Texas High School football has taught me lessons like no other. It hasn’t just taught how to be a better player on the field, but how to be a better person off of it. It has taught me lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my life. It has taught me how to deal with adversity and how to be a leader as well as a teammate. Playing football has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.

As a little kid growing up in Westlake, I quickly realized the significance of wearing that big red W on your helmet and the meaning it held for the people around the community. Ever since my first days of Pop Warner football I dreamed of wearing that W on my helmet and playing under the same Friday night lights as many of my heroes. It was a privilege to have the opportunity to carry on the legacy of Drew Brees, Nick Foles, and Sam Ehlinger while adding our own piece of history to the Westlake tradition with my teammates. 

I cannot begin to put into words how grateful I am for the people who showed this football team support and always had faith in our goals. Without the cheerleaders, band, Hyline, student section, WHS Tech, Chap Club, teachers, athletic trainers, our dedicated coaching staff, and the entire Westlake community, none of this would have ever been possible. I owe a special thanks to Coach Dodge for teaching me what it means to be a leader as a QB, and to Coach Pruitt for always having my back. To my Mom, Dad, and little sister Gracie, I can’t put into words how much your endless support has meant to me. 

To my brothers, we did it. We regained the Westlake legacy that had been on hold for 23 years, bringing the State Championship back home. I wouldn’t have wanted it to do it with any other group of guys, and I am so proud to be a part of this team. Throughout the season, we didn’t listen to outside noise. We stayed true to our team and believed in each other. I love every one of y’all and I’m certain we will look back on this season with pride for the rest of our lives. 

As I reflect on the last four years of my life, I know that Westlake has given me experiences and memories that I will cherish forever. From the moment I first put on the W, to the final knee of the State Championship it has been an incredible journey. To the lifelong friends that I have made, and all the people who have impacted me throughout my time here, thank you. Westlake Nation, it’s been real-Kirkland Michaux.