MARYVILLE, Mo. — As football seasons have come in went over the past decade they have all started relatively the same for coach Kellen Overstreet but this year was different.
A graduate of Penney High School in Hamilton, Missouri, Overstreet thrived as a football player for the Hornets as he led his team to one state championship and two runner-up finishes and eventually played at the NCAA Division I level, but this season, he is on the sideline for the Maryville High School football team.
In Overstreet’s senior year at Penney, he ranked No. 2 in the nation in rushing yards with 4,259 yards on 401 carries. That mark ranked as the fourth-best all-time single-season total in national high school football history and set a state of Missouri single-season record.
The Hamilton, Missouri, native also fell one touchdown short of tying the national record — 71 — for touchdowns in a single season. His 70 touchdowns in his senior year set a Missouri state single-season record.
With a resume filled with accolades, Overstreet took his talents to Laramie, Wyoming, to play for the University of Wyoming.
“I thought it was the best fit for me,” Overstreet said. “I also really wanted to play Division I football. That had been my dream since I was growing up. It felt like a family atmosphere there and I really liked it when I went out there. It felt like it was where I needed to be”
In Overstreet’s first season with the Cowboys, he appeared in all 12 games for the Pokes. The 5-foot-11 running back rushed for 84 yards on 16 carries with one touchdown that season and also caught three passes for 33 yards. Due to an injury, Overstreet was forced to redshirt his sophomore year
Coming off of the injury, Overstreet ranked second on the team in rushing with 481 yards in his second full season as he averaged 37 rushing yards per game and 4.4 yards per carry. He also found the endzone three times during the season including the go-ahead score against rival Colorado State.
Going into what would be his senior season, Overstreet once again was faced with another injury and two knee surgeries and two shoulder surgeries later, he was ultimately forced with a decision.
“It was definitely tough,” Overstreet said. “I remember I went into the doctor's office and he gave me a couple of options wether to keep playing while I was hurt or get surgery and call it quits. I figured if I went ahead and got the surgery and called it quits then I’d have a better quality of life when I get older.”
Overstreet is still continuing his undergraduate in physical education at Northwest Missouri State University, hoping to be a P.E. teacher and a coach after graduation. He said playing college football at the highest level was worth it all.
“It was an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything,” Overstreet said. “I think it was worth it. It was a new challenge for me coming from Class 1 to Division I was a cool challenge and I’m glad that I took the opportunity to go out there and do that.”
Starting this season, Overstreet patrols the sidelines for the Spoofhounds as the wide receivers coach while finishing his degree. Overstreet wanted to get into coaching and he had some mutual connections with coach Matt Webb and reached out to him about opportunities.
“Kellen has a very successful background and he’s a great athlete,” Webb said. “He wanted to get into coaching and he’s doing a great job coaching our wide receivers.”
The Spoofhounds have a talented wide receiver core Overstreet oversees. Athletes like seniors Tate Oglesby, Deon Metezier, Jacob Davenport, Dalton Bozarth, Tyler Haer, Overstreet has helped his corps connection grow stronger.
“Coach Overstreet has been a great addition for us,” Oglesby said. “He really emphasized creating a bond during his first couple of weeks here and that really helped us with building our relationship with him. He’s constantly having us wide receivers work on an aspect of our game that needs improvement. He’s a hard worker, and that definitely translates over to us players.”