Between the action on the gridiron and honoring of seniors in the marching band, 17 individuals reunited on Seymour High Schools’ jet-black track during the intermission of Friday night’s football game between the Owls and New Albany.
It had been 25 years since most of the attending members of the 1990 football program had last met — but that all changed under the lights as they lined up and were introduced over the loudspeaker.
The Owls’ class of 1990 was one of the strongest squads in the school’s history.
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Led by head coach Joe Goodman, the Owls set numerous records, didn’t lose a home game from 1988-90 and combined for a record of 23-6, and claimed two South Central Conference titles.
The Owls were ranked sixth in Class 5A in 1988 and ninth in ’90.
First to be introduced on the night were the Gridettes, a program by Goodman which handled helmet awards, scholarship information, statistics and other duties involved in football operation.
Following introductions of alumni cheerleaders, eight players and five coaches were recognized.
Goodman said he’s proud of the achievements his players have made over the years.
“It’s fun to see the guys come back,” he said. “One of the biggest thrills I see is that so many came back with their wives and children. So many of them said, ‘If I could put on that hat for just one more play.’ I’m encouraged because they still want to play and they had a pretty good experience while here.
“The important thing is that these (former players) are college graduates. They got degrees and became valuable people in our community. If there was anything I wanted to do as a coach, it was to inspire and fill them with pride. I have a lot of great memories.”
Travis Sweany, who still holds the record for the longest touchdown in Owls history at 97 yards against Rushville, made his return to the stadium.
“Oddly enough, this is the first time I’ve been back since we’ve graduated,” Sweany said. “I will always remember the friendships we created. Getting back with the guys tonight, we’ve been sharing stories, memories and highlights.”
“If you talk to other people, they still remember our team to this day. We left an impression.”
One of the Owls’ biggest victories was in 1989, when they defeated Class 5A No. 3 Bloomington South 30-20 at home to secure the conference title.
Despite major aspirations in their senior season, the Owls were dealt a tough sectional facing Castle in the postseason.
Castle bested the Owls 29-22 before going on to take the state title.
Former Indiana All-Star Grant Goodman, who travels the country as an actor, said that it was the first time in many years he had seen his hold teammates.
“I think that the overriding emotion was that we felt like we couldn’t believe it’s been 25 years,” Goodman said. “I feel like it’s been 10 at the most. We all sort of feel an itch to put the pads back on. Our minds and hearts say that but our bodies don’t.
“I think the brotherhood, family we had made us great. It was something my dad (Joe Goodman) and his staff bred in us. We stood together and up for one another. We felt like our livelihood depended on our bond and I think we still share that.”
Jason O’Neal, who played offensive tackle for the Owls, said the football program molded many of the players into their adult lives.
“You’re shaping your adulthood: this program and sport teaches you a lot of life lessons,” O’Neal said. “A lot of things you learn carry over — like sometimes you will get knocked down in life but that doesn’t mean you’re beat. It’s not so much about what happens on Friday nights, but what happens 25 years from now. You look back and say, ‘I’m where I’m at because of what football did for me.’”
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On Oct. 9, the Seymour High School recognized members of the 1990 Silver Anniversary Football team.
Gridettes: Kara Lovegrove Engleking, Mandy Wayman Goecker, Angie Smith Luedeman, Rhonda Rowe Straton.
Cheerleaders: Kim Olson Bobb, Paige Pollert Hoffman, Kara Johnson Scheidler, Erin Armstrong Scheller, Mollie Rose.
Players: Jason Roeder, Grant Goodman, Jeff Schneider, Travis Sweany, Jeff Klakamp, casie Wischmeier, Jason O’Neal, Brad Knight, Jeff Terkhorn, Ryan Joiner, Steve Hobson.
Coaches: Rick Schuley, Art Juergens, Chris Rose, Greg Prange, Jeff Richey, Joe Goodman.