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FOOTBALL: Kary Vincent Sr.’s memory honored with camp

Shortly after Kary Vincent Sr. died from complications of pneumonia Dec. 26, his older sister went through some recent messages the two exchanged.

Kary Vincent Sr.

“When he passed, I was looking for something to hold onto, and I saw those texts about the camp,” Trena Arceneaux said.

The two had talked about a football camp for young children, since Vincent was unable to return to sidelines full-time as cornerbacks coach at Memorial High School following a second bout with pneumonia.

Saturday morning, despite the threat of rain in Port Arthur, The Big “V” Wrecking Crew camp at Memorial Stadium came to fruition.

“I know KK was going to be here,” said Dennis Ransom, one of Vincent’s teammates at Texas A&M from 1987-90. “If he was anywhere around, he was going to be here.”

A young man takes it out on the football dummy during a tackling drill at The Big “V” Wrecking Crew camp at Memorial Stadium. (I.C. Murrell/The News) 6-29-19

Vincent was a well-known figure in the Port Arthur sports scene for decades. He was a football and track standout at Thomas Jefferson High School, graduating in 1987 and moving on to A&M, where he began as a wide receiver and moved to the secondary, according to Ransom.

Vincent was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 1992 and also played in the Canadian and Arena football leagues.

“Wrecking Crew” was a nickname given to the Aggies’ defense by an offensive player who once told the media the defense plays like a wrecking crew, Ransom said.

“First of all, we were hurting and we’re still dealing with that of losing one of our former teammates,” Ransom said. “That’s the thing we stress over the years at A&M, that we stayed together and we hung together. It’s a brotherhood. When you lose one of your teammates — we lost one of our brothers — when Trena came up with this idea, we jumped behind it and supported it. We were going to be here, hell or high water.”

A young man catches a pass as former Texas A&M wide receiver Eric Brown looks on at The Big “V” Wrecking Crew camp Saturday at Memorial Stadium. (I.C. Murrell/The News) 6-29-19

So were 79 boys and girls, who learned football drills from former Aggies, Port Arthur ISD coaches and players.

Vincent, who was 49, was a teacher at Thomas Jefferson Middle School and also coached track at Memorial. He helped the Titans finish second in the 2015 UIL 6A and 2017 UIL 5A state meets.

Vincent’s son, Kary Jr., paid a visit to Saturday’s camp. K.J., as he’s known, is a junior cornerback and sprinter at LSU.

The experience left Arceneaux overcome with emotion from the start.

“My eyes are red now,” Arceneaux said. “My emotions are really full, but I know he would be pleased because we spoke about this when he returned from the hospital the first time. He gave me all the logistics of what to do, so when I went back to look over those texts, those texts guided me along the way after he passed. It was almost like he was talking to me.”

Arceneaux then got in touch with Glenda Chilo of the HONEY Foundation to help set up the camp. A clinic for drill team members and reading stations were also held in conjunction.

The HONEY Foundation and SALT Ministries organize the Kary Vincent Scholarship Fund, which will award eight scholarships to high school graduates in April.

Scholarship applications will be available at Memorial High beginning Sept. 19 and are open to those with a cumulative grade-point average between 2.5 and 2.9 and who have been involved in school and community activities. Other eligible students from the Golden Triangle can contact Arceneaux at trenaarceneaux2007@gmail.com for the A&M-specific applications.

Applicants will be asked to write a personal narrative to be accepted beginning Jan. 20. The scholarships — three to those who will attend Texas A&M and the other five for an institution of each winner’s choice — will be presented.

In more ways than one, a man whom another Aggies teammate, former wide receiver Eric Brown, said loved God, family and life was honored.

“He was an honor and inspiration just to know him and be around,” Brown said.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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