Wearing his school colors proudly, you’d never know that an NFL player was walking along the sidelines for most of Tracy’s 41-39 victory over Lincoln of Stockton on Friday night at Alex G. Spanos Stadium.
Frankly, we wouldn’t have known, either, except that whenever we’re at a Tracy game we get to talk to legendary former coach Wayne Schneider, who was more than happy to tell us the tale of Indianapolis Colts’ long-snapper Matt Overton.
“It’s a big game,” he said. “I’m glad to be here.”
It’s hard to imagine going from last Sunday’s Colts’ game in Indianapolis against the Denver Broncos to a high school game in Stockton, but it’s also hard to imagine Overton’s journey to the NFL.
After playing for former Tracy coach Mark Stroup (who’s son, Damon, quarterbacked the Bulldogs on Friday), Overton went to Western Washington University. He was originally signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2007 and was released. Next came a season in the defunct af2 (indoors), then a season in the UFL with the Florida Tuskers, then another attempt to make the Seahawks’ roster in 2010.
It wasn’t until Overton tried out again as a long-snapper for the Colts in April of 2012 that he finally stuck. He snapped all of last season for them and helped punter Pat McAfee set three franchise single-season records. In addition, he snapped on all of future Hall of Famer Adam Vinatieri’s 37 field goals.
After meeting him and then later in the evening finding out more about his story, we hope Overton someday gets to snap in the Super Bowl. And with the Colts already owning wins over the 49ers, Seahawks and Broncos, maybe that chance will be here soon.