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March 30, 1999

Congratulations to Frontier Coach Bob Weckstein for being named Oklahoma's high school "Coach of the Year" by the Daily Oklahoman. This has been a fabulous year for Bob and his Frontier Mustangs. His team, composed of young men from the Marland and Red Rock areas, won their third state championship in class B. They defeated Forgan, 61-47, in the state finals to clinch the title. Previous championships came in 1996 and 1997. Dee Buxton, 6-3 senior, was named to the 1999 class B All-State first team.

The Weckstein decade at Frontier began in 1989 when Frontier existed only on paper. The Marland and Red Rock school districts had voted to consolidate, and newly hired superintendent Steve Shiever offered Weckstein the head coach's job in boys basketball. Shiever had been superintendent at Dover and was impressed when Bob brought his Okarche girls basketball team to the Dover gym for a game. Weckstein agreed to come and told Shiever he would build a big-time program at Red Rock. Some may have doubted that as a likelihood. Bob had never coached boys basketball. Red Rock and Marland had never been to the state tournament and Red Rock was just ending a winless season.

In 1990 Frontier reached an area tournament. It was the school's first year of existence. By 1993 the Mustangs had qualified for the Class B state tournament but lost in the quarterfinals. Then they won back to back championships in 1996 and 1997. Weckstein told his players that they could win if they were willing to work hard. They believed him and now they know their dedication and sacrifice did pay off. Bob believes he has, without a doubt, the best high school job in the state. He credits good kids, good parents, good administration and good community support for the Frontier program's success. It would be hard to argue with that philosophy in light of what he's been able to accomplish in such a relatively short time. Again, congratulations to the Frontier Mustangs, their coach and the entire, community.

Still on the subject of sports... Dave Sittler is one of the smarter writers in the Daily Oklahoman's sports department, but I want to add a comment to something he said the other day in one of his interesting personal columns. Discussing the departure of OSU assistant basketball coach Paul Graham to Washington State University, where he has been hired as head man, Dave mentioned that one of the difficulties about that job is the "isolated" location of Pullman, Wash., where WSU is located. By contrast, he noted that Stillwater also is a far piece from Tulsa and Oklahoma City, but not as bad as Pullman is remote from Spokane and Seattle.

My point is this: Stillwater has the added attraction of being only 24 miles from Perry, one of the premier small towns in all of Oklahoma. Don't discount that factor, Dave. We're doing all we can to lure top scholars and athletes to this area.