The Duncan Banner


July 23, 2013

A final farewell to Stephens County

DUNCAN — All good things must come to an end, so too must my time in Stephens County.

With this column comes my final contribution to The Duncan Banner, a place that I joined in August of 2011.

Now my journey will take me to Piedmont, where I will be the Sports Editor for the Piedmont Surrey-Gazette, along with being the Sports Editor for the Okarche paper as well.

It’s been a long and winding journey for this young sports writer, who started out as a sports writer in Canyon, TX for The Prairie at West Texas A&M University in August of 2010, before adding my talents to the Canyon News in November 2010.  

To be honest, before I came here I had never heard of Duncan, Marlow, Comanche, Velma, Bray, Empire or even Central High, Oklahoma.

But, from the moment I stepped foot in Stephens County, I felt a sense of calm and welcome from everyone I came in contact with whether it was at a sporting event or out in public.

I also had my fair share of embarrassing moments, which I can now look back on and laugh about.

One of the funniest memories I have is when I went to go watch Comanche football practice, and I was wearing my maroon and white jacket, not having the slightest clue they were the colors of Velma-Alma High School.

After some brief explaining, it was cleared up with the Comanche coaches and players that I was a simple sports journalist and not a scout of some sort, to which CHS head coach Steve Justus then offered me a cold water to hydrate with.

Speaking of coaches, they are among the people I will miss the most.

While these people are very passionate on the field, they are among some of the best people I have had the pleasure of interacting and working with.

More importantly though, the coaches in Stephens County are tremendously family oriented and show that through how they coach and teach.

Another favorite memory of mine has to be the amazing kindness shown to me by the good people at every one of the schools in Stephens County.

Whether it was food, drinks, shirts, stats, or even a friendly conversation, there was always someone at every school whether it was a coach, student, or parent in this area more than willing to help me out.

To everyone that assisted in some form or fashion, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you did for me.

Obviously there’s so many more memories I have, but alas we don’t have that much space in this paper to fill all of them.

In my two years here, I’ve also faced a lot of harsh criticism in one form or fashion.

Many of these critics said that I was an “Idiot” or that I was a “Worthless sports writer.” My personal favorite out of these was the remark that I’d “Never amount to anything more than a half decent sports writer.”

Normally, this would be an opportunity to say that me being hired as a Sports Editor is me proving these people wrong, but that’s not my style.

Rather, I’d like to thank those people who said those remarks, because they helped keep me going on days when I just didn’t think everything was worth it.

On a much more positive note, there are some people who I will name that do deserve recognition for all their support they have given me.

First and foremost, I’d like to thank my family and friends along with my beautiful girlfriend Melissa.

There were so many days and nights during these two years that I wanted to give up and never look back, but because of these people, I was able to pull through and press on.

This accomplishment is not just about me, but about all of you as well. Thank you for everything you have done for me.

Another person I want to mention is Jeff Kaley, who was my managing editor when I started here.

I have never been so appreciative of someone being so tough on me as you were Jeff. While at the time I hated how hard you were on me, I understand that it was because you wanted me to be better than I was. Thank you for never going easy on me and for believing in me.

It felt almost overwhelming Monday night at Southwest Park in Marlow when I was covering softball for the last time.

Overwhelming not because of the heat, but because of the amount of people who came up to me wishing me well and thanking me for all I had done.

That was certainly a good way to go out at my last sporting event.

In closing, I would just like to say that I will miss all of the people I have come in contact with, and I hope that I can stay in contact with you through e-mail or some other fashion.

I will be keeping an eye on the athletics in Stephens County, so I’m expecting to hear great things this season.

Thank you all.

Evan Grice was the Assistant Sports Editor for the Duncan Banner.

He can be reached at or



Text Only
  • 4-17 duncan baseball photo.jpg Demons in close district race

    The Duncan baseball team is in a close race to finish in the top four in District 2-5A and earn a trip to regionals.
    Duncan is 7-3 in district and in third place. First-place Carl Albert has lost just one district game. The Titans split with second-place Chickasha, which also split with Duncan.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-17 jaz gayanich signing photo.jpg Gayanich to play for Panhandle State

    Velma-Alma senior Jaz Gayanich signed Wednesday to play basketball for Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell.
    Gayanich said Panhandle coach Jerry Olsen was upfront about his program and ideas, compared to other coaches Gayanich visited. Gayanich already knows what role he’s expected to play.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Those who knew John Humphrey respected him

    Duncan resident Rod Battles got to know John Humphrey pretty well.
    Battles first played Duncan High School baseball for Humphrey in 1965. He later returned to DHS, when Humphrey hired him as an assistant, and later head baseball coach. After both men retired, they became fishing buddies. Humphrey joined Battles and others for annual trips to Lake Texhoma.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-17 VA baseball Comets stay calm under pressure

    Lately, Velma-Alma baseball has made a habit of having some exciting finishes.
    In its home tournament, the Jake Leffler Wooden Bat Tournament, last weekend, it won four of five games. All of those victories came by less than five runs and two of them were by only one run.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Course challenges Lady Demons

    The Duncan girls golf team took sixth at the longest course it has played this year.
    KickingBird Golf Course is 5,300 yards. Add the windy conditions at the tournament hosted by Edmond Santa Fe and it made for a challenging day.

    April 17, 2014

  • Demon boys see Guthrie tennis action

    Some younger Duncan boys tennis players got experience at a tournament hosted by Guthrie Wednesday in Oklahoma City.
    The Demons had to adjust their lineup, though, after Cameron McCasland, who was to play No. 1 doubles with Alan Hruby, got sick. Sam Moffit was moved from No. 1 singles to take McCasland’s place

    April 17, 2014

  • Demons take two from Del City

    The Duncan baseball team swept a doubleheader at Del City Tuesday.
    The Demons won the first game 13-0. Dylan Zawicki got his fourth win of the season. Duncan got two-run singles from Mason Hightower, Hunter Phillips and Collin Klingensmith. Scott Cooper and Zawicki each had one RBI.

    April 16, 2014

  • 4-16 Central High 2.jpg Bronchos survive Fletcher

    Coach Jeff Jones realized he made a mistake after Tuesday’s 8-7 win at home versus Fletcher.
    He saw that his freshman pitcher, Dylan Jones, was struggling but he still hoped that the Bronchos could finish off the win with him on the mound. Jones had only given up one run in six full innings. Why shouldn’t the coach stick with him?

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Girls tennis tops at Guthrie

    The Duncan girls tennis team won a tournament hosted by Guthrie in Oklahoma City Tuesday.
    The tournament was moved from Monday because of weather. It didn’t affect the Demons, as they reached the finals in all four divisions and won three.

    April 16, 2014

  • 4-16 duncan soccer photo.jpg Soccer teams do well despite losses to Antlers

    Although the Duncan soccer teams didn’t score a goal against Deer Creek Tuesday at home, the coaches liked how the teams played against a tough opponent.
    The boys particularly made it tough on the Antlers in a 2-0 loss. Duncan kept Deer Creek off balance had plenty of opportunities to scores, but couldn’t finish shots.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing

Who do you favor for the U.S. Senate seat that Tom Coburn is giving up?

State Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton
U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Edmond
State Sen. Connie Johnson, D-Oklahoma City
Former State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso
     View Results