On Friday night, the people of Minco know senior Jacob Overton for his abilities underneath the floodlights as he and the rest of the Bulldog squad continue to put together a memorable 2013.
And while the work done by the fifth ranked Class A team in the state continues throughout the week on the practice field and in the weight room, the focus for Overton, along with many other players, turns upward. The last thing a teammate says to him before leaving Wednesday practice after school: see you at church.
"First, honestly, I want them to remember I was a man of God, and secondly I want them to remember what I did on the football field," Overton said. "There's just not enough Godly examples out there, and that's what I want to be first and foremost."
His ambitions match the philosophy. Overton, a four year starter for the Minco varsity football team who hasn't missed a single game since he was a freshman, wants to be a pastor or youth pastor. He appears to be the prime candidate if Bulldogs head coach Clint Warren — who has known Overton since he was in eighth grade — is considered a worthy source.
"First of all, when you start talking about Jacob, what people don't realize is as great a football player he is, he's a better person," Warren said. "He's the guy that everyone would want their daughter to marry, and that's the truth. He's a hard worker, puts in the time, he's smart, he's a leader; I can't think of enough things to call him."
And he's definitely a very good football player. In his now three-and-a-half years on Minco varsity, Overton has accumulated over 3,000 yards of receiving and is fast approaching 2,000 yards rushing. He's even spent a bit of time at quarterback.
"I would say that's probably some sort of record," Warren said. "I bet there's not many people in the state that has 2,000 rushing and 3,000 receiving in their high school career."
While that's all great for Overton, his life is more about answering, not to a stat book, but a much higher power. There are, of course, things to learn from football that apply equally to living a Christian life.
"There's how important a team is and how important it is to be connected with other Christians," Overton said. "We're the body of Christ; without each other, we don't really work."
He credits his father for showing him what a good Christian man should be, and that's not the only thing he gets from being part of the Overton household. The family are proud alumni and season ticket holders of Oklahoma State University football. Dreams of taking to Boone Pickens Stadium dressed in the orange and white have filled Overton's head for years.
"The change just in the past three years has been awesome," Overton said. "We used to not be relevant at all, but now we're a top 25 team every year. I've dreamed of playing for OSU my whole life, and my brother's the same way."
But at least at the moment, it doesn't appear that will be the case. There may be football beyond Minco for Overton, however, in the form of Oklahoma Baptist University, a school that fits his goals both on the field and off.
"The more I prayed about it, the more I thought if I'm going to be a pastor or a youth pastor, going to a Christian university would be a good thing," Overton said. "I could study it and go to their seminary, then play football on top of that."
There's also the small matter of a girlfriend for four years that Overton would like to continue seeing beyond high school. They are the thoughts that plague many a football senior's mind, but Overton is at least able to set them aside for a few hours a day and those precious moments on Friday night. In the end, there's still the big goal that sits above the field and he gladly rises toward.
"I want to impact people's lives for God, because I know how hard it is being in high school," Overton said. "For a lot of the kids, the cool thing is not being a Christian, and I want to change that."