The 2010 Rusk County football season was unlike any other in recent memory.
Henderson won a state championship for the first time ever and four other teams reached the postseason. It’s the first time Rusk County has ever had five teams in one postseason.
Further, the teams made the most of their opportunity.
The Raiders and Eagles combined for a 24-2 record while the Wildcats were 4-5 going into the playoffs before winning three straight and ending their most successful campaign ever with a 7-6 record. The Wildcats and Raiders hadn’t won more than one game in any postseason prior to this year.
Players from across those five teams dotted the 2010 All-Rusk County football team. But while athletes from Henderson, West Rusk, and Tatum dominated the superlatives, there were also some standouts from Overton.
Shelton Rogers, senior fullback, was named to the first-team offense leading all Mustang backs with 90 carries for 636 yards and 6 touchdowns, despite a nagging ankle injury that troubled Rogers throughout the season.
Dual-threat junior wideout Tim Hawkins was named to the second-team offense, rushing for 488 yards and three touchdowns on the year in addition to pulling down 11 receptions for 143 yards and a score.
Spencer Wright, junior tight end, was also named to the second-team, leading all Mustang receivers with 18 receptions for 224 yards and four touchdowns. It’s also worth noting that Wright didn’t drop a pass all season.
Levi West, senior offensive tackle, battled back from injuries to anchor the Mustang line. The Mustangs rolled up nearly 3,000 yards on the ground in 2010, with four ball-carriers going over 400 rushing yards on the season.
Tyler Rhodes, junior halfback, rounded out the offense by being named first-team kick returner, with a 18.5 kickoff return average and an 11.0 punt return average that put him among the top returners in the entire East Texas area.
On the defensive side of the ball, senior Dylan Lantz was named first-team lineman. Lantz was second on the team with 121 tackles and four sacks, placing him among the top defensive players in East Texas.
Rounding out the defense was senior linebackers Shelton Rogers and Alex Meadows. Meadows led all Mustang tacklers with 125 bring downs and four sacks, finishing third in tackles for all of East Texas. He was also named second-team defense as Punter, ending the season with a 40.5 average.
Rogers contributed 117 tackles and three sacks on the season
Mustangs receiving honorable mention on offense were junior quarterback Austin McCasland, junior halfback Tyler Rhodes, junior wideout Derek Graham, senior lineman Shaderon “Dae Dae” Slaughter, and sophomore lineman Austin Cook.
Mustangs receiving honorable mention on defense were senior lineman Levi West, senior defensive back Logan Rhoades, junior defensive backs Tim Hawkins and Austin McCasland, and sophomore linebacker Greg Moore.
In 2011 Overton returns seven offensive and eight defensive starters from their 3-7 team. Arthur “Bo” Talkington, OHS athletic director/head coach, is still in his first year of a two-year contract.
Talkington is now 63-21-1 in eight seasons at the helm of the Mustangs and remains the school’s all-time winningest coach with an .800 winning percentage, which includes three undefeated regular seasons as well as five state playoff appearances.