If you’re a former Overton Mustang football player, your alumni team needs you.
Overton High School graduates from as far back as 1990 (Kurt Kitchings and Steven Sikes) to as recent as 2013 (Greg Moore) have pledged to play. The game is set tentatively for February/March of 2014, possibly against the Arp Tiger alums — a once passionate rivalry that’s cooled in recent years.
“It costs $55 for the ones who played last time and, I believe, it’s $75 if it’s your first time,” he said. “But we need to get busy. They won’t schedule a game until we have at least 15 players on the team.”
Former all-state OHS lineman Ray Garrett (OHS ’96), who also coaches the East Texas Storm, is the head coach, and he’s encouraging former players old and young to sign up and get ready for some hard-hitting football action.
“Last season we had a lot of excitement and a lot of people verbally say they were playing, but this season we want to make sure everyone goes to the website and registers so we can move forward with setting up the game,” he said. “It’s looking like this year the game will likely be on the road, so we want to be sure we’ve got guys who are committed.”
Offensive coordinator Jamal Thompson (OHS ’07) agreed, adding that this year’s team is expected to attend regular practices and learn the system beforehand.
“There’s not gonna be any ‘game day heroes,’ who just show up at the end wanting to play […] we will practice,” he said. “We understand, we’re all grown men now — some of us with jobs and families — so if you got work obligations, we will work it out.”
Defensive coordinator Havon Russell (OHS ’06) echoed Thompson’s sentiment, and added there are also former Mustangs living in different parts of the state, or even different states.
“So if you’re wanting to show up the day of the game and get playing time, you better be working out on your own and staying in touch with your coaches and teammates,” he said. “We want everyone to play and have a good time and all that, but more than that we want to win.”
Thompson said last year Overton beat the Carlisle alumni squad by “coasting on pure talent,” but this year he wants a team that represents the Mustang tradition of discipline and hard work.
“We drastically lacked preparation, and it showed,” he said. Sure, we won 12-7, but it should’ve been a rout […] this year we’re gonna bring the pain and make it look easy.”