Rick Banta

“In the fall of 1978, my wife, Connie, and our two-year-old daughter, Jaree, moved to Purcell and I was given the opportunity to coach and work with the young ladies of Purcell High School. I was so blessed to have so many wonderful young ladies to work with over our stay of four years, 1978-1982. During those four years, the Lady Dragons won 74 basketball games and qualified several young ladies for State track meets. Over all, there were two young ladies who were All State Girls Basketball, two who were All State Girls Track and one Girls Basketball All American.

The success that was accomplished at Purcell was due to many dedicated young ladies, their families, assistant coaches Larry Derrick and Randy Belicek, and my wife, who became an excellent mentor and counselor for the girls as they struggled with the tough workouts and the dedication that was expected for our program to be successful.”

Rick Banta Accomplishments:

1980 - Arbuckle Conference Coach of the Year

1982 - Arbuckle Conference Coach of the Year

1982 - Oklahoma Girls Basketball All State West Coach

1982 - Member of the Oklahoma High School Girls Basketball Coaches Association Board of Directors

Purcell Girls Basketball Accomplishments:

1978-79 – 13 wins – 8 losses – second - Heart of Oklahoma Tournament

third - Mustang Invitational Tournament

1979-80 – 23 wins - 4 losses -third - Byng Invitational Tournament

first - Heart of Oklahoma Tournament

District Champions

Regional finalists

Area semifinalists

1980-81 – 16 wins – 9 losses - third Place Heart of Oklahoma Tournament

Regional semifinalists

1981-82 – 22 wins – 5 losses - Heart of Oklahoma Champions

District Champions

Regional Finalists

Area semifinalists

Oklahoma Girls Basketball All State – Lynn McCurdy & Jill Taylor

All American Girls Basketball – Lynn McCurdy

Purcell Girls Track Accomplishments 1979-82:

2 - Individual Regional Champions – Lynn McCurdy – 440 run

Angela Eaton – mile run

2 – State Champions – Lynn McCurdy – high jump

Angela Eaton – mile run

State Runner-up – 440 Relay Team – Sherry Dragoo, Lynn McCurdy, Lisa Smith and Tressa Rentfro

Oklahoma Girls Track All State – Lynn McCurdy and Angela Eaton

“At the end of the school year in 1982, I had to make a very difficult decision whether to continue coaching at Purcell or become a principal at Tuttle Schools. It made the decision very difficult to have to choose between the wonderful community of Purcell and my home town of Tuttle.

“Because of the opportunities for my family, I chose to accept the Junior High Principal job at Tuttle. After moving there, our second daughter, Sharie, was born.

Over the 22 years at Tuttle Schools, I was Junior High Principal, Assistant Superintendent/Athletic Director, High School Principal, and Assistant High School Principal/Athletic Director/Transportation Director. I retired in 2004.”

Our daughter, Jaree Spurlock, owns a Farmers Insurance Agency and lives in Tuttle with our grandchildren, Ella, Garrett and Asher. Our daughter, Sharie Wilhoit, lives in Purcell with her husband, Kerry, and our grandchildren Klaire and Karter. She teaches at Purcell Elementary.

“There is no way we could we have known when we left Purcell that our younger daughter would marry a Purcell graduate and bless us again with a Purcell connection.

“Connie and I love spending time with our family, being Nana and Papa to our grandchildren and traveling.”