Following in the foot(ball)steps.
In 1959, when legendary Ada coach Elvan George took over at East Central, he brought with him a cadre of Cougars, including standout lineman Farrell Large. Some 55 years later, current ECU head coach Tim McCarty welcomed another outstanding group of recruits, including another Large one: Grandson Camron, a Cougar standout in his own right.
The grandpa-grandson relationship has been a solid one.
“It means a lot to me. It will mean a lot for me to follow in his footsteps at Norris Field,” Camron said recently in the AHS student center, having just returned from concurrent college classes at ECU. “He has always been there throughout my career here as a Cougar. He was a Cougar through and throughout, and I have tried to be the same. ”
Farrell has several grandkids and tries to make it to see them perform in whatever sport or activity. Though Camron’s father Todd, a nurse in Ada, did not have the chance to play football at Ada due to Farrell’s coaching stops elsewhere, he was a very good high school wrestler, and Farrell said he is very proud of him.
“Camron playing football really made me proud, and the fact that he was in Ada made it even more special,” grandpa said.
Most memorable moment with grandpa?
“When he taught me how to run. I spent a week with him in Lawton during one summer. I must have been around eight years old. I was taking short steps and he taught me how to stride out, and it increased my speed a bunch,” Camron said.
“I will think about him each time I step on that field,” Camron said, knowing that Farrell will always be in the stands.
Like every coach who gave remarks on Camron, Farrell noted his intelligence first of all.
“He’s never made a B. All A’s, and he will carry 15 college credits with him to ECU from courses he has taken there through high school. He is planning on a career in some form of medicine,” proud grandpa said.
Most recently at the honors banquet, Camron received the Jim Thorpe Scholarship Athlete award, which honors 10 athletes in the state who excel in academics as well.
“He was upset that he did not make All-State (he was named All-Star by Class 4A by the Oklahoma Coaches Association), but I told him making the Jim Thorpe was even better, especially with the $1,500 graduate school scholarship,” Farrell said.
Camron fits the mold of a good college player from head to toe — from high intelligence upstairs to the great feet 6-feet two inches and 280 pounds below. He will play center in college.
With Eli Flinn entrenched at center, Camron dug in at left guard and Ada had a strong, experienced up-the-middle punch.
In the 2012 season, it was old home week for grandfathers. Flinn was the grandson of another standout area athlete/coach in Eldon Flinn. Though he attended McLish, Eldon was a good running buddy with Farrell as was Joe Stanford, whose grandson, Cade Stanford, started in the line next to Camron and Eli that season.
Things have changed of course. While Farrell was in high school and at ECU, Norris Field was beautiful grass in the early season, stubble and dirt later on. Blood, sweat and tears, though by rule blood is no longer allowed on the newly turfed field.
Following in the foot(ball)steps.
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