Members of the Iron Men of Homer (La.) 1957 Football Team Gather for a Team Photo
NFL Alumni CEO Elvis Gooden recently attended the 2018 Iron Men Football Festival in Minden, Louisiana. The event was hosted by Hope and Healing Hands Inc. to honor the 1957 Iron Men of Homer (Louisiana) football team and support local men’s ministries.
The Homer High School Pelicans football team of 1957 was a group of 18 boys who captured the state’s imagination and nickname “Iron Men” by defeating the odds with an 11 win season. The team reached the Louisiana High School Football State Championship despite fielding just 18 players. Following their winning season, 12 of the “Iron Men” players received college football scholarship offers and forever cemented their legacy among all-time Louisiana high school football teams.
Sam Camp and Dr. James Andrews were teammates on the legendary “Iron Men” team, and both had an opportunity to speak at the event.
The program began on Friday, August 17, with speaker Dr. Andrews providing insight on the importance of adolescents being dual-sport athletes. Dr. Andrews spoke in length on the amount of injuries he has seen in youth who focus on one activity, and encouraged grandparents attending to get their grandchildren involved with more than one sport.
Camp, a member of the “Iron Men” team and partner of Brightview Medical, spoke about preserving the legacy of The Homer High School Pelicans football team of 1957. He concluded his speech by honoring all 18 members of the 1957 team.
Super Bowl Champion and former Baltimore Colts Defensive Tackle Fred Miller (1963-72) was also a member of that ’57 Homer team. Miller presented the gold football he received at Super Bowl 50 to Homer High School and thanked the school by honoring its role in developing and supporting his career. Miller was an All-American player at LSU after high school.
Throughout the two-day event, attendees met members of the ’57 team and were treated to live gospel music, and free food.
Brightview Medical, a valued partner of NFL Alumni, had its Mobile MRI Unit on site throughout the course of the event. Complimentary MRI scans were available to guests.
“Our team was truly blessed to have had the unique opportunity to participate in the First Annual Iron Men Football Festival,” says Brightview Medical Research Director Dr. Hazel Lee. “We are thankful that we were able to provide the local community with access to this amazing technology. The rural healthcare landscape is very challenged and we are excited that we had the opportunity to make a positive impact.”
Elvis Gooden and Bob Schmidt, Executive Director of the Pro Football Retired Players Association, spoke on the event’s closing day.
“It was an honor to be invited to speak at an event honoring a key piece of Louisiana high school football history, ” said Gooden. “The Iron Men of Homer and their story exemplify what it means to come together as a collaborative whole and defy the odds.”
NFL Alumni made a $5000 donation to Hope and Healing Hands Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide hope and better healthcare for its communities.
The Iron Men of Homer may have played a half century ago but they will not be forgotten.