Huskie gridders spend quality time at ‘The Beach’


Since taking over as head football coach for Pawhuska High School, Bob Craig has made sure that the Huskies spend plenty of time at “The Beach.

In local parlance, “The Beach” is Ormand Beach Memorial Stadium — the venerable WPA-era facility where the PHS team plays its football games.

The Huskies are scheduled to cap off their spring-to-summer workouts this Tuesday evening with a special event at the Pawhuska stadium. The “Night of Champions” is set to start at 6 p.m., according to the coach.

“This will end the Summer Pride (sessions),” said Craig, who has kept the Huskie squad on a regular workout schedule since he took over the program two months ago.

“We want to showcase our players for all their hard work,” the coach said.

Around 20 PHS players have been taking part in the extended spring practice sessions, which had a delayed started due to the late-May hiring of the new head coach.

Returning starters for Pawhuska include seniors Bryce Wilson, Tyler Culver, Zalin Edwards and Justin Barnes, and juniors Taylor Priest, Hayden Javellis, Tyler Reece and Marshall Tolson. Assistant coaches for the Huskies are Mark Frye and Brian Edwards.

Following a 1-5 start, the Huskies finished 4-7 a year ago.

A 34-year veteran of Oklahoma’s coaching ranks, Craig was in charge of the grid program at Beggs through the 2012 campaign. He takes over at PHS following a one-year stint by Scott Gilkey, who was suspended last November just a few days before the Huskies’ first-round state playoff loss at Commerce.

Next Saturday, July 27, the local stadium will be the site of an elementary youth football camp to be conducted by the Huskies’ new head coach.

The camp — designed for first- through sixth-graders — is sponsored by youth football programs from Pawhuska, Woodland, Hominy, Caney Valley, Barnsdall, Rejoice Christian and Pawnee. It will begin with registration from 8 to 9 a.m., with a $20 fee includes a camp shirt and meal, according to Craig.

A work day will be held at Ormand Beach Stadium on the following Saturday (Aug. 3), beginning at 7 a.m. Organizers with the Pawhuska Quarterback Club said the session is part of a major upgrade project underway on the facility.

Funding for the improvements is being provided through grants received last year through the Osage Nation, school officials said.

QB Club members said a new public-address system already has installed at the PHS stadium. Locker and weight room improvements will include new carpeting and shower renovations, they said.

Also, the stadium concession stand has been repainted and new cabinets, counter tops and ceiling fans are expected to arrive soon. Renovations also are planned for the seating areas, said officials, adding that work will begin soon on a new storage room.