“Rumblin’, Stumblin’, Bumblin’” – A historical look at Minden’s running backs

By: Jake Chapman

For the past thirteen years, I’ve followed the Crimson Tide football team every week of the season.  From the dregs of August to the occasional Quarterfinal playoff appearance post-Daylight Savings Time in November, I have provided the color commentary on the KBEF/KASO radio broadcast with my cohort, Mark Chreene, who has been THE voice of the Minden Crimson Tide for the past twenty-three years.  When one follows any team as intimately as we do, one gets to KNOW each year’s team.  However, as a new historian, I’m also guilty of donning John Conlee’s “Rose Colored Glasses” when it comes to holding too tightly to the past.  

In this installment, you’ll see that the modern era players are just as woven into the fabric of Minden history.  I’ll try not to sentence you to death by numbers, but that is probably what I’ll do.  I’m a numbers guy.  

Historically, Minden has been a run heavy team. So, we’ll start with the deepest player group: Running Backs.  

I should mention that this group is out of approximately 417 players that have toted the rock for Minden since 1914, although there is some newly discovered information that would suggest that Minden football goes back as far as 1909.  So, that number very easily could swell to over 500.

Truthfully, Minden fans were spoiled by having two generational talents grace the gridiron within a ten-year span.  Just five years before Sammy Seamster electrified “The Pit”, there was Raymond Tate.  Tate’s performances seem to be etched a little deeper into history because he accomplished several “firsts” that hadn’t been done in decades.  In 1979, Tate was the first Minden running back to rush for 1,000+ yards since 1964 (Stan Green).  As a matter of fact, he was the first EVER to rush for 1,000+ yards in three seasons (1979-1981).  Until then, the only Tider to rush for 1,000+ yards in multiple seasons was Bobby Ashley (1958-1959).  Tate was the first since Ashley to rush for 200+ yards in a game, one of which set the record with 214 in 1979.  Tate and company won the State Championship in the fall of 1980, which hadn’t been done since 1963, and fell just short in the Semi-Finals in 1981.  Tate was a 1st Team All-State running back from 1979 to 1981.  Tate was also selected to the 1981 Parade All-American Team, the only Minden player ever to receive this honor. 

In 1986, Sammy Seamster had a gem of a junior campaign setting records left and right.  He finished that season with 315 carries, 2,408 rushing yards and 28 rushing TDs, averaging 200.7 yards per game.  These feats won’t soon be surpassed. That year he became the first North Louisiana player in the top two classifications (3A and 4A, back then) to rush for over 2,000 yards in a regular season.  In one of his unprecedented six games with 200+ yards that year, he set the current high-water mark for single-game rushing yards (284) and tied, what was then, the school record for rushing TDs (5).  Seamster is the only other rusher besides Tate to have 1,000+ rushing yards in three seasons.  During Seamster’s stint, the Tide never made it farther than the Quarterfinals, but in 1985 and 1987, Seamster was an honorable mention All-State running back.  In 1986, he earned 1st team All-State honors and was awarded the Louisiana Offensive Player of the Year. 

It’s easy to see why Tate and Seamster are so prevalent in the collective minds of the Minden community.  These two sit at the top of every statistical category in career, season, and single game rushing records.  Enter the “new kid on the block”, Daylen Robinson.  As it was mentioned a couple weeks ago, “Mr. Robinson” is firmly in third place in those major categories surpassing long-time Tate and Seamster shadow-dwellers Kenyon Cotton (1989-1991) and Tyrone Grider (1995-1997), who now ocellate between fourth and fifth in most career statistical categories.  

Let’s mix in other modern era guys, shall we? Another Robinson you might not know is Lieric Robinson (2018-2019). Sure, his name may not stick out with all the other guys, but he is an all-time Top Ten dasher as well.  Lieric tied the school record with five rushing touchdowns in week nine of 2019, and then, in the very next game, set the school record with six rushing touchdowns.  There have been only five other Minden running backs with at least five rushing tallies in a game, but there is only ONE with six.  That’s rare air, indeed.

One player that almost no one mentions in conversation is Antonio Rivette (2014-2016).  Even though he played quarterback, Rivette is in the top five in carries and rushing TDs, and number eleven in career rushing yards.  By the way, he’s a Top Five passer in all categories, too.  Probably most startling is the fact that Rivette is THE RECORD HOLDER in Career Total Offensive Yards (6,721) AND Career Total TDs (85).  That’s FIFTEEN more than Sammy Seamster’s total.  Rivette also lead the 2016 team to the Quarterfinals.  Is your heart warming towards the new guys yet?  

There are a few other noteworthy running backs like Michael Carr (1998-2000), Kay Jones (2003-2005) and Brandon Walker (2004-2006) who have galloped their way into the record books amongst those mentioned above, but I am not able to unpack it all.  Of course, Tate and Seamster reign supreme, but I’ve outlined several players that should be in the conversation as well.  G.I. Joe used to say, “Knowing is half the battle,” and now that you know, you can begin to weave them all into the legacy of the Minden High Greats.  

Next time, I’ll break down the Crimson Tide field marshals, the Quarterbacks.  

By the way, if you’re interested in seeing the full account of all of Minden’s football records, stay tuned. 

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