OWASSO, Okla. - At Owasso, they’re not only building the bond with players but with coaches on the sidelines.
State or bust is the motto for Owasso this upcoming season.
Owasso's Bill Blankenship staff now includes former Booker T. Washington head coach Brad Calip and former OU corner Dominique Franks.
"I wanted to learn underneath the best, and right now, Blankenship is the best. He’s got the program where I like it and I want to be a part of it when he gives it up. I can just step in and keep the thing going. That’s the reason I want to end my career there at Owasso with him and be an Owasso Ram,” said Brad Calip.
Calip is entering his 30th year coaching while franks is a rookie in the profession. Franks played 5 seasons in the NFL and hopes his extra knowledge will trickle down to his unit.
"Huge for a kid to be able to learn from an NFL guy that played 5 years in the NFL and the things that I learned in the NFL I could teach them at 15 or 16 or maybe I didn't learn till I was 24 or 25,” Franks said.
The bond that Franks shares with Coach Blankenship runs deep. While Blankenship was head coach of Union, Franks was in his senior year. His father Joe Bartee passed away prior to a playoff game against Enid, and Blankenship was the first one to comfort him after his grandmother told him the news.
"It was so tough. I remember him hugging me because I was sent down. He came and put his arm around me. It was a different feeling because it was more of an ‘I'm here for you’ not just by words but by physical touch if you ever need me," Franks said.
"You know, he was there for you in one of the lowest points of your life, so this is the way you have to pay him back. Hopefully, he can see how much he impacted my life, and by me doing this and trying to help have an impact on this kid’s life as well."