theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

Local Sports

September 6, 2013

Fans may recognize former Cougar on Ardmore sideline

Ada — Ada High football fans may see a familiar big ol’ guy roaming the Ardmore sidelines tonight.

No, I’m not talking about longtime Ardmore assistant and former Cougar Grant Naylor, although he fits the bill.

It’s the new big ol’ guy that you need to keep an eye on. Former Ada High School All-American lineman Craig Roark, who spent last year as the head coach of the Holdenville Wolverines, is now an assistant football coach and the head wrestling guy at Ardmore. Another Cougar who has joined the ‘enemy.’

So what did all his Ada buddies think of his latest career move?

“To be honest, most of my friends as you can expect gave me a hard time and joked around with me,” Roark said. “But all of my good friends were very excited for me, and understood how much of a blessing it was for me to have this opportunity to work for such a tradition-rich program with such great coaches and people. I thank God for this opportunity every day.”

Roark also spent a couple of years with the East Central University football program so he will definitely be coming ‘home’ when he walks into Norris Field for tonight’s Week 1 matchup between the two old rivals.

“I'm not really sure what the feeling will be like to be honest,” when asked about his first return trip to Ada with the opposition. “I’m sure it will be surreal.”

You really can’t take the Cougar out of any former Ada football player. He’ll still cheer for the Cougs most of the time.

“I was talking to coach Naylor last week, and he made a comment I completely agree with. I will cheer for the Cougars every game of the season except for one, and that one game we are going to do everything that we can to come away with a victory. I probably won't have time to even think about what it's like to be at Norris Field as an opponent, because I will be too busy trying to do whatever I can to help the team win. That is my goal going into this game.”

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