The Sam Fairchild Era Begins for Bixby Hoops

By Mike Moguin
GTR Sports Writer

A new era begins as a new coach takes command of the boys basketball program at Bixby.
The Spartans, who won just three games last season, look to turn things around under the tutelage of Sam Fairchild, who comes to Bixby from Warner.
“Bixby is a growing spot,” Fairchild said. “I’ve been in this (coaching) for a long time and was looking for a Tulsa area position and a chance to be competitive.”
Since taking over, Fairchild said the numbers of players are up and the attitudes of the athletes are good.
“Every day practice is becoming more and more competitive,” he said. “They’re getting better everyday and doing more of what we’re asking of them.”

MIKE MOGUIN for Bixby Breeze
Xavier Glenn: The 6’4″ junior point guard is expected to lead the Spartans this season.

Xavier Glenn, a 6’4″ junior, is the Spartans’ leading returning player and is expected to start in the role of point guard.
“Xavier is a very talented young man and his ceiling is absolutely the sky,” Fairchild said. “I think if he continues to work hard and puts in the time and effort, he’s got a chance to play on the next level for sure.”
Other returning players whom Fairchild believes will be in the mix for a starting role or playing time are Devin Crites, a 6’6″ senior guard/forward, and 6’6′ senior Josh Surmon.
“We feel like (Crites) has a chance to be part of our process,” Fairchild said. “(Surmon) played a little bit last year and we feel like he will give us some minutes.”
“We have another senior who hasn’t played the last couple of years who is going to be helping us,” the first-year coach adds. “Sean Carter is a 6’4′, 225-pound senior who has a good, solid body. He’s super strong in the paint and gives us a good athletic presence in the middle.”
The Spartans welcome two incoming freshmen who they feel are going to make an impact.
“They’re going to be great players for Bixby,” Fairchild said. “We got a 6’4″ freshman in Luke Hasz. He has a good frame, is a left-handed kid, jumps well, learns well, he is going to be a part of it. The other freshman is Parker Frederickson. Parker is about 6′. I’ve been doing this for 28 years and Parker is probably as good a shooter as I’ve had. Just deadly accurate.”
Another junior who returns is Connor Loney, a 6’1″ guard.
“He is really a consistent defender and a good player for us,” Fairchild said.
“Probably the only other kid we have returning who got minutes last year is (junior) Braden Weaver. Braden has been the point guard the last few years,” Fairchild said. “But with X (Xavier Glenn) being 6’4″, we’re trying to go longer in our lineup. But Braden will be a nice backup point guard with some experience in that position.”
Fairchild said it’s too early to make predictions for his team and acknowledges being part of a tough league in the Frontier Conference.
“We’re playing in the best 6A conference in state against the best players and best coaches in the state. We’re obviously behind the 8-ball. They (Bixby) haven’t been very successful the last few years. I think we got a competitive group, but until we get tested, I wouldn’t want to put myself behind the 8-ball anywhere,” Fairchild chuckled.
Fairchild sees Booker T. Washington as the fiercest competition.
“They have four starters back and they were state champions last year, so I think that’s an easy call,” Fairchild said. “Most people feel they have two of the best players in the state with Bryce Thompson and Trey Phipps returning from last year’s 6A state championship team.
“Everybody can play 6A in our area. Literally, everybody in the Frontier Conference has a chance to be ranked in the top 10 and be potential state tournament teams. We definitely got what I consider to be the toughest schedule I have ever faced, from top to bottom, because there are no nights off,” Fairchild added.
The Spartans open up their season Nov. 26 at Union.

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