Tigers face familiar foe Thursday
9/27/2013 5:19:15 PM
8/28/2014 9:48:09 AM
by Scott Cloud/Newkirk Herald Journal
The team mascot is right.
But the colors are all wrong.
Newkirk football fans seeing coach Barrett Shupe in black and orange and not blue and gold may seem strange but it will happen tonight as the Tigers travel to Cushing for the second scrimmage of the season against Cushing and Stroud.
The scrimmage is set for 6 p.m.
“I just want to throw up thinking about it,” Shupe joked. “I’ve never competed against Newkirk in anything before so I know it’ll feel weird. Once we go out for stretch, those feelings will go away and it’ll be about competing against another team. I’m just thankful it’s not a regular game.”
“Tonight is all about getting our kids ready for the season opener against Bristow,” he added. I don’t want tonight to be about me being from Newkirk,” Shupe. “That’s not what this is about.”
Shupe played at Newkirk, graduating in 1999, and later became the Tiger head coach, leading Newkirk five seasons before accepting the head coaching position at Cushing in 2011.
Shupe had a 23-29 at Newkirk qualifying for the playoffs his final two years.
At Cushing, Shupe has a 23-10 record and has made the playoffs each of his three seasons. His orange and black Tigers have been ranked each season since his arrival, taking over a program that had previously won five games in two years.
“The five years we were at Newkirk were some of the best years of my life,” Shupe said. “I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I learned so much about developing relationships with players and coaches and how to run a program, those lessons are so valuable. I know that my experience at Newkirk has made me a better coach and person.”
“I’m so thankful they took a chance on me, a young guy that didn’t know anything and thought he was going to change the world,” Shupe joked. “It was a great opportunity for me at the time, just like the opportunity I have here at Cushing. We love it here in Cushing, it’s been a great move for me and my family.”
“I’m proud of what we accomplished at Newkirk,” he said. “We built some numbers in the program and worked hard to put a team on the field Friday night that the community could be proud. Newkirk will always be special to me, I’ll always be proud when I see those kids with Newkirk across their chest,” he added.