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What is a Lufkin Panther Sideliner Booster?

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As I’m sure all of you Panther fans know, the Lufkin Sideliners Club, which is one of the big booster clubs for our football team, dates all the way back to the early 1940’s. However, some may not know what we do at all and how we are involved. You don't need have a child in Lufkin ISD, mine have been gone since 2001 and there are many others who have stuck around long after their children have graduated and continue to serve.

There is a BIG reason why I post this article after comments I heard last night about the Sideliners Club from some totally uninformed folks. I challenge anyone to take up the spear of volunteering to do this work for the kids and if not should keep any negative comments about us and to me, to themselves. It was all I could do last night to stay cordial about things said and I did stay respectful. It's also what happens when someone only hears 1/2 of a conversation and then reacts to only the part they heard. Which was the word "Lose". Not going to explain any further, because the whole thing was ridiculous.

There are many who wear the Sideliner hat and shirt who are not active in what we do or ever attend a meeting. They pay their $75 bucks for a hat and shirt and that is the last we ever see of them, if ever we do see them at all. We still Thank you for that support. However, we do hope you will consider finding out more about us and being more involved with the organization and supporting the kids at LHS.

This is a reprint article, that has been updated a little, originally written by Gary Ivins for the LDN.

During the mid-1980s, for one reason or another, Coach Pat Culpepper did away with the once proud booster club. Some thought him to be a real nut job, just don't know.

So to say things were not in good shape back in 1995 when Coach John Outlaw was brought in would be an understatement. Then in the summer of 1995 after Coach Outlaw was hired, he got a phone call and an invitation for lunch.

Of course, Coach Outlaw, not one to pass up a free meal, met with two longtime Panther fans at Pit Stop BBQ, Mike Capps and the late Carl “Doaker” Williams.

And what was supposed to be a simple lunch turned into the beginning of the resurgence of the Lufkin Sideliners Club, one of the top booster clubs in the state.

It started off with just a couple of early projects. Dressing rooms and the press box at Abe Martin Stadium were in bad shape.

Coach Outlaw needed an AC unit and stools, desk and chairs for the coaches’ office, computer equipment to help scout opponents and the weights and height of our kids — basic things of course.

So the first thing “Doaker” and Mr. Capps did was call another big Panther fan, Mr. Artie Dixon. And of course Mr. Dixon was there to help, installing a window unit and bringing in furniture the next day.

The next step was to get set up as a charity and non-profit organization. For that the guys turned to Bill Ricks, with The Zeleskey Law Firm.

Then there was the meeting right before the 1995 season with about 30 Panther fans present. Mike Capps was nominated as the president and just like that, the Sideliners Club was back.

Now most of us see everything the Lufkin Sideliners Club has provided for Lufkin ISD, from the renovation of the press box, new lights and dressing rooms at Abe Martin, to teaming with Lufkin Coca-Cola to bring the Packtron to Lufkin, to the inflatable Pack helmet that you see at every game, even on the road.

There are special fans such as current president Todd Kassaw. There is Randy Odom and Mark Jackuback, who for 10 years make sure the Pack Helmet and tunnel are transported and set up at Panther every game, weather permitting, Oscar Kennedy, Judge Paul White, Steve Lewis, Charles Randall, Gary McCoy and many others who travel to every road game at their own expense to have our Panthers looking good.

But those are just some of the things you see about the Sideliner Panther booster club. Not only do the Sideliners team up with the Mothers Club to help our kids in any way they can, they also provide for all Panther sports.

If Coach Ouick needs nets for the soccer team, he calls the Sideliners. Repairs at Panther Gym? Call the Sideliners. Help with getting cheerleaders to nationals? Call the Sideliners. Debate team needs help? Call the Sideliners.

And those are just some of the things the Lufkin Sideliners Club has helped with, there are too many to mention here.

However, what the Sideliners are the most proud of — are the more than $150,000 of scholarships that have been handed out over the last 16-plus years to Lufkin Panther athletes.

