East Central's Klinck stays positive after first loss as head coach
BY BARRY LEWIS World Sports Writer
Sunday, December 02, 2012
12/02/12 at 7:40 AM
STILLWATER - For the first time as a head coach, East Central's Bobby Klinck left the field with a loss on Saturday.
Klinck, however, had only words of encouragement for his disappointed players when they gathered around him for a postgame speech following top-ranked East Central's 24-8 loss to No. 8 Midwest City Carl Albert in the Class 5A state championship game at Boone Pickens Stadium.
"I just told them that you're going to face challenges in your life and you're going to be disappointed some times," Klinck said. "But the character of a man is what you're going to do after you're disappointed. Anybody can be great winners, it's what we do when things are going against us that's important.
"I'm so disappointed in myself for somehow not getting them better prepared to win this game. The kids are resilient and they'll be over it in two hours from now after the bus ride home. It just breaks my heart to see them feel that way."
One East Central player, Demeco Bowens, was ejected and another, Fabian Garcia, was sent off the field before the game ended after a skirmish with Carl Albert players with two minutes left. Carl Albert received one more unsportsmanlike conduct penalty than East Central did out of the situation.
Klinck dragged an upset Garcia off the field and prevented the situation from escalating. Carl Albert took a knee three times to end the game.
"It was my fault, I shouldn't have had them in there," Klinck said.
Klinck was encouraged and congratulated by Tulsa Public Schools superintendent Keith Ballard, who accepted the team's silver ball, and TPS athletic director Gil Cloud.
Klinck, who finished his first year as East Central's coach, had led the Cardinals to 13 straight wins on the field this year, although the first four were later forfeited due to using an ineligible player.
East Central led 8-7 going into the fourth quarter before Carl Albert erupted for 17 points, with the last 14 being set up on interceptions.
"Hand it to Carl Albert," Klinck said while Carl Albert players were celebrating across the field to the tune of "We Are the Champions." "Unbelievable job and they deserved it. I am just glad to have known those 23 seniors."
Carl Albert, with its physical running game and defense, was able to wear down the Cardinals in the fourth quarter.
"We had our chances and we just didn't execute," Klinck said.
"In a big game, especially against a real well-coached Carl Albert team, if you make those types of mistakes and don't bring your 'A' game, you're going to get beat, and that's what happened."
East Central's inability to establish a running game caught up to the Cardinals, who gained only 2 yards on 22 carries. That allowed the Titans' pass rush to tee off on East Central quarterback Tre'von Cherry, who was sacked six times.
Original Print Headline: Coach positive after loss
Barry Lewis 918-581-8393