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New Dean On Campus Of OBU


A new Dean is headed to the campus of Ouachita Baptist University. Justin Dean of Mena High School signed his letter of intent to further his football playing career at OBU, Wednesday morning, February 7th.

Dean says he remembers playing football for the first time when he was seven or eight years old, when, “I would ride the school bus over to the old middle school, the one by the courthouse, and I would play football with my brother Jordan and all of his friends, until one of our parents came to pick us up.”

The game of football has always been his favorite sport, “because of the toughness you have to have.” Dean went on to state that, “Football is one of the most demanding games, and it requires you not only to be physically fit but also mentally. And if you’re weak in either area, you cannot expect to be great at it. It requires work to better yourself, and I like working on myself.”

Dean mentioned that, “I never really had that one player that I always looked up to, but I tried to always be like the players who tried their hardest no mater what.” He added, “Those guys always stood above the crowd to me.”

When asked about a most memorable moment playing football, Dean mentioned he had a couple. He says the first one happened in the 2016 season, “when the team [Mena Bearcats] went over to Arkadelphia and came back to win a very hard fought game, when the Badgers’ kicker missed the game winning kick, with just a few seconds remaining.” The second moment came during this year’s season, when the Bearcats traveled to Hot Springs, and came back to win after being down the whole game. Dean says, “When we took the lead in the fourth quarter, you could feel the excitement amongst the crowed and the team. It was very special to me.”

Dean says he has always wanted to play football in college, because he knows he won’t get to play forever, so he wants to play for as long as he can. He added, “I always wanted to be like the college players too, because I knew that they were good if they were on TV.”

Why OBU, you may ask. Dean says Ouachita Baptist University was the best choice for him, because of the amount of interest they showed. He stated, “They weren’t the first school to offer me anything, but once they did they were always checking in on me and making sure everything was going good. They also seemed like the program that I’ve always wanted to be a part of. Everyone there always has the same mindset to be as good of a person as they can, and to better themselves as much as possible.” Looking forward to the coming year, Dean says, “I am most looking forward to just being a part of the kind of team they are, because each team member holds each other accountable, and they always strive to be great.”

Earning All-Conference in his Sophomore and Junior season, and All-State in his Senior year, Dean says, “I’m honored to say that I have earned that much.”

Dean says, he would first like to thank God, “for giving me every opportunity and allowing me to become who I am.” Secondly, “I would like to thank all of my friends for always believing in me and being there for me.” He added, “Third, I would like to thank my family. They’ve done so much for me that I cannot begin to explain how blessed I am for having them. They have helped me tremendously over the years, and they always will.” Dean is also grateful for all of the coaches he has played for, saying, “All of the coaches from pee-wee to where I am now, there is absolutely no way I could’ve become such a player without all of their amazing guidance and instruction.” Last but certainly not least, he would like to “thank everyone who has ever helped me to become the person I am today.”

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