By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (October 17, 2015) — Robert Hinton is a simple guy and a veteran offensive lineman.
He’s part of a group of experienced starters on a front line that has led Tarleton State to more than 30 points in four of five games this season.
A native of Rockwall who grew up visiting family in Stephenville, Hinton says homecoming is really just another day to him. Because for Hinton, every day is homecoming.
“When I was growing up all I wanted to do was live in Stephenville,” said Hinton. “Through football and through Tarleton, I got to do that.”
Hinton’s family owns Oak Tree Garage on FM 914 just off the South Loop of US Highway 377, so trips to Stephenville were the norm growing up.
“When I would come to Stephenville I would get out of the city, which is good for me, because I’m really a country boy,” said Hinton, a 6-4, 300-pound senior. “Stephenville and Tarleton, it’s a great community and it’s more laid back than the city.”
Hinton says the traditions observed every day, not just at homecoming, remind him how fortunate he is to be in Erath County.
“We have so many traditions that every day feels like homecoming to me. I grew up wanting to be here and here I am,” he said. “A lot of us will have family and stuff and a lot of people will come back who may only come back here a once or twice a year, if that much, so it’s special, but every day is special here.”
It’s no secret homecoming is better with a win.
“We just have to keep our heads up and do things the way our coaches teach us,” said Hinton. “Guys like (head coach Cary Fowler) and (Offensive line coach and offensive coordinator Mason Miller) are making us better players and making us better men off the field. They’re great for us. As long as we listen and learn from them and the type of men they are, we will be successful.”
Tarleton finally was successful last week, winning 38-34 at Texas A&M-Kingsville. The Texans host Eastern New Mexico at 6 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium. They must defeat ENMU and Angelo State, who they visit in two weeks, to have a chance of reaching the championship bracket in the second Lone Star Conference playoff.
Whatever occurs on the gridiron, Hinton knows Stephenville is a place he wouldn’t mind ending up after graduation.
“Football is going to end soon, and I don’t know where I’ll end up living for work,” he said. “If it’s right around here that would be great.”
At the place he now calls home. Where he enjoys homecoming every day.
Where he’ll try to help the Texans to a pivotal homecoming win.