While some Murray State teams have had their fair share players over the years, the Racer football team has had just a few players willing to move halfway around the world in search of gridiron glory. The most famous foreign Racer football player is undoubtedly barefoot English kicker Rob Hart (1995-1997), who was an All-American for MSU in 1997 and went on to have seven-year professional career in the NFL Europe and NFL. Another memorable foreign player for the Racers was Georges Fotso of Cameroon, who after exhausting four years of eligibility for the Murray State men’s basketball team, played one season of football as a defensive lineman.
This season the Racers will have two foreign players on their roster: punter Steve Dawson of Australia and defensive lineman Matz Peters of Germany. Dawson hails from Wagga Wagga, a small city in the southeastern Australian state of New South Wales, while Peters is from Cologne, the crown jewel of the Rhine River.
While both had long journeys, literally, to get to Murray, their paths to the football team were much different. For Peters, his path to football was born out of boredom from the other football, soccer. “When I was getting tired of soccer, I had a friend that asked me if I wanted to come with him to football practice and just try it out. I did and since then I have never stopped playing football.” Unlike Peters’ long journey to Roy Stewart Stadium, which included a stop at New Mexico Military College, Dawson has only been involved with football since September of last year. After finishing with his Australian Rules Football team, looking for a change, he got involved with a group in Australia that helps take rugby and Aussie Rules players and convert them to punters. After some early success, Dawson, who had never previously been to America, found himself joining the Racers this July, sight unseen.
Both players, have seemingly settled into their new adopted home of Murray, with Dawson even saying that in some ways it reminds him of his hometown because they both have “that nice country feel” to them. Despite it feeling similar to home, as Dorothy famously said “there is no place like home,” and when asked what they missed most about their homelands, they both responded with their Mom’s cooking. Their favorite dish of their Mom’s? For Dawson, it was a nice lamb roast, while Peters’ favorite is lasagna.
While all Racers, except for one, call some place beside Murray home, for Peters and Dawson, home isn’t just a quick car ride away. So if you see Dawson or Peters around this season, feel free to say “G’Day” or “Guten Tag” and help show them that while their home town may be half way around the world, their adopted home isn’t so bad either.