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Praise for Super Bowl local Billy Bajema

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I wrote for the Sunday Oklahoman about Baltimore Ravens tight end Billy Bajema, who went to Westmoore High and Oklahoma State. You can read that column by clicking here.

Monday morning, I received a nice email from Mike Whaley. He’s now the director of officials at the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association, but before moving to the association, he was the football coach at Westmoore. He coached Bajema and had all sorts of interesting things to say about him.

“In all my time coaching, I never met a player that worked any harder than this guy,” Whaley wrote. “He was and is a great talent and certainly has some gifts, but no one on his teams ever out worked him. In my years with him, he won every conditioning sprint at every practice and never missed a rep or a set in the weight room — most of the time doing more than what was required.

“An honor and privilege to be around him. Made you feel good about coaching and life when you were in his presence.

“I never was a Ravens fan till this year, but what a great player. And if you can believe it, he is a better person than a player.

“Thanks for taking time and providing the space to recognize him this week. He is a great product of the schools in Oklahoma.”


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Jenni Carlson

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football... Read more ›