The best of friends and the fiercest of competitors; Dewayne "Moe" Hightower and Michael "Furf" Martin define the spirit of sportsmanship. They have been involved in Perryville High School athletics longer than anyone in the school's history, and have seen numerous coaches, teachers and administrators come and go. If a PHS team is in action, you can be sure they're somewhere nearby. As a result of their years of travels throughout the state and the production of the fabulous video entitled, "Superseries: The Moe and Furf Project", they are known far and wide by athletes, coaches and officials throughout the state, and have developed a cult following of fans as well.
Years of one-on-one battles came and went as the two battled against each other throughout their junior high and high school days. One-on-one full-court games with scores over 100 apiece were a regular occurrence in their younger days. After each game, they went to work as managers for the basketball teams. During football season, they prepared the field and equipment for practice, then found time between water breaks to get in hours of one-on-one action and countless repetitions of throws, catches and pass routes. Those who happened to come by found themselves getting pulled into a game with Moe and Furf, with a break now and then when the two were needed on the practice field.
No one paid much attention to all of these games. Little did we know that the years of games and practices had developed the two most electrifying athletes in the history of Perry County athletics. Coaches paid little attention to the fact that they had been in the office for years, before and after practices and games, and had absorbed all the strategy and philosophy of numerous coaches. As time passed, Moe and Furf developed, both physically and mentally, into basketball and football machines. It was only a matter of time before these two made the transformation from fans, spectators and managers to the main attraction.
THEN ONE DAY AFTER PRACTICE……….IT HAPPENED…
From the first day in 1998 when a camcorder first caught the essence of athleticism and intensity that had existed for well over a decade, it was clear that Moe & Furf were destined to reach "super" status. The Super Bowl Series of 1998 turned out to be the most electrifying event of the year in PHS athletics, and the 1999 "SuperSeries" brought the competition to a level that may never be matched.
In the year that indoor football was introduced in Arkansas, the media failed to recognize that the very first indoor football game that was played in Arkansas actually took place in a building forever to be known as "The House That Furf Built" and "The House of Hardcore". It was an event that will never be forgotten by those fortunate enough to witness Furf meeting wood and answering the ten-count, only to be beaten by his very own play,,,,
Someday a book is bound to be written about this pair of legends. Someday the world will learn the significance of such things as "Moecarts, meeting wood, abstractions, self high fives, s-t-u-p-i-d-i-t-y, Atkins High School homecoming dances, extreme dives, and the towel wave.
After two years of historical sports video production, the last coaches involved in the production of the memorable video left. The new coaching staff chose not to continue the tradition. Despite numerous attempts by PEFCA (Perryville Ex-Football Coaches Association) to arrange both football and basketball competitions, a series of scheduling conflicts and illnesses prevented any SuperSports at Perryville during the 2000-2001 year. Moe sustained a knee injury in 2001 that put any physical confrontations on hold indefinitely. But the legends were not finished yet. The new coaches began to realize that the legends must compete for the benefit of Perry County, and ended up challenging them to a tag-team wrestling match, the action and ending of which defies description still today. The legends have continued to compete informally over the past few years. New generations have learned of the traditions and deeds of Moe & Furf, and the old fans still wonder if they have one more challenge left in them. Although they have never said that they are finished, it appears now that the two will leave the field of competition forever on top, with the knowledge that what they accomplished has changed the face of Perry County Sports Entertainment forever.
Perhaps it would be best if there were no more competitions. It is impossible to imagine a repeat of the battles witnessed in years' past. It may be best that we not risk tarnishing the legend of MOE vs FURF by pressuring them to compete beyond their prime. All great athletes must step down from the throne sometime. If the time for that is now, let us rejoice that we were there to experience what will never be duplicated. If, however, Moe and Furf's time is NOT up, rest assured that PEFCA will be there to bring it to you......
In the spring of 2001, PEFCA decided that their story must be told, and a web site was the result. The greatest sports story in Perry County was destined to cross all borders and span the globe for those fans of true sportsmanship and competition.
In the fall of 2001, a Moe & Furf football tradition was renewed, this time on the world wide web. A challenge was placed to anyone who thought they could predict high school football games at the level of expertise Perryville had become accustomed to from Moe & Furf. The first challenge was answered by 25 victims. Week by week, the challengers fell, and the final result made the fans realize what they had been missing since the legends last left the spotlight.
What was intended to be a one-time event soon became the talk of the town. By the time “SuperPicks” was over, fans were wanting to know what would be next. Many challenges followed, and hundreds of challengers across the country felt the sting of defeat over the next 15 years. Challenges were based on pro, college and high school football, basketball, baseball, horse racing, celebrity boxing, presidential election........you name it, we picked it. In the last three years, participation began to decline as people seemed to give up on the dream to beat the legends, and the final official PEFCA-sponsored challenge was being held at the time of the writing of this article. The 2016 Moe & Furf March Madness challenge marked the final MFSL & PEFCA-sponsored challenge; the final chapter of a competition that has spanned three decades.
Now that the challenges are over, Moe and Furf continue to be what they have always been before, during and after their worldwide reign as legends: The greatest supporters of Perryville Mustang Athletics of all time and the most consistent and valuable support system any team or coaches could ever hope to have. Although they have talked about retirement in the past, another school year and season starts up and finds the legends back at it. It will happen someday, but it is hard for Mustang Nation to imagine the maroon and gray in competition without the guidance and support from these legends.
Dewayne “Moe” Hightower and Michael “Furf” Martin have become true legends after years of unnoticed and under-appreciated hard work and loyalty. They are true sportsmen in every sense of the word, and they will always be the greatest Mustangs produced by Perryville High School. Those of us who were fortunate enough to live the Moe & Furf Experience will never forget them. We hope you enjoy this celebration of some of their legendary feats…..