Native American Students Cheer for Bradford

Friday, December 12th 2008, 6:59 pm
By: News 9

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

ANADARKO, Oklahoma -- Sam Bradford's excellence on the field is sparking a growing interest in football at one Oklahoma school.

Some Indian students at a boarding school in Caddo County will have their eyes glued to the TV Saturday night to see if Bradford will take home the coveted prize.

Heisman Watch

At a park in Anadarko, you can be inspired by the busts of famous American Indians--teachers, leaders, warriors. At the nearby Riverside Indian School students are drawing inspiration from a Native American athlete--Sam Bradford, the OU quarterback, of Cherokee heritage.

"That's like a big thing man, because you never see natives, like, in football at a big-time like in the Heisman race and winning awards and what not," Riverside student Randall Anstett said. "I mean, that's a big deal, I think."

"It's like a big deal because I can look up to him," Riverside student Raymond Brady said. "And, if he can accomplish it, I can accomplish it."

Oklahoma has produced many famous Indian athletes like Jim Thorpe and Sonny Sixkiller, but for the 600 students at Riverside, from dozens of tribes, Sam Bradford is the perfect role model.

"They identify with him," Riverside Superintendent Milton Noel said. "He's doing great things, wonderful things, and that's what we aspire as educators, for our students to do; great things for themselves."

Of course, the guys admire Sam. What about the girls?

"He's cute, but he's not the cutest Native American I've ever seen," Riverside Student Starr Komalty said. "He's still cute though."

Whatever, the students at Riverside will be watching the Heisman ceremony and cheering for Sam.

But regardless of how the voting turns out, it may not be long before Bradford's bust will also be mounted here, among the other immortals.

The Riverside School Superintendent hopes Bradford will visit his students in the near future.