseason has been focused on players going home, max contracts and who gets Kevin Love, the reigning MVP has been pretty low key. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has stayed in the shadows for the most part while ...

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cody adds former champions Maple, Howe as assistants

    A great wrestler doesn’t necessarily make a great wrestling coach. On the other hand, it’s not a bad place to start....

    July 30, 2014

  • Hamlin crew chief out 6 races

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR suspended Denny Hamlin’s crew chief and car chief on Tuesday for six races because the Joe Gibbs Racing entry failed inspection following his third-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Darian Grubb and ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Bell focuses on every facet of his game

    LATROBE, Pa. — Le’Veon Bell kept watching the tape over and over, equal parts pleased and puzzled by what he saw....

    July 30, 2014

  • Sam factor may ready Rams for sensitivity class

    ST. LOUIS — To guard against another bullying scandal, NFL teams are holding sensitivity sessions during training camp....

    July 30, 2014

  • Romo skips full-pad session for the first time at camp

    OXNARD, Calif. — The Dallas Cowboys are taking it easy with Tony Romo’s back....

    July 30, 2014

  • Vikings hire help for Kluwe talks

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings have hired the attorney who investigated the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal and another who played a prominent role in the fight for marriage equality to help in settlement talks with former punter ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Cards’ Abraham charged with DUI

    ATLANTA — Authorities say Arizona Cardinals linebacker John Abraham was arrested on a drunken driving charge a month ago in the Atlanta area. Abraham has been absent from the team’s training camp since Friday....

    July 30, 2014