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Ted Wright -- last update 1/28/2006 (BaseballDinnerWard.html)
Copyright 2006 -- Collinsville, Oklahoma

Collinsville, Oklahoma
Jan. 28, 2006
CHS Baseball Diamond Dinner
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Former CHS Coach Gary Ward Spoke to Current Baseball Team, Parents & Friends
Gary Ward coached in Collinsville 6 years before winning college baseball national championships in Arizona and many trips to the college world series with OSU.
CHS Coaches (Past & Present) -- Bob Martin, Gary Ward and Tony Reeder.
Coach Ward had basketball and baseball teams and assisted with football in Collinsville in his 6 years here in the 1960s.
The 2006 Collinsville High School baseball team circled Coach Gary Ward for his advice on baseball and life in general. This view was before the dinner which the team helped serve to their supporters in the Middle School Commons Jan. 28th.
One of the items in the Home Run Club's silent auction was a guitar signed by Garth Brooks.
KTUL's Jack Bunds was the master of ceremonies for the Collinsville Baseball Diamond Dinner saturday.

Coach Ward didn't pull any punches in his message Saturday. He said the memory flooded back after returning to Collinsville today. But he said all the memories weren't happy at the time. One memory was having a heater practically explode in his face while lighting it in the old CHS gym just a few feet from where he spoke this evening. Gary was a 23 year old coach when he first arrived in Collinsville. He says now, "It would have nice to have been a parent before becoming a coach." He said he came here with the same fierce competitive spirit he still has, and a good knowledge of baseball, but he couldn't really appreciate parent's requests until having been in their shoes.

Coach Ward also credited his Collinsville experience with one lesson he used in his success at future schools. The lesson was "never trust a school administrator" ... at least not completely ... to help take care of the resource needs of his baseball programs. He learned to develop private sector support via booster organizations.

A portion of Ward's message to the current Collinsville baseball team was to take responsibility for all of their actions, use their manners, do the required work, take the advice of their parents and coach ... and "the scoreboard will take care of itself".

Note: I missed a significant portion of the baseball program while covering the concurrent Chamber of Commerce Banquet with Tony Casillas as quest speaker (at CHS). -- Ted Wright -- 1:40am Sunday