This small, tight knit community first flourished as a cotton-based community until the discovery of the Healdton Oil Field. This prosperous community is home to OU women's basketball coach, Sheri Coale!
November Means Non-Stop Action in South-Central Oklahoma...
During the month of November, the beautiful fall foliage is abounding, the heartwarming aroma of comfort food fills the air and the spirit of the holidays fills the air all throughout Chickasaw Country. But for many, the most exciting thing about November is the beginning of a new basketball season. As you probably know, basketball is a favorite pastime for many Oklahomans, whether it's youth, high school, collegiate or pro. So for all you basketball fans out there, we’ve got an extraordinary story for you. This month, we have the honor of bringing you this exclusive video interview featuring legendary Healdton native and OU Women’s Head Basketball Coach, Sherri Coale. Come along as Coach Coale takes us for a ride back in time to the place that shaped her into the champion coach and distinguishing woman that is she today!
First off, we'd like to give you a little background on Coach's hometown... Healdton is a small, tight-knit community located in the western portion of Carter County along State Highway 76, less than 30 miles west of Ardmore. First known as Mason, after its founder Elisha Mason, the town of Healdton originated with the establishment of a local post office in 1883. The initial townsite was located just one-half mile east of its current position. In 1888, Mason was renamed Healdton after its first postmaster, Charles Hobart Heald. Early Healdton flourished as a cotton-based community until 1913, when the Healdton Oil Field was discovered. This oil boom resulted in the construction of the Ringling and Oil Fields Railway in 1916-17, which was situated just north of Ringling and west of Healdton.
After the institution of the Ringling and Oil Fields Railway, Charles Heald's son and successor as postmaster, Ben Heald, saw an opportunity for further development of the town and moved the post office to the railroad, sowing the seeds for the beginning of a "new" Healdton at its present-day location. The oil boom shaped Healdton into a prosperous community, so much so that by 1918, Healdton accounted for 15 percent of the state's petroleum production. Even a number of Oklahoma's most prominent oil pioneers like Robert A. Hefner, Sr., Erle Halliburton, Wirt Franklin and Lloyd Noble established operations in the Healdton Field. Although the oil boom is no longer in full blast, the oil industry is still alive and well in Healdton today.
- Six Big 12 Regular Season Championships -
- 92 Academic All-Big 12 Honors -
- Four Big 12 Tournament Championships -
- 14 All-District Academic Team members -
- 14 straight NCAA Tournament Appearances -
- Four Academic All-America Team Members -
- Nine Sweet 16 Appearances -
Those are just a few of the many outstanding achievements that Coach has under her belt. Still going on strong with the start of her 18th season at OU, we were excited to take Coach back to her old stomping grounds, the Healdton High School Gym. Solidifying the concrete fundamentals of high morals, hard work and dedication, this floor truly set the groundwork for Coach's championship career.
Just stepping foot out on the court instantly brought back memories of joy to Coach. And as you might expect, we couldn’t leave the gym without Coach throwing up a few hoops. Afterwards, we ventured down the halls to scope out the Bulldog's prized trophy case that showcased Coach's All-State letter jacket. Her old teachers were thrilled to have the opportunity to greet Coach and catch up with their former All-Star student and athlete, who has become such an esteemed role model for their present-day students and athletes.
Before heading back to Soonerland for basketball practice, Coach wanted to make one last stop at the Healdton National Guard Armory. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this building holds more than a historical meaning for Coach. This is the place where she would go to coach herself, outside of practice on her own time. Whether it was snow or shine, Coach was out on that court shooting, sometimes with her Father rebounding and other times… just her, the ball and the hoop.
After bidding farewell to Coach, we decided to stick around town and check out some of the local attractions like the Healdton Oil Museum. This historical museum offers a glimpse back in time to the early days of the Carter County oil boom. When in the area, stop by the Healdton Oil Museum to explore their array of fascinating artifacts, tools, equipment and photographs.
On our way out of town, we made one last stop by the Healdton Municipal Lake. A bass fishing hotstop, this lake boasts 7 miles of shoreline and 370 surface acres of water. It also offers a convenient place for locals to go to enjoy recreational activities like fishing, boating, trail hiking and camping – somewhere not too far from home. If you prefer a peaceful outdoor scene with the company of only you and mother nature, this is your ideal lake escape!
There you have it, your highlight reel of Healdton, OK with former resident and current head coach of the OU Women's Basketball Team, Coach Sherri Coale. Plan a visit to her beloved hometown and come explore this Chickasaw Country gem!
Until next time, Boomer – Sooner!