Cayuga rolls past Mustangs 30-6

Overton’s varsity football season got off to a rocky start Friday night as the Mustangs fell 30-6 to defending state champion Cayuga.

While the score indicates a dominating performance over the Mustangs, most of the damage done was self-inflicted.

Overton (0-1) lost three turnovers deep in its own territory, each resulting in points for the Wildcats.

It was also a tough night through the air for the Mustangs, as signal-callers Austin McCasland and K.J. Luster combined for four interceptions.

The rushing attack was slow going early on, moving only in fits and starts for much of the game.

But the bright spot was the Mustang defense, holding the vaunted Cayuga offense to only 251 yards of total offense and zero second-half points.

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“…back in the saddle again…”

BETHEL  –  Another chapter of the Bo Talkington era in Overton begins tonight when the Mustangs visit defending Class A Division II state champion Cayuga.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Unlike this year’s Cayuga squad, which must endure the pressure of high expectations of a team coming off a state title, Overton bears a different sort of burden.

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Hard road ahead for young Mustangs

Right now it is hard to imagine a program more “behind the eight ball” than the Overton High School varsity football team going into the 2010 season.

Whether it’s the early injuries to key two-way starters on the Mustang depth chart or the difficult practice conditions, Overton just can’t seem to catch a break.

The Mustangs are currently practicing out in left field of the softball complex as their field undergoes extensive renovations. As of this reporting, the home opener comes at the halfway point of the season, when OHS will host Big Sandy for their homecoming game on Oct. 15.

While they might just be the only football program in the entire state of Texas that does not have its own functional playing field, you’ll hear no excuses from the Mustangs head coach/athletic director Arthur “Bo” Talkington.

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One year down…

It was this time last year when the Henderson Daily News decided to take a chance on a pompous and ostentatiously erudite fellow from an obscure corner of Rusk County…  that’s right, me.

This week marks the first year of my tenure as staff writer and photographer for our local paper of record.

My first workday was Monday, Aug. 24 and my first byline appeared on Tuesday, Aug. 25…  which was was followed by the first complaint to my editor on Wednesday and the first verbal reprimand on Thursday.

Such has seemed to be the pattern I’ve followed ever since.

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Can you go home again?

A person can hardly choose his or her place of birth.

Though one might speak of a city as being his or her “hometown” it is often an appellation that comes well after one has already been established in such a place.

While I never called it so in my youth, I consider the small Rusk County community of Overton as my own hometown. A funny thing, because I spent only a portion of my childhood there and most of my adult life away from it.

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So, what’s at stake?

For those of you who are, like myself, far more concerned with the issues we’re facing in and around the immediate Rusk County vicinity, last week’s ruling from U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker probably didn’t even register with you.

That is, of course, unless you happened to view any of the various televised 24-hour cable news channels, where it is (depending on the network) either championed as the greatest civil rights boon since Plessy v. Ferguson or maligned as the worst miscarriage of justice since Roe v. Wade.

Judge Walker ruled that the State of California’s Proposition 8 be declared unconstitutional. The same proposition, which was affirmed by a clear majority of California voters, amended the state’s constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

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Before the beginning, after the end…

August. Summer. Two-a-days.

For any red-blooded southern male that has ever buckled a chinstrap and lined up in a three-point stance, those words quickly evoke a cascading barrage of visions and sense memories.

Of all the things I can remember, one of the most resonant recollections I possess is the first day of practice my freshman year.

As we began our calisthenics, I let my gaze wander out toward the sun rising over the tree-line out past the eastern entrance to the football stadium. Each glimmering sliver of sunlight brought a grim harbinger of a long morning’s toil.

The moment was punctuated by the loud gruff voice of my coach informing my teammates and I that, because our efforts were particularly uninspired, he would compel us to offer an encore performance.

I recall that he made many such requests over the next four years.

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