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February 12, 2004
Conversations with NEO asst coach Peterson
Northeastern Oklahoma (NEO) in Miami(OK) is ready to roll into next season after the success from last season winning the Southwest Junior College Conference (SJCC) Championship over Tyler(TX), 37-34. NEO has won 4 out of the last 6 conference championships since joining the SJCC.
"We have been really lucky to have great kids here at NEO," said Assistant Coach Steve Patterson. "When we first came into this conference, alot of people said we couldn't compete with just Oklahoma kids on our squad. I think we have proved that we have excellent talent in this state."
When NEO asked to join the SJCC after being an independant and almost giving up football as a whole, they were allowed in on one condition...they can only have 5 athletes from out of state.
"There is such an abundance of athletes inside the walls of Oklahoma and we are fortunate to get our hands on alot of them every year."
"Coach [Dale] Patterson is going on his 23rd year here and it gives our team incredible stability and leadership. The kids see that and I believe that's how we have had so much success lately," said Patterson.
NEO has had tremendous success in the Oklahoma recruiting fields also.
"We were able to get athletes with incredible talents and abilities, but also men of great integrity. They will be a part of the future success here."
From outstanding athletes like Keith Marshall of Tulsa B.T. Washington, to "go-to" receivers, Alvin Barnett of Tulsa East Central and Marcus Henry of Lawton Ike, to big fullback Virgil Harmon from Ardmore, to running back Eli Kinnard of Claremore to big Mike Rice of Broken Arrow and Bryce Nelson of Washinton(OK).
The following is a list of athletes signed at NEO this year: