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Don King: 20 Years as Voice of the Jenks Trojans – Presented by Woodland West Animal Hospital & Pet Resort

VYPE Editorial Director and former broadcast partner with Don King, sat down to discuss his 20-years on the air with the Trojans. 

BH: This marks 20-years of calling Jenks football on the radio for you Don. Do you remember what the first game was you called for Jenks and how did that game end?

DK: The first time I called Jenks on the radio was in 2003. The game was played at Bixby and a Jenks player, Jay Cooper, returned the season opening kick for a touchdown! That’s not happened since but what a way to start the season and what a way to start my Jenks play calling career. Prior to calling Jenks games on the radio, in 1980 I did sideline reporting for Tulsa Cable (now Cox). I remember reporting on a Broken Arrow versus Jenks game in which the Trojans got beat 17-7.  In 1985 I covered sports for 1430am radio, and I covered a Jenks versus Muskogee game. In 1988 Tulsa Cable decided to air a Metro Game of the Week. JV Haney and I did those games together. We covered a lot of the big Trojan games during that time including the 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001 title games. 

BH: You have been part of some memorable moments in Jenks history. It’s impossible to select one or two favorites, but when you look back, what are some things that really stand out to you about this program?                      

DK: The main thing that stands out to me is their commitment to excellence year after year- it never waivers. There are high expectations for this program, and they live up to those expectations. The main reason for that is their support from the community, the school, the students, the coaches, and the Booster Club. 

BH: Every program needs the support of the community. The support for the Trojans is tremendous. How important has that support been for the Trojan football program and all the athletic programs at Jenks? 

DK: I’m amazed how the students have such a desire to be champions in all sports. Jenks has accumulated more state titles than Broken Arrow, Owasso, and Union combined. But it starts with the JTA and the players battling for championships at those ages sets them up for success.  

BH: Who gave you the job as the voice of the Jenks Trojans, and did you ever think you would be doing it 20-years later? 

DK: I have been involved with the JFBC since 1997 working out details for their games to be aired on the stations I worked for.  Prior to me, the Jenks radio announcers were Guerin Emig (Tulsa World) 97-98, Chris Plank (OU) 1999-2000, and Mark Wedel (Bixby) 01-02. An opening to do the games became available in 2003, and I decided to do the games myself because it was something I had been wanting to do. Allan Trimble approved of me calling the games and the rest is history.

BH: The Trojans recently stopped the incredible winning streak by Bixby on national television. During the game you sounded as excited for the Trojans as you did in your first season of calling games. What gets Don King excited for a game? 

DK: The bigger the game, the more excited I am. It’s easy to get excited with really close games. But it’s important to show excitement for the blowout games, as well. In those games, some of the reserve players get to play and you try to be upbeat and know as much as you can about them because that is their big moment to shine! 

BH: You have had some of the greatest color analysts in the history of high school football share the booth with you during your tenure with Jenks. All kidding aside, who are some of the people you would like to say thank you, for their help and support over the years. 

DK: Each one has been a gift in their own way. Jerry Ostroski and Scott Brown did the first season. Helping get Jerry in the booth for the first time was fun and Scott continued to do the games with me while his sons Stephen and Matt went through Jenks. Matt McCoy joined me after he graduated from OU and did it for 4-5 years with Jeremie Poplin on the sidelines. Then Brad Heath followed and brought a great perspective because he had coached a lot of the Trojans when they were in the JTA. Tom Stockton joined the broadcasts later. Tom is unique in that he has championship rings with Cascia Hall, Union, and Jenks. Eric Fox joined us later and he adds a great perspective as a former coach and current vice-principal. And now Rob Loeber, former local sports anchor and now the Public Information Officer for JPS has joined us. His position allows us to promote the entire school system, not just the football program. I wish I had hit the lottery so I could ask all of the ones I’ve mentioned to join us again in different capacities. That way we could rotate all of them between two-hour pre-game shows and call-in post-game shows with a scoreboard show, just like a college program. My goal is not to shine myself but to allow the others to shine and make it sound as much like a college broadcast as possible. 

BH: You spend enough time with any program, and you will see and experience change. Allan Trimble was the Jenks Trojans. His passing had a deep impact on a lot of people close to the team. From your prospective, what did he mean to the program and what advice, if any, did coach ever give you? 

DK: I can’t think of any advice coach ever gave me but watching his success and the way he handled things over the years was very impressive. He had the ability to put players in the right spots to be successful. Every team has different strengths, and he was able to coach to those strengths. He was able to lose coaches and hire replacements who understood the expectations and thrived because of it. He really cared about the athletes. He set a great example that is still being felt today through coach Riggs.  

BH: Tell me about the Jenks Football History book that is out. This book covers so much of Trojan history with players, year-to-year schedule breakdowns, record holders and so much more. Where can people find it if they would like to purchase a copy? 

DK: I had been wanting to do this book for several years and then the pandemic hit.  Once the libraries around the state opened back up after the pandemic, I spent about 10-15 hours a week for 18 months going through newspapers from all over the state researching football stats and history.  We printed 200 copies, and most have been sold but the few left can be purchased at the Trojan Shop just west of downtown Jenks.  

BH: Final questions, will you ever dye your hair blonde for the playoffs? 

DK: The easy answer is NO. I don’t have enough hair left to waste the money on the dye. 

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