Districts 2005 Okemah vs Prague

@bcmemorial13 just visited this site. I met you a couple years ago: I’m the HS coach at Okemah. Brought a 12u team to one of your tournaments @ Choctaw and your told me a little about Brian and how they had played Okemah that day before. Loved the site such an amazing young man.

@CoachRoss1044 Thanks Coach Ross. I remember it well. Okemah @ Prague Districts 2005. All the Okemah players wore #13 on their Jerseys. Very special to us during a horrific time. It’s coming up on 14 yrs.

Brian’s high school was scheduled to play the Okemah Panthers on April 28, 2005 best 2 out of 3. It was district playoffs and the winner would move on to Regionals. Normally, Brian would ride with his mother (Anna) and his brother (Brad) to school daily. But on that day the high school baseball team was preparing for districts and would practice late after school. Anna & Brad had a church function to attend back in Shawnee after school so we let Brian drive to school on that day that led to his accident.

The above posting was from the now head baseball coach at Okemah. I met Coach Ross a few years back and talked about how appreciated we were to the entire Okemah team. During the 3 game series each player wore a ribbon with Brian’s #13 pinned to their jersey. Difficult times but it was a gesture that we will not forget.

April 28th was a very tough day for everyone but we know that Brian would want the team to play. A lot of things are still foggy during that time for me. I remember stopping by the game to support Brian’s teammates. As I was walking in Cody Forehand was at the plate and hit his 1st of 2 home runs on the day. As Cody crossed the plate he pointed to the sky acknowledging Brian. To this day when I reflect about that moment it does bring a tear to my eyes.

Prague would go on to win the district playoffs and lose in the regional semi-finals. When the final out was recorded the season had come to an end for many but never has ended for me.

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Dear Colleagues,

I am writing today with some very good news. Earlier today the Foundation Executive Committee met at First National Bank (FNB) of Shawnee and completed the closing on the purchase of the 50 acre tract of land just to the west of the new Seminole High School for the construction of the Brian Crawford Memorial Sports Complex.  FNB of Shawnee, Security State Bank and the Oklahoma Development Finance Authority deserve our deepest gratitude for sticking with us for more than a year while we sought to purchase a location for this project.  When fully completed, the BCM Complex will include a new Trojan Baseball Stadium and Indoor Training Facility, three additional baseball fields and at least one soccer field.  This location will allow us to share facilities and resources with the Seminole Public School System.  It is an incredibly exciting time!

In many ways, now the real work or fun begins.  As many of you will recall, there are three unplugged wells on the property.  Foundation Trustee Lance Ruffel obtained a “soft” estimate of $45,000 to plug all three of those wells should that be necessary or feasible. Design experts have indicated that is entirely possible develop the project around the existing wells, which actually could be quite interesting.  We will now commence the process of cleaning up the property.  We cannot do a lot more work than that until we have the larger construction loan completed due to complications which could occur related to the future issuance of title insurance.   Anyone who would like to volunteer any assistance with the cleanup process in the form of donated use of heavy construction equipment please contact me.  Shortly after the first of the year, we will schedule a special meeting to consider final design and funding plans for the project.

Thank you for your patience and support during this process.  There are many others that we should thank for making this historic day possible.  First and foremost among these are the Trustees of the Brian Crawford Memorial Foundation.  Their initial commitment of a lead gift of $500,000 provided a strong base for the development of this project.  In addition, we would also like to extend our appreciation to several others who have made preliminary lead donations and pledges.  Those include:  the City of Seminole; the Seminole Tourism Council; the Kinslow Group and Seminole Sonic; Pam and the late Roger Parks and family; the late Linda Helbach and family; Regent Curtis and Pam Morgan; Regent Marci and Dale Donaho; President Lana Reynolds; former Trojan David Machino and family; and, Chairman Rocky Barrett and the Citizen Pottawatomie Nation.  In addition to all of these, there are numerous Regents, Boosters, banks, businesses owners and individuals, including all of our Foundation Trustees, who regularly make generous donations to support the SSC Educational Foundation.  We think of all of them with deep appreciation and pride on special days like today.  

Today, we are truly Shaping the Future of Seminole State College.  I hope you will join me next week in giving thanks for so many Blessings.

