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The year was 1963 and the first-ever Owen County High School football team, with coach Guy Patterson at the helm, was set to take on the Carrollton High School Panthers on a temporary field at the Owen County Fairgrounds.
Fast forward to 2013, 50 years after the inception of the Rebels’ football program, when the Rebels will face-off against Trimble County Friday night on the field named after Patterson.
Patterson won’t be the only one remembered during a special half-time ceremony at Friday’s homecoming game.
Owen County High School Athletic Director T.J. Wesselman is inviting all OCHS football alumni out for a special night on the gridiron to celebrate “Rebels Football: The First 50 Years.”
“Honestly I didn’t know that the ‘63 team was the first,” Wesselman said. “I knew it was in the mid-’60s, but I was contacted by Terry and Pat Patterson who told me it was the 50th anniversary of the program. As soon as I heard that, I knew we had to do something to recognize where it all started.”
Any football alumni who wishes to attend Friday’s game is asked to sign in at a tent that will be located near the gates of Patterson Field.
Football alumni will sign in according to their graduation year and will meet back at the gate five minutes before half-time where they will be lined up by year on the track.
Wesselman said depending on Friday’s alumni turnout, former Rebels may be called out by name or may be introduced in groups by the year they graduated.
Wesselman, who’s expecting anywhere between 50 to 100 alumni, said there will be a special recognition for Guy Patterson and the 1963 team.
“Guy Patterson was the very first football coach,” Wesselman said. “He really promoted and pushed to start football, after we recognize the ‘63 team, we’re going to have a rededication of Patterson Field.”
Wesselman said Pat Patterson, Guy’s son, is on the current coaching staff and his brother Terry was a seventh-grader on the 1963 Rebels team. Terry Patterson is also a member of the Owen County Board of Education.
“It’s kind of been a crunch the last two weeks to promote and push this event,” Wesselman said. “We’ve had a good response from community members and it’s gonna be an exciting night, we’re really happy about it.”
The annual Owen County High School homecoming parade will start at 3:45 p.m. from the Owen County Judicial Center. A pep rally will begin at 4:15 p.m. in front of the Owen County Courthouse.
OCHS football alumni are also invited to a tailgate party from 5:30-7 p.m. outside Patterson Field. The tailgate party will include a cookout with grilled hotdogs, chips and drinks.
The Rebels are set to kick-off against Trimble County at 7:30 p.m.