Chalk Recalls Glory Days At Big Sandy With Lovie Smith - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/2/07-Marshall

Chalk Recalls Glory Days At Big Sandy With Lovie Smith

Lovie Smith calls the shots for the Chicago Bears and picks the major plays his team will run.

It was just 33 years ago that Lovie was running plays as a Big Sandy Wildcat. Right at his side him was cousin and close friend, Gary Chalk. 

"He was probably the best athlete that ever came through Big Sandy," Gary said. "The total athlete."

During the early 1970's Lovie Smith was Big Sandy football.

"You could just see that he was probably another level above most of the people involved.He to me was always the better talent, but he never made you feel like he thought that," Gary said.

As just a sophomore Lovie became the starting middle linebacker for the team and the young Wildcat quickly stepped into the role of leader.

"He called the plays on defense," Gary explained, "the audibles and all those type of things. So, (he was) very coach minded at even a young age. Some guys tell you what we're going to do. We're going to do this. Lovie just said we're going to lineup and watch me and follow me."

With Lovie, the Wildcats won three straight state championships, never losing a single game in three seasons.

"We were expected to win," Gary said. "Losing was not in our vocabulary. (It was) a lot of pressure but a lot of good times."

Gary now works for Reliant Energy and last season retired after serving for many years as a high school football referee. He's seen a lot of coaches but says there are few like his friend Lovie.

"He's always been a lot quieter than the average guy."

Gary will be in Miami for the Super Bowl and said he knows everything that happened in three seasons at Big Sandy, brought Lovie to this point in his career.
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