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.
Talkington, hired in February to replace Ty Robinson (7-13 in two seasons), must contend with his own lofty accomplishments.
“(My return) is not something I think has a great impact on what I’m doing with these kids right now,” he said. “None of them were even born when I was coaching here (in the 1980s), so I don’t think it’s even an issue.”
During his first tenure as Overton head coach from 1981-1988, Talkington was 60-14-1.
He led the Mustangs to several district championships, undefeated regular seasons in 1983, ‘84 and ‘88 and three state playoff appearances.
The Mustangs won at least 10 games in three seasons with Talkington on the sideline, including 12 in 1983.
“Maybe for the fans and supporters familiar with the history of the football program, it’s something fun to talk about, especially during the off-season,” Talkington said of his first tenure at Overton. “But the only season that matters for me is 2010.”
And what a season it could be for Overton.
The Mustangs, who return just four starters off a 3-7 team, are predicted to finish at the bottom of Class A Division I District 9,
Further, Overton begins its season as a heavy underdog to the champion Wildcats.
But Greg Jenkins, the first-year head coach/athletic director for Cayuga, says that his team is certainly not overlooking Overton.
“We’re certainly not overlooking them, not at all,” he said. “We’ve been very impressed by what we’ve seen of them on film and we think they are a very well-coached squad […] we’re not looking past them, not by any means.”
Jenkins cited returning seniors Levi West and Shelton Rogers, as well as juniors Tyler Rhodes and Spencer Wright, as standouts on the Mustangs roster.
Further, the Mustangs are coming off ties against Waskom, West Rusk and Beckville in three preseason scrimmages.
“We’re expecting it to be a very hard fought game,” Jenkins said. “I think Overton will come ready to play.
“That’s what we’re expecting and that what we’re getting ready for,” he added.