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Owen County's father of football

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Homecoming celebrates 50th anniversary and the man who started football program

By Brian Blair

It is always good to remember where you came from.
On Friday night in Owenton, the Owen County High School football program took a walk down memory lane.
At halftime on Friday night, fans and the current Rebels team honored those who came before them. Forty-seven football alumni were recognized as well as 10 members from the first football team in 1963.
Dan Jenkins, Tom Holbert, Gary Smith, Tommy Lewis, Drew Cammack, Lawrence Kelly, Jim Mason, David Bruce, Jan Oaks and Terry Patterson were all on hand to remember their first high-school football coach Guy Patterson.
As part of the 50th anniversary of Owen County High School football, the field that bears the name of the first coach and program founder was rededicated.
For Terry Patterson, he knew Guy as more than just his coach.
He also knew him as dad. Patterson said honoring his father made for a special night.
“It’s extra special,” Patterson said. “It’s great to get everybody back together and honor our Dad which is special for us.”
Guy Patterson came to Owen County in 1962 to become the principal at the Owen County Elementary School.
The next year, he decided to start a football program. It was not easy as he lacked two important elements.
He had no money from the Owen County Board of Education and no place to play.
With the help of some local businesses which donated money for uniforms and equipment, Guy Patterson was able to field a team.
They played their games on an 80-yard dirt field at the old Owen County Fairgrounds.
Patterson was literally a hands-on coach.
During that first year when he did not have enough players to scrimmage, he was known to put on a helmet and get into the middle of action.
It is said he had no trouble holding his own.
After he retired from coaching the high school Rebels in 1968, he moved down to coach the middle-school football team for a season. He also helped start up the little league football program.
When asked what his dad would think about Owen County football 50 years later and whether he could have imagined how far the program has come, Terry Patterson said. “I can’t imagine it.”
Terry Patterson said he knows his father would have been pleased by the turnout on Friday night.
“To have that many people there in support of Owen County football would have been rewarding for him,” Terry Patterson said.
Another member of the Patterson family who was on hand to witness Friday night’s rededication is a familiar fixture on the Owen County sidelines. Pat Patterson, another son of Guy Patterson, is a member of the current coaching staff for the Rebels.
Current OCHS Head Football Coach Adam Fowler said he has learned a great deal about Guy from Pat.
“I didn’t know Coach Patterson, his father, but he has told stories and it’s neat that he is coaching on his dad’s field,” Fowler said.
For Pat Patterson, the night was all about this father, his impact and legacy for helping Owen County’s young people.
“It’s about my dad,” Pat Patterson said. “I know he would be proud to see what went on tonight.”
Pat Patterson said his father would be happy to see where the program has gone and where it is going.
“I think he would be pleased. The program is going in the right direction,” Pat Patterson said.
Terry Patterson said he and the family were very thankful for the evening’s events and said it was great to get everyone together and relive some old times. He said the best part was honoring his father.
“It meant a lot to us,” Terry Patterson said. “The family is proud of what he had done.”
Terry Patterson said he especially wanted to thank current Owen County High School Athletic Director T.J. Wesselman for all of his hard work in putting the night together.

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