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Antlers graduate honored to play in Native All-Star Football game

July 20, 2011

Colton Maynard

A graduate of Antlers High School recently participated in The 2011 Native All-Star Game which was played on Saturday, July 9, 2011 in Denton, TX. Colton Maynard, a 2011 graduate of Antlers High School, suited up to be a member of the Red Hawks team.

The roster was very diverse. There were athletes from Washington to Mississippi. The Jim Thorpe Native All-Star Football game represented 25 tribes. Big and athletic linemen executed conquering plays, as instructed by veteran coaches with numerous state wins on their resume. Choctaws from Oklahoma and Mississippi were very well represented by the number of athletes at this year's game. The game referees were also of Native decent from the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma.

Camp started with a combine and draft on Monday. Throughout the week the athletes endured stringent practices. Wednesday, they enjoyed visiting the command center of Burlington Northern Santé' Fe headquarters in Ft. Worth, a global industry interested in Native interns. The trip was routed where they could drive by the Texas Motor Speedway and were all treated all to a hearty lunch while listening to speakers sharing career tips and life choices. Later, athletes toured the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. where they got to go down on the field and taking pictures on the Cowboy star.

The kids worked very hard and were eagerly awaiting word on the color and style of their jerseys. Jerseys were delivered on Friday evening to the delight of the kids. The jerseys were facilitated by Dream Catcher Sports, a Native owned company. They were the best looking jerseys we have ever had for this game.

This game has been a grass roots game to help find Native players for Haskell University, and this was the first year that it was played under the Native Revision banner and carried the name of Jim Thorpe. His son, Bill Thorpe, tossed the coin to begin the game while so many fans waited anxiously.

Choosing the MVP’s of this game was made very difficult because all of the players performed as great warriors.  However, choices had to be made and the one of the individuals recognized for outstanding achievement was the leader of the Red Hawks, their quarterback, Dylan Parker from Valliant, and a member of the Choctaw Nation. Parker was named the Game MVP.

The score was Red Hawks 30 and Blue Eagles 16, but, the games were much closer than the score indicated. Overall, the experience was a success for our Native athletes: meeting the objectives of recognition, opening doors to career considerations, and impressing the kids with a sense of empowerment!

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