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Bradley captures gold ball in return to Midwest City

Midwest City assistant coach Dewayne Bradley celebrates with players after winning the Class 5A state championship Saturday at the Lloyd Noble Center. Bradley coached the Bombers to three state runner-up finishes in 12 years with the school. He returned this year to coach alongside his former player Torey Noel. Photo by Jeff Harrison

By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon

NORMAN – Dewayne Bradley won a lot of games at Midwest City High School.

A victory in the state championship game always escaped him. The Bombers finished state runner-up three times during his 12 years at the helm.

Bradley retired last year after three seasons at Noble. But when Torey Noel, a former player and assistant, asked him to join the Midwest City coaching staff, Bradley couldn’t say no.

On Saturday, Bradley finally saw the Midwest City boys win it all, as they beat Booker T. Washington 69-66 in the Class 5A state championship at the Lloyd Noble Center.

“It is still kind of surreal, and it’s a feeling that I didn’t know I was going to get,” Bradley said. “I thought I was probably done coaching when I retired last year. For them to hire Torey (Noel), and him to ask me to come back and help has been awesome.”

Bradley didn’t hesitate when Noel called. He quickly realized that they had the talent to win a gold ball.

“I told them when school started, that they’re as talented as any team I’ve had in 12 years here,” he said. “They had the talent to win, but they needed to trust each other.”

Bradley said it was a struggle at times.

“We’ve had ups and downs in practice, but it was way more good than not,” Bradley said. “We needed to get the guys to buy in and believe and trust what was going on.”

Noel said having Bradley with him has been a blessing.

“It’s been huge for us. We’ve had ups and downs but he’s been in this position before,” Noel said.

Bradley and Noel have been together seven years as a player and coach or coaching together. They reached the state tournament six of those years.

“I’m just so proud of him (Noel) and just happy to be back,” Bradley said.

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