Home Team Friday: Off the Gridiron (10/22/21)

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – On the west side of Evansville, McDurmon is a household name. 

It’s a family with a rich athletic legacy that started in the early 1960s, and it’s still being carried on today. 

“The McDurmon family is one of the family of families here at Mater Dei,” said Mater Dei head coach Mike Goebel. “The McDurmons have made their impression really strongly, and kind of quietly just keep on doing it.”

Whether on the mat or the gridiron, Mater Dei has seen three generations of McDurmons dominate their sport. 

It all started with John McDurmon, who graduated in 1965. John was a three-year starter in football and a state wrestling finalist, who now resides in the Mater Dei Hall of Fame. 

But it doesn’t stop there. John had three sons – Jeff, Brett and Scott – who all kept the tradition alive. 
All three of them were all-state football players for Mater Dei, and earned their own respective spots in the school’s hall of fame. 

“Scott, Brett and Jeff all played here, and each one was different and each one was great in his own different way,” Goebel said. “They’re all three all-staters, and now each one has sons that are playing football for Mater Dei.”

That’s right. Eli, Luke and Nate McDurmon are third generation Mater Dei football players. For them, football was always apart of their childhood. 

“I can’t even remember the times asking if I want to play football,” said junior receiver Luke McDurmon. “It was kind of just, alright, you’re just going and playing football.”

“As a kid growing up around the sport, and just watching it every single weekend at all the junior league games, having all our family around to watch the games and support,” said senior receiver Eli McDurmon. “It’s been great growing up with it every step of the way.”

Eli is representing the McDurmon name well in his senior year. He’s currently leading Mater Dei in receiving with over 600 yards and 7 touchdowns. It’s a point of pride for his father, Scott. 

“To see them out there participating in the game, and to see them playing under a lot of the same coaches that I played under in the late 80s, it’s been a blast,” Scott said. “I’ve loved every minute of it.”

For the McDurmon patriarchs, life has come full circle. Years removed from their playing careers, it’s their sons’ turn to create their own legacy. That’s an opportunity they don’t take lightly. 

“We know we have such a good support system around the community, and we just know we’re playing for something more,” Luke said. “This means so much more for a lot of people, than what we realize.”

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