With gratitude,


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Land Closing!

Land Sale Completed… Seminole State College Educational Foundation Announced Today 11-14-18!


We are scheduled to close on land Wednesday November 14th. It’s been a longer than anticipated process but well worth it.

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Brian Crawford Memorial $500K

Pictured (left to right) are: Dr. Jim Utterback, SSC President Emeritus; Lana Reynolds, SSC President; Anna Crawford, Brian’s mother;
Kenneth Crawford, Brian’s father; Frank Novotny, Brian’s grandfather; Doris Novotny, Brian’s grandmother; and Jeramy Rich,
SSC Educational Foundation Chair.

The Seminole State College Educational Foundation recently received a $500,000 donation from the Brian Crawford Memorial Foundation – a gift that will launch fundraising efforts for a new College baseball stadium and honor the memory of a local student-athlete. In 2005, Prague High School senior Brian Crawford passed away after losing control of his vehicle during his morning drive to class. He was ejected from his vehicle after swerving to avoid a collision with the car in front of him, saving the life of a mother and her three children inside. Brian’s father, Kenneth Crawford, who is now retired from the Tinker Fire Department, explained that after his son’s passing, a coworker first began a memorial fund for Brian. This memorial has grown and developed into the Brian Crawford Memorial Foundation, an organization that has worked over the past 12 years to raise money for a baseball complex to be named in memory of the young athlete. The Crawford Foundation has hosted a yearly memorial youth baseball tournament to help raise funds for this project, an event that has brought in teams from over 20 states, including Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Nebraska and Kansas. Crawford explained that he and his family have searched over the years for the right opportunity and location for this baseball complex. After meeting with SSC officials and learning about their efforts to fundraise and construct new fields of their own, he knew it was the right fit. He and the Crawford Foundation pledged an amount of $500,000 toward the project and in turn, the complex will be named in memory of his son. Crawford said words can’t describe how it feels to be part nering with SSC on this project. “We’ve worked and worked to raise money for this complex, and now it has a home. We still have more funds to raise, but we are all on the same page and we all want this project to be successful,” he stated, adding, “This started as something for Brian, but I feel like it has grown into something much bigger. It’s a project that can bring people together, including others who have lost loved ones.” President Emeritus Dr. Jim Utterback, who will be working closely with the College’s Foundation on this project, expressed his appreciation to the Crawford Foundation, stating, “The sudden loss of a child is never easy and something no parent should have to suffer through. I admire the way Kenneth and his family have taken this tragedy and turned it into something positive. With the help of this major contribution, we can begin working to turn this field of-dreams into a reality.” While becoming a namesake for the late Brian Crawford, the new baseball field and facilities will also provide the College’s nationally-recognized baseball program with a state-of-the-art complex. It can be used to attract games and tournaments throughout the state and beyond – bringing in potential tourism dollars to local hotels, restaurants and other businesses. This facility will benefit not only the community, but also generations of young athletes for years to come. The College holds a finance and lease agreement with the SSC Educational Foundation for the development and construction of this new baseball complex. This agreement allows the Educational Foundation to develop financing for this project and proceed with construction with the understanding that the College will lease the facility upon completion.

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BCM Sports Stronger…

For 11 years we ran an Annual Memorial Tournament for Brian and to help raise finances moving forward to building Brian’s Memorial. In 2016 we created BCM Sports to run a sports complex and having a fundraiser every day we played league or tournaments games. Lots of time and effort but anything that would benefit Brian’s Memorial I am all in. For 2 1/2 years we built a sports program from nothing. Building a solid foundation and relationships with coaches and parents.

They say all good things must end… The City decided that more money was to be had and decided to void the operating contract with BCM Sports. In an attempt to do things on their own with no competing complexes our services were not needed.

In the Fall of 2018 BCM Sports stayed the course and offered to help all the local area complexes build a quality league. We had almost 50 league teams participate at Jones, EOC, Battlefields and Harrah.

Spring 2019 looks really good for BCM Sports and all of our local league teams.

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Ann Benson

Five years ago today… just doesn’t seem possible. Praying for you all, Anna, Kenneth, Brad, Bryce and family & friends!

Ann Benson – April 27, 2010 at 02:25 PM
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