EUFAULA — Dewey Selmon had planned to be in Florida this week.
But when Eufaula school officials called the family and said they’d like to retire his number — along with those of his two famous brothers — he didn’t give a second thought to canceling.
“While we were here, we were loved by the whole town and we love it right back,” Dewey Selmon said after Eufaula retired his No. 85 Friday night before the Ironheads’ game against Stigler.
The school also retired Lee Roy’s No. 75 and Lucious’ No. 32.
“It’s truly humbling,” Dewey said. “There’s no greater expression than for your hometown to do something like this for you and your brothers.”
Earlier in the day, Dewey was the grand marshal in Eufaula’s homecoming parade. He was joined on the field by his wife, children and a large number of family members who came to see the trio honored before Eufaula fell to Stigler 21-7.
Paul Bell, who coached the brothers, was among those on hand.
“I’ve went to so many things that they’ve been honored at that it’s sort of commonplace,” Bell, now 80, said. “The appreciation for them coming home to their high school and the city that they were raised in is something special, though.
“When your hometown honors you, that’s the great accomplishment of them all.”
Lee Roy Selmon died last September at age 56.
Jimmy Barrett coached Eufaula’s rival, Checotah, from 1967 to 1993 and had plenty of battles against the brothers.
“We never could beat them,” Barrett said.
The most striking memory for Barrett, though, came when Lee Roy and Dewey were in the eighth grade.
“We had them down 7-6 and I think I’m going to win,” Barrett said. “Well, he (Paul Bell) pulled ’em and put ’em in the backfield and we couldn’t stop them.”
Eufaula won that junior high game 14-7.
Dewey said he tries to make it back to see his high school team once a year, though this is the first time in three years he’s been able to.
For a lot of his family, though, it was the first time they’d gotten a chance to watch the team for which Dewey, Lee Roy and Lucious once starred.
“Dewey’s really proud to be from Eufaula,” his wife Kathryn Selmon said. “All his stories are farm stories from Eufaula and about what it was like growing up here.”
Larry Newton is in his first year coaching the Ironheads. Newton is also a Eufaula graduate, and his father and uncle were also head coaches for the Ironheads. His father, Larry Sr., is an assistant on his staff now.
“It’s all been a history lesson,” Newton said. “It’s great for us to honor them like this and to show our kids some of the guys that have come through here before.”