So you see, the Lufkin Sideliners do a lot to help the student athletes here in Lufkin and we are very fortunate to have the Mothers Club from a football perspective and the Lufkin Sideliners Club from an athletic program perspective.

And while some may believe that sometimes people get too involved and wrapped up in sports, I know a group of guys that feel the same way I do.

High school sports can do a lot of good for many different reasons. They help kids get opportunities both athletically and academically, and it can bring a community together like nothing else I’ve ever seen.

Where else can you look up and see 10,000 fans from so many different backgrounds cheering for the same thing?

At Abe Martin Stadium and John Outlaw Field, that’s where!

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Great speech! While I am not a sideliner member you have inspired me to become one at first opportunity I get. I agree that you all do a lot of great things for the Community not just the Panthers. Hmm I see I am not the only one that thought Culpepper was a nucking futz!.

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Yeah, Culpepper was (is) a bit wacko but I'm curious as to what his reasoning was when he did away with the Sideliners...

I did not become a Sideliner until 1995, but I was told Culpepper did not want to deal with talking to or supporting a football booster group, Kind of surprising since he came from UT. This was the story told me by the ones who brought back the organization in 1995. I did not know Culpepper well.

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I did not become a Sideliner until 1995, but I was told Culpepper did not want to deal with talking to or supporting a football booster group, Kind of surprising since he came from UT. This was the story told me by the ones who brought back the organization in 1995. I did not know Culpepper well.

There's a book written by an ex-UT player "Meat on the Hoof" and he speaks of a crazy grad assistant working with the football program-Pat Culpepper

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Hi, I'm Coach Culpepper's son, Johnny. Just to be clear, my dad didn't "do away" with the Sideliner Club. In fact he utilized the Sideliner's club and embraced them many times throughout his career at Lukin, and I might add he created: Little Panthers Club (on Saturdays after the game children from 2 years of age to 7th grade, could come and meet with their favorite panthers and the coaching staff would have organized activities for the Little Panthers), he also created the Mother's Club (a chance for the moms, grandmas, great grandmas to be a part of the team, learn more about football, and was a way for the staff to say thank you to all of the moms and for what they do throughout the year and sacrifices that they make)

As you might not remember, when my dad arrived with his staff, Lufkin Panther football was a losing program, losing attitude, losing culture. Do you remember the weight room when my dad arrived? 1 bench press, 1 squat, 1 leg press.....that's it. Do you remember how Abe Martin was falling a part? (wooden seating, horrible playing field) With the help of the Sideliners club and businesses around town, they built a state of the art (for the mid 1980's :) weight room) that helped turned the Lufkin program around. They also installed new grass field and metal bleachers on the home side.

If you would like to discuss anything else that might be unclear or not sure when or what occurred, send me an email and I would love to discuss. Finally, I hope everyone can acknowledge that my dad, along with the staff he had, teachers, administrators, little panthers, former players etc. created the foundation for what Lufkin Panther football is today.

Thanks,

Johnny Culpepper

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Thanks for the info. This was a reprint of an article in the Lufkin Daily News by Gary Ivins aka Big Nasty. His source for the story came from Mike Capps who was one of the folks who regenerated the club back in 1995. I think Coach Ed Cauley and Coach John Slaughter was here after your Dad, so one of them may have been the culprits to dissolve the club. I know nothing before 1995.

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I did not become a Sideliner until 1995, but I was told Culpepper did not want to deal with talking to or supporting a football booster group, Kind of surprising since he came from UT. This was the story told me by the ones who brought back the organization in 1995. I did not know Culpepper well.

Did you edit this post or is this what you originally said about Culpepper? I could have sworn I saw something different a little over an hour ago. Just wondering.

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Did you edit this post or is this what you originally said about Culpepper? I could have sworn I saw something different a little over an hour ago. Just wondering.

I did not know Culpepper. However there were many around here that did know him that said he was a nut. Their words not mine. Never met the man.

