A friend of a friend-Dwight Clark-Jesse Oxendine-October 13


One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for October 13, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

Two events occurred on Sunday made me think of history and how it shapes our lives.  The first occurrence was we had at my Lumberton, NC church; First Presbyterian Church called “The Kirkings of the Tartans”. The second event was watching Sunday Night Football and cringing on just how bad the San Francisco 49’ers have become.

The Kirkings of the Tartans is a celebration of Scottish heritage and culture. Each family that participated in church on Sunday was represented by a banner.

Example of Scottish banners depicted below.

kirking-banners

To celebrate the event we had a guest preacher who is the friend of our pastor Dr. David Ruth. His name was Jay Coker and he talked about North Carolina history when Presbyterians fought against each before the beginning of the Revolutionary War at the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge.

Some North Carolina Presbyterians were loyal to the British crown and some sought independence. In the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge in North Carolina on February 27, 1776, during the Revolutionary War (1775-83), American forces defeated the British. The victory ended British authority in North Carolina and provided an important boost to Patriot morale. Within two months of the American victory, on April 12, 1776, North Carolina became the first colony to vote in favor of independence from Britain. I give credit to Jay Coker for teaching me something new about North Carolina.

Jay’s sermon was centered on the gospel message about the importance of building your house on a rock if you want it to withstand a storm. That theme stayed in my head all day and especially when I watched the SF 49’ers have no answer for Eli Manning and the NY Giants on Sunday night. The 49’ers allowed Eli to go 41-54 on passing that resulted in 441 yards and three touchdowns.  Right now the 49’ers passing defense is not build on a rock.

I think of the rich history of the SF 49’ers and there was a time when they were fundamentally sound and not going to give up 400 plus yards. I wonder if they have forgotten what once made them great. It was the fundamentals of championship football play great defense, run the football, and don’t turn it over that once made the SF 49’ers a force to reckon with. Right now the fundamentals are not there.

In 2006 when UNC Pembroke decided to bring back football it reviewed its past history and wanted that to be part of the building fundamentals. One man that helped with that historical review was Jesse Oxendine.

Jesse depicted on right holding a UNCP Football with UNCP SGA President.

football oxendine

Jesse Oxendine was UNC Pembroke first quarterback when it had a team in the late 40’s and early 1950’s. He was also a WW II veteran. In fact he was one of four brothers that served in the war.  Jesse, a Lumbee Indian from Pembroke, was a replacement soldier that assisted the front line after they had been in battle for a period of time.  He did an emotional interview for UNC TV several years ago and revealed what it was like to liberate the Wobbelen Concentration Camp in Germany and how war changed him a former Eagle Scout.

Jesse was a great collector of artifacts from his college playing days and his collection and oral history was valuable to UNC Pembroke as we brought back football. He reminded us of the pride, he reminded us of the importance of a great coach, and he reminded us about the men that had represented the college back then. When the university re-introduced football all of those fundamentals were part of the plan. They became the rocks for the program.

Jesse also served on the Football Advisory Committee and in that role he got to interact with Dwight Clark a North Carolinian who went on to play for the 49’ers. Dwight Clark served as UNC Pembroke Honorary Co-Chair for UNCP First and Ten Campaign.

The Friend-JESSE OXENDINE

jesse_oxendine

The Friend of the Friend-DWIGHT CLARK

Dwight Clark

The Catch

Dwight Clark and Jesse Oxendine both have a few things in common. They both lived in Charlotte, they both played college football, and they both played a role in UNC Pembroke getting football back on campus in 2007.

Dwight Clark is a rock star legend in San Francisco for playing on Super Bowl Championship teams with the San Francisco 49’ers and of course “The Catch”.

The Catch refers to the winning touchdown reception by Dwight Clark from Joe Montana pass in the January 10, 1982 NFC Championship Game. The Catch is widely regarded as one of the most memorable events in NFL history.

The_Catch,_Dwight_Clark,_S_F,_Ca__1981

In 2005 Dwight Clark agreed to Co-Chair a campaign at UNCP thru some dogged determination by then Chancellor Allen Meadors and Associate VC for Advancement Wendell Staton. The First and Ten Campaign was important to UNCP and it needed a great foundation. Kelvin Sampson a UNCP Grad ’78 and at the time the basketball coach at University of Oklahoma was the other co-chair.

(l-r) Dwight Clark, Dan Kenney, and Kelvin Sampson in 2005 taping a TV piece to promote UNC Pembroke “First and Ten” Campaign.

Dwight Clark UNCP

UNCP used the First and Ten: Campaign for Football to raise $4 million to build the Bob Caton fieldhouse before the start of season in fall 2007. That facility has become the foundation or the rock of the university’s football program.

Jesse Oxendine was the first QB for UNC Pembroke and his penchant for history and Dwight Clark’s notoriety made for a pretty good team at UNCP. I say the two of them were a pretty good catch.

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