There are a ton of memories of Quirante that Mathews will remember. The one that sticks out the most though has nothing to do with football.
A 12-year-old Vidor student was suffering from an illness and even had to have his foot amputated. Quirante made sure people in attendance at Vidor’s homecoming game against Lumberton knew there are bigger things in this world than a game.
“He asked if after he scored his first touchdown if he could go bring the football to the young man,” Mathews said. “Sure enough he scored and went and found the guy and gave him the football. Then after halftime he pushed Luke out of the tunnel and had his teammates wait until Luke was done having his time in the spotlight. He wanted the kid to have a moment to smile. He was thinking of other people. Some father is going to be real happy one day when Montana marries his daughter.”
Quirante did play other sports this year. He was on the basketball court after football season and then picked up the game of soccer following the basketball season.
He was the manager of the track team and that adventure led to an unusual story.
Quirante said after Vidor’s own track meet was postponed his track coach decided to take the track team to a meet in Louisiana. The coach then made an offer to Quirante to throw the javelin, an event not offered in Texas track and field meets.
Quirante said yes, practiced for a little over an hour the day before the meet, went to Louisiana and placed third in the event.
“I think my distance was 143 feet,” Quirante said. “The great part of that is that is a school record at Vidor now.”
The last bit of history Quirante made at Vidor had to do with the interview process he had with The Orange Leader. Never in the history of the newspaper has a male reporter asked about a male athletes smile.