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February 17, 2014

Camron Large follows in grandfather's footsteps

(Continued)

Ada — 1958

   Long-ime, now retired Ada coach Don Byrd was overjoyed to hear that his old friend’s grandson would follow him at ECU.

   “I was a sophomore and Farrell a senior in the 1958 team. We both started on offense, I at left guard and he at right tackle,” Byrd recalled, adding that they came oh, so close to adding another gold ball to the now burgeoning trophy case.

   “A Cushing kid who had never kicked a field goal beat us, 9-7, with about two minutes left. We could not get going the rest of the way,” Byrd said.

The Ramrods

   “Farrell is a good musician. He and John Ross, his cousin Larry Large and several others still play today,” Byrd said.

   Farrell told of their days from rockers to kickers.

   “Back then, we played everywhere. Fifties rock, Jimmy Reed, Bo Diddley, stuff like that,” he said.

   It must be remembered that 1958 was the time of Elvis, Little Richard ... and Ada’s own "little," Little Joe and the Ramrods.

   “We took the name from a song of that day ("Ramrod" by Duane Eddy of Rebel Rouser fame), and our lead singer, Little Joe Stanford,” Farrell said.

   Now, at 72, Farrell and the Ramrods have slowed a bit into the "old country" music genre. Ray Price, George Jones, and the Ramrods no longer tour, unless you count reunion concerts at John Ross’ cabin in Ada. As many as eight or nine old Ramrods and other musicians gather there frequently.

The staff of staffs

   Craig McBroom assembled the staff of all staffs in the sixties — the Dons,  Don Byrd, Don Hutchings, Don Hood — and Dickie Stephenson, Mike Simmmons, Dorsey Jack Reirdon, and Mike McBride.

   Hutchings recalled Farrell and days of studying football at OU.

   “While Farrell was coaching here at Ada High, we had a special relationship with OU and spent a lot of time emulating, learning from them. Farrell was particularly enthralled by line coach Buck Nystrom. He even copied him on how he dressed for practice. If Buck had a jersey with a tear on it, Farrell would, too.

   “He learned his whiffle ball bat routine in practice from Buck. A lot of his coaching lingo he got from Buck.”

“It was special time with a special crew. We all came together on everything, all the coaches and including the wives. We had a lot of fun.”

   Especially close during those days and also in college at Cameron was current AHS principal and football coach Charlie Golightly.

   “He was a father figure of sorts for me,” Golightly said. “He stayed on top of you. From football to schoolwork, he helped out every way he could.”

   Like the famed staff of his time in Ada, Farrell said the current staff under Matt Weber is a good one, knowledgeable and well-liked by the players.

   After college, Farrell spent time on the coaching staffs of Pauls Valley (Bob Burris), Ada (Craig McBroom), Cameron (Bear Jensen), head coach at Chickasha, Brewer White, Texas, (Benny Davis), back to Cameron (Keith Lavender, Cecil Morris).

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