LARRY LARKIN

Sports Sunday Correspondent



Does this sound familiar?

Schools are closed because of icy weather.

Basketball games have been canceled, completely, or placed on hold.

The school on the Hill was preparing to start up a basketball program once again.

Writing scripts and nightly rehearsal sessions were being held in preparation for the upcoming annual gridiron.

All of the above has been in the local headlines in recent days. What’s that saying about "what goes round comes round”?

This is the same story, but the second verse.

Identical events were taking place at the same time in January 1977, 30 years ago.

On Jan. 11 of that year, Herb Bacon, Claremore's interim superintendent of schools, announced that vacation time was over for the students. City workers were finally winning the fight against snow and ice. And unbelievable temperatures.

Weather observers at Claremore Lake said they took a second look when reading the gauge the day before. It read minus-16 degrees.

Most of the high school basketball games were called off. One school, despite bad road conditions, was able to play. At Catoosa, the Port City Classic was completed as the Claremore boys and the Inola girls captured championships. It took an extraordinary effort by Athletic Director Alan Fry to complete the tournament.

In the boys' game, the Zebras were behind until the final six seconds. Bobby Tabor, four-year starter and the team's leading scorer, hit the winning basket. It came after Claremore stalled for 3:20. Tied at 36, John Pixley forced a Catoosa turnover that gave the Zebras possession.

After a four-year lapse of not fielding a basketball program, Claremore Junior College hired the well-known Ken Trickey to start it back up. He was the guest speaker at the first 1977 Chamber of Commerce luncheon forum before an overflow crowd.

He told the audience that Bushyhead Fieldhouse would be renovated to seat between 1,200 and 1,300. The upcoming schedule would feature 15 home games.

Other sports stories had two local high school athletes gaining special honors. David Prater of Sequoyah was selected as a high school basketball All-American for 1976-77. Claremore graduate Barry Farbro was one of 22 members of the Central State University Broncho football team recognized for fall semester academic achievements.

Lining up to poke gentle (and not so gentle) fun at Rogers County notables was the Chamber's gridiron cast. Sharing the stage were John Carle; L.C. Clark, Jr.; Keiffer Curlee; Dr. Gary Denney; Bob Parkhurst; Bob Roden; Henry Wittenberg; Jim Patterson; Ed Rahn; Hugo Reesman; Frank Robson; G. Waide Sibley; Phil Smith; Mickey Walker; Jim Wilson; Larry Young; Alice Farbro; Don Freed; Shirley Windle, and Beth Young.

Fire raged through a storage building in Oologah for several days, causing an estimated quarter-million dollar loss. Located just east of Oologah's main street and opposite the replica of the Will Rogers home, the building contained some 75,000 bales of hay and cattle feed and mix.

Back in the school ranks, 51 Claremore students received suspension notices. Parents were notified that their children did not meet state immunization law requirements.

Seeing the school authorities were serious about the matter, parents quickly made sure the shots were brought up to date.

The ice will melt and the kids will be back in class. People will laugh at the gridiron antics. There will be college basketball next season. And in the meantime, the high schools will bounce the ball again. Sometime.

At least it all did back 30 years ago.