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He may or may not have been. I really don't know. I just asked you if you edited what you originally said about him. Was just wondering if my eyes were playing tricks on me or if I really did see something different earlier.

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He may or may not have been. I really don't know. I just asked you if you edited what you originally said about him. Was just wondering if my eyes were playing tricks on me or if I really did see something different earlier.

Something written back in 2011 by Gary Ivins, so I don't know at this point. We are in the Quick Era now and it has been 25 years since Culpepper was here.All coaches past and present have contributed to the Lufkin program in some form or fashion. Everyone's perspective on those contributions can be different I guess.

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Something written back in 2011 by Gary Ivins, so I don't know at this point. We are in the Quick Era now and it has been 25 years since Culpepper was here.All coaches past and present have contributed to the Lufkin program in some form or fashion. Everyone's perspective on those contributions can be different I guess.

I guess. As far as I'm concerned the only names that pop in my head when it comes to lufkin are John outlaw and Todd quick. But I'm young too tho.. But I also know when lufkin started winning. But whatever

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Hi, I'm Coach Culpepper's son, Johnny. Just to be clear, my dad didn't "do away" with the Sideliner Club. In fact he utilized the Sideliner's club and embraced them many times throughout his career at Lukin, and I might add he created: Little Panthers Club (on Saturdays after the game children from 2 years of age to 7th grade, could come and meet with their favorite panthers and the coaching staff would have organized activities for the Little Panthers), he also created the Mother's Club (a chance for the moms, grandmas, great grandmas to be a part of the team, learn more about football, and was a way for the staff to say thank you to all of the moms and for what they do throughout the year and sacrifices that they make)

As you might not remember, when my dad arrived with his staff, Lufkin Panther football was a losing program, losing attitude, losing culture. Do you remember the weight room when my dad arrived? 1 bench press, 1 squat, 1 leg press.....that's it. Do you remember how Abe Martin was falling a part? (wooden seating, horrible playing field) With the help of the Sideliners club and businesses around town, they built a state of the art (for the mid 1980's :) weight room) that helped turned the Lufkin program around. They also installed new grass field and metal bleachers on the home side.

If you would like to discuss anything else that might be unclear or not sure when or what occurred, send me an email and I would love to discuss. Finally, I hope everyone can acknowledge that my dad, along with the staff he had, teachers, administrators, little panthers, former players etc. created the foundation for what Lufkin Panther football is today.

Thanks,

Johnny Culpepper

Your daddy didnt lay the foundation for .

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Well can't speak on the former coach I was a kid and heck my brother was not even born yet so don't know how he would know lol. But any way he did finish with a 49-29-7 record while at Lufkin from 84-91 I think 2 playoffs team and the 88 team was one of the best ever and I was at the 88 game with my grandfather when Carter beat the Pack and if it was not for that buzz saw of a cheating team who knows what may have happen that year? Can't speak on what he did or did not do but that's. It a bad record and I do believe at that time only 1 team made the playoffs?

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I think RB Eric Curl was on that 88 team. Not a bad team. You know Carter had to forfeit that win over Lufkin because they were playing ineligible players.

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Yes my grandfather got mad even if he heard the name carter they also had Jessie armstead carter did. Was TJ turner on the 88 team? That Lufkin teams was good that's for sure

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Well can't speak on the former coach I was a kid and heck my brother was not even born yet so don't know how he would know lol. But any way he did finish with a 49-29-7 record while at Lufkin from 84-91 I think 2 playoffs team and the 88 team was one of the best ever and I was at the 88 game with my grandfather when Carter beat the Pack and if it was not for that buzz saw of a cheating team who knows what may have happen that year? Can't speak on what he did or did not do but that's. It a bad record and I do believe at that time only 1 team made the playoffs?

Foundation my I didnt need to be born to understand Outlaw layed the real foundation.

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Foundation my ass I didnt need to be born to understand Outlaw layed the real foundation.

What he said....

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