By Daniel Brunty
The Webster Progress-Times
MATHISTON — Members of the East Webster peewee football team were honored to have a special guest come speak to them July 17 at the old football field behind East Webster Elementary school.
Former professional football player Marcus Dupree was on hand to speak to the young athletes about their upcoming season, as well as preparing for their future beyond the football field.
Dupree, who played his high school career at Philadelphia High School, was a highly touted and sought-after college football recruit who went on to play for the University of Oklahoma in 1982. At Oklahoma, Dupree was named Football News Freshman of the Year, second team All-American and Big Eight Conference Newcomer of the Year. He later played for the USFL’s New Orleans Breakers and the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams.
Dupree was the subject of Willie Morris’ book “The Courting of Marcus Dupree” and ESPN Films’ “The Best That Never Was,” a documentary that was part of the 30 for 30 series of 30 films celebrating ESPN’s 30th anniversary.
Former teammates and lifelong friends Alvin Kidd and Charles Ray McAfee accompanied Dupree. East Webster Peewee Football Director Britt Goodin met Kidd through a mutual friend, and, from there, made arrangements for Dupree to speak to his kids during their summer workout program.
Kidd, after a brief introduction by Goodin, told stories of how when Dupree played flag football, he scored so many touchdowns that they had to make what they called “The Marcus Dupree Rules.” This rule was that a player could only touch the football every three plays.
Kidd then introduced McAfee, who gave the children a brief background of coming up playing with Dupree. McAfee also stressed the need for them to listen to their parents and teachers to make them their best. He explained how an injury sidelined Dupree’s football career, and how he went on to have his own construction business in New Orleans.
The last to speak was Dupree, who told the program participants of how he had to make good grades because his mother was a schoolteacher and his grandfather a preacher. He told them the biggest thing is staying on top of their game, meaning the literal field as well as the game of life and in the classroom.
Dupree mentioned how grades are the priority in playing sports, and that in the future grades will be a significant factor with rule changes in colleges. He wanted all the children to know that when they are playing sports, they should feel like they are the best.
Dupree ended his speech by telling the youths that they must be aware of their surroundings, and to stay out of trouble at all costs.
After the presentation, Dupree signed autographs and took pictures with the children as well. Goodin thanked the men for coming to give the kids some of their knowledge and time.
On the Web: themarcusdupree.com