Inaugural HSU Cowboy Football Luncheon and Auction A Success
The Cowboys came out of the spring practice session with a clearer focus on the 2012 fall season. HSU must replace its quarterback, running back and top wide receiver from a year ago.
"I think we came out of the spring camp with a little better idea of where we are as we head into the summer," said HSU head coach Jesse Burleson. "We have several positions that are up for grabs and some guys that stepped up and make us feel comfortable heading into the summer and fall."
"I am also proud of the work our team has done in the weight room and in conditioning in the offseason," said Burleson. "You can tell that we have some kids that are very committed to getting better and they need to carry that through the summer as well. We definitely have improved as a team from the end of last season to right now, we just have to continue that improvement."
After the final workout of the spring and the lineman challenge over 430 guests attended the inaugural HSU Cowboy Football Luncheon and Auction. The meal was catered by Joe Allen's and the parent's group and coaches wives along with HSU Events Coordinator Leianne McMillan helped setup the venue "Cowboy Style."
"We had a great event that was put together in a very short amount of time," said Burleson. "We had a good number of former players, along with parents, and friends of the program. We had a great afternoon of fellowship and we hope to make this an annual event."
Former Cowboy great Darren Allman spoke to the group about HSU football. He was the first recruit of the Jimmie Keeling era and is currently the head coach at Austin Westlake High School. Director of Employee Engagement at Zachary, International John Hornsby, the father of former Cowboy All-American Hank Hornsby, also spoke to the group.
The group also watched a 15-minute legacy video that the HSU football staff had put together. Over 50 former players attended the event including eight former all-Americans.
The event had several sponsors that allowed current HSU players to eat for free and also helped the program raise a generous amount of money. Dr. Dale Funk, Gotta Go Trailways and First Financial Bank were the corporate sponsors.
Carter Construction Company, Jimmie and Susan Keeling. Jim Loudermilk Homes, Shawn and Lauri Brewer, Word and Wauneta Estes, Brenda and Kevin Latham and Scott and Cindy Hay were table sponsors.
Former HSU players Ryan Conner, Dr. Jason Alexander of Abilene Advanced Dentistry. Jason Cothran, Paxton Hurst and Chance Sampson all were sponsors as well.
HSU President Dr. Lanny Hall and First Lady Carol Hall, president emeritus Dr. Jesse Fletcher, Warren Goldsmith, Dr. Shane and Amy Davidson, emcee Jud Powell and wife Linda, auctioneer Ronnie and Laura Vinson, Dr. and Mrs. Merlin Morrow, Dr. Dan and Tracy Munton, John and Kim Hornsby, Coach Darren Allman, HSU Athletic Director John Neese and wife Melissa and MVP Kim O'Dell were all special guests for the event.
The event could not have come together if not for the HSU coaching staff of Jesse Burleson, Joey McQueen, Bob Fello, Jeff Whitehead, Jon Loudermilk and Chris Jones, along with the graduate and student coaches and especially the coach's wives (Vicki McQueen, Rona Fello, Miller Loudermilk and Lois Burleson). The HSU Sweethearts led by Hailey Higgins and the HSU Parent's Group were both instrumental in the entire event.
The plan is for the event to take place again around the same time next year, so mark your calendar. The exact date and location will be determined.
Message From Coach Burleson
The atmosphere and the message of the evening were what Cowboy Football is all about. The setting was informal, with a sense of family and unity that is not found in any other program on this Earth. It was a "family reunion" as Coach Allman called it. There was a sense of tradition, a legacy of excellence achieved through hard work and dedication. It was all about passing on the lessons and the memories to the current and future Cowboys. Friendships were forged and relationships strengthened through a time of fellowship and teaching. John Hornsby spoke about Iron Sharpening Iron – from alumni and former players (old rusty machete) to the current players (polished sword ready for battle) and spreading to the future of Cowboy Football (finely crafted weapon that has room for improvement) – it takes us all ---- thoughts, prayers, money, commitment, spoken words, encouragement, support, and most importantly ACTIONS to continue to take this program from good to great. We must not be satisfied – we have to honor the past but look to the future with extremely high expectations and understand that it will take ALL OF US to achieve greatness. "Hats off to the past, Sleeves up to the future."