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Football season evokes happy memories for HPU alumni couple

BROWNWOOD –September 24, 2014– Of all of the things associated with autumn, football is certainly a Texas favorite. Though they’re not often able to make it to games, one Howard Payne University alumni couple says HPU football is still a beloved institution in their lives.

Mike Martin for webMike and Sari (Ryan) Martin of San Angelo, both 1971 HPU graduates, met their freshman year in 1967. Mike played offensive tackle for the Yellow Jacket football team.

“We had geology class together and I took roll for the football players in Chapel which, at that time, was held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” said Sari. “That’s when we started making eyes at each other.”

The relationship blossomed their sophomore year when Sari became a cheerleader. They were married by the end of their junior year and will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary next May.

Mike coached for many years at Angelo State University and was inducted into the HPU Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

Sari Martin for webLast year, Sari learned of the opportunity to name a locker in the Yellow Jacket field house in honor of a loved one. She chose locker #75 after her husband’s former jersey number. She told him about it on Christmas morning and presented him with a note from Roger Geise, HPU’s head football coach.

“He loved it,” said Sari. “I was glad because you can’t buy men anything.”

This season, the HPU Yellow Jackets have started strong, advancing to 3-0 with wins over Wayland Baptist University, Trinity University and Southwestern Assemblies of God University.

“We thought coming into the season that we had a chance to be good and winning our first three games certainly enhances that feeling,” said Coach Geise.

The community is encouraged to attend the Yellow Jackets games, both at home and on the road. A schedule can be found online at www.hpusports.com.

“I am so proud of our football team,” said Mike Jones, HPU athletic director. “Coach Geise and his staff have done a great job of making consistent improvements each year with our football program. We are looking forward to continuing a great year with this group of student athletes.”

Mike and Sari for webThose interested in supporting the Yellow Jacket football team by sponsoring a locker in honor of a loved one may contact Coach Roger Geise at (325) 649-8209 or via e-mail at rgeise@hputx.edu.

 

 

 

 

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Photo cutlines: Mike and Sari Martin are pictured during their college days and more recently as they near their 45th wedding anniversary.

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